This biennial tri-club team racing event championed by the late Harry Maguire for many years was run over the weekend in the Gareloch, Scotland and hosted by the Royal Northern and Clyde YC. The holders Royal St George YC travelled to do battle with Royal Thames and the host club in Sonars. The cumulative age of the team boat crew of four must be 160 years with an opposite gender requirement also providing for a senior more social event. Thames was led by sharp shooter Tom Hebbert (he who wrote the original Team Racing call book with his father Bruce when aged just 16). Fast club sailor and event organiser Nicole McPherson led the RN&CYC. The George helms comprised Ben Cooke and Dragoners Martin Byrne and Neil Hegarty with a supporting crew of nine.
After intensive social interaction the previous night in the Rhu Inn Saturday dawned sunny and with little promise of wind on the glassy Clyde. The towed Sonars were treated in the Gareloch to the sight of a sinister black submarine of unknown nationality and class sailing to base. The George faced Thames in the first match and took early blood. As the racing continued intermittently in the shifting light easterly it required constant course changes. Missed opportunities were rued and windshifts regretted in the tight racing many times only an point deciding the win. The George came out with three wins tied with the hosts and Thames on two; all to play for the following day. A scrumptious dinner was enjoyed in the beautiful Victorian clubhouse which alas is to be vacated by the RN&CYC in 2020 as they are relocating to the Rhu Marina in a new clubhouse. The large overhead in maintaining and preserving a listed building being the driver.
Sunday provided even lighter conditions and frustration to the race committee and sailors alike. The first race was abandoned being out of time and the subsequent racing was conducted in zephyrs taxing the concentration of crews. The draw continued with the George and Clyde on 4 wins but the hosts had two races yet to sail. The hapless Thames fell to the Clyde’s superior light weather skills giving them a winning score of 6 wins. A great event in the stunning surroundings was the sailor’s verdict as we bid a sad farewell to the grand old clubhouse.