Itchenor Regain Stewart Morris Trophy – May 2017

Itchenor beat the Society 4-3 in the annual Swallow derby for the Stewart Morris Trophy on Sunday 21 May 2017. The RS200 match did not take place this year.

Team Captain Andrew Reid reports on the Swallow event:

The sun shone (it always does for this event) and the wind was perfect (ditto) for this annual encounter. The match, in the most loveliest of boats, has been contested for many decades and the Society usually acquit themselves well. A top class team with, in parts, experience of Swallows, International 14s, extreme RTW racing, and – in contrast – the Norfolk Broads was pulled together in the honour of Stewart Morris (O&CSS founder, 1948 Olympic Gold Medallist in the Swallow, and subject of the Trophy). Our team included three past or present O&CSS presidents (with just the one in the opposing team). All set.

Off we went down Chichester harbour in six Swallows generously lent by the owners and carefully minded by six delightful and neutral owners’ reps. The wind was mainly from the South, so we started from a little south of Thorney in an ebbing tide. The series was to be best of seven. The morning races were recorded in great detail by your correspondent: Society – 1,2,6; 1,2,4; and 1,2,4. Three stunning wins, with good team racing, setting the Society up for an emphatic victory after a pleasant lunch back at Itchenor.

And so to the afternoon. The wind had backed slightly to the south east and a short course was set just beyond Cobnor point, confusing all the traffic coming up and down the harbour as we went about our business. All we had to do was to win one out of four races. Piece of cake. But it was not to be. A losing 2,3,6 in Race 4 was acceptable, but the latter races were emphatically in Itchenor’s favour. There had been no greater comeback since Oracle in the 2013 Americas’ Cup … And so Itchenor recovered the Stewart Morris Trophy with a worthy fight back from a seemingly irrecoverable position. Tea and trophy presentation followed.

The event is always an excellent occasion with surprisingly good racing, and the Swallow Class is a natural and friendly home for Society members. If you would like to sail in the event next year do let us know. As a reminder, the 100th Varsity Match will be held in Swallows at Itchenor SC, with a special dinner on Friday 7th July. Full details are on the Programme page of this website.

Photo of team captains and trophy
All smiles as Society Captain Andrew Reid hands over the Stewart Morris Trophy to Itchenor Captain Simon Slater

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