2017 Round Holes Trophy report


The fleet may have been modest but the competition at the front was sizzling! Six Series One boats came to the line on the River Ouse in glorious spring weather for York RI Sailing Club’s fourth year of the Round Holes Trophy.

Round Holes 2017
Round Holes Trophy Event 2017

The oldest entrant was no.20, helmed by Richard Binns from Nantwich (for whom a special exemption was need on account of his boat being too old to have any holes in his transom, let alone round ones!). The rest of the fleet comprised three plastic jobs and two more wooden boats, the newest being 10334, beautifully restored by Hugh Brazier and loaned for the event to Duncan Greenhalgh and his crew, Colin Quint who were charged with showing us just how fast a Series One in good fettle can really go!

Mike and Angela Craggs led the home team in 8921, probably the best preserved Bourne Plastics boat left in captivity, supported by Jens Kuhn and Michael Napier in 7941 and the rest of the Napier family, Nicky, Pete and daughter, Ellie, in 10197. I completed the home pack with the old yellow boat, 4615, crewed by Dorothea Debus.

The wind was light and shifty so Race Officers Pete Craggs and Phil Nelson wisely decided that they would run the event as three races back-to-back before letting us loose on the pile of cakes that awaited some serious attention in the kitchen. After a little communal boat repairing on no.20 we were all good to go for race 1. Conditions were extremely light and very variable but Duncan was still able to find the breeze and soon showed a clean pair of round holes to the rest of us. Hugh Brazier, crewing for Richard, continued to put his boat-building skills to use on the water while Ellie broke out the Easter egg in the ‘Family Napier’ boat. After 40 minutes and much perspiration the ‘shorten course’ flag went up and at the line it was Mike Craggs in second and the OYB in third.

Pete Craggs scooted off down river and finding more breeze, he shifted the whole course to a new race-area. This proved an excellent decision and in more stable air race 2 quickly developed into a terrific battle between Duncan, Mike and ourselves at the front of the pack, while Jens, Richard and Nicky (still on the chocolate), swapped places behind us. At the line it was the Old Yellow Boat by 2 inches ahead of Duncan and Colin, very closely followed by Mike and Angela.

So it was all down to race 3 and no quarter was to be given! Again, the fleet soon split into two halves with the same protagonists playing nip and tuck. Duncan made it to the line in first place but following a protest over an incident on the water he retired, leaving Mike with the honours, myself in second and Jens in third.

It was another great day of sailing and the York RISC cake was well up to standard when we gathered for afternoon tea and the prize-giving. If you missed it and have a Series One boat that needs an airing, do come and join us next year!

Steve Parry


Final Placings

  • 8921 Mike and Angela Craggs
  • 10334 Duncan Greenhalgh and Colin Quint
  • 4615 Steve Parry and Dorothea Debus
  • 7941 Jens Kuhn and Michael Napier
  • 20 Richard Binns and Hugh Brazier
  • 10197 Nicola, Pete and Ellie Napier