Burnham Dragon Fleet End of Season

The Burnham Dragon Fleet ended their season in style with eleven boats slipping their moorings for Saturday afternoon racing – the first of two races to decide the Peter Matthews Memorial Trophy. With a weak flood tide and Easterly breeze, the fleet used the width of the river on the beat, with ‘Quicksilver VI’ (Rob, Can, Nick) just edging ‘Anarchy’ (Chip, Nicola, Rob) to Ron Pipe for the first of three visits. Running to Wallaseaness twice, the fleet continued to compete for position with the top five establishing a small gap to the remainder of the fleet. ‘Pageboy XI’ (Paul, Clive, Graeme) took the win from ‘Scorpio’ (Ian, Rene, Alex).

The Royal Corinthian Yacht Club dining room looked spectacular on Saturday night for the 72 diners assembled for the Dragon end of season dinner and prize-giving. The house team delivered an impeccable service so huge thanks to Tony, Simon, Jodie, and all that contributed.

Noddy, summarised the 2018 season, his first as Fleet Captain, before issuing thanks to all those who contributed to the season, then handing out the silverware – trophy winners listed in full below. Nicola Hastwell won the Crew Race, Harriet won the crew nomination and the Hectic Seal was presented to Coral Trantor to whom we are grateful for posting race results for the RCYC for the last eight years. The star raffle prize, a Zhik jacket sponsored by Andy Ramsey at Yachting Solutions, was won by Rob Campbell.

Andy Moss and Leigh Turvey presented the Clanger trophy this year with much hilarity. Tables split into ten teams and were initially tasked with crafting a boating scene ‘Blue Peter’ style, before compere Andy Moss, selected four anxious contestants to take part in a heavily doctored edition of Mastermind, with specialist subjects selected to reflect each contestant’s clanger-worthy antics from the season. To say bookies favourite, Chip Cole, looked nervous was an understatement as we were reminded of his attempted finish on lap three of a four lap race. Outsider David Brown came in with a late nomination, and scooped up the least wanted award of the evening for questionable navigation towing his Dragon up a mountain in France.

Quite surprisingly, ten teams made it bleary-eyed to the start line on Sunday morning. The low winter sun made it difficult to see through the Genoa window and identify converging Starboard tacked boats. Good, clear and early hails of ‘Starboard!’ the order of the day.

‘Scorpio’ sailed into the lead on the first run to Wallaseaness but excellent work from ‘Beauty and the Beast’ (Peter, Katie, Mark) saw them earn ‘room’ at Wallaseaness the second time around and they took up the lead and held it to the finish. ‘Pageboy XI’ took the runner up spot and with that, the Peter Matthews Memorial Trophy presented in the bar by Peter’s son Charlie Matthews who had been racing on ‘Dax’ with Smithy and Harry.

We could not have rounded off our season any better. Thanks and well done to all who contributed.

The 2018 Burnham Dragon fleet winners are:

RCYC Spring Saturdays – Anarchy
RCYC Spring Sundays – Avalanche
Karl Marx Trophy – Beauty and the Beast
RBYC Whitsun Regatta – Avalanche
RCYC Summer Saturdays – Anarchy
RCYC Summer Sundays – Scorpio
Burnham Week BH Weekend – Sabbatical
Burnham Week Overall – Quicksilver VI
RCYC Carlton Platter – Sabbatical
RCYC Petticrow Open Series – Sabbatical
Crew Race – Nicola Hastwell in Anarchy
RCYC Newts Trophy – Scorpio
RCYC Candlesticks – Scorpio
Crew prize (nominations) – Harriet Davies
Motty Rankin Trophy – Andrew Moss
Seasons Points – Scorpio
Peter Matthews Memorial Trophy – Pageboy XI
Hectic Seal – Coral Trantor
Yachting Solutions Prize Draw – Robert Campbell


Interview with OK Dinghy European Junior Champion Will Heritage

Dragon racing is truly for everyone, at any age. Will Heritage started sailing with the Bailey’s at 8 years old and was described then by Tim Tavinor as “the best nipper he had seen on a boat.”

Ten years on and after retaining the title of Edinburgh Cup champion this year Will has added to his sailing CV by winning the recent OK Dinghy European Junior Champion title

Will Heritage, a teenage boat building apprentice from the Isle of Wight has surprised and delighted many in the OK fleet after bursting onto the scene in a boat he largely built himself and taking fourth at the OK Nationals in his first event in the class and then 15th at the OK Europeans where he also won the European Junior crown. Will is leading a group of new youngsters that are coming into the OK and making their presence felt at a time where international competition is hotting up with such notables as Freddy Loof, Mats Caap and Rod Davis returning to the OK to enjoy their sailing in a more sociable, but still deeply competitive fleet. In this interview Karen Robertson talks to Will about his sailing, why he chose the OK and his successes this year.

Karen Robertson talked with Will after winning the title: 

Will Heritage wins the OK Junior European Trophy - photo © Robert Deaves“I’m am extremely happy with how the Europeans went, especially as it was my first international event in the boat mixing with the big boys and the best in Europe. To be crowned Junior European Champion was the icing on the cake after a very fun week of hard work and great sailing.

“My highlight of the Europeans has to be getting a top 10 in the last race crossing the World Champion with the last tack of the race to get inside the top 10. It was the penultimate race of the regatta, I needed a good race to stay in the top 15 and thankfully I did just that. To be honest couldn’t stop smiling as I’d had all top 25 results but nothing in the top ten. to get one in the top ten result was hard fought in such a good fleet.

“I started sailing when I was about eight sailing Optimists, I soon took to it and was off around the county doing the extremely competitive circuit they had, being selected for the National squads soon after. It helped me no end to get my head round 100+ boats on a start line which helps me with every start I do. At the age of 12 I moved into the Laser 4.7 where I spent the next few years, winning a few national ranking events and the Inland Championships before moving into the Radial until 2016.

“By this stage I had started to do some keelboat sailing in the Dragon Class which I still sail today – sailing with Graham and Julia Bailey who I’ve known since I was born. They’ve helped my sailing more than I could imagine, the highly competitive fleet mixed with the experience and intelligent sailing of the Baileys has taught me so much that I can take into my own sailing. We have won four Edinburgh Cups (National Championships) 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018.

“From when I was a very small boy I had dreams of being a 6’3″ brute of a Finn sailor but unfortunately I haven’t even got close to six foot meaning I am a touch small for a Finn. But after talking to a few people an OK seemed a great road to go down as its similar to a Finn but still a fantastic boat. I had finished with my youth sailing and was at a crossroads of what to do. I started as an apprentice boat builder for my Dad building race boats so we decided to buy a hull with no deck on and go from there. the hull went to Andy Rushworth to get a deck put on it and I started on it in late January, finishing early July. That was my way into the class, it’s one of if not my favourite boat to sail.”

Read the full interview with Will here >>>