Prince Philip’s Cup Report 2015

23/06/2015

The 2015 Prince Philip’s Cup took place once again in Sea View Yacht Club’s Mermaid fleet. The trophy, which was originally presented by His Royal Highness in 1956, set up to promote good relations between the Cowes Clubs and which has latterly been extended to include all clubs who race sailing boats on the Solent, adorned the centre of the luncheon table awaiting the competitors for the most important interval between races 3 and 4. The winds this year reached 22 knots at times resulting in the Mermaids sailing with reefed mains and a jib throughout the competition. Martin Harrison (Race officer) set a windward leeward course with a windward spreader from SVYC’s Committee boat, Penguin, which resulted in some exceptionally close racing. During lunch all of the teams sat down, as is tradition for this event, together around one large table trading tales of the season so far. It is always refreshing to see the members of each of the different Clubs discussing merrily with the members of other Clubs their shared passion for sailing.
 
The event is always hotly contested; the Mermaids being identical apart from the external hull colour, ensure it really is crew verses crew. In order to make sure it really is a team trophy each member of the crew is required to helm two out of the six races (one in the morning and one in the afternoon). This year nine Clubs fielded teams making for a competition that was always going to be wide open until the end.
 
Peter Hunter, the competition’s long time organiser, coordinated with the Race Officer to get the competitors back at the end of racing in time to enjoy tea and cakes, followed by a few well earned beers. The races were all very close all round as you would expect from the sailors who attended but The Royal Ocean Racing Club emerged victorious. The remaining podium places going to the Bembridge Sailing Club in second and the Royal Thames Yacht Club in third.
 
With a last few tales of the day over tea and cakes, the day concluded with Prize giving, and all heartily agreeing to be back next year on the 12th June 2016 to compete for the 60th time for this marvellous prize!