WHSC Victor Trophy  Saturday 24 October  2020

Part of the GP14 Southern Travellers Series

Report by Gareth Wilson

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Wind: SSW - 15 gusting 25/30

Race 1:   Course: 4P, 6P, 3P, 2S, 1S, 8P, 7P

Races 2, 3 and 4:  Course: 4P, 6P, 5P, 2S, 1S, 8P, 7P

Thrills spills and flailing foils not to mention a shovel full of grit, were key ingredients of the 2020 Victor Trophy.

Late morning under a louring sky sixteen crews vied for position on the start line. Not content with delivering the prospect of foul weather, the Gods presented the conundrum of a course set with cunning exactitude by Race Officer Norman Brown.

The first beat  from the start line - adjacent to mark 7 on the north shore - to 4P, was straight forward enough, but an immediate reverse and reach with kite to 6P required careful dialing in. This device afforded the advantage, after a short reach to 3P (later changed to 5P), of a longer second beat to 2S. There then followed a tricky broad reach and gybe on or before 1S  and the climax of a long reach with kite to 8P.

All four races were for the most part dominated by visitors Sam Watson and James Hockey (Nantwich SC & Lough Foyle SC) closely followed by James Goodfellow and Richard Cornes (Harwich SC & Burghfield SC). That said, an agile and combative performance from our own Maciek and Chris Lomax (especially in the second race) ensured well earned third place honours overall.

Other notable performances/events/recollections include:  Sue Tomkins being propelled off the stern and groping in vain for the mainsheet as her crew Denise Vale pressed on singlehanded on the beat to 2S; Scooter and Michal Szady breaking their mast in Race 2; the strangely ever present yellow of Alastair Fry and Matt Johnson’s boat reflected in an impresively consistent set of results for 4th overall; Helen Allen delicately berating her crew Johannes Menzel while he remained semi submerged and to all intents and purposes barely conscious in his efforts to re-attach the rudder; nip and tuck racing throughout the series between Tomasz Szakola/ Charlie Cotter, Steve Cooper/Joel Schirir, and Keith Street/ Hannah Liptrot; the havoc caused by Yasmin Hales and Romek Kowalewski when, caught by a ferocious gust, they capsized at 7P; historical tales of the unexpected relayed by Robin Imray in the safety boat; the good humour of Andy Wadsworth and Kathy Howard; the grim determination of Andy Shrimpton and Roger Jeffs; and last but not least, Alistair Lambert and Caro Mitchel gaining a credible and seemingly effortless fourth place in Race 3.

Finally, mention must be made of the half time sustenance (cake, fruit and beer!)  despatched from the safety  boat by Liz Guest (wearing a duffle coat) - which was universally welcome.