Squib fleet enjoys close racing during light air day on the River Crouch – photo Julio Graham

Squib fleet enjoys close racing during light air day on the River Crouch – photo Julio Graham

Exciting changes that include opening up the entry of the Town Cup to all IRC/SER yachts rated 0.890 and above helps to re-establish Burnham Week as one of the prime sailing events on the east coast.

This popular family regatta, which runs from 29 August to 5 September 2015, offers a week of challenging racing and legendary shore-side activities including Bank Holiday Monday Quay Day.

The success of the three-part regatta format, introduced several years ago to give competitors the chance to race one or all three independent sections (first Bank Holiday Weekend series, week series, and final Saturday Trophy Day), was one of the first steps to modernise and encourage more participation at the event. Now the organisers – the Joint Clubs Committee (JCC) – have taken further steps and introduced fresh ideas to account for changing trends.

Breaking with tradition and opening up the entry of the Town Cup on the final Saturday to all yachts rated under IRC/SER instead of the traditional IRC Class 1 yachts, offers more competitors a chance to win the coveted prize. With the finish line set just off the Town Quay, spectators will also have the opportunity to really embrace the excitement of the racing as it unfolds in the closing stages of the race.

One of the organisers’ key objectives, to make the event accessible to all comers, triggered the idea to introduce additional features including motorboat, and rowing gig events during the Bank Holiday weekend. In an effort to encourage the growing population of motorboaters on the east coast to join in the Burnham Week fun, special prizes – with results based on predicted logs – will be awarded to motorboat participants. The gig racing, which proved highly popular last year is expected to be even more competitive with at least 18 boats already signed up for the JCC-supported Quay Day racing.

Jo Barker (Chairman JCC) commented: “Valuable competitor feedback over the years has allowed us to constantly make improvements. The changes and interesting additions this year means the event is more ‘inclusive’ and we hope that this will help to encourage more and more people to get involved in the future.

The regatta action kicks off on the Bank Holiday weekend with racing for all IRC/SER yachts, which includes a chance to win the Commodores Cup on Bank Holiday Monday. There will be races for local handicap cruisers (spinnaker and non-spinnaker), one-designs including Dragons, Squibs, 707s, Royal Corinthian, Royal Burnham, and also several dinghy classes notably Ospreys and Phantoms plus fast and slow dinghy handicap

The Mid Week Regatta that runs from Tuesday to Friday will see plenty of activity this year particularly with the addition of Hunter 707 class that will contest its national championship (1-4 September). Squibs, Royal Corinthian and Royal Burnham One-Designs will make up the bulk of the other mid-week classes, plus a new format for cruiser/racers, which gives an opportunity to compete under local handicap in two classes, is likely to generate more interest.

The final Saturday is Trophy Day including the prestigious Town Cup. The remainder of classes will race for individual class trophies, all of which will be presented at the prize giving later that evening.



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