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Dickinson hangs on to win thriller

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Stevie Dickinson pulled out all the stops to clinch a record 16th Edward Cross Cup in one of the most exciting Annual Long Distance Comet Races in recent memory.

The veteran skipper beat East End Mini Yacht Club stablemate Scott Fox by five boat lengths at the downwind finish line in St George’s Harbour and then breathed a huge sigh of relief.

“Scotty sailed very good and I am so impressed and proud of him,” said Dickinson, who was accompanied onboard

Kitty Hawk by crew Gerrick Farquharson. “I don’t think he could’ve sailed any better.”

Fox, who sailed with female crew Stacey Paynter, returned the compliment.

“Stevie is world class and one of the best in this boat,” he said. “I’m disappointed I didn’t beat him but proud to run him as close as I did. He definitely knows he’s been in a race.”

Dickinson and Fox led the fleet across the start line in the Great Sound and swapped the lead several times on a beat down the North Shore all the way to the Town Cut where the race was decided once and for all.

Sailing on the left side of the course on the final run to the line, Dickinson stuck his bow in front of Fox and then gybed from port to starboard to seize the right of way before gybing back to port and sailing the last hundred yards with his rival toiling in his wake.

“We were flowing through the Cut and I blanketed him out and then got beside him,” Dickinson said. “The wind was out of the southeast across and I hit the wind first and gybed in front of him and then gybed back and went across the line.”

After relinquishing the lead Fox simply ran out of steam to mount a last gasp fightback.

“Once Stevie got ahead of me it was game over,” he said. “I covered him all the way through Ferry Reach and then he got through me in the channel sailing off wind.”

It is the second time Fox has allowed the coveted Edward Cross Cup to slip away late in the race having also blown the lead in the latter stages several years ago.

“This is definitely the closest I’ve been to winning,” he said. “I’m just glad the spectators got an entertaining race. I don’t think I’ve seen a race that exciting; two boats battling it out like that.”

Fox threatened to run away with the race after hitting a big shift near Flatts.

“I thought I was in control of the race off North Shore and then Scotty went inside of me off Shelly Bay and looked really good,” Dickinson said. “He passed me at Bailey’s Bay and I was just trying to stay close to him and even closer when we were coming around St Catherine’s Bay before I eventually passed him inside the channel. This was definitely one of my best wins I’ve ever had.”

Rounding off the podium finishers was West End Sail Boat Club stalwart Gladwin Lambert who held off a late charge from Rockal Evans and Ellie Wollman to claim third.

“It was a real treat having my son (Lorenzo) sail with me,” the two-time Edward Cross Cup winner said. “It was a slow, tactical race and very shifty but coming in (sailing closer to shore) really paid of for us.

“We made a few early mistakes and got stuck for awhile but ended up in third place so we’re very happy with that.”

Skipper Stevie Dickinson raises his hands in victory atfter winming the long distance comet race (photo by Glenn Tucker)
Skipper Stevie Dickinson jockeys for position with Scott Fox at the start of the long distance comet race in Somerset (photo by Glenn Tucker)

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Published June 17, 2013 at 9:03 pm (Updated June 17, 2013 at 9:02 pm)

Dickinson hangs on to win thriller

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