January 17 – A blustery weekend has seen intense action at the RYA Open Two Boat Keelboat Team Racing Trophy for the Royal Thames Carmela Cup, with Royal Thames Yacht Club team emerging the unbeaten victors after two days of tough competition. In all, eight teams gathered to contend the title, including an international team from Aalsmeer, Netherlands.
The two J80 keelboats representing Royal Thames Yacht Club were helmed by Ali Hall and Mark Lees, both ‘young members’ of the club, who regularly benefit from the training and support provided by the club for its team racing teams. In the testing conditions, the strength of their expertise paid off, as Saturday’s racing commenced in 25 knots of breeze. The Race Officials, led by PRO David Arnold, responded quickly to the severe conditions, and with reefed mainsails, the organisers successfully managed to get 15 races in despite the inclement weather, leaving 13 races to complete the round robin the following day.
Sunday presented similar conditions – the wind had abated a bit but had been replaced with a colder breeze and some rain – but by now the RTYC’s Race Officials were accomplishing four races an hour. This enabled the round robin to reach its conclusion with RTYC undefeated at this stage, and Southampton University beating BUSA into second. More…
The Carmela Cup Final climaxed in a closely contested first-to-win-two-race final between RTYC and Southampton University. The home team displayed some outstanding tactics and team work, and despite the valiant efforts of their opponents, they crossed the finish line in a winning combination in both races. RTYC thus emerged victorious to retain the Carmela Cup 2:0 in the final and undefeated in the regatta.
Thomas Brennan, past Captain of Racing of Royal Thames Yacht Club, said; “Royal Thames YC would like to thank all the teams for taking part in the 2011 Carmela Cup. RTYC would also like to thank the race officers and umpires for their efforts – an outstanding job given the conditions. Finally, we would like to thank, once again, Queen Mary Sailing Club for all their help and support.”
2nd Southampton University
4th Sea View Yacht Club
5th Royal Northern & Clyde Yacht Club
6th Royal Yacht Squadron
7th Wellington College
8th Team Aalsmeer