On Saturday morning racing commenced at 8am in a brisk 8-10kts North Westerly wafting away any remaining cobwebs from the night before. Wessex Exempt remained at the top of the Swiss League for most of the day and took a notable win from Southampton Male Voice Choir to win the Dobson Trophy and a bottle of port, courtesy of Ian Dobson’s capsize. As the breeze picked up into the afternoon a ‘rumoured 25 boats’ capsized and the decision was taken by race officials to switch to storm sails. The beach team executed a speedy change to cutdowns and with less than 15 minutes delay the boats were back out on the water and continuing with the Swiss League. The increasing wind made for great spectator sport as the Ancient Mariners assembled up at the clubhouse to christen a newly sponsored firefly and enjoy a fabulous spread provided by Alex Lauro (Motioneventsliverpool). Rolling starts for the remainder of the afternoon left race office happy to conclude racing by 5.30pm, allowing competitors time for a speedy shower before the evenings shenanigans commenced.
The infamous Saturday night Wilson dinner was launched with Pimm’s on the patio and an umpire drinks reception on the upper balcony. After a few Mexican waves and a dash for the pre-ordered wine everyone settled down to enjoy a fabulous three course meal. Peter Price was celebrated for his lifetime contribution to the Wilson Trophy and Emmett Smith was the proud recipient of the Joyce Evans Award for his crewing ability and commitment to the sport of team racing. Guest speaker Leo Dixon got a large proportion of the room to join him in shots at the bar and thus the night’s antics ensued.
Sunday dawn found a pair of boxers at the top of a firefly mast. Conveniently the perpetrator had sewn in a name tag so they were quickly returned to their rightful owner before racing got underway at 8am. Club members arrived at a more leisurely time to enjoy a Super Sunday Brunch and Event Director Adam Whittle credited the army of ‘Wilson Warriors’ who work tirelessly to ensure competitors enjoy a marvellous event year on year. Team hosts, caterers, starters, finishers, race office, administrators, boatshed, and beach team- all of these individual’s efforts are immensely appreciated by both competitors and West Kirby SC.
By Sunday afternoon the marine lake was basked in sunshine with perfect sea breeze for the knock out stages to get underway. Quarter finals were hotly contested and the American teams asserted their dominance to progress three of their teams to the semi-finals alongside GBR team the Birdham Bandits. The Bandits proved their ability once again by beating Screaming Eagles in a protest filled semi-final which was briefly interrupted by a black flag hearing ashore to unpick an action packed second heat. As the finals got underway a large crowd of teams plus families, friends, and members of the public gathered in the grandstand and along the edges of the marine lake to watch the UK vs. US showdown.