OPYC Arrow Trophy 2017
Arrow Trophy – 14th October 2017
Preparations for this year’s regatta, against alumni of 24 Independent Schools, started early, writes Peter Kewish (Rear Commodore, Events, OPYC). We learnt from past years that practice make perfect. In an attempt to improve our chances of silverware, we chartered our boat for an extra day preceding the race and employed the skills of a professional coach to whip us into shape.
This turned out to be a good move as we sailed up and down wind in The Solent, practicing and fine tuning our tacks, hoisting the Spinnaker and jibes. With our coach guiding us through every detail, by afternoon the crew were working well as a team, the communications where clear and we all knew what we had to do and when.
Friday evening the race crew met up with the OPYC Support Rally expertly organised by Ian Williams. Drinks kindly hosted on board Andy Roy’s ‘Troubadour’, kicked of the weekends social side and continued with 20 of us in an Italian Restaurant on Cowes High Street.
This now well-oiled race machine went out on the water on Saturday morning with high hopes. 4 Fleet races later we knew that the competition was putting up a tough challenge. Our position off the start-line needed to improve significantly.
That evening, the Race Post Mortem was washed down with drinks hosted by Robin Batt both on Slipperway and on the pontoon alongside. Our chairman, Merrick Rayner had invited the crew of Roedean the join us who kindly brought canapés. The group then split, Support Rally to Murray’s and Race Crew to The Cowes Yacht Haven for dinner and prize giving.
Sunday morning saw the fleet split, the top four from Saturdays racing went on to Match Race whilst the remaining 21 boats had 2 fleet races to contend for the Charterhouse Bowl. Unfortunately for Team OP, our starts line position had not improved. However, in the final race of the regatta, we had a cracking start at 3rd over the line. The light wind had also improved as we closed-hauled it up to the windward mark, holding our position. On rounding the mark, the Spinnaker went up as perfectly as it had done all weekend but a bad jibe on the downwind leg and we lost all the ground we had made.
We finished the regatta 14th which would seem unfair considering how hard the crew had worked and performed in both practice and racing. However, the top 4 boats had knocked off the usual winning suspects, proving how high the standard of sailing was this year.
Next year’s campaign starts in earnest!
The 2017 Crew:
Peter Kewish (’89) – Skipper
Hugh Botterill – 1st Mate
Ian Kirton (’88)
James Morrow (’87)
James Minter (’88)
Andrew Gilruth (’88)
[Photos courtesy of Alastair Cameron]