Elizabeth II lays down marker in opener
The crew of Elizabeth II produced a dominant display to lay down a marker during the fitted dinghy season opener in St George’s Harbour last weekend.
The Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club entry won two of the three trophies up for grabs, including the Heritage Trophy, which had been held by Royal Bermuda Yacht Club’s Contest III for the previous 14 years.
“The Heritage Trophy has been hotly contested, excuse the pun with Contest winning it so often, so it was nice to take that away from them,” said Roger Beach, the Elizabeth II skipper.
“They took it well and I know Contest are sort of in a developmental stage at the moment and have a good team so we can never rule them out.”
Things got even better for Elizabeth II’s crew after they won the next race for the Anniversary Cup.
The back-to-back victories put Elizabeth II on the verge of a clean sweep heading into the final race for the Leon D Fox Cup.
But it was not to be as they were forced to retire because of damaged rigging.
“We had a breakage in the third race which was disappointing but that’s dinghy racing,” Beach said. “Things break and we’ve been more fortunate than some of the other boats the last couple of years, so I guess it was our turn to have something go wrong. But overall it was probably one of the finer fitted dinghy racing days in my memory since I’ve been sailing the boat. The conditions were perfect and we enjoyed having so many people out on the water supporting us.
“The vibe in St George’s Harbour was just fantastic and we felt like we had a lot of support and were just out there doing what those dinghies are meant to do.”
Sandys Boat Club entry Challenger II won the Leon D Fox Cup.
“It’s always nice to win trophies when you go out sailing,” Owen Siese, the Challenger II skipper, said. “We were in form and had the right sails up and had a pretty straightforward race for the win.”
The crew of Elizabeth II will look to make further inroads towards a third consecutive Coronation Cup — awarded to the season’s top team — when the RHADC host the second round of racing in Granaway Deep on Sunday.
“Granaway can be quite tactical at times so we’ll just try and sail the boat fast and make good, tactical decisions and hopefully the conditions are favourable,” Beach said.
“We’ve had a good start and psychologically it’s nice to start the season off with a win which sets us off on the right foot.
“But there’s a lot of points out there and a long season ahead of us so it’s still all to play for.”
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