The sun on the Solent saw the racing fraternity out in force at the weekend, with Hamble’s Royal Southern Yacht Club to the fore with
their Harken-sponsored May Regatta.
Saturday’s sunny but light and fickle conditions saw long postponements and shortened courses once racing got going.
But Sunday saw a steady breeze of around 15 knots and conditions that, for once, deserved the description of Champagne sailing!
There was hot competition among several classes, none more so than in the burgeoning J70 fleet which is preparing for its national championships this weekend.
Victory went to Just4Play, helmed by J70 fleet captain Simon Cavey. ‘We are just chuffed to bit,’ he said.
‘The whole of the racing was fantastic – to have seven or eight J70s in the fleet is really, really good.
‘On Sunday, though, we started brilliantly and had some really good boat speed and managed to get three bullets, so naturally we are delighted. It was just champagne sailing and couldn’t have been any better.’
Cavey paid tribute to his tactician Holly Scott – the 2007 Mirror world champion.
‘She was spot on and just told me where to go, which is just perfect.’
Just4Play’s 5-3-1-1-1 scoreline saw them secure a four-point winning margin over Paul and Marie-Claude Heys’ Joseph’s Coat, who held off Charlie Esse’s Baby J by a single point.
The tightest finish in the regatta came in IRC3, where Adam and Nick Munday’s Indulgence (1-2-1-4) held off Annie Kelly’s Blackjack II (2-1-2-5), with a single point separating the two J97s.
Nigel Goodhew’s Sigma 30 OOD Persephone took the final podium spot.
There was a similar situation in the XODs, with Hamish Calder’s Leading Wind (2-1-1-2-4) just shading Peter Nicholson’s Sunshine (4-2-2-1-2), with Diana Wilson’s Mischief two point further back.
It was also a close-run affair among the J109 fleet, with Mike Wallis’ Jahmali quick out of the blocks with three consecutive bullets, followed by two second places.
Jahmali had to fend off a hard-charging Tigh Soluis to take the class by just two points.
In IRC1 the striking looking GP42 Tokoloshe II looked to have a fight on its hands against its old adversary Anthony O’Leary, this weekend at the helm of the Kerr 40 Catapult which will form part of the Irish Commodore’s Cup team this year.
Catapult won the first race by just 23 seconds on corrected time, before Tokoloshe bounced back with two bullets in Sunday’s bigger breeze.
‘It’s always a winner when you can sail in 10 to 15 knots and sunshine in The Solent,’ said Tokoloshe skipper Dave Bartholomew.
‘It was just perfect and made for fun sailing. Maybe our two days of sunshine quota have been used up for the year!’