Silvermere Barge Match 21 st July 2019

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Headline: Silvermere Barge Match 21 st July 2019
Summary: A great turnout for the Barge Match Sunday. Many thanks to all those skippers and others who travelled from far and wide including the Isle of Wight, who made this event a big success. There were various types of Thames barges onshore and on the lake, which drew a large number of spectators from the terrace and restaurant area. Click on the headline for a full match report from Andrew Berr.
Detail: A fine day beckoned with relatively good winds (7 - 14mph from the WSW according the Met. Forecast on

the Club Website) thus a nice early arrival gave time for a bit of a chat and getting the M shaped course plus start / finish buoys out on to the water.

Skippers and Barges from far and wide arrived in the next 1 ½ hrs and when I had got them to stop chatting amongst themselves racing started about 20 mins. later than intended. The racing started with four Bowsprits racing in a clockwise direction in fairly light winds which didn’t make life easy for the skippers and this was followed by thirteen Staysails in similarly light conditions and then four Little’uns (30 inch hulled boats) following a shorter 4 buoy course.

This sequence was followed three more times but the race series was ended with staysails – leaving out the fourth Little’uns race as it was approaching 3.30 pm. We did have a break of 20 mins. for lunch during which the restaurant manager brought out flasks of tea with sugar and milk – paid for by Gordon Edmondson – thus thanks Gordon.

There were of course a few racing incidents, collisions etc especially with so many boats attempting to round the buoys and skippers not being able to work out which were their boats and where the buoys actually were!! There were a few tight finishes and also some long distance second places the best being three barges closing on the line and drifting unhappily away from it thus having to do 360 turns to attack the line again and being beaten across the line for second by the boat originally in fifth place. A couple more oddities - Peter Simmonds had “radio failure” when his main sheet caught around the radio switch and turned his radio off!! Plus an unknown radio failure in the last Bowsprit race when in a Good finishing position close to the line. And Dave Watts mainsheet untied itself from the sail mid race! The last skipper in the last race was guided on his way by a committee of wives and partners plus Hans van Leeuwen giving hints / orders on which way to steer and when to adjust his sails – fortunately Allan saw the funny side of the situation and sailed on regardless. Actually all in all a great day of Barge racing and a meeting of like minded modellers having fun and exchanging information about the models with each other and the members of the public watching what was going on. In all there were 9 PMMC skippers with 13 Boats and 5 visitors with 9 boats from SE London, Essex and the Isle of Wight plus a visiting modeller from Radstock in Somerset who is still building his boat.

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Published on: 22 July 2019