May 25th – 27th
The Medway Regatta was held over three days over the May Bank Holiday. Nine dragons enjoyed some quality racing: eight windward leeward courses and one round the cans to finish on Monday.
The series was dominated by Fit Chick GBR 753 (Simon Raw, Tim and Theresa Wilkes, Steven Harris). They won six of the races and would have won a seventh but for being adjudged OCS in race six. This caused a one point difference between them and OCD GBR 675 (Harris, Brealy, McKenzie) going into the last race due to there being no discards.
But Fit Chick won the start in the final race and defended their lead to win comprehensively and leave OCD second overall. This long race round the cans was held in ideal conditions on Monday with a steady Westerly wind and two good beats against the tide next to Thames Port. There were gains to be made by going further into Stangate Creek and crossing the spit at its shallowest point.
Saturday’s races were held in a light NW wind at the end of Long Reach near the jetty. There were two competing winds here: a NW and W which made for some difficult tactical decisions, particularly on the runs against the tide later in the day.
The Classic Beauty
Royalist GBR 455 (Dawe, Gagg, Shepherd), a classic dragon was very competitive and gained a second place in Race three and thirds in Races one and seven. This was the only classic dragon competing though.
Sunday had stronger Force four Westerly winds and four good races in Long Reach left all crews happy but tired. Race seven and eight were particularly interesting given that the beats gave opportunities for boats on the right hand side to make gains even though they were out in the stronger tide unlike the first two races.
Molly GBR 588 (Schupp, Staniland, Thompson) won the Vintage Trophy and were second in Race two. Gandalf GBR 726 (Hannant, Porter, Hammond) were 3rd overall with five second places.
Thanks go to Richard Stone and his team on the committee boat Absolute Diamond for faultless race management.
Race report: Medway Dragon Fleet Captain, Chris Brealy