John Lewis Trophy – Saturday 19th October 23 Oct 2019
Last Saturday was the 3rd attempt at trying to run the John Lewis Memorial Trophy. In previous years there had been too much wind and this year it looked like the same would happen again as boats were launched on the Friday afternoon with gusts of 30knots. Thankfully the wind abated and 13 squibs made their way out to the racecourse in a lovely fresh breeze on Saturday morning. However, John was not going to make it easy for us as we discovered the mark laying boat tied to the back of Phoebe having over heated! This wasn’t going to stop us and working out that Pinto was in the perfect location for a windward mark, the pin end buoy was handed to Phil and Jack in Guy Fawkes to be laid whilst the leeward mark was handed to Team Spoof (much hilarity trying to tack with a large buoy squeezed under the boom!).
Once the course was laid, the racing was quickly underway and 4 short sharp races could be completed. Race 1 saw Phil Aspinall and Jack Grogan in Guy Fawkes zoom off and take a healthy lead ahead of Humphrey (Robert Coyle and Marc Rawinsky) and Spoof (Micky Wright and Alex Porteous). Unfortunately we had one early retirement as the end of the spinnaker pole connected with Malcolm Hutchings’ forehead and it was quickly to the committee boat to stem the blood with steri strips and a timmy mallet sized plaster. Thankfully he was back racing in time for the second race.
The second race was not without incident and a few boats were seen to be taking penalty turns. The pin end mark also decided it wanted to break free but the fleet took it in their stride and incorporated the slight course change until the mark could be rescued by the replacement rib (many thanks to Paul Buckley and the Otters). Thankfully it was back in the right place for the finish and whilst it was Dan Wastnage and Charlie Matthews in Heartbeat who crossed the line first it was discovered they’d been a little bit too keen off the start, handing the win to Malcolm and Jackie in Lady
Race 3 and everyone was settling in to some extremely close racing and a mass of squibs seen to round the windward mark at the same time and motor round the course. This time it was Dave Hyde in his first outing in new squib Sophie, crewed by Matt Gill, who was chasing for the podium and just pushed into third by Humphrey and Guy Fawkes. It looked like the trophy would be going to one of those two.
The fourth and final race was soon upon us and this time it was Squiggle’s turn to shine as Jono Brown and Chris Dunn returned from warmer climates and got used to being back in the squib. Spoof did their best to chase them down but the finish line came too quickly. Humphrey took third and then it was a look round to see where Guy Fawkes finished in order to work out the series results. Unfortunately their luck had run out and the team had got a little dizzy from the turns required from making friends with the various marks on the course.
With racing completed, the fleet returned back to the club and the bar. However John hadn’t finished having his fun with us just yet as the replacement rib ran out of petrol and Chris had a slightly longer wait on the north shore until a further rescue could be completed. Once everyone had got safely back, it was time for the prize giving. John’s partner, Debbie did the honours and it was only appropriate that it was John’s great friend and fellow cadet sailor, Robert Coyle who, along with his crew Marc Rawinsky, was awarded the John Lewis Memorial Trophy.