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Gnurns Trophy 2009 (Fleet Racing at the Welsh Harp

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Saturday’s rain cleared on Sunday and 4 visiting boats from Tamesis and West Oxford joined 6 University and 1 Castaways boats for a day of short-course racing. Using a team racing layout course similar to the previous day but with a long run down to a leeward mark led to made the committee boat an ideal spectator spot. The sky had cleared and the wind built with some 20 knot gusts causing a few spills in the fleet. Both university, wooden and Rondar plastic boats shared line honours over the 10 race series. A Formula One style high score system and no discard meant that nearly every boat scored at least a point. Flag brushing was also allowed under a dispensation to the rules familiar to team racers though more than one boat scooped the flag from the mark and took it with them round the course. On every occasion the miscreant politely returned and re-affixed the flag before completing a penalty. Going into the last race the points were close tied with Tony and Moira Thresher from West Oxford and Will Mason and Verity Birch from Tamesis one point behind Ned and Michelle from University of London sailing a college boat complete with bow and gunnel fenders.

The last race was a longer 2 lap race, and unfortunately Ned and Michelle bounced off the start boat, span and were only able to achieve third place behind Tony and Will. Due to the 2 man race committee and catering team’s not specifying a method for breaking ties (with Will beating Ned on some measures and vice versa on others) second place was shared on this occasion. 

All agreed that the format led to exciting racing with Fleet racing rules, a team racing course, and high points scoring being an interesting variation on a normal open meeting. Many thanks went to BTYC the host club for allowing Castaways to keep a Firefly Open at the Welsh Harp.


1st place Tony and Moira Thresher, West Oxford SC, 38 points (5,5,4,-,5,3,3,5,3,5)

2nd Place (Joint) Will Mason and Verity Birch, Tamesis / Ned Mcnulty and Michelle, UL.

(Will-,4,5,5,3,4,5,3,4,4) (Ned 4,3,1,4,4,5,4,4,5,3)