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GP14 Victor Trophy at Welsh Harp Sailing Club, London

by Adeel Khan & Maurice Cleal 2 Oct 13:25 BST 1 October 2022
Upwind rounding with the Wembley Stadium in the background during the GP14 Victor Trophy at Welsh Harp © Luke Howard

On this warm October day in London when the wind came as expected in the middle of the morning blowing southerly 10-12 knots gusting up to 20 knots down the whole stretch of the lake.

Visitors Young & Young from South Staffordshire Sailing Club took the top prize, but it wasn’t an easy win. Meanwhile, in the middle of the fleet Drain & Lomax, a first-time bronze entry made a surprising 8th spot overall finish ahead of the majority of the silver fleet.

The day began with Young & Young having a great star and dominating the race throughout with a clear lead. However, the visitors were chased down by local favourites Wolf & Renaud, but the visitors had a lucky first-place finish a few seconds ahead of their opponents. Third place was clinched at the finish by Lord & Rose who got ahead on the last tack before the finish as they noticed Cleal & Kowalewski almost having a capsize on a nasty header. Suffice it to say Richard Lord, ex-world Champion 1975, knew better and tacked off before the header arrived and finished ahead of Cleal & Kowalewski. Richard Lord has decided to retire from GP racing after this event.

In race 2, Team Young got away early again after the start and sailed a race of their own ahead of a battle behind them for the second spot. Wolf & Renaud kept catching up throughout the race being in the middle of the fleet at the first upwind mark. Cleal & Kowalewski attempted to hold off the challengers by covering their opponents and kept them at bay finishing seconds before Wolf & Renaud.

Sailors enjoyed a sumptuous and healthy lunch. There were 10 options to choose from including five salad options. Some wished for a siesta but the race officer kept to the schedule.

Race 3 would be a clean win for Cleal & Kowalewski who dominated the race throughout the course by closely covering their closest rivals Wolf & Renaud until the finish line.

The Victor Trophy was still up for grabs in the last race with Team Young on 5 points and both their opponents tied on seven points each. Wolf & Renaud made a clean start and stayed on top throughout the race but that was not enough. They needed Team Young to finish third or worst to win this year’s Trophy. Alas, it was not to be. Team Young finished second in the last race claiming the top position. As the joyful visitors returned home victorious, they had much to thank the club and its volunteers for making the event such a success. The visitors also took back with them a history lesson by Commodore Matyjaszczuk who explained how the victor planes which were strategic bombers designed by Handley Page in 1952 during the cold war period, were the inspiration behind the trophy.

Overall Results:

PosFleetSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1stgold14281David YoungSeonaid YoungSouth Staffs SC11‑324
2ndgold14134Mark WolfAlain RenaudWelsh Harp SC2‑3215
3rdgold14166Maurice ClealRomek KowalewskiWembley SC‑42136
4thgold14110Steve CooperAdeel KhanWelsh Harp SC‑544513
5thsilver13237Tomasz SzakolaLucy StreetWelsh Harp SC‑865415
6thgold14200Richard LordHannah RoseWelsh Harp SC3(DNS)7818
7thsilver13532Maciej MatyjaszczukCharlie CotterWelsh Harp SC65‑8718
8thbronze13Quentin DrainChris LomaxWelsh Harp SC7711‑1325
9thsilver13681Yossi ShaharJoel ShrireWelsh Harp SC‑121061026
10thsilver13818Andy ShrimptonRoger JeffsWelsh Harp SC9810‑1227
11thsilver13299Jamie IslesKana ButkovicWelsh Harp SC‑1199927
12thsilver13316James WardRichard WhitehillPapercourt SC10‑1412628
13thsilver13662Tom FletcherCaro MitchellHunts SC‑1312131136
14thbronze13887John O'SullivanJoe NounWelsh Harp SC141314‑1541
15thbronze14190Matt HallCatherineFrensham Ponds SC(DNS)11DNF1444
16thbronze13696Maurice FutermanJohannes MenzelWelsh Harp SC15(DNF)151747
17thbronze1Nat SpurlingWarren BreenWelsh Harp SC(DNS)15161647
18thbronze9Axel KoelschMark PetersonWelsh Harp SC161617‑1849

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