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Etchells Sir Kenneth Preston Trophy at the Royal Yacht Squadron

by Ted Blowers on 16 Jun 10-11 June 2017
Strait Dealer (l-r) David Franks, Helena Lucas, Matt Reid and Graham Sunderland finish 2nd in the Sir Kenneth Preston Trophy © Rob Goddard

The Royal Yacht squadron was set to host the 2017 Sir Kenneth Preston Trophy with near a perfect forecast set to appear for the weekend of the 10th/11th of June. A small fleet of nine entered for this year's special event, with some already having claimed the trophy in the past.

The wind strength varied between around 16 to 20 knots on day one from the SSW, with small breaks of sunshine between the clouds at times it was looking to be a great day on the water!

Race one showed a couple of basic errors by some boats on the first downwind, with a few mistaking the leeward mark for the pin end. With a couple of boats dropping kites early, this gave the rest of the fleet a chance to extend early on in the race. Bruce Huber on Palaver made no mistake to take the first race fairly comfortably just in front of David Franks, Sumo not too far behind to take an early position on the podium.

As race two began, conditions became shifty and gusty, throwing boats all over the place in the positioning. Boats towards the port end of the line came into the top mark nicely after playing the left hand side accordingly against the shifts. After a competitive battle between Exabyte 7 and Strait Dealer, it was Frohlich that came on top of Franks in race two with Peter Rogers in Highlife taking second place.

As the final race of the day approached, the wind started to get up the upper end of its predicted forecast with about 20-22 knots present on the racecourse. This time it was boats on the starboard end towards the committee boat that came up the first leg in the best position. With Franks finally getting his first win of the regatta. Highlife and Exabyte took second and third respectively. So at the end of the first day of the Sir Kenneth Preston, it was David Franks on top with Exabyte, highlife and Sumo not too far behind.

Day two was a lighter forecast with winds predicted to be around the 12-17 knot zone, but with more sunshine around than the previous day it was looking to be another great day of racing.

Race one of the day showed a general recall with the U flag now put into the starting sequence, sailors now becoming slightly more cautious. After a early tack and a good first beat, Exabyte worked their way into a nice position to take the first race win of the day and the second of the weekend, George Cooper racing Ice took second with a better start than the previous day, Highlife followed in third.

Race five showed another great results for the Cooper family, claiming a great race win to take race five comfortably. Silver Lining had added a well-deserved second to their scorecard after a series of mid fleet results with Highlife again taking their 4th podium result of the series.

The final race of the regatta turned out to be a very interesting race. With the U flag in place, two of the three contenders (Strait dealer and Highlife) for first called over the line, therefore taking any chances of a regatta win away from their grasp. Exabyte came away with the win from the final race of the Sir Kenneth Preston Trophy, although some believed lucky to escape with the win after a blanket of sails covering them nicely at the pin end to avoid trouble. Palaver followed behind in second after a good right hand shift took second from Sumo.

At the end of a brilliant regatta it was Shaun Frohlich and Exabyte who came away with a well deserved win with three bullets on his scorecard to add the Sir Kenneth Preston title to his name for a second time. Strait Dealer finished in second after an unfortunate last race, along with Highlife having a similar story in third.

Sumo with Oli Aldridge, Ted Blowers, Harry Bowerman and Sam Penhaul Smith took the Corinthians title finishing in fifth overall.

There was a special prize for the Cooper family. With George, Freddie and Andrew taking the family prize after a very good second day!

The Etchells class would also like to say thank you again to the Royal Yacht Squadron for running some great racing! They managed to turn around the races very quickly whilst providing some great courses for the sailors to rip around in.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoBoat NameTeamR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1  GBR 1437Exabyte 7Shaun Frohlich / Shaun Frohlich / David Bedford / Duncan Truswell41316110
2  GBR 1431Strait Dealer GBRDavid Franks / Graham Sunderland / Matt Reid / Helena Lucas23144UFD14
3  GBR 1441HighlifePeter Rogers / Peter Rogers / Ben Cooper / Matt Haslam72233UFD17
4  GBR 1407IceGeorge cooper / Freddie Cooper / Andrew cooper5RET621418
5  GBR 1020Sumo (Corinthian)Ted Blowers / Oli Aldridge / Harry Bowerman / Sam Penhaul Smith34478321
6  GBR 1148Silver LiningMurray Chapples / Laurence Mead / Jonty Cook65552RET23
7  GBR 1014PalaverBruce Huber / Edmund Peel / Angus Hemmings1RETDNS65224
8  GBR 1329Stampede (Corinthian)Rob Goddard / Antoine Conon / Rob Davey86889535
9  GBR 1194Mano (Corinthian)Mike Lee / Matt Tozer / Felix Trattner / Sean Starkey97797636

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