Catherine won her first trophy – the April Fools Mug – in the hands of new owners Colin McKinnon and Neil Hart . A close look at the results will show that she was just two points clear of last year’s winner Lass. 21 boats took part in the series to show that Itchenor’s Xs are well and truly ready for the season. The 15 race series produced no less that eight different winners so we can expect tight competition for each race.
The final three races in the series were held last weekend in typical April weather – a mixture of sunshine and showers. Richard Pearson gallantly served as race officer for the whole weekend and produced a trio of interesting courses. Saturday morning’s race produced excitement from the outset when Harmony tried to squeeze in next to Betivuka on the start only to get a little too close and lose a shroud. Beaver was setting the pace at the windward mark ahead of Catherine and Lass only to retire shortly after with a broken shroud. The remaining 10 boats had close racing on a course that took them up the Thorney channel a couple of times. Lass took the honours with Catherine a close 2nd. The afternoon race saw the fleet visit the Emsworth channel. The leaders managed to avoid the start of the Merlin Rocket open meeting race start near Channel mark. Those a little further down the fleet had the misfortune of being put about by a large fleet of these dinghies but got their revenge by calling for water on them all. The winner of this race was Owaissa with Catherine again a close 2nd. Sunday’s start near Thorney proved a challenge for the race management team. The wind was moving through 60°. When the fleet got way it was on a short beat to Ella Nore followed by a long run to Channel with Princess Jalina and Lass challenging for the lead. Princess Jalina managed to hold off Lass to take a deserved victory. Thora had tacked off the start line which proved not to be a good move as she was last at the windward mark. By taking the direct route to Channel she had moved up to mid fleet and gained more places on the subsequent beat to Gardner. Thereafter she and Ilex battled it out for 3rd place – Ilex finally crossing the line ahead.
The full results are under “Racing”