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Cooper takes top honours

Peter Bromby won the J105 fleet

Patrick Cooper retained his Bacardi Keelboat Regatta title by the narrowest of margins at the weekend.

The Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club skipper pipped Courtney Jenkins, of Gibson Island Yacht Squadron, for top honours in the International One Design fleet on a tie-break.

Cooper held a three-point advantage at the top of the leaderboard going into the final day of the regatta on Saturday in the Great Sound and did just enough to hold off the charging Jenkins.

“I love doing these regattas because you get different competition and people you don’t know and it’s just such a challenge,” Cooper said. “It was so close and [Jenkins] is an extremely good sailor.

Cooper and his crew Andrew Butterworth, Melinda Bessey, Kevin Horesfield and Ricardo Larranaga were declared the winners having won more races (three) in the seven-race series.

Nova Scotia IOD fleet’s Evan Petley-Jones, who recently won the class honours at the Chester Race Week, rounded off the podium in the IOD fleet.

Another local skipper defending their title was Royal Bermuda Yacht Club skipper Peter Bromby, who came from behind on the final day to capture bragging rights in the J105 fleet.

The Olympian and multiple IOD world champion overturned a three-point deficit to finish two points clear of RHADC skipper Trevor Boyce.

“It was close, closer than it needed to be,” said Bromby, who competed along with co-skipper Peter Schell and crew Lee white, Kevin Murphy, Henry Collie and Ron Stan.

“Pete and Ron were new to our team this year and they did a great job. The other three guys and I have been doing it for years together.”

RHADC skipper Ed Faries rounded off the podium in the J105s. There were three titles up for grabs in the J105 class, consisting of the Bermuda Series and International Series in which the local and overseas skippers alternate races.

Bromby won the Bermuda Series, while American skipper Mark Riley claimed the International Series.

RBYC skipper Mark Watson topped the Etchells fleet by a four-point margin over clubmate John Hele, with Tim Patton, also of the RBYC, finishing third.

Summing up the regatta, Tom Clarke, the race officer, said: “There was some really good competition and I think at the end of the day the right teams won. They sailed consistently and just kept pecking away in all types of conditions.

“Friday’s racing was cancelled because of too much wind. But we had breezy day on Thursday and medium to light air on Saturday, so it was nice to have a variety of breezes.”