Saturday morning looked a bit wet and grim for the David Eagling Trophy when committee boat Sprite, with Arthur to set a start line at Creeksea. New assistant race officer, Ray Austin, said "It was absolute hell!"
As a reward for coming out, the sun shone on the four cruisers who made it to the start line in blustery conditions. Steve and Katherine Barham in their Verle 790, Verlette, last year's winning boat, really wanted to win to keep the handsome half model of the Eaglings' GK24 Gymcrack, on their mantelpiece. Len Cole with his crew, fresh from winning in Burnham Week, on Bavaria 38 Amanda Louise II, as another previous winner was equally keen and they had a hard fought race. The two of them finished less than half a minute apart on corrected time.
There was a new member on the start line. Rev Jon, who had his son and an expert local crew from the BSC on board his Starlight 30, Quilla, said they had a "brilliant" time and are ready for the next one. Other people attended this popular event without racing and altogether there were about 40 members of the cruiser fleet, representing ten boats, in the Ferry Boat Inn.
Wendy Eagling spoke about her husband David, in whose memory the trophy was presented, who died suddenly twenty years ago. It has now been competed for every year since 1995. She recalled David's racing enthusiasms from an unlikely start with his home built Cadet through One Designs to Gymcrack, and presented the half model to this year's winner Len Cole with crew Roy MacDonald from Amanda Louise II.