Society finally regain Stewart Morris Trophy from Itchenor SC – June 2024

The first Sunday of June saw the OCSS and Itchenor teams meet at Itchenor for the annual match for the Stewart Morris trophy.

After a briefing over coffee in the sun on the Itchenor lawn, with much focus on the spirit of the contest, the teams took to the water in light winds and on a falling tide for a best-of-7 contest. All matches in recent memory had gone the way of the Itchenor team, and after the first 2 races, that looked likely to continue. Whilst OCSS were generally winning the starts, it was clear the ISC team were faster round the course, and the long, shifty courses allowed the ISC members to take a 2-0 lead, with both races decided on the final beat! Having changed helms, OCSS took the final race before teams headed in for lunch.

After a lovely lunch (a feature of this match!), both teams sailed back out to the racecourse for the crucial afternoon’s racing. To ensure we could get through all 7 races, the course was dramatically shortened for the afternoon, undoubtedly playing into the OCSS team’s strengths. In Race 4, OCSS won the start and were able to hold it round the course to equalise the match 2-2, and Race 5 looked to be going the same way, until an OCSS boat had to take a voluntary spin at the leeward mark, allowing the Itchenor team to finish in a 2,3,4.

OCSS needed to win the final 2 races to win the match and were able to win both starts, and hold their leads around the course, despite some tense moments, to finally regain the Stewart Morris Trophy 4-3. The trophy was presented over coffee, cake, and beer on the Itchenor lawn.

As always the OCSS team would like to thank everyone at Itchenor for organising and having us, the boat minders, the race management team, and the Itchenor sailors for a great day’s sailing and we look forward to returning in 2025.

The OCSS team pose with the Stewart Morris Trophy

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