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MacDonald has tough task to defend title

Olympian Peter Bromby will be competing in the Great Sound this weekend

By Colin Thompson

Sailing Correspondent

Heading into last year’s J-105 National Class Championship James MacDonald and the crew of Passion had nothing to lose and everything to gain.

But that will not be the case this time around as the experienced skipper finds himself in uncharted waters as the defending national J-105 champion — a distinction MacDonald and crew hope to retain in the Great Sound this weekend.

“Last year was the first time winning the national championship in too many attempts to remember,” MacDonald said.

“It’s exciting this year because we have seven entries which is good because last year we were down a bit. Some boats were damaged by the storms.”

MacDonald and crew will have their work cut out defending their crown in a formidable fleet boasting Olympic sailors Peter Bromby and Glenn Astwood.

“We’ve got Peter Bromby coming out and Glenn Astwood and, of course, they both have represented Bermuda in the Olympics so they are very good sailors,” MacDonald said.

“Plus, we’ve got the regulars in our fleet like Trevor Boyce and Jon Corless as well as Ed Faries so it’s a very competitive fleet this year. It’s going to be very exciting and whoever wins would have done a very, very good job.”

MacDonald’s crew comprises of Derek Ratteray, the tactician, Paul Watson, jib and spinnaker, Alison Hill, pit, Nick Kempe, mast, and Mary Geraghty who is on the bow.

The regatta is being hosted by the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club and will be governed by rules as defined in the Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) 2015-16.

Seven races are scheduled, with up to four races each day. Three races must be completed to constitute a championship.

The Low Point Scoring system of RRS Appendix will apply with no scores to be excluded. Prizes will be awarded to the top three boats at an awards presentation at the RHADC tomorrow.

The scheduled time of the warning signal for the first race is 10.55am each day.

“We are looking forward to [the championships] and hoping for a fair breeze,” Neil Redburn, the RHADC vice-commodore, said.