Inaugural Thames Trafalgar Race, 2013

With the support and encouragement of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Erith Yacht Club and the Little Ship Club joined forces to co-ordinate a new end of season race to be held in October 2013.

The weekend started with the race briefing on Friday 18 October at the LSC, where there was plenty of food and drink and by all accounts a good time had by all. Meanwhile, a team at EYC completed decorating and table arranging ready for the volunteers on Saturday to lay the tables and prepare the food.

Saturday began with a leisurely breakfast (well it did in my house for some of the crew of Surfeit). A small flotilla left Erith to meet the rest of the A Class (off Shadwell Basin) or the B Class (at Greenwich YC). We missed some of the rain as we headed up river under motor.

The A Class (fast handicap) started in the rain at 1400 with a spinnaker run to the turn to Deptford passing Millwall. Close creeping along the north shore was required to keep the wind and out of the tide. The majority of the fleet was caught at the south side corner with no wind, giving Surfeit the chance to get away from the fleet.

With the tide beginning to ebb more of the river could be used and the spinnakers hoisted where possible, especially having passed the barrier and ferry. A squally wind picked up as we tacked down Erith Reach and close-hauled to the finish at EYC. Surfeit took line honours after a hard race.

The evening progressed with a two-course Trafalgar dinner. Tables were laid out beautifully on both floors of the clubhouse, each named after a ship of the British fleet at the battle. Geoff Pigott gave the welcome on behalf of EYC, and Sir Robin an entertaining address after the dessert before toasting the Immortal Memory. The serving and clearing seemed to go seamlessly thanks to all the volunteers who supported the galley team.

Sunday proved a different day - squally showers and lighter winds than predicted (or hoped for).  Both fleets started at the same time at EYC. There was a good tussle between Surfeit (M Caton) and Chamois (I Pickard) before the former hoisted their spinnaker and caught up with Thunderchild (C Beazer). The close-haul/tacking up to the barrier was tricky. Grand Panjandrum (S Tranchell/D Thomson) used her upwind credentials to good effect, catching up with the lead boats and maintaining the lead to get line honours. For those watching the race, they would have seen the close tacking between a number of the yachts, as they came to the finish. It was a good battle to the end.

There are a lot of people who need to be thanked from both EYC and the LSC. With the level of organising and co-ordination needed there were many who had their part to play and had done their duty. The water and land-based activities went very well and positive comments have been made by everyone I spoke to. Well done everyone and thank you to the yacht owners for coming racing.

For a different perspective of the two days racing follow the link to the Practical Boat Owner website:

http://www.pbo.co.uk/news/535479/yacht-race-commemorates-the-battle-of-trafalgar 

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Jeremy Michell

Vice Commodore, EYC [crew of Surfeit]

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Results

Report on LSC Website

Thames Trafalgar Race Photos (Uploaded by Little Ship Club)   

Are you looking for EYC Sail & Powerboat School?  Click on Training School Link on Main Menu

 

This page directs you to a number of pages which relate to EYC’s history, that of her clubships and the Hamble Stars.  It illustrates the diversity of work, sailing and activities that make up Erith Yacht Club’s aims to provide sailing for all.

 

Club History

Erith Yacht club was founded in 1900 after a decision had been made to move the Corinthian Yacht Club to Port Victoria on the Isle of Grain as river traffic had increased.  The Club continued to occupy the site to the west of Erith, along what is now Corinthian Manor Way, until 1930 when it moved to its current location.  The Club’s 75th Anniversary celebrations resulted in a souvenir, which can be found on the link left, with additions as the Club has developed.

 

Clubships

When EYC moved in 1930 it purchased the ketch-rigged barge Garson, launched in 1864, for use as the Clubhouse.  This started an 80-year association with vessels as the Club’s headquarters, ending in May 2010.  A brief history of Garson and her successors can be found on the Clubship page.

 

Hamble Stars

 

As part of the development of the club, a prominent member, Michael Robinson, became interested in the old workboats of the Hamble.  These 14ft carvel dinghies were being broken up, and so a number (how many) were brought to Erith.  The Hamble Star became a stalwart of the club for teaching youth members how to sail, and for the long distant trips in Holland and up the East Coast.  As dinghy design and youth tastes change, the boats are now looked after by a dedicated band to ensure their survival.  More information can be found on the Star Class webpage.

 

 

Sea shanties

The Club’s strong historic links to the working river means that sea shanties have been sung for years in the bar. Certain members of EYC had their particular shanty, to which you would only join in with the chorus.  As the river traffic and seamen’s skills have changed, these songs have been sung less.  A selection of the shanties sung, with local variations, has been written down for posterity at the link left.

 

 

 

MRST

Working closely with Erith Yacht Club is the Michael Robinson Sailing Trust.  This Trust has assisted EYC to seek funding to purchase equipment and vessels for club use.  The most notable being the purchase of RIB Reliant, part funded by MRST.  The aims and objectives of the Trust are explained further on their webpage.

Location details - Finding us

 

Erith Yacht Club is situated on the edge of the Crayford Marshes just to the east of Erith in Kent.  It overlooks the stretch of the Thames known as Erith Rands, a wide part of the river providing excellent sailing and racing.

 

Address:

Erith Yacht Club

Anchor Bay 

Manor Road

Erith

Kent 

DA8 2AD

 

Road details

EYC is within easy distance from the M25, Dartford Crossing and QE Bridge, as well as the A2. 

 

Coming to Erith you turn into James Watt Way and then take the third exit up Manor Road.  Continue to the top of the road and go straight over the mini roundabout (first exit). Take the left down the narrow road immediately after the trading estate entrance.

Map Link

Train details

There is a regular Southeastern Trains service to and from London Bridge that stops at Erith Station.  From there it is about a 20 minute walk along Manor Road to the Yacht Club, or you can get the 99 Bus from the town centre (to Bexleyheath), which will drop you off just past the mini roundabout at the top of Manor Road.

 

An almost equally close station is Slade Green, with the 99 Bus (to Woolwich) passing that will also drop you off at the same mini roundabout.

  

Bus details

The direct bus that takes you to the top of Manor Road from Bexleyheath or Woolwich is the 99 Bus.  Other buses, such as the 469, 229 and 428, will take you to Erith town centre, from where you can walk or get the 99 Bus.

 

River details

Erith Yacht Club will be found on the left bank of the River Thames when going up river from Gravesend and Dartford.  The brick and glass-fronted clubhouse dominates that part of the landscape.  In front is a half-tide pontoon, which is accessible about 2 hours each side of high water (tidal range and boat draught depending).  It makes an ideal break when travelling to or from London.  The common VHF Channel used at the club is Channel 37A. 

Welcome to the first of the new

   
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