In 2002 Grenada Yacht Club purchased two J24’s, in order for the youngsters coming through the Optimist scheme to have the chance to sail small keel boats. A decision was also made to have regular (and not so regular) club racers go head-to-head with each other in matched boats and of course make a party of it all! So the Grenada Yacht Club Match Racing event was born.
On Sunday 7 May, members met at the Yacht Club to board the committee boat “Wizard” supplied once again by Carib Cats. Along with the teams came family members, friends and any one else that fancied a day on the water watching boats. A few words of remembrance were said for the late Peter Doughty, a valued club member and keen racer, and then James Benoit, the Race Officer, paired off eight teams for the first round.
Initial rusty boat handling by some of the crews soon gave way to close racing and sharp manoeuvring, so that the spectators saw plenty of action as skippers battled either to keep the lead or steal it. Needless to say there was plenty of advice from the assembled crews awaiting THEIR turn.
First round results saw Robbie Yearwood who, of late, has been competing successfully in the J24, achieve three out of three. Mark Solomon, with his free and easy handling style, also notched up three wins. The steady helming of Richard Fleming led his crew to two out of three as did the (oh so calm) Nicky Steele. Second Wind took one out of three (mention should be made of Darryl Brathwaite’s almost perfect port end start, but for nine inches). And on Aquilo we also notched up a win—our new crew is shaping up, though the foredeck crew is shaping down as yet more skin is removed from knees, shins and elbows! The Italians and Horizon unfortunately had probably started on the liquid refreshment a little too soon!!
The second round presented some excellent challenges, with boats covering and circling prior to the start awaiting the opportunity to get free and head for the windward mark. With Robbie Yearwood successfully fighting off Nicky Steele and Richard Fleming winning his match against Mark Solomon, this particular round afforded the spectators a real treat as the lead changed hands constantly, whilst both skippers tried to out-fox their opponent.
The final between Blue and Socialite was anyone’s game right to the rounding of the leeward mark. Then Robbie’s experience and time sailing the J24 paid off—he crossed the line a short length ahead of Richard Fleming and was the worthy winner. The sail off for third place was between Mark Solomon and Nicky Steele, another close combat worthy of mention, the spoils eventually going to Mark Solomon. A “spirited” prizegiving aboard the Wizard—and the crew of Carib Cats transported us back to the Yacht Club.
Our thanks to the organisers for making it all possible and of course Carib Cats for not only providing the ideal platform, but for the burgers and steady supply of liquid refreshment! …Peter, just the sort of day you loved!
1936 – 2006
Peter Doughty, along with his wife Judi, arrived in Grenada from the UK over 10 years ago and made this lovely island their home. A keen and competitive sailor, he soon became an active member of the Grenada Yacht Club. Peter served as Treasurer for some two years as well as running a highly successful Junior Sailing Programme. Sadly he died before hearing the news that one of his young protégées, Sam Goodchild, now at school in England, has been invited to try out at the 2006 RYA Youth Keelboat Selection Trials. Peter and Judi were regular competitors at all the Grenada Yacht Club races and local regattas, firstly in their RS400 “Scrounge” and more recently in their Hustler “Gans.”
Peter will be greatly missed.