Nore Race victory


Around 200 boats turned out for this year’s Nore Race around the Thames Estuary. I threw my kitbag aboard Sarah, a Trapper 500, owned and skippered by Max Lieberson and joined his crew: Dave Schooling and Dave’s 12-year-old daughter Phillipa.

Max had a brand new set of sails from Crusader which were an excellent fit, but was getting a little tense as he trimmed clews and sheets on the way downriver from the Thurrock Yacht Club to the start at Southend Pier-head.

As a result of this the langauge was salty enough for Phillipa to start a swear box. We had a cracking race with a Force 4 westerly
and came in first in class and fourth overall.

As Max landed me on the pier before beating back up river I was halted by Phillipa: ‘You owe me 10 p for the swearbox,’ she said. I was stunned that I was so little in the red after such a thrilling race and fumbled for change. I could only produce 5p. ‘Just leave me your address,’ she said, ‘and I’ll invoice you,’ taking her part in the racing just as seriously as the skipper.