Royal Thames narrowly miss out on Cam Cup victory


The Royal Thames Blue team featuring RTYC Academy sailors reached the final of the 2014 Cam Cup team racing event held at Grafham Water Sailing club. They were narrowly beaten 2-1 by a team from Itchenor Sailing Club in a closely fought final.

The event had been postponed to a later start time on the Saturday due to a forecast of over 40kts and when the 19 teams turned up for 2pm it was quickly realised that the wind wasn’t going to abate and the event was abandoned for the day.

Sunday, however, was a different story and sailors, many of whom were nursing sore heads from the annual dinner in Cambridge the night before, arrived to 15kts and sunshine.

Racing got underway quickly thanks to the smooth organisation of Arthur Henderson and his team from Cambridge University and the round robin commenced. Teams were allocated randomly to races in order to keep racing going and get as much sailing for everyone as possible.

The Royal Thames Blue team started the day winning their first two races 1,2,3 before facing tougher competition against the Itchenor 2nd team featuring International 14 legends and former winners of the Wilson trophy Will and Mandy Henderson (Arthur’s mum and dad). However after 12 races RTYC Blue hadn’t dropped a single race and when the round robin finished RTYC were on 100% wins tied only with Itchenor Sonic Boom who also hadn’t lost a race.

RTYC Red had a slightly harder time of it and ended the round robin in 7th place with 6 wins out of 10. However, had it affected the final placings there would have been a hearing for the race against Cambridge Blue following interference from an umpire boat causing one team member to be taken 4th to 6th through no fault of his own. In addition, one of their races was a loss against the RTYC Blue team who comprehensively won the race between the two teams 1,2,3.

Given there were two teams on 100% wins, the Race Committee decided to run a ‘first to two wins’ final between RTYC Blue and Itchenor Sonic Boom. The first race of the final was won by Itchenor, who held on to a 1,4,5 from marks 1 to 4 after two boats in the Royal Thames team were given spins on the first beat, with Itchenor only consolidating their win on the final win. However the second race was won easily by Royal Thames finishing in 2,3,4.

During the 3rd and final ‘winner takes all’ race the lead changed hands a number of times. Royal Thames looked to have it in the bag at mark one as they rounded in a 1,2,6, although by the bottom of the run, Itchenor had got back into it rounding mark 3 with RTYC in a 1,4,6. As the hooter sounded marking the closure of the Grafham Water the boat in 1 attempted to get his teammates back into it with a gybe-back at mark 4, but Itchenor were ready and started the final beat in a winning combination and ended the race in 1,2,5 to take the 2014 Cam Cup.

The event was also run with the help of many Thames members. Half the Umpire team came from the club with Bruce Hebbert (Chief Umpire), Bernard Kinchin, George Ehlers and David Lees all officiating. Jo Lucas was the PRO ably helped by Keith Sammons doing schedules and results – a truly combined club event.

RTYC Red – Sam Jenkins, Thea Cranshaw, Josh Adams, Honor Fell, Fiona Hampshire, Joe Gough

RTYC Blue – Phil Derry, Guy Stephens, Ben Gratton, Ben Rahemtulla, Kathryn Twemlow, Lottie Rapson

Photograph: courtesy of Anthony Butler