RBYC crew race to clean sweep
Contest III made a clean sweep of honours during the traditional Heritage Day Bermuda Fitted Dinghy season opener in St George’s Harbour on Sunday.
The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club boat retained the Heritage Trophy, Anniversary Cup and Leon D Fox Cup with skipper Peter Miller at the helm.
“Contest’s crew sailed conservative and did a good job managing themselves around the course,” Somers Kempe, the RBYC commodore, said.
“Superior upwind speed was the difference and they were also equal to the task off the wind.”
Making Contest III’s sweep all the more impressive was the fact the boat led every leg around the windward/leeward course. It is the third time in four years that Contest III has made a clean sweep of honours and the twelfth successive time they have won the Heritage Trophy, which is traditionally presented to the winning team by the Governor.
Last year’s Heritage Day racing was cancelled because of strong winds. However, the sailing gods were more forgiving this time around, blessing the fleet with 15-18 knot breezes that became moderate as the day progressed, making for some intriguing racing with the teams sporting their number rigs.
The tone for the day was set when Miller and crew steered Contest III across the upwind finish line in the opening race for the Heritage Trophy.
Victory, owned by regatta hosts St George’s Dinghy and Sports Club, took second followed by Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club’s Elizabeth and Sandys Boat Club’s Challenger.
Contest then retained the Anniversary Cup in the second race with Victory again taking second while Elizabeth and Challenger both sank.
Challenger sank before the start of the race and did not start while Elizabeth started but came unstuck on the second run to the leeward mark.
Contest III’s total domination was complete after claiming victory by a comfortable margin in the day’s final race for the Leon D Fox Cup with Victory again taking second followed by Challenger and Elizabeth, which withdrew after damaging its rigging on the final beat to the finish line.
The fitted dinghy is unique to Bermuda and has been in existence for more than a century.
Meanwhile, Sunday’s Flagpole to Flagpole Race in the Comet Class was postponed because of the stronger winds offshore.
East End Mini Yacht Club, the race organisers, have set aside Sunday as an alternative race day.
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