An excellent entry of 67 boats turned out for the annual Medway Dinghy Regatta, which was sponsored by Alcatel, Paul Cussen and L. J. Hudson. The event was organised by and sailed under the burgee of Wilsonian Sailing Club on behalf of Medway Yachting Association over the weekend 14-15 July and incorporated the Miracle Southern Area Championships and the Byte Traveller Series.

The light, fickle winds made the racing a bit of a lottery but the four races (three to count) were successfully completed with fleet starts for Miracles, Bytes, Wayfarers and fast, medium and slow handicaps.

There were two visitors and 11 entries from the host club for the Miracle open event and visitor Simon Evans with his light wind crew Danielle Southwell (Delph SC) walked off with the Southern Area Trophy. They made certain of victory by winning the first three races, then watched the last race from the clubhouse.

Mark and Paul Heather from the host club, sailing a demonstration GRP Miracle Mk3 from Speed Sails, claimed second spot by taking line honours in the last race to add to their second and third places. Third place overall went to last year’s winners, Colin and Lauren Treadwell (Wilsonian SC).

In the Byte Travellers series event with six entries, the contention for honours in the last race was between William Gifford (Whitefriars SC) with four points and Oliver Tweddell (Cambridge SC) with six points. Gifford secured top spot and the Chatham News Trophy by finishing two and half minutes ahead of Tweddle, who had to settle for second place, with B Ward (Chipstead SC) third.

Eleven Wayfarers turned out, six from Medway YC and five from Wilsonian SC and Richard Stone/Catherine Gore (Medway YC), for the fourth consecutive year, secured the Matkin Trophy with four firsts. Going into last race, the fight for second place was between Brian Lamb/Brian Warwick (Wilsonian SC) and John Goudie/Suzanne Hall (Wilsonian SC) both on eight points. After some close racing Lamb/Warwick squeezed ahead by a 12 seconds margin at the line for second place with Goudie/Hall having to accept third place.

There was a similar performance from David and Sandra Wilson (Graduate/Maidenhead SC) in the slow handicap event, taking pole position in all the races, to lift the Medway Regatta Trophy. Lucy Heather (Topper/Wilsonian SC) matched her brother and dad by consistently coming second, while Douglas Horner (Topper/Wilsonian SC) was consistently third.

Thirteen contested the medium handicap event and the top three places were decided on the last race with six boats in contention. Malcolm Levey (Phantom/Wilsonian SC) made certain of victory and the Quintet Trophy by coming home in second place, Brian Reeve/Katie Parris (Albacore/Wilsonian SC) with third place were second overall and fourth place was enough for Gordon Belcher (Laser/Wilsonian SC) to be awarded the third prize.

The final result of the 18-strong fast handicap fleet was also decided on the last race. Simon Allen (International Canoe/Utopia SC) could only manage second place but this was sufficient for top spot and the Invicta Trophy, while International Canoe rival Mark Goodchild (Medway YC) although home first had to settle for the second prize, reversing last year’s results. Tony Hunt/Peter Wolstenholme (Fireball/Wilsonian SC) with two seconds and a third in the last race were third overall and John Parsons/Bryan Dunmall (RS400/Wilsonian SC) had done enough in the earlier races for fourth slot.

Overall Results

Miracle Southern Area Championship

1st 3813, Simon Evans/Danielle Southwell (Delph SC) 3pts

2nd 3825 Mark/Paul Heather (Wilsonian SC) 6pts

3rd 3722 Colin/Lauren Treadwell (Wilsonian SC) 10pts

Silver Fleet Prize 3825 Mark/Paul Heather (Wilsonian SC) 6pts

Bronze Fleet Prize 206 Colin/Maureen Lown (Wilsonian SC) 11pts

Byte Travellers Series

1st 1456 William Gifford (Whitefriars SC) 3pts

2nd 1275 Oliver Tweddell