First Cat C Mini race in the UK sets sail
The UK Mini fleet set off from Lymington at 1500 today on the first ever UK cat C official qualifying race under Classe Mini rules. The ground breaking UK Solent 6.50 race is organised by the Lymington Town Sailing Club and former Mini Transat competitor Keith Willis.
The course is a daunting 290 miles, two-handed, from Lymington to Plymouth, east about from the Solent; Lymington - Isle of Wight - Needles Fairway - Poole Fairway - Wolf Rock - Plymouth.
There are seven boats on the entry list and some of crews need the Cat C race in order to qualify for the RWYC Mini Fastnet that follows starting on Sunday 13 May.
Pogo 2s dominate the series fleet with the highly experienced teams of Geoff Duniam and Ysbrand Endt (NED) in Mad Spaniel, 659, and Pip Hare and Krista Ten Brinke (NED) in The Potting Shed, 743. New owner Luke Dampier races with Matt Haslam for their first time in Tom Crean, 449.
The Artemis Offshore Academy's Becky Scott, in her second season and the driving force behind much if this season's Mini training in the UK, has teamed up with Chris Noble in the Artemis 'works boat' Base Camp, 438, while racing his venerable Pogo 1 Prim 'avel, 171 , is Andy Oliver with Aussie Katrina Hamm.
There are two protos; Jake Jefferis has teamed up with Lucy Fitzgeorge-Parker for his UK debut in Mad Dog, 794, fresh from offical class racing in France, while Max Salle (FRA) is racing his much travelled Bongo 348 with his old friend Alan Peyaud.
Follow the race on yellow brick tracker and AIS at http://www.mini650.co.uk/