55 Beneteaus came to the event, held in Cowes over the three days of 17-19 August. This ubiquitous class, from the world’s largest boat builder, encompassed everything from the out-and-out racer to the two-person 21ft Bénéteau 210. Despite losing a number of the 40.7s to the Rolex Fastnet Race (much to the regret of some!) this model dominated the battle in Class A. Addiction managed to see off their closest rival Tim Spalding’s Love Shack, winner of two races, by gaining three 1sts, a 2nd and 4th.
The windward-leeward mid-Solent courses also gave the First 31.7 class a chance to flex their muscles. The performance of Jason Corlett’s Eauvation from the Isle of Mann fell only four points short of winner Kurketrekker owned by Stephen Parry.
Meanwhile Class B was sailed by non-IRC yachts under the ‘Handicap Nationale’ system, which suits the crews of many less frequently raced Bénéteaus. John Cervenka’s First 405 Spirit III of Southampton scored consistent podium results to gain 1st place in Division B and Tony Brook’s First 260 It’s Now or Never won Division 2.
The so-called ‘family division’ which comprises Class C enjoyed some leisurely white sail racing including a Treasure Hunt with a mystery course from Cowes to Hamble. The overall winner was John Vincent’s Oceanis 50 Night Swimming, which also won the Treasure Hunt.
The highlight of the event was the Dubarry Jungle Ball, spectacularly decorated with jazz dancing till late, but the focus, of course, was the racing which, despite some damp and windy weather, ran with no major delays.
The event which was run by the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, was supported by UK Halsey Sailmakers, Raymarine, Dubarry, McMurdo, Musto, Ancasta, Cockburns and Red Funnel.
More pictures on the following pages..