Inaugural Sigada Cup Success

10/04/2014

Blustery, overcast conditions with wind force 3-4 and occasional gusts of 5 prompted the race committee, ably led by PRO Linda Pennington, to call for single reefs to the mainsail and no spinnakers from the outset. That decision was probably welcomed by most but did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of the 20 RTYC members and four guests that took to the water in seven J/80s at Queen Mary Reservoir for a series of fleet races that formed the stage for the inaugural Sigada Cup, very kindly donated by Keith Gwynne Jones. 
 
The basic premise for this event was to 'mix up the crews' a bit, aiming for each boat/team to comprise one aged 50 years or older, one aged 31-49 years, one aged 30 years or younger, one of any age, with at least one female crew, all RTYC members. This proved to be an exacting eligibility requirement but, with a bit of juggling, we got pretty close. For my team, I'm pleased to report that not only did we meet these requirements but I had the pleasure of racing with three women on board. Sorted!

The RC set a four-mark beat-reach-run-reach-beat course, leaving all marks to port, with two rounds per race. The aim was to run a series with a minimum of six races, each boat qualifying for one discard. In the end, eight races were completed and, with lunch taken on the water, there was ample time for drinks at the QMSC bar after racing.
 
For the most part, the races were closely contested with the up and downwind legs, and mark roundings offering chances for position changes. Some keen (aggressive?) helming coupled with the squally conditions resulted in a few hairy moments but - thankfully - no serious damage resulted.
 
In the end, William Edwards and his crew of Philip Nicholson, Edie Meyer and Sylvia O'Keeffe won the day, with helms Charlie Esse and Peter Diamond securing second and third place. Only four points separated these teams in the final rankings, and it is great credit to William and his team that only on one occasion - which counted as their discard - did they finish outside the top three in any race!
 
Points summary is as follows:
 
1st       William Edwards         11 points
2nd      Charlie Esse               14 Points
3rd       Peter Diamond            15 points
4th       Gregor Logan              19 points
5th       Angus Prentice           24 points
6th       Keith Gwynne Jones   36 points
7th       Stephen Foot              37 points

Before Keith Gwynne Jones presented William Edwards with the Sigada Cup, Tom Montgomery offered some kind words of thanks to Keith for devising the event and donating the cup. On behalf of all the competitors, I'd like to add my thanks to Keith and to the following for helping to make this event a success: Sarah Forbes Campbell, co-event manager, Linda Pennington PRO, Jenny Woods, David Lees, Tom Montgomery, our team in the Sailing Office, Sarah Hornby and Richard Ambler, and all the competitors.
 
In summary, a fine event enjoyed by all that more than achieved its aim of mixing up the ages.  I'm already looking forward to next season's Sigada Cup!
 
Angus Prentice
Event Manager