Brewin Dolphin British Open Metre Regatta set sail
The opening day of the Brewin Dolphin British Open Metre Regatta belonged to everyone and no one. Each of the three windward-leeward races in two separate classes over courses set by the Royal Southern Yacht Club were won by a different boat.
The classic Six Metre class was dominated very narrowly by Fenton Burgin’s Sioma, the oldest yacht in the fleet, designed in 1927.
Meanwhile in the Modern class day one was led by one point by Tom Richardson’s Georgia.
Principal Race Office David Arnold sent the fleet on an uptide windward-leeward course in a light 8-10 knots breeze which was consistent almost until the bitter end when it dropped off completely during race three leaving the well bunched up fleet struggling against what was left of the tide. However, they were saved by a new wind from the opposite direction, most finishing with kites flying.
In the first race Peter Andreae’s Erica and fellow class Abu owned by Christian Teichmann were neck and neck, pulling away convincingly as a pair from the rest of the fleet - but the race was over for both when they then rounded the wrong mark, allowing Sioma to take the bullet.
Race 2 was not without incident either. Andy Ash-Vie’s Wildcat led to the first mark, but took it a little too close, allowing the rest of her fleet to get past as she set about extracting herself. Wildcat had good boat speed and hastily clawed her way back to second place at the finish.
“Racing was very close and it was good to see the classics and moderns so close together,” commented Class Chairman Robin Richardson who raced St Kitts. “Three of the Sixes - Wildcat, St Kitts and Georgia - are virtually identical, since they all came from the same designer, so it is a good challenge for us to race together.”
Cruising on the edges of the race course too was the 1958-built 12 metre Sceptre providing a further historical backdrop for spectators and competitors alike.
Racing continues on Thursday and Friday, with the fleet vying for the overall podium position to win the Royal Southern Yacht Club Challenge Cup. It could belong to anyone.
Results (top 3) after one day of racing
Sioma Fenton Burgin 1
Erica Peter Andreae 2
Victoria Martin Belvisi 3
Georgia Tom Richardson 1
Wildcat II Andy and Cathy Ash-Vie 2
St Kitts Robin Richardson 3