16 boats raced for the 2017 Manhattan Yacht Club Trophy on Saturday with club honours at stake as well as the race win. Ultimately, it was the Royal BVI Yacht Club who retain the Statue of Liberty Trophy for another year, with three of the team taking the top four places.
Returning for their second year to challenge the BVI clubs, the Manhattan Yacht Club fielded eight boats and the Royal BVI Yacht Club and West End Yacht Clubs four apiece.
The pursuit race started off Nanny Cat at 09:35 with the course taking the fleet up to Deadchest, leaving Peter Island and Flanigan to starboard, Pelican and the Indians to port before returning to the finish off Nanny Cay. A sparkling day on the water with a steady breeze made for some exciting racing with the first boat taking three and a half hours to complete the course.
First overall was the RBVIYC IC24, Black Pearl who reeled in the boats who started before them as they rounded Deadchest and proved to be impossible to catch for the faster boats chasing hard behind them. In second place was Girasoli finishing just 4 minutes behind the Pearl.
Next up was Nanny Cay KATS skippered by the Commodore of the Manhattan Yacht Club, Michael Fortenbaugh. Pulling together a scratch crew, including KATS sailor De'Sani Thomas, they put in an impressive performance to hold off the rapidly approaching J111, Spike which had started almost an hour behind them!
First home for the West End Yacht Club was The Black Pig, sneaking just over a minute ahead of teammates Wicked Winch. Seventh across the line was RBVIYC Commodore with Dances with Whales, also doubling as official photo boat.
Five of the MYC boats sailed an impromptu shortened course with Flag Shipping XV crossing the line first.
Back at the RBVIYC clubhouse, Governor John Duncan was on hand to present the prizes and the MYC presented medals of appreciation including a personal thank you from Commodore Fortenbaugh, awarding all those skippers who finished behind him with a medal!
Thank you to all the sailors from all three clubs, but particularly everyone from the MYC, for making it such a fun event, on and off the water (and perhaps also the BVI clubs should thank the Willy T for keeping the competition busy on Friday night...)
The race was also the penultimate one in the Pussers Painkiller Series and with Black Pearl taking their third win of the series ahead of Girasoli it's looking like an exciting finish for the Dark and Stormy.
Thank you to Pam Fuller for running the race committee, ably assisted by James Gibson, to Clair Burke for the photos and thank you to Pussers and Caribbean Cellars for the skippers bags and prizes.
1. Black Pearl - Eddie Brockbank (RBVIYC)
2. Girasoli - Keith Li Greci (RBVIYC)
3. Nanny Cay KATS - Michael Fortenbaugh (MYC)
4. Spike - Sam Talbot (RBVIYC)
5. Black Pig - Gilbo Simpson (WEYC)
6. Wicked Winch - David Lake (WEYC)
7. Dances with Whales - Todd Patterson (RBVIYC)
8. Reverie - Don Pietrykowski (WEYC)
9. Wildfire - John Hayes (WEYC)
10. Foxys - (MYC)
11. Curious Cat - (MYC)
RTD - Millenium Falcon, Black Pearl (Cat 4800), Flag Shipping XV, Mercedes V, Painkiller