A Memorial Race for the late Bruce Townsend and the unveiling of the R B Townsend Bridge Boat was held on Sunday, 22nd January 2017. Bruce was remembered for his loyalty and support to the club. Mr Steve Cawdron advised that in keeping with maritime superstition, the ashes of the previous name of the boat were scattered on the bay and the new bridge boat was named in Bruce’s honour the R B Townsend. The blessing was read by Honorary Commodore Mr Willy Vandeverre.
The Bruce Townsend Memorial Race took place in testing conditions with the wind gusting 30 knots. The bridge crew had a torrid time at anchor in the short steep chop, with waves crashing over the fore deck from time to time, flooding the cabin deck. Mark layers Derek Latouf and Chris Parry deserve special mention for sitting out the rough conditions on Scorpio, waiting for the fleet to round the mark.
The field consisted of 12 boats, three of which retired. Nine boats finished with Warren Clark on Southern Storm crossing in a little over an hour, having made the beat up towards Glenashley in around forty minutes, and flying back in just over twenty. Without spinnaker!!!
Two flying fifteens took part, and Jeremy Kriek astounded the bridge crew with the speed in which he and Patrick Harris completed the course. Starting some ten minutes behind the field, they turned in 9th place and finally surfed back to cross the line in third position.