Visitors to the Tullett Prebon London International Boat Show were able to watch the live action of an official yacht regatta organised by the Royal Thames Yacht Club. The regatta took place over two days of the show on 10th and 11th January on the indoor Watersports Action Pool, which is one of the show’s major visitor attractions.
This is the first time an official yacht regatta has taken place inside the London Boat Show, and the Royal Thames Yacht Club is delighted with the success of the event. Malcolm McKeag, Chief Sailing Officer of the Royal Thames Yacht Club, said; “The Royal Thames Yacht Club was approached by National Boat Shows, organisers of the Tullett Prebon London International Boat Show, and asked to conceive the format for a proper yacht racing event, held under the Racing Rules of Sailing, that could be part of the show and take advantage of the tremendous facility they would have in the new and greatly enlarged action pool They and we wanted to provide a regatta that would showcase the sport of sailing and provide a real inter-club competition. International One Metre radio-controlled yachts were the perfect solution for this, and competitors and spectators alike have thoroughly enjoyed this special two-day event.”
Entrants from 15 clubs across the UK battled for victory, racing in one of two one-day independent regattas. Each regatta comprised a seeding race, progressive heats and a final with the top places hotly contested in front of a large crowd of show visitors who gathered to watch from the spectator stands. To ensure victory was awarded fairly and immediately, a team of pool-side umpires led by the Royal Thames’ David Lees, himself an ISAF-appointed International Umpire, adjudicated protests and incidents. Winner of the first day’s event was Graham Bantock, who took home a cheque for £500 to his home club of Chelmsford Radio Yacht Club. On the second day, the top prize was taken by Ken Binks, who was also presented with a cheque of £500 for his home club of Eastbourne and District MYC.
The daily winners also received a keepsake trophy in the form of an engraved Dartington Crystal ship’s decanter, presented by Paul Strzelecki and Alan Morgan, Chairman and President of the British Marine Federation, promoters of the Show, on the stage overlooking the Watersports Action Pool. Runners up and third place prizes of £200 and £100 were also awarded each day.
Full results can be found online at www.royalthames.com. The Royal Thames Yacht Club has worked closely with National Boat Shows Ltd in organising the competition, and it is hoped that it will become an annual event.