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Cowes Dinghy Week at Gurnard Sailing Club

by Joyce Martin 29 Jul 2017 09:22 BST 22-26 July 2017

Gurnard Sailing Club welcomed around sixty entries to its annual Cowes Dinghy Week regatta, sailed over five days, from 22nd to 26th July. Competitors enjoyed contrasting weather conditions over the five day period, ranging from wild and windy with nasty squalls and hailstones on the Sunday, to champagne sailing on Tuesday. The strong ebbing tide during the early part of the week made mark-rounding difficult for all but the ablest of crews, and presented a challenge for those setting the courses.

The ten strong fleet of Shadows looked impressive both on the water and, occasionally, upside down. Racing was close with three different winners, and in the end the leading two could only be separated on count-back, Paul Bowen triumphing over Paul Tanner. Pete Bowen, finishing in fourth place overall, was awarded the Mike Martin Memorial Trophy for the most improved member of the fleet.

Tim and Heather Wilkins in their RS500 enjoyed the windy conditions, and were convincing winners of the Fast Handicap group ahead of Tim Harrison and Anna Marriott's B14.

With two bullets, Steve Cole sailing his Phantom took the honours in the Medium Handicap group, but by no means had it all his own way. Also recording wins in the group were the Finn of Henry Bagnall, the Laser of Ben Sharp and the RS Aero of Kingsley Brown.

The RS100 class this year was fewer in number as a result of some sailors travelling to Lake Como for their World Championships. Brett Aarons was able to put together a perfect set of results to win the class and also the Yachts & Yachting trophy for best overall performance, which he shared with this year's winner of the Laser 4.7 class.

There were ten entries in the Laser 4.7 group. Oliver Evans, fresh from his triumph in the Junior Regatta, could not be beaten on the water, meaning that Jack Oswald – despite putting together an impressive set of results – had to be content with second place overall. Ed Salter, finishing the series in a creditable seventh place, was awarded the John Davies Memorial trophy for most improved cadet.

As ever, it was the slow handicap group that attracted the most entries, the most competition and the most controversy. With some of the younger sailors finding the conditions too much for them, it was the seasoned performers who battled it out for overall honours. Wins during the week were shared by Dawn Bee (Pico Race), Luke Bradley (Mirror) and Robin Leather (RS Feva). Dawn's most consistent set of results meant that she prevailed in the end.

Trophies and prizes, donated by Spinlock and Slam, were handed out at a supper on the final evening of the regatta. Simon Davies, this year's organiser of the event, thanked Lancasters for their continued sponsorship of the regatta and all those volunteers who had worked so tirelessly to support the competitors.


1. Paul Bowen
2. Paul Tanner
3. Shaun Kellett


1. Brett Aarons
2. Giles Peckham
3. Rick Newnham

Laser 4.7:

1. Oliver Evans
2. Jack Oswald
3. Philippa Andrews

Fast handicap:

1. Tim & Heather Wilkins
2. Tim Harrison & Anna Marriott
3. Ashley Holmes & James Gadsby

Medium handicap:

1. Steve Cole
2. Kingsley Brown
3. Martin Bean

Slow handicap:

1. Dawn Bee
2. Luke Bradley
3. Amanda Harding

Yachts & Yachting Trophy: Brett Aarons and Oliver Evans

Mike Martin Memorial Trophy: Pete Bowen

John Davies Memorial Trophy: Ed Salter

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