Tonight’s post is a report by Dave Brooks on the Southend Match. He writes, “I think it is safe to say that I won’t be breaking any barge naming records with the Southend Match report. Sadly due to the weather leading up to the day of the match barges expected to be present were unable to attend. We arrived in Southend at 8.30 and there were no barges at all. However the Kent based barges Niagara, Marjorie, Edith May and Lady of the Lea were soon to be spotted coming out of the Medway to save the day. Originally it was thought that all the barges would start in the same class. However, the barge championship is a serious matter and Marjorie and Lady of the Lea opted to race in in classes of one. After a hard fought match both barges prevailed and won their classes. Niagara and Edith May fought in a head to head for the stays’l class, and for a while it was an interesting race. Niagara started well but Edith May overhauled her and it stayed that way until the half way point. Niagara made the best of the tides to win her second successive Class Win since rejoining the fleet. Marjorie was first to the outer mark and first barge home. Lady of the Lea sailed well and wasn’t too far off the pace at the end. Edith May was first barge over the start line and won the seamanship prize. The lack of barges was dissapointing but none the less the sailing was impressive and Niagara treated the spectators with a close in sail by to remember, possibly one of the crew needed to get ashore quickly. Next year is the 50th Southend Match. Let’s hope we see a good attendance, and perhaps even get our girl along for the ride”.
Well said, Dave!