On 3-4 October 2015, 11 Old Abingdonians travelled from all over the world to meet in Portsmouth for a weekend of racing in the Solent against teams made up of pupils from 20 other Public schools across the country in the Arrow Trophy. This was the first year that a team from Abingdon has been entered. The team was pulled together by George Jorgensen (2012) and consisted of OAs from years ranging from 2013 to 1997.

The OAs all met on Friday evening to move the boat from Port Solent (Portsmouth) to Cowes on the Isle of Wight, where they would be based for the weekend. After a quick trip across the Solent, the team got in to Cowes just before last food orders at the Union Inn! Saturday was an early start, with the briefing at 8, and first race scheduled to start at 10. As it was, there was not enough wind to start so early, and so it wasn’t until later that racing got underway. The first race was not as hoped,  finishing in 10th place, while the team got used to sailing a new boat together. Not deterred, the team continued to push the competition hard, and ended up finishing the following races in 4th, 3rd, and 5th giving an overall position of 4th at the end of the Saturday racing.

Saturday night was not only the England – Australia game (less said, the better) but also the Arrow Trophy dinner in the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club. After some good food, and plenty of wine, most of the competitors moved in to the pubs and bars in Cowes, all aware of the early start they would have to manage the following morning.

Sunday was the final day of racing, and due to the superb performance on Saturday, Abingdon went through to the Match Racing (intense 1v1 short races) against the other boats in the top 4: Winchester, Bradfield, and Dulwich. Despite some of the crew being slightly unwell (nothing to do with the night before they assured), the match racing was successful and saw Abingdon beat Dulwich in the finals to be able to claim 3rd place overall out of 21 teams – winning the “Winchester Target”.

Thanks again to all who joined in, and also the OA club, without whom it would have been very difficult to find a team and to finance the weekend. The Arrow Trophy will be held at the same time again next year, and a team will be sought after in May who will need to raise the bar even higher!

Helm: Nick Wilkinson

Tactics: Guy Stephens

Check-Nav: David Bickerton

Main: George Jorgensen

Trim 1: Jonty Cook

Trim 2: Tom Altman

Pit 1: Own Thompson-Cheel

Pit 2: Richard Matthews

Mast: Oli Burdall

Mid-bow: Niel Fisher

Bow: Olly Bennett

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