Sir Kenneth Preston Regatta 2024



The bank holiday weekend of the 25th to 27th May saw the Cowes Etchells fleet take to the Solent for the Sir Kenneth Preston Trophy. With this year’s series already well underway and teams beginning to gel together, the weekend brought some extremely tight racing expertly provided by the Royal Yacht Squadron race team. It was great to see a mixture of expert seniors and youth boats all battling it out for top places.

After a slightly delayed start on the first day waiting for the wind to fill in, the conditions improved to around 15 knots from the South east, providing some champagne sailing on the Hill Head Plateau. The top results were shared by the more long-standing teams whilst the youth teams got up to speed, but a special mention must go to Louise Racing with two wins starting off their weekend.

Sunday saw much breezier conditions that tested all teams, especially as the tide turned in the afternoon to provide some large chop and spray. Strait Dealer, skippered by Graham Bailey, was the pick of the fleet with three top two finishes. The less-experienced youth teams also did very well in the challenging wind strength.

Results were tight at the top coming into Monday, with it all to play for in the (slightly) calmer conditions compared to the previous day. In the end a fantastic effort by the boys from Greig City Academy, accompanied by Matt Reid, saw them with three bullets in their last four races, clinching the overall win by five points. This is a huge achievement against some high-calibre teams, without even mentioning that their helm, Corneille LePrince, had never helmed in an Etchells regatta before.

Thank you to Rupert Erskine Crum and his race team for providing a fantastic long weekend of racing, and for their excellent hospitality on Saturday evening. The tight racing was just another example of the skill amongst the UK Etchells fleet and provides great excitement for the rest of the series to follow.