British Keelboat Team Selection


Marconi’s inaugural Keelboat League Selection Regatta, took place on Sunday 7th May. 3 teams of 4 sailors took part in three identical Robber 3E Quarter Tonners, the Club’s own Ned Kelly, Ian Carruth’s Sundance & Raffles who’s owner Charlie Ball had sailed a tough 8 hour passage from Fambridge to help the club pull off the event. The three teams selected for their racing skill and sailing pedigree from across the club, had, on the previous weekend, participated in the clubs keelboat race training day, facilitated by the RYA and senior race coach Ian Patience, where they honed their crewing skills, mixing it with our cruiser racing members, on an extremely windy day.

Keelboat Training Day

A busy line on keelboat training day.

In the Keelboat League Selection Regatta, race officer John Burgoyne set a course in steeple bay to replicate what the winning team will sail when they progress through to the regional British Keelboat League regatta at Burnham-on-Crouch on June 3rd-4th.  The Marconi teams competed in 9 x 15 minute races on the course, with crew changing boats every third race in order to counteract any affect that a lighter faster Robber might have on the overal result.
The racing proved to be very tight and highly competitive particularly in the pre-start area, which saw the teams challenging for position on the line. In the earlier races, those teams more used to asymetric kites, had to work hard on their sail handling skills in order not to loose time rounding the windward mark and after the first set of 3 races, Sophia Southgate’s team had recorded 3 wins sailing on Sundance. The next three races also went to Sundance, this time in the hands of Tom Clayton’s team. In race 7, once again Sundance came home victorious now sailed by Steve Glynn’s team. At this point the Race Officer and organising team were beginning to get worried about the way this was panning out, it could come down to second places. However after an on course side (OCS) start for Raffles in race 8, saw Tom’s team pushed over by their competitors and having to recross the line, but soon after they managed to pick up a wind shift and made some massive gains to come home in first place to break the sequence.

Rounding the Windward Mark

Rounding the Windward Mark

By the start of the final race all three teams were still pushing hard to play out their intended strategy which resulted in two teams OCS, the only one clear being Tom’s team by the smallest of margins being called by the race officer. Soon after they were quickly protested for infringing a boat to leeward of them and had to perform penalty turns, which put them back into the middle of the fleet. The race wasn’t over for any of them though and Raffles (Tom’s team) sailed through to take victory and the regatta win.

The full results:

Tom Clayton, Tristan Hutt, Bryan Spencer, Jack Collis. 5 wins + 3 x 2nds + 1 x 3rd = 22 points

Sophia & Oliver Southgate, Andrew Dowley, Luke Lazell. 3 wins + 3 x 2nds + 3 x 3rd = 18 points

Steve Glynn, Tom Duckmanton, Jenny Ball, Michaella Dowley. 1 win + 3 x 2nds + 5 x 3rd = 14 points

The Winning Team

The Winning Team

At the regatta prize giving, the three onboard coaches revealed Luke Lazell, as their selection for the 5th member to join the winning team that now moves forward to represent Marconi Sailing Club at the British Keelboat League in Burnham.

Well done to everyone who participated in the selection regatta and a big thank you to our on board selectors, race officers and organisers.

The Marconi – SC Keelboat Teams participation in the British Keelboat League is kindly supported by:






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