Medway Marathon 6 August 2022
As race day approached, and with a wind forecast of light to negligible, the Race Officer was starting to lose sleep worrying about how this year’s Medway Marathon, the 58th edition, would pan out.
Dreaming of a change of forecast to a fantastic 12-15 knots, the Race Officer woke on Saturday to a beautiful sunny day but very little wind and an early decision was made to run the Half Marathon course for all boats with the option to shorten if necessary.
There were 31 entrants in total. Five fleets started on time, in less than 5 knots of breeze on average, and remarkably there were no boats OCS. All managed to stem the ebbing tide and in fact the later starts were very conservative. The fleets were led away by Henry Lewis in his ILCA4 who was the only entrant in the junior half marathon. He led all the boats for some considerable time while the Wayfarers worked their magic in those conditions and started to move up the fleet. The skiff classes fared less well in these sub-displacement sailing conditions and struggled to catch the early starters and save their time.
It took all the boats an age to reach Buoy 16 which was effectively their first turning mark before going south into Otterham Creek. A decision was made to finish the race at the Otterham Fairway buoy because the tide was about to turn and there were concerns that the back markers would not have enough breeze in the Creek to stem the tide and find their way out. Shortening the course at this point was, perhaps, not ideal from the leaders’ perspective but did provide fair racing (or as fair as it could be) for the whole fleet.
As the boats approached the finish line, there was any one of three or four that could take line honours. In the event, the visiting MRX sailed by Mark Candelas and Julie Cronshaw eked out a sufficient lead to cross the line first and give them the win on corrected time from the visiting Wayfarer of John Clementson and Sam Pygall. MYC Commodore and Rear Commodore, Richard and Catherine, were the first home boat in 3rd place.
Millie Lewis was top lady and under 23 Helm. The junior half marathon was won by Henry Lewis who would, had he been competing in the full marathon, have fared very well overall. Michael Wright and Paul Studart sailed the leading Squib. That were no Sonata entries but, in their defence, several of the boats were away competing at their National Championships.
As the Law of Sod would have it, having got out of Otterham Creek, many of the boats found some wind and enjoyed a pleasant sail home. Others received a tow from the excellent guard and support boats.
The report in Yachts and Yachting can be found by clicking this link
Full results can be found here on the website MYC website or by clicking this link
More photo’s available through Paul Babington’s Dropbox, please click this link