Red Funnel keelboats

Mary McBride reports on the Etchells, Dragons, Darings and Sonar racing in the Solent last week

Monday April 28th 2003, Author: Mary McBride, Location: United Kingdom
Red Funnel Cowes Keelboat Championships
Series 1 April 26/27

The summer’s racing season was definitely declared open at Cowes this weekend and it was certainly nothing to do with the weather - it was the typical Solent sight of Dragons, Darings, Etchells and Sonars on the start line for the opening weekend of the 2003 Red Funnel Cowes Keelboat Championship series.

The main Cowes yacht clubs take it in turns to run these weekends with their two days of windward/leeward courses and this one was under the auspices of the Island Sailing Club.

Fortunately the Island is able to call on a great deal of local knowledge and chief race officer Michael White’s team included such luminaries as Ian Lallow and veteran sailor Peter Dixon. With a less than promising weather forecast and the Solent liberally sprinkled with private racing marks it was just as well.

The first of the windward leeward races started adjacent to the renamed (formerly Kelvin Hughes). The bearing was 240 and contrary to the forecast that direction remained reasonably constant for the duration of the race.

Four classes raced. 12 Etchells,11 Darings, 13 Dragons and four Sonars. By the start of the second race a wind shift caused the committee boat to be moved to a region off Hillhead again carefully  avoiding yet more private racing marks. 

Sunday had its own problems. It started when the chief race officer contacted VTS operations control in Southampton to ascertain shipping movements. A harmless, additional friendly enquiry about the weather brought forth the reply "it's evil and 30

A hurried discussion between the race officers and some of the competing crews convinced the race committee that the event should be run from the Island shore line and not the committee boat. Flag W was duly flown to show the change of start line and flag Y to insist that all competitors wear life jackets. 

Bringing the event ashore meant that any points earned for the race would count for Solent points and not the Red Funnel Keelboat Championship.

Three classes came to the line for this one race, each starting at ten minute intervals, but sailing the same easterly course - Sunsail, Gales HSB, DB Marine and home.

The Razmilovic brothers, so successful in their Etchells on the Solent in recent years, again showed that class the way and in the Dragons last year’s class winner Aimee, for Julia and Graham Bailey and the Richardson family, was well placed along with Ivan
Bradbury in Elusive.


Daring Class
Race 1: 1 Darling (Poncia, Pegna, Preston, Snagge and
Sichel), 2 Defiant (Perry, Kingsland, Aisher and
French), 3 Dreamer (Perry).
Race 2: 1 Defiant, 2 Dynamite (Balme, Stride, Collins,
Dogilewski, Winton and Snowball), 3 Dreamer.
Sunday (Solent points only)
1Darius (Parr, Dunleavy and Kenyon), 2 Defiant, 3

International Dragons
Race 1: 1 Chaotic (G. Jordan), 2 Ecstatic (Williams
and Adams), 3 Aimee (Bailey and Richardson).
Race 2: 1 GBR 653, 2 Ecstatic, 3 Elusive (I.
Sunday (Solent points only)
1 Aimee, 2 Supremacy (Cullen and Jenkins).

International Etchells
Race 1: 1 Swedish Blue (Ante Razmilovic), 2 Festina
(M. Till). 3 Mtu Moja Na Umbwa Yake (Nils Razmilovic).
Race 2: 1 Mtu Moja Na Umbwa Yake, 2 Swedish Blue, 3
Let Rip.
Sunday (Solent points only)
1 Mtu Moja Na Umbwa Yake, 2 Swedish Blue, 3 Dangerous
Liaisons (T. Copsey).

International Sonars
Race 1: Sonic Lady, 2 Wombat, 3 Dolphin.
Race 2: Dolphin, 2 Sonic Lady, 3 Biscuit.

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