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Southend Barge Match on Sunday 28 August

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A round-up of the Swale Match

We’ve seen some really great photos of Saturday’s Swale Match.   So, to start with, here’s one that Hugh Perks sent us together with his reflections on the Match.   He was lucky enough to be on board Cambria so was able to observe his fellow SSBR Committee member, Dave Brooks, at work.

 

Swale Match 2013 (RHP)

 

Hugh writes, “Yesterday’s Swale Match  –  Plenty of wind, Force 6, got up to 33mph at one time and on Cambria we had chine out of the water frequently, lying over nicely as photo shows.    Dave Brooks was on the port bowlin’ all day;  he must have lost two stones with all his hard work.”

More pictures to come.

Pictures of 2013 Pin Mill Barge Match

Hugh Perks has kindly sent us these pictures of this year’s Pin Mill Match.   It’s been a great year for Barge Matches.

First in Class A was Edme, below.

Pin Mill Match Class A 1st EDME (2)

Here’s Mirosa (below) second in Class A.

Pin Mill Match Class A 2nd Mirosa (3)

And this is Xylonite, third in Class A (below).

Pin Mill Match Class A 3rd XYLONITE (3)

First in Class B was Niagara (below).

 

And First in Class C was Ardwina (below).

Pin Mill Match Class C  1st Ardwina (3)

Good field for the Blackwater Match

Plenty of wind for the Blackwater Match on Saturday, and it attracted a good ???????????????????????????????????????????field in all classes.

The Match was well advertised on the Quay and Promenade at Maldon, but it was disappointing that so few people were at either place for when the barges returned.   Probably the time, the last one arrived at about 5.30pm, and the very cold wind by then put them off.   Certainly, apart from The Barge Blog, there were only two people at the far end of the Promenade by the statue who knew what was happening.

???????????????????????????????????????????Here’s Hythe Quay as the barges returned afterwards, and some adjustment as Pudge is put away for the night.

Click here for the Results, courtesy of the Sailing Barge Association.

Lady Daphne up for sale

Following the news last year that Lady Jean was for sale, we now find an advertisement Lady Daphne at Faversham for winter re-fit Feby 2012on the boatshop24.co.uk website for her sister barge, the Lady Daphne.

Lady Daphne, built in 1923 by Short Bros Ltd, was sold in 1996 to her present company.   A massive restoration programme has taken place with considerable replacement of the structure and the internal fittings in the last two winter refits.   All this work has been undertaken whilst building up a successful charter business, and competing in the annual Barge Matches. 

Here’s the link to the advert.

Mark Boyle (1957 – 2012)

The sailing barge world was stunned by the recent news of the death at age 55 of Capt Mark Boyle, Mark Boylethe organising secretary of the Thames Sailing Barge Match, since it was revived by him to celebrate the 50th anniversary of V.E. Day in 1995.  

Mark’s love of sailing barges was kindled by the gift of a model kit when he was a child.   He built the model and was later taken to Maldon, Essex to see the real thing.   To his disappointment he realised that his model was full of inaccuracies, and on returning home he set about putting it right!  

Mark was a gifted historian with a wealth of knowledge on subjects as diverse as sailing barges and the Spanish Peninsular War.   He was also a talented author, writing articles for magazines about the sailing barges and his experiences afloat, having ‘gone to sea’ in his teens in the coasting trade aboard ex. ‘sailormen’ by then trading under power alone.   Through later years he crewed aboard the charter and hospitality barges that plied the coast, gaining his Sailing Barge Master’s ticket in 1987.  

Not content with working aboard the last of the trading barges, Mark developed his shipwrighting skills which have left their mark on many of the genre.   These include the Cabby, Dawn and, most recently, the magnificently restored Cambria to which he applied his talent and satisfied his barge preservation aspirations at the same time.   He recognised that for the restoration movement to have lasting relevance, it is equally important to preserve the environment of the sailing barge.   Sadly, the wharves and bargeyards have fallen prey to much questionable re-development, but Mark realised the equal importance of the ‘on the water’ activities, and saw an opportunity to contest the Championship of the London River again through the conduit of a revived Thames Sailing Barge Match.   

The enormity of the task before him in restoring this, the original barge match, to its rightful place in the sailing barge calendar would have scuppered many a capable organiser.   In the wake of the success of the 1995 race, there was an appetite for more.   Mark sought out the families which had played their part 100 and more years ago, with the result that the iconic names of sailing barge owners Everard, Clarabut and Goldsmith became associated with the Match once again.   The outcome of his effort and commitment is evidenced by the current series being the longest ever continuous revival of the race since its founding by Henry Dodd in 1863.  

