JOHN Christmas won the Joe Isaacs Trophy at Castle Cove Sailing Club in a close-run race last weekend.

This year 18 boats started the race in challenging conditions with winds ranging from 14 to 20 knots. Despite the conditions, 16 boats finished and the overall winner was John Christmas in a Laser radial, with Stella Hollis and Jane Barfoot in second and third spots, both in Laser 4.7s.

Hollis was just seven seconds behind Christmas on handicap-corrected times.

The race is only open to sailors from the ‘Ladies Sailing Group’, which started in the 1980s by Sara Lloyd with a good deal of assistance from Joe Isaacs.

The group grew rapidly, and soon men were allowed to join and Isaacs was a club member for many years.

Isaacs died in 2010 in his dinghy while taking part in a race and the trophy is in his memory and is competed for annually towards the end of August.

Sara Lloyd, Race Officer, said: “The race conditions were a bit tough and I was really impressed how many sailors turned out and took part. Given the conditions, I think all the competitors should be very proud of themselves.

“The race was a fitting tribute to Joe’s memory; a generous, gregarious man.”