RBYC’s Contest III retains Heritage Trophy in fitted dinghy season opener
The crew of Contest III stamped their authority during the Bermuda Fitted Dinghy Association’s season opener at the weekend.
With Joshua Greenslade at the helm, the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club entry won all three races contested in light and shifty breezes in Granaway Deep on Sunday to retain the prestigious Heritage Trophy.
“It was good to get back out racing the dinghy,” Greenslade said. “We had a couple of new people on board doings jobs that they are just learning to do, so the team did really well.
“We had a fun time together and it was good having all four boats back out there.
“Last year there was only three of us. But having that fourth boat [Sandys Boat Club’s Challenger II] makes a big difference and makes you have to think a little more.”
Nathan Bailey, Emily Davis, Geovanni Hayward, Roger Mello, Thomas Mahoney and Christopher Adderley were the remaining members of Contest III’s crew.
Plenty of drama unfolded in the opening race with the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club’s Elizabeth II and St George’s Dinghy and Sports Club’s Victory IV both capsizing.
Elizabeth II capsized on the first run to the leeward mark and Victory IV on the final upwind beat just yards from the finish. The pair’s misfortune enabled Challenger II to clinch second behind Contest III.
Victory IV was then dealt a further blow as major equipment failure ruled them out of the second race, which saw the race committee lengthen the course in an attempt to create more passing opportunities for the fleet in the light and unstable breeze.
Contest III coped best in the conditions to win the second race with Elizabeth II and Challenger II taking second and third respectively.
The race committee then shortened the course for the third and final race of the day which proved to be the most exciting with the fleet swapping positions throughout as the shifty conditions took its toll.
Challenger II led the first two legs before being passed by Contest III who then held on to take the win and complete a clean sweep of honours on the day.
Elizabeth II finished second with Victory IV third and Challenger II fourth.
The regatta was hosted by the St George’s Dinghy and Sports Club.
“It was a successful day and I think generally the crews all enjoyed themselves and they all had some valuable lessons in terms of working out the glitches of crew work,” Michael Oatley, the race committee chairman, said.
“The racing was somewhat impaired by shifty wind conditions that made the first two racecourses challenging in terms of opportunities to pass.
“It became a settled result earlier on which made for good sailing at the boat level to sail the boat, but it wasn’t exciting in terms of opportunities to be close and pass.
“The last race of the day we were able to get the course right. We shortened it up, changed directions and the wind co-operated, so we had a good windward-leeward course with some shifting conditions which made it more exciting. The boats stayed closer, there were some changes in lead and in position during the race and so it finished on a high note.”
Contest III are also the holders of the Coronation Cup, awarded to the overall season winner, having won last year’s series that as reduced to six races because of the Covid-19 pandemic.