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Royal Navy CCF Annual Regatta

Contingent Commander Myles Ripley of Sedbergh School CCF, reports on the Royal Navy annual regatta.

Royal Navy CCF Annual Regatta

10 October 2017

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Sixteen teams were entered to sail Topper Argos (a type of sailing dinghy) from all over the UK, including Northern Ireland and Scotland.

The event ran from Friday 6 – Sunday 8 October at Southport marina, Merseyside, with the teams assembling on Friday evening anticipating a windy first day of racing with the forecast predicting force 4 gusts.

The first day’s racing was a round robin of races to sort out the Gold fleet from the Silver fleet which took till mid afternoon. This left just enough time to hold one race of each of the Gold and Silver Fleets in their series of three.

Early indications at the top of the fleet saw Sedbergh School winning several races closely followed by Exeter (last year’s winners) and Dollar. As teams who were less used to sailing the Argos got to grips with them and the wind, the racing became closer and the umpires had to make decisions more often. It was still too windy for the Gold fleet to use the gennakers (a type of sail); a decision which no team argued with.

Sunday dawned with a much friendlier force 2/3 breeze and the Gold fleet were very much up for racing with gennakers and strategy to boot. The starts were very competitive and occasioned several penalties. In the Silver fleet Merchant Taylors’ Crosby had found their mojo overnight and won the first race and came from behind to take second in the medal race to win their fleet overall, despite a last minute crew change after a broken ankle on Friday night. St Anthony’s Roman Catholic College, an expansion school, were taking part in their first national regatta and raced competitively in the Sunday racing despite only having started sailing in the last 12 months. They were awarded the Endeavour prize for their efforts.

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The Gold fleet was dominated by Dollar Academy despite numerous attempts to get past them, notably by Sedbergh whose efforts went unrewarded. Dollar were beaten into second in the first race of the day by Sedbergh B but won the medal race with Bedford Modern in second and Sedbergh A in third. While first place was clear, the second place was tied between the two Sedbergh boats and Sedbergh A were awarded second on countback.

Many thanks are due to CCF RN regular staff who set the whole regatta up and the numerous CFAVs who helped out.