ladies helm

Presented by W Kellaway, this trophy was introduced to encourage female participation in sailing. The race rules state the boat must be helmed by a female for the entire duration of the race.

Established: 1963

Course: St Clements (P), Greenhithe Tug Buoy(P), White Hart(S), Broadness (S), Black Shelf(S), White Hart (S)

Date: 11 September, 2021

Briefing: 1300

Start: 1415

Tide: HW 1649

 Wind: W 3-4

It has been a few years since we were able to run this important race, but it returned this year in style, with seven boats being able to muster a qualifying helm.

The weather did not disappoint with a steady westerly breeze opposing a flood tide providing near perfect conditions, and if that was not enough we had the spectacle of HMS Albion sailing through the fleet right at the appointed 1400 start time. The race officer kindly delayed the start by 15 minutes to allow the sailors and marines on board to get a fantastic view of our majestic Thurrock fleet, although onlookers could be forgiven for thinking we were just trying to stay out of their way.

Once the grey funnel line were clear the serious business of racing commenced. The peak tidal conditions pushed a number of boats across the line early, leaving them with a tough little slog to cross the line.

The beat up to St Clements stretched the fleet out with High Spirits, Southern Knight  and Midas Touch making the best of the conditions and rounding the top marks first.

The first downwind leg allowed some of the trailing boats to close the gap and a tactical decision to cross the river early by Southern Knight and Midas Touch allowed Hinemoa and Mojo to get downstream of them and take advantage of a more favourable tide.

There was some close racing around the final loop, although High Spirits never looked in danger of missing line honours. Helix took a slight diversion around the final buoy, for which we blame the tactician rather that the helm. Kinsale did a fantastic job of staying in contention all the way around. The corrected time results show just how close the racing actually was.  Well done all!

Ladies helm - 11/09/21 at 1415

Start: Start 1, Finishes: Place
Rank Fleet Boat Class SailNo Club HelmName CrewName PY Elapsed Corrected Points
1   High Spirits Sigma 33 4405   Jenny Wells   959 60:58 1:03:34 1.0
2   Southern Knight Colvic 29     Carole Scates   1198 78:08 1:05:13 2.0
3   Hinemoa Hunter 490 35   Jayne Hickie   1148 75:37 1:05:52 3.0
4   Midas Touch Jaguar 25 1288   Denise Wakeling   1147 76:19 1:06:32 4.0
5   Mojo Moody 346     Laura   1032 74:46 1:12:27 5.0
6   Helix Macwester Rowan Crown 38   Deb Carter   1215 89:48 1:13:55 6.0
7   Kinsale Trident 24     Alex Dubreva   1203 94:48 1:18:48 7.0