Battle for the Bart – U25 Manly16s Youth Trophy

The Adam Barraclough Trophy

Manly 16ft Skiff Club presentation nights can be noisy affairs as excitement levels hit their peak. But when it comes to one particular award, there is guaranteed silence. The Adam Barraclough Trophy is less than a decade old but has quickly become one of the most sought-after pieces of silverware at the club.

Dedicated to the late Adam “Bartman” Barraclough, a popular sailor and club director for over 25 years, the trophy recognises the best under-25 crew each season, based on club championship results.

Three boats – last year’s winner Employment Hero, Fireball and Nozomi – are eligible for the “Bart” this season and are currently separated by only a few points on the overall pointscore. With the final heat of the Club Championship still to sail on the 16th March, Fireball with James Downey, James Pinnington and Sam Skeen is the boat to beat, 5 points clear of Employment Hero.

Employment Hero, featuring skipper Will Divola and crews Alistair Hunter and George Thompson, are in contention for back-to-back wins and fully appreciate the significance of the Bart Trophy. “Some of the older blokes in the rigging park were mates with Bart and talk about what a great guy he was,” Hunter said. “When we won the trophy, they were almost in tears saying how much it meant to them for us to win it. “That just drove home to us how special it is and how much of an honour it was to join some great names on the trophy.”

There is also one added advantage.

“It’s the only trophy on the night that is cup shaped so we were able to fill it with rum and Coke,” Hunter laughed. “We were allowed one free fill but think we ended up having three or four. One of Bart’s mates told us Bart would have loved that.”

Nozomi skipper Max Downey is another well positioned to articulate the importance of the Adam Barraclough Trophy. He and crewmates Hugo Kemp and Tom Mountstephens are in their first full season in the 16s fleet and are eligible for several more years should they stick together.

“Without this sort of youth competition at national and club level, there’s not a huge chance for younger sailors to win silverware,” Downey said. “The top-end of the fleet is at such a high level and often have 15-20 years’ experience sailing a 16, so we tend to be at the other end. “I think these sorts of things are really good because it gives you a chance to actually compete for something when you step out of the junior classes. “It gives skippers and crew something to work towards and boats to fight against rather than taking on an entire fleet all the time.”

Club president Rolf Cohen was a close friend of Barraclough’s and is honoured to present the trophy on presentation night. He said: “Bart was very encouraging of young sailors and it is fitting this award is named after him. “I know it would have meant a lot to him and it’s great to see the respect and status attached to the trophy. “It’s one our young sailors are very keen to win and with good reason.”

Words: Adam Lucius

Photos: SailMedia

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