Teamwork was the key, says Nicholls
Solid teamwork and consistency paid off for the crew of the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club's fitted dinghy Elizabeth II.
Led by John Nicholls, the skipper, the team won the Coronation Cup for the first time in more than two decades and retained the Jubilee Cup on the final day of the season to end on a high note.
“One of the big keys for us this year was consistency,” Nicholls said. “We've had the same core crew now for a few years, and things have really come together.
“A fitted dinghy is a very small space for six people, you need everyone working together and working well to come out on top.
“It feels great to bring the Coronation Cup back to RHADC. As far as we know Elizabeth II has never won the season before, so that's 25-plus years.
“Winning the Coronation Cup is a huge achievement, and a lot of work went into it with a great result. Of course we're always focused on the Jubilee Cup, which was well-fought by Victory IV, but went our way in the end.”
The Jubilee Cup is a century-old match race between the RHADC and St George's Dinghy and Sports Club.
“We always expect to win it and I suspect the guys from St George's do, too,” Stephen Benn, the Elizabeth II crewman, said. “That's what makes it such a fantastic almost 140-year-old rivalry. Retaining the Jubilee Cup was the cap to a great season.”
The RHADC's team consisted of Roger Beach, Lance Fraser, Katrina Williams, brothers Jason and Jordan Saints, Nico Stefani, Alex Adelsberg, Patrick Mahon, Benn and Nicholls.
Praising the team's success, Neil Redburn, the RHADC commodore, said: “To win the Coronation Cup and the Jubilee Cup in the same year is fantastic.
“We're not actually sure the last time that happened, the club is obviously very pleased and as commodore I'm very proud of what they have achieved this season.
“I'd love to claim it was because of the tone from the top, but it isn't. It's really about a dedicated crew who made a commitment at the start of the season.
“Anyone who has ever raced a Bermuda Fitted Dinghy will tell you about the huge effort and commitment required to run a programme.
“We are very fortunate to have that dedication from our crew at RHADC, and it helps that they are a group of exceptional sailors who work well together. Don't tell them I said that or their heads will be bigger than normal!”