The wait is finally over and this evening the competitors completed registration, attended the skippers briefing and then enjoyed the Coutts Welcome Reception to get the 2014 Coutts Quarter Ton Cup, celebrating the revival event’s tenth anniversary, well and truly underway.
Having been welcomed by Royal Corinthian YC Rear Commodore Sailing Jamie Clark and Quarter Ton Class Secretary Louise Morton, Race Officer Rob Lamb then went through the skipper’s briefing for the regatta. Peter Burke spoke on behalf of Coutts to confirm how delighted the bank is to once again be supporting the event and the formalities were concluded by Class Chairman and revival Quarter Ton Cup founder Peter Morton who wished the competitors fun and fair racing.
This evening’s welcome reception included several special presentations to teams who have made a herculean effort to get here. Amongst those honoured with the presentation of a bottle of very special Rum Jungle Rum were the crew of Whiskers, who lost their rig less than two weeks ago. Boat manager Led Pritchard and various members of the crew have spent the intervening 12 days driving to France to collect a replacement section, getting it anodised, fitted out and stepped so that they are ready for tomorrow’s opening race. In the time honoured tradition of all Coutts Quarter Ton Cup rum presentations Class Secretary Louise Morton threw the bottle cap away before making the presentation.
Jamie McWilliam was another Rum Jungle Rum recipient in honour of the fact that he has shipped his boat Sai Kung Bell all the way from Hong Kong for the regatta. Jamie has raced the event as crew for others on several occasions, but this is his first regatta with his own boat.
Also honoured was Berry Arts who had perhaps the most traumatic journey to get his beloved The Itch here. Whilst driving down the motorway to bring the boat to Cowes from his native Holland a couple of weeks ago, the trailer hitch failed and The Itch took off on her own. She shot across a multilane highway before the front of the trailer wedged under the armco barrier, tipping the boat off to scrape down the highway, severely damaging the mast and peeling off the front of the foredeck (click here for more photos). A huge rescue operation followed during which Berry made an on the spot purchase of another old Quarter Tonner solely to obtain a suitable road trailer, coordinated the removal of the boat from the motorway, got her moved to the yard and completed repairs in record time, and finally got the boat back on the road and over to Cowes just in time for the regatta!
The forecast for tomorrow is for fairly light winds from the north east and wind permitting racing is scheduled to get underway at 10.30 tomorrow morning. We’ll be bringing you regular updates here on the blog so stay tuned.