Visitors to the London Boat Show today shouldn't miss the exciting final of the Royal Thames Carmela Cup

Visitors to the London Boat Show today shouldn’t miss the exciting final of the Royal Thames Carmela Cup. This two-boat team racing event in RYA First Class 8 keelboats is being held this weekend on the Royal Victoria Dock at ExCel exhibition centre. A total of 12 RYA affiliated teams comprising some of the best team racers in the country, including the likes of Andy Green, Andy Green, Dom Johnson, Graham Sunderland, Andy Beadsworth, Jonty Sherwill, Graham Bailey, Josie Gibson and Cordelia Eglin spent yesterday in the light, shifty winds battling it out in the round-robins. Because of the light conditions the anticipated number of rounds were unable to take place, so today’s racing schedule will be jam-packed, not only completing the preliminary rounds but also sailing the final.

The racing, which is split into leagues A and B, kicks off at 1000 this morning with the final round-robins from league B. Once these rounds have been completed it’s time for the final where first and second from each league race each other for the Carmela Cup. Those who finish third and fourth overall in the round-robins race for second overall, and fifth and sixth place finishers race for third overall.

So, with a bit more wind than yesterday (big winds forecast for later in the day) the scene is set for some exciting team racing today in London. The plan is to run the remaining races over square courses lasting no more than nine minutes. The square course idea is to allow teams plenty of close team racing action with plenty of reaches to allow the opposition to hold -up their opponents and compress the action.

While the wind conditions in these docks are never going to be ideal particularly now a new building has been erected at the western end of the dock, Malcolm McKeag organiser of the event still has good feelings about the prospects of the event commenting: “We are very fortunate with Schroders helping us with the cost of running this event. It costs about £7,500 to get the boats here and have them craned in. Entry fees alone could never cover that. We think we have a lot of potential. Ideally what where really hoping to do with the event, with Schroders support to keep it within the boat show, is to run it over the two weekends and have the final on the last weekend and have a presentation at the show on the Sunday.

“Fortunately the buildings around the dock don’t affect the racing too much. Apart from of course, that huge new block that’s just gone up which is really cutting up the wind. However, if it’s westerly or easterly so you can sail up or down the dock, the breeze is fairly true but if there’s any south or north in it, particularly south, then the wind gets cut up and you get patches and big shifts. Ideally for today’s racing I like to see 12-14kts from the west; that would be perfect thank you very much.”

Today’s Carmela Cup prizegiving will take place on the dockside as soon as the racing is over. The finish time depends on the conditions so if you are at ExCel keep an eye on proceedings and make sure your there to see some of the country’s top team racers collect their prizes.