The sailing barge fraternity has lost one of its stalwart supporters and his passing will have a significant impact in many ways.   The Thames Match committee has met and decided to continue with the organising of this year’s event, the 150th anniversary of the first, which will take place on Saturday 13th July and be known as The Mark Boyle Memorial Thames Sailing Barge Match in honour of his vision and dedication to a sailing contest almost as old as the America’s Cup.

(This tribute to Mark Boyle was written by Richard Walsh, who is Acting Match Secretary for this year’s Thames Match.   It is reproduced from the Thames Barge Match website, where the photograph of Mark also appears.) 

 

Swale Match photos from Hugh Perks

Hugh Perks has sent us his excellent pictures from the Swale Match.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Swale Match – closely fought and exciting

The general opinion seems to be that this year’s Swale Match,

Swale Barge Match fleet 2012

held last Saturday, was the best race of the season.   And it had a “newcomer” in that Niagara took part, less than a week after she returned to the active barge fleet.

Hugh Perks sent us this very welcome Match report:-

“The Match started in light airs east, soon getting up SE and just up to Force 6 for the run home.

Cabby made the fastest start, 20 seconds after the gun.  There were some thrilling finishes. 

Mirosa and Marjorie taking it right down to the wire

In the bowsprit class Mirosa beat Marjorie by the tip of her bowsprit, (half a second between them).  3rd was Lady of the Lea, (the only other bowsprit barge), which incurred a 5 hour penalty for starting 15 minutes early with the staysail barges, and was banned from entering public houses for the next two years. 

In the Staysail Class Niagara and Repertor were neck and neck at the finish, with Repertor one second ahead.  After a protest on the matter of something earlier in the match, Repertor was given a 5 minute time penalty, giving Niagara the victory.   Decima was 3rd, getting the Percy Wildish Cup which was fittingly presented by “Beefy” Wildish’s son.

Repertor and Niagara fighting for the line

Restricted Staysails went to Cabby, (in spite of also incurring a time penalty).  There was a close finish for 2nd place between Phoenician and Orinoco, (27 seconds), but it was given to Orinoco as Phoenician had failed to go round one of the marks.   3rd was Greta and 4th Pudge.

The fastest smack was Alberta, but on handicap went to Emeline.

Around 70 vessels took part in the match.”

(Photos by Dave Brooks)

 

Photo of the day – Good Night Thames

Dave Brooks took this striking picture on 28th July, after the 2012 Thames Match.   It shows some of the barges lying off Gravesend late at night.   They are at peace after their sail out into the estuary;  then being becalmed;  and the eventual  abandonment of the Match.

Barging about the Rivers – in the Sun!

Much better weather around the Thames area makes it a grand weekend for the barges.  Here’s what some of them have to say over the last couple of days:-            

Peter Phillips says, Thalatta doing what she does best!  Cyril, Roger, Rita and a barge load of children cruising the Blackwater.”  (photo – Peter Phillips)

Thames Barge Orinoco says, “Fantastic charter yesterday!  And again today;  all sitting in the sunshine on the deck watching the world go by.”  (photo – sb Orinoco)

Annie Meadows says, “We have 45 artists on board today;  hoping I will be allowed to photograph some of their work.”

Cambria is at Pin Mill, where Richard Titchener, Hilary Halajko and the Sea Change youngsters on board have been busy.   Dave Brooks went to visit them and took some pictures.  

Dave says, “Cambria is on the blocks at Pin Mill, and Skipper Richard Titchener is showing the way as Sea Change do a fantastic job of painting her up in readiness for the Thames match next weekend.”   (photo – Dave Brooks)

Dave goes on to say “The locals didn’t recognize her with the black leeboards, so when in Pin Mill do as Bob Roberts would have done and paint them.”   Cambria now has tri-colour leeboards.   (photo – Dave Brooks)

Dave had something else to tell us too.   “For the first time in over 40 years Cambria returns to Pin Mill.  It stirred a few memories of some of the people living there who remember her from the Bob Roberts days.”  (Photo – Dave Brooks)

Meanwhile two special events are going on today:-   the Harwich Sea Festival and Lifeboat Day and the Nautical Festival at Faversham.   Lovely weather for both of them, with lots of good things to see and do, and a great atmosphere. 

And now Ed Gransden joins in to tell us, “Sailing past Horrid hill, riverside.  Cracking day today  –  I knew this summer would be a good one….” 

 

 

                                                                                                              

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