On a busy sailing weekend that saw the Blackwater Barge Match, The Marconi East Coast Piers Race and the BJRC cruiser series race 5 taking to the water, the Marinestore Shipway Trophy race was won by the Monkey Business crew. (Skipper Dave Onyons, Marconi SC).
18 cruisers came to the start line for the BJRC event off Stone, in which the Marinestore Shipway Trophy is awarded and with the delayed start of the Piers Race, they were soon joined by 60 catamarans all tacking out beyond Thirslet.
From the gun, competition was fierce and 4 boats were across the line too early, eventual winner Monkey Business being one of them that had to sail back against the ebbing tide in a very light Easterly wind to restart. This gave advantage to the McGregor 3 team, (Peter Ward, Marconi SC) out in front, closely chased down by the 2017 winner of the Marinestore Shipway Trophy, Blue Moon (Richard Robarts, Marconi SC).
The fleet made its way out around marks and after a short spinnaker leg across to the Tollesbury bank of the river, headed out to North Eagle before completing two loops back to North West Knoll.
Rounding North Eagle for the first time, Monkey Business had just managed to get ahead of McGregor on the outward beat, but with kites up on the way home McGregor was back ahead and with only two IRC points separating the two boats, this one was going to be close.
Further back in the fleet, the much smaller Evolution ( Eric Reynolds, Maylandsea Bay SC), was going well and having to navigate their way through the dirty air from the massed fleet around them. Triton (Peter Copsey, Blackwater SC) in their first race of the season had by now got into their stride and were working hard to overhaul their sister ship and close rival, Blue Moon.
In the final stages of the race, Monkey Business went ahead of McGregor who made a couple of mistakes before Bradwell, but the gap between the two closed significantly on the spinnaker reach back to Stone where they awaited the result to be generated by BJRC chairman Steve Sharpe.
The time corrected result proved to be just as close as it was on the water with just 6 minutes covering the top 5 boats and only 39 seconds separating the first three. In the end Monkey Business came out winners of the Marinestore Shipway Trophy, (4:18:09), Evolution 2nd (4:18:21) and McGregor 3rd (4:18:48)
The next IRC race in the series is on 22nd July, 11am start from the Osea line and all IRC rated boats from clubs on the estuary are welcome to participate.
The Marinestore Shipway Trophy Result 2018
1. Monkey Business (D. Onyons MSC) 4:18:09
2. Evolution (E.Reynolds MBSC) 4:18:21
3. McGregor 3 (P.Ward MSC) 4:18:48
4. Triton (P.Copsey BSC) 4:23:06
5. Blue Moon (R.Robarts MSC) 4:24:52
6. Behave (M.Holland MLSC) 4:46:16
7. Ned Kelly (L.Clarke MSC) 4:55:10