Dubois wins by a point
After last night's Red Funnel Quarter Ton Gala Dinner, at which Ed Dubois and Ron Holland were the official speakers and a host of yachting's most infamous reprobates led by Bob Fisher were the official hecklers, there were more than a few sore heads this morning. Fortunately initial light airs meant a short postponement which gave everyone time to recover.
Once afloat it was clear that Quarter Ton sailing in 2006 is as competitive as it ever was and no quarter was given. One of the nicest things about this event is that it's not just about the overall leaders. Where ever you look in the fleet battles are being fought between boats of similar type and era. As the day got underway it was again between Peter Morton's Espada, and Ed Dubois' Engima. When battle commenced first blood went to Ed Dubois who took race seven by 16 seconds from Darren Marston's Catch with Peter Morton third and Tony Dodd's Purple Haze fourth. In race eight Peter Morton had to suffer the indignity of being beaten into second by his wife Louise sailing his old boat Super Q with helm Liz Rushall and crew Libby Deegan, Charlotte Lawrence and Anthony Spillerbean. Ed Dubois took third with Chris Frost and Kevin George's Tom Bombadil fourth, Darren Marston fifth and Ron Holland helming Joxer O'Brien and Neil Kenefick's Manzanita sixth.
The grins on their faces said it all as the boats lined up for the final start of the day. Down at the pin end Morty was a little over eager, tried to lose speed and suddenly found he had no where to go as Ron Holland made the perfect pin end start, squeezed him up and spat him out backwards. Being the canny devils they are the Espada crew made the best of a bad job and set off for the right hand corner across everyone's transoms. Surprise, surprise at the weather mark it was Morty who rounded clear ahead of the pack. Behind him Tom Bombadil made an incautious port tack approach, hit a wave wrong and suddenly found themselves in irons and wedged between 45 South and Enigma as the rest of the fleet careened around them. Morty went on to win the race by just over a minute from last year's QTC holders Purple Haze with Ed Dubois third and Graydon Dawson in Diamond fourth. In a final salute to the competitive and fun nature of this regatta fifth place was a dead heat between Catch, Manzanita and Odd Job!
And so we come to the prize giving which really deserves a press release all to itself. The daily prizes were awarded by Venetziani's David Dent who then handed over to regatta organiser Louise Morton. The first overall award presented was a beautifully polished walking stick for the oldest bowman which went to George Webb of Purple Haze. Next up Murphy's Law, owned by Mark Cartwright and Nick Barker, won the prize for the youngest combined crew age and Purple Haze won the prize for the oldest combined crew age (to much barracking from the assembled crowd).
The Concours d'Elegance, sponsored by Grapefruit Graphics, which was judged by the Race Committee, went to Odd Job, lovingly restored by owner Paul Treliving and his crew. Ron Holland presented a new trophy for the first production Quarter Tonner to Louise Morton and Super Q and then came the Ruffazgutz Trophy, for those not in contention for the Concours d'Elegance! This very special trophy (a lovingly crafted and formally mounted golden casting of Jim Webb's legendary beer gut) was judged by Quarter Ton Cup revival driving force Peter Morton and awarded with much hilarity to Murphy's Law, because she looks even worse today than she did when her boat builder owners found her as a virtual wreck three years ago! And finally the Royal Corinthian Red Funnel Quarter Ton Trophy (presented by the Royal Corinthian as no one can find the original Quarter Ton Cup) was awarded to Ed Dubois and the victorious Enigma team.
Proceedings were wound up by Red Funnel's Managing Director, Tom Dogherty, who thanked the competitors and organisers for a very special event and confirmed Red Funnel's ongoing support of the Quarter Ton Cup in 2007.
Click the pdf here to see full results: