Royal Southern July Regatta
Only three weeks its June regatta, and squeezing in the Swallow Nationals and Oyster Week in between, so this weekend the Royal Southern YC held their July Regatta with the J/109s racing on the Saturday, and the Laser SB3s and combined J-80s & Sportsboats on both days.
On the Green line off the Meon shore on Saturday morning there was very little wind at the scheduled time for the first start for the J/109s but by 11:05 there was a strong enough breeze coming from the Needles to get the first set of races away. From then onwards the wind continued to build until by the end of the last race the gusts were hitting 20 kts. Having used a windward / leeward course for the first two races PRO Tony Lovell decided to spice things up for the last race and after the first beat all the classes had to reach across to the Simon Vigar buoy, gybe and reach back to Royal Southern before turning up wind at the original bottom mark, but a few boats didn’t absorb the new information correctly and decided to retire when they realised their error.
The J/109s mustered a total of 11 boats, which is their best fleet of the season so far, including Paul Griffiths (ex-J/105 fame) on board Jagerbomb. There are half a dozen boats that are consistently at the front of the fleet but this season no one boat has dominated as J-Dream tended to do last year. On the day it was Richard Griffiths helming Outrajeous who proved too good for the rest with three straight bullets. David & Kirsty Apthorp’s cause was not helped when they were one of three boats recalled after a premature start in race 3. They recovered to 8th place but after two seconds earlier it downgraded their overall result to 4th behind Jahmali (Mike Wallis) and Jolene II (Bruce Huber).
The 18 strong Laser SB3 class turned up a different winner in each race. Mark Gillett opened the scoring with Pambere / PB II before Solent newcomer Adam Hoad-Reddick on Orthteam took the next race ahead of John Danby’s Respect. The threesome on Duncan Pryde’s 3-some had been improving all afternoon. 5th in Race 1, then third in the next race was crowned by a win in the strongest conditions of the day. This gives them a single point lead overnight from Respect, with Orthtem another point behind.
In the J/80 class Simon Stoodley helming Wairua rattled off the first two races in fine style but then got caught out by the change in course and was one of three boats in this class to retire. This left Gordon Craigen (Swallow) to improve his overall scoreline to 2nd, 2nd, 1st and the overnight lead, ahead of the R.A.F.’s Spitfire with Tony Hanlon at the helm. One interesting fact that the new leg showed was that the Laser SB3s could fly their kites from Simon Vigar to Royal Southern but the J-80s had to white sail the leg.
Further out in the mid-Solent, the other side of the large Dragon fleet contesting the Edinburgh Cup, the keelboats had to wait nearly an hour before starting their first race. However with conditions improving all day the wait was worthwhile. PRO Simon Hand set a fairly long course for the first race and after nearly two hours it was Michael Bartholomew’s King 40 Tokoloshe that took the IRC 1 gun. Behind him there was only 8 secs separating Ian Dewhirst’s J/133 Jump and Peter Rutter’s Quokka 8, with the latter taking second place on handicap. It was a repeat performance in the afternoon for Tokoloshe and Quokka 8 with Paul Waugh’s Vamonos in third place.
In both races in IRC 2 Stiletto (John Barrett & Paul Woodward) established convincing leads over the others but behind them Neville Hodkin helming his Sigma 362 Extra Djinn just beat the higher rated Archibeau (Barbara Harmer) by a handful of seconds on the water in the morning and was close enough behind in the afternoon race to take second place on corrected time. This weekend the IRC 3 boats enjoyed some really close racing. With the front runners having very similar handicaps it is not surprising that the on the water racing was toe to toe stuff. Steve Bromley on Aneet Djinn took the gun in the morning just ahead of Mike Flood’s Induljence with Andrew Dallas’s Hullabaloo 3rd. The order of the first two was reversed in the afternoon and because of a slightly better rating Induljence led overnight with two wins.
Sunday’s weather gave a much more robust day’s racing. The southwesterly breeze started at 5 knots at 0800 and built steadily throughout the racing period until, by 14:00 it was 20 knots and gusting over 25. Adding to the general conditions the seas in the middle of the Solent were taking on their usual unpleasant characteristics of a short, steep chop that got nastier as the tide built. The starting line for the keelboat classes was off the western end of the Lee-on-Solent shore. IRC 1 got away cleanly in the morning but there were two premature starters in IRC 2 and neither returned and so didn’t score. This was particularly galling for Barrett & Woodward on board Stiletto as it took away any chance of winning the class. Three of the J/109s that had raced as a separate class on Saturday joined the IRC 2 boats and it was David Aisher helming Yeoman of Hamble that took the gun in both races. Extra Djinn sailed consistently all weekend and took the overall title. The smaller boats in IRC 3 and the Club class found life increasingly difficult and it was with great credit that Mike Flood managed a clean sweep of victories in IRC 3 on his J/97 Induljence. Club Class leaders Trevor & Philippa Pountain sailing their Impala Implacable having secured their overall victory decided that discretion was the best option and didn’t compete in the final race.
On the Sportsboat course Tony Lovell managed to complete his full schedule of races for the Laser SB3s and the J-80s but it was noticeable that the numbers on the start line had thinned significantly by the start of the final race. In the SB3 class Duncan Pryde (3-some) had carried over a narrow lead from Saturday and he scored a very respectable 3, 3, 4 in the day’s races. However, there were different winners in each race; Scott Graham (Chill Pill), John Danby (Respect) and Simon Perry (Giraffe). The winning difference was in the minor placings and with two 2nds Scott Graham took the class by one point from John Danby with Duncan 3rd. In the J-80s Cressida Robson’s Juicy won the first race and had a double helping of 2nds in the other two races behind Steve Chappell’s Jango Fett but it was Simon Stoodley, Wairau who won the class on countback from Cressida.
There is now a break until the last of the monthly regattas in September but the club will be very busy running seven more major events as well as being heavily involved as usual with Cowes Week. The best advice is to keep looking at the club website for all the latest news and information.
IRC 1 King 40 Tokoloshe Michael Bartholomew
IRC 2 Sigma 362 Extra Djinn Neville Hodkin
IRC 3 J-97 Induljence Mike Flood
IRC 4 Sigma 33 Shadowfax Andy Johns & David Rolfe
Club Class Bavaria 35 Implacable Trevor & Philippa Pountain
Laser SB3 Chill Pill Scott Graham
J-80 Wairua Simon Stoodley
Sportsboats The Big Grin David Gary
J-109 Summer Saturday Series
1st Outrajeous Richard Griffiths
2nd Jahmali Michael Wallis
3rd Jolene II Bruce Huber