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Challenger II rules the waves in Granaway Deep

The crew of Challenger II in action in Granaway Deep last weekend (Photograph by Tom Clarke)

Martin Siese led the crew aboard Challenger II to victory after an exciting and eventful day of Fitted Dinghy racing in Granaway Deep last Sunday.

The Sandys Boat Club entry won two of the three races to finish as the top boat on the day but got off to a poor start after finishing last in the opening race won convincingly by Royal Bermuda Yacht Club entry, and recently crowned Heritage Trophy champions, Contest III.

However, they quickly turned their fortunes around in spectacular fashion to lead the four-boat fleet across the line in the remaining races to complete a remarkable comeback.

“It was a very good day,” helmsman Siese told The Royal Gazette.

“We were, I think, just a little unfortunate in the first race. We were just stuck in the back and nipping at the heels of the rest of the fleet, but it was a good, close race even though we came fourth.

“Luckily we were able to turn it around for the next two races to be at the other end of the pack and just in front of those guys.

“It was good racing all round, actually. There wasn’t a lot between the boats so it was a lot of fun and I’m happy to have ended up on the right side of the fleet in a couple of races.”

Siese competed alongside Bruce Gibbons, Damien Payne, Dalin Matthew-Williams, Andrew Almeida, Michael Lopez and Michael Carvalho.

It was also a memorable day for the crew of rivals Victory and Elizabeth II, who racked up an impressive five podium finishes between them.

St George’s Dinghy Club entry Victory posted two thirds and a second while Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club rivals Elizabeth II managed a second and third.

There was plenty of drama during the close racing with Elizabeth II and Contest III hit with penalties for fouling other boats.

“It can happen, a little minor contact, and we managed to stay clear of that,” Siese added.

“It’s actually a relatively recent rule that you are able to take a penalty turn.

“I know when I started that there was no option for penalty turns. You had a little bit of minor contact and that was it. You were out and you just had to retire from the race or if you didn’t retire you would get protested against and have a protest hearing.

“Now, at least if you realise you were in the wrong and it was just a little bit of minor contact you can do a penalty turn and keep racing, which is a good thing.”

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Published June 08, 2023 at 11:42 am (Updated June 08, 2023 at 11:43 am)

Challenger II rules the waves in Granaway Deep

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