Hansen Cup Race – Sunday 25 October 2020

Weather: Clouds, slight rain on occasion then sunny.

Wind: S, SE to SW (variable), force 2-3 occ 4

Course: EYC Start to Stoneness Buoy (starboard), to Jenningtree (starboard), round Erith barges (port) back to EYC Finish line.

After Saturday’s grim and then Biblical wind and rain, Sunday turned out to be a much better day. A simple race was decided as the tide was still going out, so it was down river, up river and back to EYC. The wind was light and being south was tricky as you went up and down the various reaches, as the wind bends around the river.

The start was a bit relaxed and Hera and Cassie took advantage of that by creating a lead that left the others catching up (but never quite overtaking). The shifting wind meant that the genoas had to be continually trimmed or you ended up too far to the Essex shore with the danger of having to tack. The new Amazon depot has begun to cause a wind shadow that slowed Hera and Cassie down, so Gigi and Marlin (in that order!) took a more middle river course to try to avoid the shadow with fairly good results.

Hera was two minutes behind Cassie at Stoneness and Gigi was 2 minutes behind Hera. Marlin was sailing not too far away from Gigi. The upriver leg was tricky as the wind shifted to a reach and so it became a twitchy reaching race. Unfortunately, C’est La Vie, who had some novices with him, ran aground just before Stoneness, so retired from the race. Meanwhile Bolero slowly closed in on the fleet, enjoying the new mainsail and being on the water. As soon as the wind allowed, Gigi put up the asymmetric, pulling away from Marlin, who had been creeping ever closer and began to slowly catch Hera and Cassie, who had a good lead on the middle of the fleet.

Having dropped and re-hoisted the spinnaker on Gigi, it was converted to a conventional spinnaker to take advantage of the wind being behind as the yachts went up Erith Reach to Jenningtree. The yachts then tacked all the way back down to the barges above the moorings, although the wind direction and its occasional lightness punished yachts that tried to pinch too much, especially around the barges, where Hera and Gigi had to tack around, which lost them time. The finish was a reach down the outside of the moorings. Gigi spent a bit of time manoeuvring to keep Marlin behind as the yachts approached the finish.

Overall, you can see from the results that it was a very close race, with only 23 minutes between the first and last yacht, and 4 minutes between second and fourth. Well done everyone. Good racing and banter….

And for those of you who quizzed Gigi about using her spinnaker and not declaring it (despite the fact you should use all your sails to best effect), even if you drop her handicap by 25 (1091) she still wins by 4 minutes. Never underestimate the power of a good spinnaker J

The race winners have chosen to claim this as the Hansen Cup race…. A cup donated to the Club 1923 by F J Hansen, KD, DM, who was at one time Danish Vice Consul. He joined the Club 23-July-1919 was Commodore 1926-29 and President 1931-39.


Corrected time
Boat Skipper Handicap Hrs Mins Secs Position
Gigi Paul 1116 2 20 40 1
Hera Roger 1035 2 27 49 2
Marlin Nick 1055 2 30 42 3
Cassie Malcolm 965 2 31 17 4
Bolero Sara 1065 2 43 22 5
C’est La Vie Don 1095 DNF 6