Catherine sails to victory and lands the Rattenbury Shield

THE final race of the season was sailed last Monday for the Jack Rattenbury Shield. It is a memorial trophy for the famous (or infamous) Beer smuggler of the 1700s.

Nine luggers launched from the beach in ideal sailing conditions. There was a moderate north west wind blowing over a calm sea and sunshine.

It was a good start to the race except for Cuckoo who crossed the line too early and had to return and recross.

The Percy Mitchell left the line sailing westward to the windward mark and all the rest sailed in an easterly direction.

The first lugger to reach the mark was the Mary, followed by Cuckoo in second place.

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As the fleet came through to the windward mark, there were four luggers arriving at the same time, creating confusion. In the middle of the disorder the Moondance’s sail fell down, which caused more problems.

Eventually it was sorted out and all went merrily on their way.

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The Mary completed the first round of the race ahead of Cuckoo and the Percy Mitchell in third place.

As the race progressed there was always a tight challenge between the Mary and Cuckoo for first place. Meanwhile, in the middle of the fleet, there was another contest between four luggers with the positions changing all the time. The Puffin seemed to have the best of this situation.

Coming up to the finishing line on the last tack, with the wind still holding, the Cuckoo just managed to pull ahead of the Mary and crossed the mark first with seconds to spare. The Percy Mitchell was in third place.

Race result: 1, Cuckoo sailed by G Dart; 2, Mary sailed by D Boalch; 3, Percy Michell sailed by K Gosling; 4, Twilight sailed by M Bagwell; 5, Puffin sailed by R Driver; 6, Catherine sailed by M Diplock; 7, Scrumpy sailed by G Lockyer; 8, Little Wing sailed by D Townsend. Moondance retired.

Winner of The Rattenbury Shield by handicap: Catherine.

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