14 Boats came to the Marconi Line for an early 8.30am start to the Marconi Cup. Crazy Suzy making her first appearance of the season but missing Caroline, who was spotted off Mersea, heading for a round-Britain trip during June
Conditions started with a prevailing Westerly force 3 at the start, but with likely gusts of up to force 6 predicted by the finish.
Sensing a tough beat home, race office Frank Burgess set a longer outbound course to slow the fleet down, followed by 2 loops of the short estuary course BAR/IBH/BH
A clean spinnaker start with most boats jockeying for position in the best tide and clean air. The larger spinnakers of Crazy Suzy and Silver Fox making small gains to No12.
A few brave souls completed a spinnaker gybe before No12 and just managed to hold these on the close reach to No 3
Moonshadow continued to show her improved performance this season, staying with Crazy Suzy and Silver Fox to BH via No 10 and No 6
McGregor III, Easy Rider, Blue Moon and Dan Dare remained remarkable close on the 2 estuary loops with the more experienced crews managing to get spinnakers up on the 2 short legs from BH to BAR.
With the wind building, the long beat home via No 1 and No 12, saw Soprano, Rocket, Steorra and Poohstick regularly swapping position on the water.
In the final group, Carolanti, Playboys and Evolution valiantly struggled with probably too much sail area, in the now force 6 gusts and heavy sea chop
Crazy Suzy was the first home by 5 minutes on the water but on corrected time ended only 42 seconds behind the eventual winner Soprano. Behind the winners, Poohstick put in a much improved performance to achieve a 5th place and Tommy Mills may find that a 4th place is a very useful result by the end of the season.
Some very close racing indeed, with all 14 boats finishing within a corrected elapsed time of under 27 minutes — a credit to the race officer Frank Burgess.
First 3 boats in BJRC fleet were:
Pat Murphy Soprano
John Littlewood Crazy Suzy
John Gibson Moonshadow
In the IRC Class Kevin Whittle Evolution Richard Robarts Blue Moon Peter Ward McGregor III
Chairman Andy Ellis