OYSTER DREDGING MATCH
SUNDAY 1st SEPTEMBER 2013 1100 hrs - 1300 hrs
An Oyster Opening Competition will also take place at the Packing Shed. More details are in the Regatta Programme
For further information please contact William Baker on: 01206 383158
Supported by members of the West Mersea Oyster Industry, the Colne Smack Preservation Society and the Sailing Smack Association
The 2012 Mersea Island oyster dredging match was held on Sunday 9th September to celebrate the beginning of the native oyster season and 'to show working boats handled in a traditional way'.|
The competition, which is open to smacks and bawleys as well as the smaller bumkins, is for the 'boat dredged, handled and rigged in the most seamanlike and professional manner' and for 'the greatest weight of clean, culled, native oysters' in each class. The event took place on the Tollesbury and Mersea Native Oyster Fishery grounds and could be viewed from the beach between the Monkey Steps and Beach Road. Deputy mayor of Colchester Colin Sykes cast the first dredge from the foreman's smack Dorothy, skippered by last year's winner Robbie Lee.
Chris Leftwich, chief fisheries inspector to the Fishmongers Company and Billingsgate Market, judged the handling competition and awarded the John Frost Trophy to Lucy Harris and her smack Helen and Violet. This was the first occasion that that first prize had been won by a female skipper, and it means that next year Helen and Violet will become the foreman's smack.
The Hervey Benham and John KempTrophy for the greatest weight of oysters dredged was won by Christian Woodley on Mermaid, with David Whiting on Mayfly receiving the Florence Plate for the second heaviest haul.
After the weigh-in on Packing Shed Island, the popular oyster opening competition took place, with Alan Marchetti, chef at the Mews restaurant in Mayfair, acting as judge. The winner this year was Mike Dawson.
Event organisers William Baker, Bev Perkins, Richard Haward, Graham Larkin, Caz Haward and Donald Rainbird would like to thank everyone who took part, all those who helped on the day, and the individuals and local businesses who donated raffle prizes.