The closing day of the Coutts Quarter Ton Cup 2013 produced one final stunning race in perfect conditions for the 26-strong fleet. Again the boats had to wait for wind and several of the teams will have been hoping that it would fill in early enough to run multiple races, but it was not to be and only one start was possible before the 14.30 cut off time.
With an eight point lead going into the day and a worst result of seventh Louise Morton and her crew aboard the 1980 Bruce Farr designed Espada had the regatta in the bag with a race to spare, although they still chose to come out and sail regardless.
Espada’s position might have been secure, but the battle for the remaining podium places was wide open. Rickard Melander’s Alice II, Bullit, helmed by Ashley Curtis, Ian Southworth in Whiskers and Willy McNeil & Mike Pascall’s Illegal Immigrant went into the day separated by just 6.5 points so it was game on.
Illegal Immigrant flew off the start line with the others in hot pursuit. Blackfun was closest of the chasing pack and worried away at them like a terrier with a bone, but Illegal Immigrant’s crew have more than a spot of experience between them and did a text book job of defending their position. Behind the leading pair Alice II, Bullit and Whiskers were slugging away in the front of the pack, all desperate to make it into the chocolates. It was so close on the line that the third to ninth placed boats finished within a minute of each other. Ashore it was confirmed that Illegal Immigrant was first with Blackfun second, Alice II third, Bullit fourth, Eric Reynold’s Magnum Evolution fifth and Whiskers sixth. A relaxed Espada cruised home in seventh place, just happy to be sailing in their beloved boat.
In the overall standings Espada, helmed by Louise Morton and crewed by Colette and Sam Richmond, Bethan Carden, Charlotte Lawrence and Annabel Vose, are the 2013 Coutts Quarter Ton Cup Champions. Second place went to Alice II helmed by Rickard Melander with Fredrik Brotell, James Hynes, Jamie Dongan and David Lenz. The last step on the podium was only decided on count back as Willy McNeil & Mike Pascall’s Illegal Immigrant with Willy on the helm backed up by Mark Yeabsley, Toby Mumford, Peter Vince and Nigel Young, shared equal points with Ashley Curtis and his team aboard Peter Morton’s Bullit. Illegal Immigrant just got the call up thanks to today’s win. The Corinthian Trophy went to Pierre Paris sailing Pinguin Playboy with Nicolas Guiblon, Benoit Duchenin, Pascal Rousselin and Glen Hiliguin.
After racing Louise Morton paid tribute to her crew and spoke movingly about how much the win means to her. “I was thrilled when my girls won it two years ago without me [Louise had broken her leg and was unable to sail], but inevitably it left me, and no doubt others, wondering if I really had what it takes. I came back last year trying to win it, we trained very hard, but it was not to be. This year I was much more relaxed with no great expectations and things just fell into place. The boat was totally in the groove and my team were amazing. They have really coached and supported me all the way and I truly couldn’t have done it without them. Having been involved in the organisation from the outset, seen it grow each year and knowing the truly exceptional calibre of the sailors competing, it’s a huge personal achievement to win it and I am quite bowled over and so proud of our team.”
Coutts’ Executive Director Peter Burke announced a new trophy called the Kemp Trophy, presented by Coutts in honour of Stephen Kemp, the Coutts’ Director who initiated their sponsorship of this event and who sadly lost his battle with cancer earlier this year. Stephen loved how welcoming the class is and how the event encourages people to get involved and the trophy will be presented annually to a boat which the organisers feel most embodies that spirit. The inaugural winner of the Kemp Trophy was Eric Reynolds’ Magnum Evolution which was taking part in her first ever Coutts Quarter Ton Cup and the presentation was made by Stephen’s young sons Samuel and Joseph.
As always the prize giving featured a number of special awards including The Youngest Crew, which went to David Thomas and the boys aboard Sergeant Pepper; the Oldest Crew, which went to Paul Treliving and the Odd Job team; and the Concors d’Elegance presented by Marineware which was won by Richard Fleck’s Per Elisa whose bright pink crew kit has been a stand out visual feature of the regatta.
At the prize giving Louise Morton paid tribute to the excellent job done by Rob Lamb and his Race Committee, by the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club’s team and by the many volunteers who help to run the event. She also thanked Coutts for their most generous support and looked forward to welcoming everyone back again next year for a very special 10th Anniversary Quarter Ton Cup, details of which will be announced shortly.
Final Top Five
1. GBR50R, Espada, Louise Morton – 1,3,(7),3,1,1,1,7 = 17 pts
2. SWE7744, Alice II, Rickard Melander – 3,5,2,1,(6),4,3,3 = 21 pts
3. GBR501, Illegal Immigrant, W McNeill & M Pascall – 2,4,(8),4.5,3,3,8,1 = 25.5 pts
4. FRA7891, Bullit, Ashley Curtis – 4,2,3.5,(9),8,2,2,4 = 25.5 pts
5. GBR902R, Whiskers, Ian Southworth – 5,(6),1,2,5,5.5,5,6 = 29.5 pts
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2005 – Purple Haze (1977 David Thomas design) – Tony Dodd
2007 – Espada – (1980 Bruce Farr design) – Peter Morton