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RS Elite at Cowes - Tri-Handled Trophy for No Riff Raff

Twenty RS Elites competed for the inaugural edition of the Tri-Handled Trophy over the first four days of Cowes Week.

It came down to the final day and No Riff Raff of Russell and Vicky Peters and Mark Darling, did enough in the final race to win the magnificent gilt-lined silver Victorian cup overall.

Race 1 on Saturday started in sunshine and 10–15 knots of South Westerly breeze from the Royal Yacht Squadron line.

Winner was No Riff Raff came out on top with Shaken Not Stirred (7 – Colin, Paul and Jamie Smith) in second and Aeolus (33 – Ossie and Tom Stewart and Bill Masterman) third.

Race 2 on Sunday once again got away from the Squadron line, although this time down tide and downwind in a 15 knot south-westerly.

No Riff Raff crossed the finish line first only to find they were recorded as OCS, so Aeolus took the win from Basil (40 – Roddy, Harry and Owen Bowerman) and Pipe (66 – Alex Mathieson, Buzz Keck).

Race 3 on Monday saw an upwind start in a shifty north-westerly from the Squadron line towards Gurnard.

Way To Blue (Nick Peters) and Centurion (101 – Robert Holbrook and Jamie Berry) took advantage of the inshore west-going current to open a big lead by the first mark.

No Riff Raff opened up a handsome margin on the run, extending their lead back across the Solent to finish a country-mile ahead on the Bramble line.

Way To Blue came in second with Pipe once again a solid third.

So, with one race to go in the four-race series and a discard still to be applied, the consistent Way To Blue were top of the leaderboard with any one of six boats still in with a chance of winning overall.

In Race 4, Foudafafa (76 – Mike, Caroline and Eilidh McIntyre) led the fleet away from a tricky Squadron line start on a foul-tide fetch to Gurnard.

Legs Eleven (11 – Paul and Caroline Fisk and Martin Grady) showed some blistering pace upwind to open up a considerable lead at Storm Force Coaching before heading downwind to Hill Head.

Eventually, Legs Eleven lost their way with a navigational error and headed off to the wrong mark.

Lazy Daisy (6 – Andy and Karen Partington and Gareth Edwards) led the fetch to the finish line, only to find they were recorded as OCS along with five others.

Aurora (84 – David and Jill Hitchcock) finished first, Way To Blue second and E’tu (63 – Steve & Mike Powell, Donald Maclean) third.

No Riff Raff had done enough by finishing fourth to win the trophy overall from Way To Blue in second, and Aeolus third.

No Riff Raff wins inaugural Tri-Handled Trophy present by Charlie and Julia Egerton-Warburton
L-R Mark Darling, Julia Egerton-Warburton, Vicky Peters, Russell Peters, Charlie Egerton-Warburton

The magnificent gilt-lined silver Victorian cup, hallmarked in 1864, was donated earlier this year by Cowes based Charlie, Julia and Piers Egerton-Warburton in memory of their son, Marcus, who passed away tragically in 2008 aged 14.

A good time was had by all at the Island Sailing Club prize giving hosted by Charlie and Julia where all competitors donated generously to a scholarship fund set up in Marcus’s name at his old school.

Sunshine, blue skies and plenty of breeze along with some classic Cowes Week racing provided the perfect setting for the inaugural Tri-Handled Trophy – long may it continue.