Wessex Exempt Win the Royal Thames Carmela Cup 2017


The weather, despite an adverse forecast, proved to be perfect for team racing in wind varying from 6-10 knots with periods in the low teens albeit the air was cold.

The RTYC race committee led by Jenny Woods managed to fit no less than 22 races in out of the round robin of 28.  The sailing was extremely competitive with two clear favourites emerging of Wessex Exempt (mostly RTYC members!) and RTYC both unbeaten.  The Royal Thames Academy, Southampton Male Voice Choir and the team from Rome were running in close contention.  The “Ladies” team despite having a high complement of very experienced sailors (Saskia Clark, Lucy MacGregor, Kate MacGregor and Annie Lush) were pushed down into 7th place by the superior team racing experience of the other teams at the end of the first day.

On day two the round robin was completed and by now some of the less experienced team racers were getting into their stride and both the Ladies and the RYS started to win races much to the dismay of the Rome Racing team who had fought places and were pushed down into last place.  The final race of the round robin was between RTYC and Wessex Exempt, both of whom were, up to that point, unbeaten.  Wessex Exempt emerged victorious but both qualified for the semi-finals and subsequently qualified for the finals having beaten Southampton Male Voice Choir and Royal Thames Academy in the semi-finals.

The final between the two was hard fought and RTYC were perhaps unlucky because one race they were winning had to be abandoned after a collision between Wessex Exempt and an umpire boat.  Ultimately Wessex Exempt emerged victorious to win the 2017 Carmela Cup which was presented to them by the RTYC Vice Commodore Bernard Kinchin.

The highly experienced umpire team led by Jack Fenwick of the RYA did a sterling job in testing conditions and very tight racing and the RTYC race team led by Jenny Woods kept up a seamless flow of racing which the competitors said they particularly appreciated and given the amount of racing it is perhaps not surprising that the quality of racing became more and more intense as the competition went on.
CSO 17 January.