Review of 2014 Barge match

13 Barges were entered for the race with another 3 following, although one Bowsprit Barge skipper decided on seeing the weather forecast that he was not willing to risk his marriage and home, so pulled out to follow round.

The forecast was for strong SW winds increasing to Force 6 with rain, and Officer of the Day Cyril Varley with his usual calm wisdom set the courses for Classes A and B out to Cork Sand buoy, then up the Stour to No 1 then home; Class C to Stour No 1 and Home.

Of all the starts Class B was the best with 4 Barges crossing the line within 39 seconds of the gun, this was marred by a coming together of two barges which resulted in a protest and a disqualification. Class C could potentially have been even better but two were over the line 19 seconds before the gun, both thereby suffering 30 minute penalties. A further protest was lodged against a Class B Barge for failing to pass Cliff Foot to port on the outward leg, so another disqualification. So this was the year that protests came home to roost at Pin Mill, the first ever in all my years as Barge Match Sec, and I do not recall any in Jack Haste’s time.

The First Barge home was Edme at 11:53, with the last home by 14:12, which is evidence of Cyril’s excellent choice of courses.

The results were as follows (for more details, click here.)

Class A Bowsprit - 1st Edme, 2nd Mirosa, 3rd Decima, Fastest Start Edme, first to outer mark Edme

Class B Staysail -1st Repertor, 2nd Reminder. Fastest Start Repertor, First to outer mark Repertor.

Class C Staysail -1st Centaur, 2nd Ardwina, 3rd Cygnet. Fastest start Centaur, First to outer mark Centaur.

James Lawrence Pennant - Overall winner for the fastest Barge over its course, Edme.

Harold Smy Trophy for Seamanship – Mirosa.

Bill Hattley Trophy for overall excellence - Edith May.

Michael Lungley Trophy – Cygnet.

Derek (Spearo) Ling Trophy – Repertor.

The evening was rounded off with the usual fabulous spread (which never fails to amaze our guests!) provided by Pat Dunnet and her helpers.

Julian Ackland