A short history of the Karachi Cup
by Mike Barr November 2000
In 1994 I wrote to the 6M Owners Association suggesting an annual competition between England and Scotland but no reply was received. The concept still attracted me considerably because there was a degree of disarray within the politics of model yachting in Scotland, viz a viz the SMYA and the MYA, and I had not been able to obtain any response from the 6M Owners Association in England.
At the third attempt I was told to “do my own thing” – so was happy to develop the concept without treading on anyone’s toes.
On a business visit to Pakistan in 1995 I happened to pass a Trophy shop in Karachi and after some fierce price haggling by my Pakistani Hosts, the magnificent Karachi Cup was acquired for the princely sum of £26. The name being doubly appropriate because of rugby’s Calcutta Cup.
The next major problem was to decide how to pick our own team and equally important how to find a team to compete against- particularly as the Association had not wanted to be involved for whatever reason.
Being new to model racing I had been surprised what a serious business it was and thought the social side, which I was more accustomed to from a rugby background, was sorely lacking. I therefore hoped that the weekend’s sailing should be matched with much socialising and, in true Scots tradition, ”have a dram or two” afterwards.
Most importantly to build, and renew, friendships whatever the racing result.
The racing had to be conducted at the highest level of proficiency, and in a Gentlemanly order, so that “turns” would always be done on the water and therefore no long delays with Protests and certainly no ill feelings. The result would be decided by a series of team races of six skippers per country.
Graham Bantock was approached with some trepidation and saved the day by agreeing to lead the English team to visit Paisley MYC which was also holding it’s Club Centenary. The team comprised Graham Bantock, Keith Skipper, Martin Roberts, Phil Playle, Anthony Corbett, and Chris Harris. A formidable array!
The Scottish Team comprised Richard Rowan, Pat Johnston, Gordon Price, Drew Taylor, Neil Graham and John Breingan.
Scotland was trounced by an embarrassing margin at Paisley in 1996 but the seed had hopefully been sown for the future.
A suitable Deed of Gift had been drafted with Anthony Corbett’s excellent assistance and the only subtle variation was that to be eligible to represent your country you could be a permanent resident in that Country, or by birthright. (Our best skipper at the time was Richard Rowan, living north of the border but Irish by birth). Similarly in true gentlemanly fashion a substitute yacht or skipper could substitute for either side as required.
The Deed of Gift should have been signed at that time but the welcoming party at Mill O’ Beith meant that the ceremony was overlooked. At least the social side had worked!
In 1997 the English opted to return to Scotland and the venue moved to Greenock where a very close result ensued. The scoring of each race produced a ”win draw or lose” result rather than the first years aggregation of points being the deciding factor – a much better way of scoring. England won by a narrow margin. For Scotland, the arrival of the new ‘Ravenna’ six metre, also designed by Graham Bantock, was an advantage over the ‘Dolphins’ seen the previous year in the Scottish team.
The Deed of Gift was finally signed at Royal Gourock Yacht Club at Gourock in Scotland in September 1997.
In 1998 Two Islands M Y C in Milton Keynes hosted the event. Their hospitality at the Nationals, two year’s previous, had been truly in the spirit intended for the Karachi Cup so we were delighted to accept their invitation. Scotland won convincingly to extract revenge for the previous two years. A humorous and friendly touch was that a few lines of the relevant National Anthem being played on a tape recorder after each race to notify the result that race!
Anthony Corbett, the English Captain that year, also withdrew a critical protest that one of the Scottish yachts had a “hollow” because (a) the yacht was immediately replaced and (b) the decision should be “in keeping with the spirit of the Karachi Cup”. It made my day.
In 1999 England won in very poor weather conditions at Paisley. Yacht reliability and lack of preparation being a deciding factor. Regrettably, unlike the previous year, the event was also marred by too many protests.
The Millenium Race was held at Watermead on 7th October 2000 in appalling weather conditions. England again regained the Karachi Cup by a substantial margin. The hospitality of our hosts was exceptional and the event was noticable by the good-humoured attitude of the contestants and the lack of protests.
In 2001 the race was held at Greenock which again England won and an excellent dinner was held at Royal Gourock Yacht Club in the evening.
No race was held for the following three years principally through lack of available R6M’s and skippers.
So in 2005 the race will be held in IOM’s at the very good sailing water at Castle Semple near Lochwinnoch in Ayrshire on 25 June with the evening celebrations at nearby Bowfield Hotel & Country Club in Howwood for the contestants and their families. All are welcome.
This year it is anticipated that there will be no protests, or Appeals, as Umpires will be involved. The Scottish District are arranging the Race Management for the event, and for selecting the Scottish team. T hey are also arranging an Open Event for IOM’s on the Sunday, also at Castle Semple, to complete the weekend’s sailing to which all are invited
The Karachi Cup was donated to Paisley MYC to commemorate its Centenary in 1996.
Mike Barr 2005