John Bedford Cup - Race Report - June 2015

Club members competed for a historic piece of silverware.

Father and Son, Mitchells

Pictured above Father and son team on the Dart 18 Catamaran

The John Bedford Cup was first awarded in 1969 and its first winner, John Summerfield, also took part in Sunday’s race.

Steady force four wind

With a steady force four wind, choppy sea and fierce ebbing tide, the stage was set for a challenging race.

Catamarans were required to complete three laps and mono-hulls two, of an intricate course of an interlocking long triangle and a sausage. The five-minute warning signal was fired by Charlie Stacey, race officer of the day, and the fleet started vying for the best position on the start line.

Infamous yellow Dart 16

Mitchell and Stacey, in the infamous yellow Dart 16, were first to cross the line, having squeezed Boxer and Dempsey within a fingernail width of the start bouy.

However, Team Boxer arrived at the first bouy with a narrow lead, with Martin and Debbie Chivers, in their Dart 18, hot on their heels, closely followed by Matt Burrell and J Wayland. All three were striving to escape the slightly slower Dart 16.

Steering failure at the start

John Summerfield and Martin Berryman

Pictured above: John Summerfield and Martin Berryman stuggle with steering failure on the tasar Dinghy

Among the mono-hulls competing was Summerfield, accompanied with long-standing crew Martin Berryman. The original winner in 1969 had steering failure at the start, resulting in his retaking of the start bouy. This left Cathy Mitchell, in only her second race in her Laser this year, in clear view of the first bouy.

Cathy Mitchell in Laser

Pictured above: Cathy Mitchell in her Laser Dinghy

Martin and Debbie Chivers, in their Dart 18, chased Boxer and Dempsey and attempted to make a move on the leaders on one of the following bouys.
However, they ignored the raging tide, resulting in them hitting the bouy and losing time.

Precious seconds lost

Team Burrell, in their Dart 18, closely following Martin and Debbie Chivers, also fell foul of the same bouy, costing them precious seconds. Boxer and Dempsey were now in a clear race and it was between them and Mitchell and Stacey, who steered a perfect course.

Handicap was going to decide the victors and, eventually, the winners were declared as Mitchell and Stacey.

Jame Stacey and Robert Mitchell

Pictured above: James Stacey and Robert Mitchell congratulate themselves on taking first place.

Cathy Mitchell deserves special credit for handsomely beating, on handicap, her husband and son team, sailing the Blue Dart 18.

Results: 1 Dart 16 - Rob Mitchell and James Stacey, 2 Dart 18 - Peter Boxer and Eilish Dempsey, 3 Dart 18 - Martin and Debbie Chivers.

The next club event is the 2015 Regatta on Sunday, July 12

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