I believe AQSC has been competing in the MTT since 2001 although, as a competition,
the MTT was running prior to this date. AQSC last hosted the MTT in 2005 and many
of the improvements to our clubhouse were undertaken prior to this event to enable
us to provide the facilities required. This period was also when Bodgit & Son was
founded (if you ever wondered). Since 2001 Aquarius has won the MTT once but has
had many second places. Probably the club with the most wins is Hampton SC.
As a result of Richard’s calling notices we received entries from Hampton SC, Desborough
SC, Littleton SC and Staines SC. Laleham SC seem to have fallen by the wayside over
the years which is a shame. The club was open early on the morning 1 May. Ken opened
up the extra car park by the pump house and directed AQSC members to it, leaving
the main car park for visitors. Hampton SC arrived on the water, their ‘fleet’ of
Ent’s, Merlins and Lasers having been towed up from Benn’s.
Diana and her team provided tea, coffee and biscuits while Liz (AOD) got the entry
forms and food orders sorted out, Frank Rainsborough (OOD) and his race team (Nigel
& John) got the course laid. This consisted of a windward and leeward marks separated
by a mid course dogleg. At 11:00’ish Frank did the briefing and the first race got
away at 11:30’ish. With the very light winds it wasn’t necessary to split the race
into flights and there were 23 boats starting; probably the most we have had.
Meanwhile Richard loaded the entries into the computer and got ready to calculate
the results. The wind was very light out of the SW with a moderate stream, but, put
simply the races were a bit of a drifter all day.
Hampton’s Enterprises and Merlins romped away, although we learned later that the
lead Ent subsequently withdrew for sailing an incorrect course. Note: ALWAYS check
the course board before going afloat. That race lasted about an hour and was followed
Burgers, various salads, fries. Various gateaux were available for dessert. The wind
had died towards the end of the first race so Frank decided to change the course
in the afternoon using only the windward and leeward marks. By the time R2 got underway
the wind had all but died. Several boats started to drift in the direction of Hampton
Court and had to be rounded up. By the time the shortened course signal was sounded
several boats got timed out before they could cross the line, it was dire. By popular
vote R3 was abandoned and Richard set about sorting out the results, rather more
demanding than usual, while everybody else had tea and then started packing up.
Eventually Tony announced the results. Hampton SC won (or retained) the Mid Thames
Trophy and a Hampton Ent. won the highest placed crew prize. Desborough came 2nd,
AQSC 3rd, with Littleton and Staines taking 4th and 5th. As I remember it the AQSC
team members were Charles Dennis (Laser), Mike Baker (Laser), Rodger Wheeler (Laser),
Graham Thompson (Graduate), Bryan Clements (Graduate), John Panting (SigneT), Andrew
Morris (Pico), Hannah Lunniss (Pico), Edmund Morris (Pico), Imogen Morris (Pico)
and Tony Hopkins (Comet); having an entry of 11 boats was excellent. The full results
(both by club and competitor) can be found on the excellent AQSC website under Race
Results and Mid Thames by club; in each race the top 3 boats of each club count towards
I have to say that the event was a great success. Well organised, well attended,
good food etc., just a pity that the weather, as in wind, couldn’t oblige. I have
no idea which club is hosting next years event but we will no doubt be advised sometime
in the future. Footnote: On Saturday our missing 3rd water main trophy was returned.
We think it might have come from Desborough but after many years gone (probably about
20), it’s back and can be seen behind the bar for a while.
Mike (Over Easy) Baker
Preparing to start Photo by Stuart Schafer
Victorious Hampton Team Photo by Frank Rainsborough