The Leigh on Sea SC Brass Monkey Trophy – 3 Brass Monkeys mounted on a polished wooden base dates back to the early 1950’s. The race is traditionally sailed on Boxing Day when the tide and weather allow. This year the weather and tide were as good as it ever gets, sunshine, a steady force 4 West Southwest wind and an early afternoon spring tide, some might have liked it a bit warmer but after the extreme cold earlier in December 10°C was warm. 24 home boats from LSC and our neighbours the Essex YC were joined by 12 visitors from Thorpe Bay, Benfleet, Wembley and Warash.
The race is always started and finished from the club race hut with the normal fixed start line modified with a buoy set to give less bias than the post limit mark. This tends to confuse some of the regulars who are used to the posts. The fleet line up for the start but with about a third of the fleet over the line, eager and with the strong flood tide pushing them forward the RO had no choice other than a general recall. Once all had returned the second attempt at starting was much more orderly with a clear start. On the first beat to a mark the three Sprint 15’s quickly moved to the front, closely followed by a HadronH2 sailed by Ian Little and a full rigged Laser sailed by Chris Boshier. On the reaches the fleet sorted itself out enjoying the fast first reach but finding second reach less exciting as it was close to a run. One of the Sprint15s retired leaving the other two to fight out over 4 laps for the line honours which went to Darren Fitchew in 1642 after Len Flyn overstood the windward mark on the second lap. Behind the leaders there were several battles between the Laser radials, with Duncan DeBoltz leading over 4 laps. In the Solo fleet Cass Monk lead with a close tussle between the Tothill brothers being won by Matt on the last leg of the 3 laps.
Once the RO had processed the results there was only 3 seconds on handicap between Chris Boshier in a full rig Laser and second place Duncan DeBoltz (the defending trophy winner from 2021).
The usual after race Brass Monkey party with hot chilli provided a great way to round off the race with prizes to 6th overall and the trophy to Chris Boshier. Unfortunately, in 2023 the Boxing Day tide is too early for the race on that day but the next Brass Monkey Trophy race will be on Saturday 30th December 2023 start 13:00.
Hon Sailing Secretary & Race Officer