Despite an adverse forecast the weather proved to be perfect for team racing with wind varying from 6-10 knots at the Royal Thames Carmela Cup 2017 on 14-15 January.
The Royal Thames Yacht Club (RTYC) race committee managed 22 races out of the round robin of 28 on day one. Wessex Exempt, formed mostly of RTYC members, and RTYC emerged as the clear favourites both being unbeaten. The Royal Thames Academy, Southampton Male Voice Choir and the Rome Racing Team ran close behind. The Ladies team despite having a high complement of very experienced sailors (Saskia Clark, Lucy MacGregor, Kate MacGregor and Annie Lush) were pushed down by the superior team racing expertise of their competition to end day one in seventh.
The completion of the round robin on day two saw the Ladies and the Royal Yacht Squadron start to win races much to the dismay of the Rome Racing Team who were pushed down into last place. The final race of the round robin saw RTYC and Wessex Exempt meet both unbeaten up until this point. Wessex Exempt emerged victorious but both qualified for the semi-finals and subsequently qualified for the finals having beaten Southampton Male Voice Choir and Royal Thames Academy in the semi-finals.
The final was hard fought and RTYC were perhaps unlucky with a leading race abandoned after a collision between Wessex Exempt and an umpire boat. Ultimately Wessex Exempt emerged victorious to win the 2017 Carmela Cup which was presented by RTYC Vice Commodore Bernard Kinchin.
The highly experienced umpire team led by Jack Fenwick of the RYA did a sterling job in testing conditions. The RTYC race team led by Jenny Woods kept up a seamless flow of quality racing with the score lines tightening as the event came to a close.
Winner: Wessex Exempt
Second: Royal Thames Yacht Club
Third: Southampton Male Voice Choir