Checkmate ahead in the 45s
Day two of the Swan European Regatta could not have been more of a contrast to day one. The flags energetically flying and a blanket of grey cloud over the Solent combined to reveal some enthusiastic sailors on the dock about the day ahead. With the starts getting underway on time, courtesy of a northerly breeze of 13-18 knots, all the classes successfully completed all races scheduled for the day.
The Swan 45 Class sailed a windward-leeward course and were certainly keen with the majority being over the line in the first race. After a general recall the race got underway cleanly, and set the tone for the rest of the day. Three quick races were had for the Swan 45 class lasting approximately 50 minutes each and proved to be a good test of boat handling, demonstrating the importance of getting ahead off the start. Checkmate owned by Peter de Ridder scored two bullets in the first and second race of the day, finishing off with a second securing first place overall.
Peter de Ridder commented: “We did surprisingly well; we knew that quite a few boats were too early in the first race. We finished fourth but none of the boats in front of us got a finishing gun so maybe we were lucky. The second race was close with Nemo at the finish, within a second or so and the last race was very close with WISC. I think overall it is okay for today, but it is still early in the event.”
Close on their tail was Glynn Williams’ WISC achieving a respectable second, then fifth and ending the day triumphantly with a first; defending their second place after day two.
Dan Slater, tactician onboard Van Uden which came third in the first race of the day said: “Today’s racing was really good in the Swan 45 fleet, everyone was close, and the lead changes happened probably three or four times in all three races. There was a bit of a hiccup on the start of the first race with a few unsure of whether they were over the line or not, but we had a lot of fun sailing the windward-leeward races and are certainly looking forward to tomorrow for another three races.”
Class A saw their 12 mile course take them from the Squadron Line to Seafarers Ale, North East to East Bramble, back across to South Bramble, finally rounding East Lepe before heading West back to the Squadron Line to finish. Swan 62 Uxorious, owned by Colin Buffin, took the win in the first race of the day, but was closely chased by Baraka GP; a Club Swan 42 sailed by the de Graff Family scoring a consistent second in both races putting them into the lead after day 2. Dirk de Graff noted: “In the second race, we stayed close to the shore putting in some pretty good tacks. We had a few small mistakes, but made up for it downwind, overall we did well and are happy that we are now first overall.”
Silvern Swaen, the Swan 53 owned by Piet Hein Bakker, also put on the pressure finishing fourth in the first race and winning the second, successfully moved them up one place on the leader board. First place defenders from day one, the Club Swan 42 Magical Mystery Tour, sailed by the Leask Family, played it cool with a third and fourth keeping them on the podium after day two.
Class B’s 11 mile course took place between East Lepe and Flying Fish finishing centrally at the Squadron. Sloop John T owned by Iain and Graham Thompson defended their first position successfully in race 1 scoring another first, followed by a respectable third maintaining their day one position. Elan, a Swan 48 owned by Harald Baum, and Selene, a Swan 44 owned by Adrian Lower, both stepped up the pace during the day. Elan winning the last race and Selene finishing in second in both races of the day, bumping them up respectfully to second and third place overall.
Class C sailed an approximately nine mile course, taking them from the Squadron Line, up to Snowden then to Flying Fish, before Gurnard Sailing Club before finishing off rounding South Bramble and City Main then back for the finish off the Squadron Line. Swan 38, Jacobite raced by Stephen James, maintained her first position by winning the first race followed by a respectable third. Alvine XV, the Swan 37 owned by Alistair Evans, put in a sterling performance on day two achieving two seconds on corrected time, bumping them up to second overall.