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Etchells Sir Kenneth Preston Trophy at the Royal Yacht Squadron

by Rob Goddard 25 Aug 14:55 BST 22-23 August 2020
Etchells clean start held back by the tide during the Sir Kenneth Preston Trophy © Rob Goddard

12 socially distanced crews entered the Sir Kenneth Preston Trophy which was run in the central Solent, unfortunately Saturday's storm meant that racing was held only on Sunday and the RYS organised an early start and 4 races, planning 2 windward leeward laps of just under an hour duration. To ensure the races were completed before the cut off, all were started under the "U" flag.

Initially a strong flood tide with a westerly breeze ranging from 10-20 kts was the day's racing conditions. However, the varying cloud cover meant that big shifts and pressure variations were available for all crews to try and find. Unfortunately, as frequently happens, getting from one favourable shift to another meant sailing through light patches, so the pack was frequently shuffled.

Main interest of the day was on "Man's Best Friend" and "Swedish Blue", both of which had been practising with the new Andrew Palfrey designed jib track system, and it was evident from the fleet support RIB that the optional smaller wind angle gave a tremendous advantage in getting a clean lane, starting and laying marks, but if overcooked or not matched by the mainsail could easily jeopardise boat speed.

The first race was won by Robby Boyd sailing "Sumo GBR 1020", who chose correctly the right hand side of the course, as he hoped the wind shifted right, and with the added pressure on that side he led and convincingly won the race.

Race 2, was sailed in one of the more periods of sustained wind pressure, and Ante Razmilovic, the fleet's high wind specialist sailing "Swedish Blue", looked to have won the race by the top mark. Unfortunately a wayward halyard meant that sailing minus spinnaker or a jib at the top and the bottom of the course was slow, and this disadvantage meant that Swedish Blue slipped back into the fleet, while John Warwick's "Audrey" helmed by Will Bedford capitalised to win.

Race 3 was where the event was lost. Grant Simmer sailing "Man's Best Friend" tried a tight cross on Robby Boyd's "Sumo" and with Robbie feeling he was infringed protested, and as Man's Best Friend continued sailing scoring a podium result they took the overall lead while awaiting the post racing hearing, as Swedish Blue, now with 2 working halyards went on to win the race.

Race 4, and it was all to play for anyone of seven out of the 12 boats could now win the series, and it was Grant Simmer Sailing "Man's Best Friend" who took the race, but the series was all down to the protest room, where the port and starboard rule interpretation "reasonable apprehension of a collision" meant that Man's Best Friend was scored DSQ'd for race 3.

Robby Boyd and his crew of Quentin Bes-Green and Hugh Ward were the 2020 overall winners, and Cat 1 Corinthian winners, and now Robby has his name on a prestigious trophy winners' board in the Royal Yacht Squadron.

Overall Results:

PosBow NoSail NoYacht NameSkipper / CrewR1R2R3R4Pts
120  GBR 1020Sumo (Corinthian)Robby Boyd / Quentin Bes‑Green / Hugh Ward185418
231  GBR 1431STRAIT DEALERDavid Franks / Graham Sunderland / Ryan Orr / Vita Heathcote263718
352  GBR 1352Jolly RogerMark Lees / Hannah Peters / Lauren Mead / Toby Yeabsley547218
459  GBR 1459ExabyteShaun Frohlich / Bedford / Truswell624618
551  GBR1351Audrey (Corinthian)Jon Warwick / Will Bedford / Fraser Woodley / Hannah Hunt812819
633  GBR 1333Swedish Blue (Corinthian)Ante Razmilovic / Brian Hammersley / James Downer791522
717  GBR 1417China WightNicholas Stagg / Simon Spraggs / Matt Reid1036322
860  GBR 1460MBFGrant Simmer / Andrew Palfrey / Sam Haines45DSQ123
982  GBR 782Pulse (Corinthian)Jake Hardman / Jake Bowhay / Alex Smerdon / Alice Senior3710929
1071  GBR 1271Ziggy (Corinthian)Jamie Harris / Rebecca coles / Tom collyer / Carys randeria91281039
1194  GBR 1194Mano (Corinthian)Rosie Watkins / Ali Hinds / Anna Watkins / Ed Hampton Mathews121091142
1240  IRL 1040A Little Xcitable (Corinthian)Peter Hodgkinson / Sarah Hodgkinson / Ian Kiff111111DNF46

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