WHILE the Prince Philip Memorial Trophy this year saw a disappointing turnout of only seven entries, Mark Downer emerged victorious despite starting last in a gruelling first race.

Originally introduced in April 2021 in honour of the late Duke of Edinburgh, the Bembridge Sailing Club event was hindered by early tides and poor weather forecasts.

The contest began at 9.30am on Saturday against a chilling 15-knot easterly wind that confined the races to Bembridge Harbour.

Oliver Morgan led the first race, before Mark took over — clinching the lead from his wife (and birthday girl) Jo, and Owen Pay.

The second race saw Jo lead, however Mark overtook and won again.

Mark continued his winning streak with another victory in the third race, fending off pressure from Oliver and Owen to secure the top spot.

The competition continued up till the last quarter — recording a narrow victory, by a boat's length.

Despite windless conditions on Sunday, the results from Saturday awarded Mark the Prince Philip Cup, with Owen finishing second on countback, despite tying with Jo on points.