A most enjoyable weekend of sailing offering two days of tight team racing punctuated by an informative AGM and lively dinner.
This year's Holt Cup was held in Portsmouth for the first time in serving folks' memories, in order to coincide with the AGM. Saturday saw 24 races sailed at an intense pace, broken only to allow shipping movements. Each of the two flights completed two round robins, shaking off the rust and identifying the strongest teams. It was a real thrill to have a full team from HMS SUTHERLAND as well as members of HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH's Ship's Company sailing along with a skillful young team from BRNC, a full 10 sailors from Bristol URNU and the more usual representatives from East, West and the FAA. Sunshine and just enough breeze allied to a course set just off the pontoon provided Pimms sailing conditions (more wind required to deem it Champagne level) which helped create a real buzz of competition and enjoyment.
After an enjoyable post-AGM dinner and a little Tiger-Tiger action, we were blessed with good weather again on Day Two, not so sunny or warm but a steady breeze from the West which allowed the Race Officer to set a challenging long course which meant many races were only decided on the last beat.
After Day One's two round robins the fleet was shuffled overnight into Gold (for the Holt Cup) and Silver (Plate) flights. In the Silver fleet, URNU 1 suddenly found their form and managed to win all their races, putting them through to the Plate final against the steady performing FAA/West 2. Two races and two wins saw URNU 1 the Plate winners.
Meanwhile in the Cup final, BRNC stunned FAA/West 1 with a finish line reversal to gain a 1, 2 finish in the first race. FAA/West 1 struck back with some vigorous defensive sailing by Hamish Walker and Coral Crouch. So it came down to the final race and indeed the final beat but Ray Workman and Donald Andrew Willans led Hamish and Coral across the line to a 1, 2 victory and the Cup!
Great sailing by everyone; lots learnt, new friends made, new talent spotted and the legend of the Holt Cup enhanced once again.