After an unsuccessful attempt to release Melissa from her mud berth on Friday morning it was clear that she would not be entering the Colne Barge Match this year! She did however break free on the evening tide and a decision was made to have a gentlemens weekend away.
Friday July 2nd Melissa sailed down the River Orwell and headed off to Gravesend for the 80th 2010 Thames Sailing Barge Match.
Reportedly it was a close run race with light winds. So many barges crossed the finish line almost simultaneously no one was really sure just which barge had won!
Ultimately Melissa crossed the line in third place close behind Repertor (once again a podium finish). At the prize giving Melissa received cups for best rounding of the outer mark, being third, and a life time achievement award was presented to the Webb family for getting Melissa back in the water and being there!
Some of the pictures below were taken by Nigel Smith of Bexley London Borough Blog who was on board Repertor at the time. Many thanks Nigel.
After a spectacular entry last year Melissa once again takes up the challenge. This year she was skippered by Jonathan Webb with a similar crew to last year. The weather forecast was for north winds force 5 to 7 which we got along with lots of rain showers.
Sadly, soon after rounding the outward mark we were hit by a gust that broke the topsail headstick and with that we lost the race.
We finished 3rd (a podium finish) just over two minutes behind Reminder and 30 minutes behind Decima!