RTYC at the Aspirin Trophy


The forecast was true to its word, and the sun shone down on Burnham-on-Crouch in all its glory. Having suffered numerous defeats over the years, a number of the RTYC team had bent a few RBOD owners’ arms, and embarked on some pre-event training, racing in the Saturday afternoon series.      

The wind was fickle, and it looked like it could become pre-event bar training. However a small breeze developed and a short windward/leeward course was set, and thankfully shortened after the first lap due to the wind dropping and tide increasing. The skills of the RTYC might not have improved over one race, but it did give them a chance to look over the beautiful RBOD fleet that had obviously had some serious work done on them over the winter; the varnish was immaculate and hand painted hulls as smooth as glass; there was even a metallic purple boat sprayed, by a local car shop!

Over the course of the afternoon, the RTYC member and RBOD fleet  assembled on the terrace with an obvious thirst before settling down for dinner, speeches, jokes and the usual frivolity that comes with, this the 22nd Aspirin Trophy. The Commodore of the RBYC, Adrian Lower, welcomed the RTYC members, followed by Jo Head reminding the gathering of last years events and notably when the RTYC Captain, Tom Montgomery, dropped  the trophy whilst presenting it to the RBYC team. Jo kindly demonstrated this by smashing a fake bottle over Monty’s head to delight of all that were there! Monty replied on behalf of the RTYC team, comparing the RBYC’s continuing victory to the famous spell during the Americas Cup, where the US held the Auld Mug between 1857 and 1983.

As ever, Mike Baker-Harber continued the fun with a string of inappropriate jokes, followed by Rubber Ball telling us a tale from his yachting archives, this time about our own yachting legend, Iain Macdonald-Smith who you will have to ask yourselves for this tale of woe! Although not on the water, the competition had already started, and the RTYC team had to be diligent, whilst the RBOD freely handed out their dangerous Max’s Specials, to deliberately poison our team and hinder our performance on the water the next day….

The next morning we awoke to another stunning day and thankfully a more consistent wind. Sadly the max’s specials had done the trick, and a very bleary eyed team walked down the pontoon to get taken to our boats. Thankfully we had one fresh face, our VC, Michael Gardner who had woken early to come and support our team. We were split into team of four, with Iain Macdonald-Smith taking Tom and Alexandra Montgomery and Chris Halliwell; Michael and Monique Hayes sailing with Sue Kent and Philip Nicholson, and Michael Gardner taking Alex Pollock, Penny Hooper and Helena Turley. The racing was run with a simple windward/leeward across the river, just down from RBYC club house. Andy had his stunning, Huntsman out as committee boat, and the first race got off with Michael Hayes sadly over the line, and Michael Gardner completing a good first beat rounding the first mark in 2nd. Smudge, playing a tactical game as ever, sailed an RBOD team away, hoping to get Michael Hayles up the fleet. Sadly the locals had the boat speed and the advantage, winning the first match.

Race two saw a cracking start by David Smith, closely followed by Iain Macdonald-Smith who sneaked under, and into pole position. Michael Gardner also had a good start from the committee boat end, fighting it out with Will Dallimore’s bright orange RBOD ‘Mandarin’. Team Hayles was sailed by David Smith off past the windward mark, allowing his two team members to sneak through, putting us into a 1,4,6 none winning combination, and a solid win of the ‘Aspirin Trophy’ for the RBYC team. As the weather was perfect we fitted in a third fun race to soak up some more sun, and put the RBOD’s through their paces.

After a fantastic day on the water, the RBYC put on a superb buffet lunch, and as ever more jokes and banter ensued as RTYC Captain, Tom Montgomery presented the ‘Aspirin Trophy’ to David Smith of the RBYC. Many thanks to David, Sylvia and Jo and all in the RBOD class, and RBYC for hosting such a great event again.

*Return Match in J80s 22nd November 2014 – please come and support your club.