Saturday October 9 did not dawn looking too promising at all. Not an isobar in sight, the Sir Francis Drake channel flat as a dab and hardly a breath of wind. The race committee postponed until 10.00am and then decided to try and get some racing underway.
With 11 teams entered the spectator catamaran donated by TMM was loaded up. Four of the teams rigged the IC24s and were towed into the harbour. Less than an hour later they all returned to the dock with racing abandoned for the day.
Sunday dawned with a similar forecast but a zephyr of a breeze was found wafting across the harbour by the inspired race committee. Racing got underway with a revised format. Gone were the planned 'round robins' and teams faced an 'it's a knockout' style first round.
Eddie BROCKBANK was first to go, beaten by Robbie HIRST. Chris HAYCRAFT took out Mark PLAXTON, Jamie BIBBY and the KATS kids narrowly lost out to Phil SHANNON of the USVI. Andrew WATERS got the better of Mike MASTERS, Richard WOOLDRIDGE dealt with Gary TURPIN and Chris ROSENBERG (ISV) got a bye.
More knockouts followed. Probably the hottest pre start of the weekend saw Robbie HIRST eventually get the better of USVI hotshot Chris ROSENBERG…much to the delight of the non partisan crowd who were, by now, enjoying a beer or two. Once Robbie HIRST got away there was no way back for Rosenberg; a weekend trip to the BVI all for around 18 minutes of racing!
Andrew Waters comfortably overhauled Phil SHANNON ending the USVI's challenge. Richard WOOLDRIDGE blew any chance he had of getting a Christmas bonus by beating his boss, Chris HAYCRAFT.
Now there were three - Hirst, Waters and Wooldridge. Waters lost to Hirst, Wooldridge lost to Hirst and Waters, leaving Hirst and Waters to battle it out in a final best of three. The Hirst boys once again demonstrated why they are the top BVI sailing duo. With crew Chris SIMPSON and Mark PLAXTON they sailed away into unassailable leads right off the line.
They did not concede a single penalty, they didn't shout at anyone and they won every race they sailed after leading at every mark. You can't argue with that. They were duly presented with the Pete Sheals Trophy with Andrew Waters taking second spot for the fourth time.
Robin TATTERSALL and Peter LORDI of St.Croix braved the hot hot sun all day and officiated the proceedings, Emma PAULL and her crew ran the committee boat and the mark boats.