Saturday, 22 March 2008

Thornham Marina and the Marine Industry Regatta

Tomorrow 23 April, Thornham Marina Staff along with JBT Marine will be entering the Marine Industry Regatta.

This is our second year in the event last year coming 5th being tied on equal points with third place but looseing out on count back. The report for last year is below. We will let you know how we get on this year soon.

The 4th Marine Industry Regatta ran on Wednesday April 25 out of Port Solent with 42 of Sunsail's Jeanneau Sun Fast 37s taking part; the biggest and best event to date and the first that we have managed to get all four races run.

Conditions were excellent for this year's Marine Industry Regatta. And we finished the event in bright sunshine... After the first two races it looked as if the fleet was facing another trouncing by last year's winner, Beacon Park Boats, the canal hire boat company from the Brecon Beacons, as skipper Alasdair Kirkpatrick brought his boat home for two first places.But it was not to be. It was almost as if one of the regular and established Solent rock stars had managed to tie a bucket to the Beacon Park Boats boat because they promptly scored two 35th places to finish in 13th overall.

In the meantime, Ian Dawson and Richard Lovering made their marks on the Marine Industry Regatta. Both new entries this year, Dawson took Kayospruce to finishes of 2, 3, 1, 1, while Lovering took Hyde Sails to 3, 9, 2, 4.

With three races to count from the four sailed, Kayospruce's four points made short work of Hyde Sails' nine.

Rob Clarke brought Rockley Watersports home with 17, 10, 6, 3 to provoke a four boat, 19pt tie for third, fourth, fifth and sixth places as Adrian Miles, Simon Oatley and David Barrow all came in with 19pts.

The ties were decided on countback according to RRS A 8.1, leaving Rockley Watersports 3rd, Bruntons Propellers in the final trophy place in 4th, with late entry Thornham Marina & JBT, Ribs for Sale in equal 5th with Barton Marine Equipment.

There were a few more prizes to be presented this year, with Oval Stainless providing a trophy and Gas Check Marine providing three bottles of bubbly.

Matthew Eeles brought B&G home with 20, 20, 7, 5 to be Oval's Most Improved Boat Over The Series, while Peter Gordon Piloted Rockley Watersports Over 40s to be Gas Check's Highest Placed Boat Overall Without a Top 5 Finish.

Saltwater ran its usual caption competition, which saw an interesting little sparring match between Design Unlimited and Dixon Yacht Design, but we let that one go. And the winning caption to the boat seemingly attached to the Big Green Buoy went to Thornham Marina Litter Bin (!) for its 'They will never win carrying that fender around the course!'

Thornham Marina & JBT, Ribs for Sale also featured in a new award. As this incident took place, those of us who witnessed it thought it should be called the Houdini Trophy for the greatest escape of the regatta.

In the end, Mike Shepherd nominated it as The Boat That Scared Peter Nash The Most. The award went to Thornham Marina for its astonishing charge through the fleet at the 3rd start.

With the massed fleet flogging to slow down as we all approached the start on starboard, Simon Oatley appeared with Thornham Marina from the wrong side of the line - on port - with the main pinned hard in - dead set on finding a hole in the seemingly continuous line of boats waiting to start.

The entire crew on the Boating Business boat winced, expecting to hear the bone crunching sound of GRP against GRP as the Thornham boat careered through minute gap after gap. At one stage Oatley flung the boat over to port, narrowly missing a stern as he sought a path through the massed ranks. Then he bore away - the masts must have been inches apart - and then swerved back to port.

How he got away with it, we don't know. But what an effort! Congratulations and thanks for making such a magnificent entrance to the Marine Industry Regatta.

We hope to see you again next year, if your nerves (and those of your crew) hold out.

Sunsail did an excellent job this year. We had a marquee alongside the Portsmouth Harbour Yacht Club so we had enough room to seat the 300 or so diners.

We began by presenting the cheque for £4,200 toJim Saltonstall from the John Merricks Sailing Trust - that's around £13k we've raised for the charity so far - check the website to see how the money's being spent -

Then it was down to the dinner. And the food was excellent - a chilli with a bit of bite and a veggie option. Excellent stuff.

As with last year's regatta, we put two jugs of margaritas per boat on the tables, but they didn't seem to go down so well as they had last year. Simon Wood Power assured me it was the colour: it looks like anti-freeze, he told me.

Maybe he was right, although I seem to remember some found the mixture quite to their liking...

And I understand the bottle of Whyte & Mackay whisky in the skipper's bag didn't last long on a few boats...

I found myself on the pontoons at 01.00 with a group of around 30 people, many of whom seemed to be on board the Oval Stainless boat. All of us were drinking Cooney Marine's beer, so thanks for that James.

A great event all round. Well done the PHYC Race Officer Rob Tattersall for getting all four races in; well done Fiona Gill for her organisation at Sunsail; well done Kath Woodham for the food and exceptionally well done the Saltwater Team of Louise and Nikki for the shoreside arrangements.

And thank you everyone for singing Happy Birthday to BB's Lorraine Curtis at the prizegiving.
You'll find Claire Frew's excellent pictures and a full list of results on the event website at
Peter Nash

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