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Contest III extends lead at top

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Contest III's bid to regain the Coronation Cup gathered momentum during last Sunday's fitted dinghy racing in St. George's Harbour.

The crew of the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club dinghy posted two bullets and a third sailing in light and shifty conditions to extend their lead in the season points standings.

Defending Coronation Cup champions Challenger (Sandys Boat Club) posted three seconds while Elizabeth (Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club) had one first and two thirds on the four and three racecourse.

For the past two years Challenger has dominated the fitted dinghy scene but have found the going tough this time around competing with a more youthful crew.

“We have a lot of youngsters in the boat and so there is a bit of inexperience,” said Challenger skipper Martin Seise.

“We are making a few mistakes which costs us when we are racing against Contest III because those guys are too good to make mistakes against.

“A lot of the crew that we had for the last two championships seasons have had enough and so now we have been a little off the pace this year with more youngsters in the boat.”

Perhaps giving a glimpse of bigger and better things to come was Seise's 16-year-old son, Owen, who nearly navigated Challenger to victory in Sunday's final race.

“He was crewing for us earlier in the day but for this last race I put him on the helm and he jumped straight out into the lead,” the veteran sailor said. “We led all the way around the course but on the last leg Contest III wound us in and did a good job getting past us.

“We held them off as long as we could but they crossed the line about a boat length in front of us. I was very happy for Owen to do so well in his first race and all in all the crew did a good job and set as best a course in the conditions.

“Overall it was a good day because everybody was pretty close. But it was a tough day for the race committee because the wind was quite variable and we had some big shifts.”

n Comet king Stevie Dickinson successfully defended his Lawrence (Stickers) Hendrickson Memorial Regatta title on the North Shore on Sunday.

Sailing with female crew Pat Young aboard Kitty Hawk, Dickinson posted three bullets and a second to finish two points ahead of nearest rivals Rudy Bailey and Antonio Bailey after discarding his worst race.

Rounding off the podium finishers a further five points adrift was Comet class president Gladwin Lambert and crew Greg Proctor aboard Melody.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the day was veteran sailor Colin Clarke who raised eyebrows after placing a remarkable fourth in the largest racing fleet of the season.

Fitted dinghy racing in St. George's Harbour on Sunday. From left to right: Challenger, Victory and Contest.
Fitted dinghy racing in St. George's Harbour on Sunday. From left to righy: Contest, Challenger and Victory.
Fitted dinghy racing in St. George's Harbour on Sunday. Leading is Challenger.

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Published August 23, 2011 at 2:00 am (Updated August 23, 2011 at 9:54 am)

Contest III extends lead at top

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