ALL classes struggled against the flood tide in race 6 of the Wednesday series, and there were plenty of retirements as the wind faded later in the evening.
The two RS500s were the only finishers in the medium group, with line honours going to Ellie Symons and Ellie Ness, while Keith Hayden retired less than one boat length from the finish line to leave no finishers in the fast group.
Chris Hobday led home the Lasers, while Helen Ralfs was a new name at the front of the slow group in her Pico.
Sunday’s racing promised much on a perfect day of sunshine and moderate breezes, but was made more interesting by a 180-degree wind shift half way through the morning.
The fast group deserved centre stage after some close racing between the three RS700s. Ben Willows led Martin Scott after the first round and Keith Hayden’s late challenge for the lead failed by the smallest of margins at the finish — almost a dead heat — with Scott only a few seconds behind them.
After a strong start by Carl Blenkinsop, the cats were off down the Beaulieu River when the shift occurred and who should emerge on top but Robin Leather, with Laurie Gustar coming through to third.
The RS400s looked done and dusted as Paul Bowen rounded the first mark in the lead, but Graham Deegan’s inshore track put him ahead at Gurnard Ledge and he held on for the win on a shortened course.
No such changes of fortune in the second race, which turned into a procession headed by Bowen.
Ric Newnham jumped the start in the large medium group, in which the spinnaker boats were beaten on handicap by the Finn of George Cooper.
Retirements on the big course for the Lasers left Martin Bean, Chris Hobday and Georgia Caws as the only finishers, just inside the time limit.
Alex Paterson’s great start in the final group was another lead not converted into a win, with Adam Coventry winning from Mike Peddar.
The popular Fastnet Race (with proceeds to the Earl Mountbatten Hospice) is set for tomorrow (Saturday), with additional sailing events over the jubilee weekend. Details are on the club website.
BRADING HAVEN YC
Only four boats made it to the line in blustery conditions for the last of the Pico Challenge Series on Saturday.
Fred White came out top, winning all three races, with a tussle between Matt Harrison and Laurence Blackburn for second and third places with Matt getting the upper hand in securing two seconds to Laurence’s one.
With summer finally installed, eight boats in both the fast and slow handicaps took to the water on Sunday for sixth race of the spring series, however the sunny weather meant winds were very light, resulting in just a one-lap course.
Conditions favoured the four-strong fleet of Solo’s which, along with a Bahia, led the way out of the harbour. However, by the time the boats had reached the turning point at Britten two of the three Wayfarers had joined the pack.
Tight racing continued on the return to the harbour but Martyn Davies, who had lead from the start in his Solo, was not prepared to give way to the Bahia of Robin Lobb, who stayed ahead of Gareth Jones in his Solo and with all boats finishing within eight minutes of the winner, the final result on handicap was a clean sweep for the Solo’s, with Davies, Jones and Richard Coleman taking honours.
The Slow handicap was something of a non-event following confusion over a change of course due to dropping wind resulting in only Anne Barlow completing the official course.
But making the most of the situation, David Earee organised the remaining boats for a number of fun team races.
Saturday’s Little Gaffers race for Scows was sailed in a fresh easterly breeze with strong gusts but the main challenge was the weed in Mill Creek that entrapped two of the back markers.
Roger P-E was out in front at the first mark, followed by Alan Toms and Chris Jones, a lead he maintained to take the win with Chris second and Alan third.
Following the fun and games in Mill Creek, Martin Palmer was up into third place by the end of the first round. Chris made an error at C on the second round and lost all chance of a place. Martin took the lead on the second beat from B, which he held to the line, closely followed by Roger and Graeme Bowen respectively.
It was all change on Sunday with a light SSW wind for the Price Cups.
Helen Sceales dominated the Picos in the handicap class with Joy Mowle, those two taking first and second respectively, with Naomi Wickens third.
In the Scows, Roger was over the line at the start and Graeme also went back just in case. Alan, Martin and Roger emerged as the leading boats but by the run back to A, Melinda Measor and Alan were neck and neck at the front with Roger, Martin and Graeme close behind. As the wind lessened, Graeme overtook the group took the win.
SEA VIEW YC & ROYAL VICTORIA YC
Sea View Yacht Club defeated rivals Royal Victoria in the two clubs’ annual face off in Sea View Mermaids.
In lovely conditions with a light wind, a short course was set as the clubs took each other on in two races.
Mark Downer, for Royal Victoria, showed his experience and won the first race, the second being won by Seaview.
The third race was again won by Seaview with the fourth going to the Royal Victoria.
It was an exciting evening with both sides showing skill and using the Rules to their advantage; Martin Harrison (Seaview) used his skill and knowledge to force a penalty on Andrew Porteous (Royal Vic).
It was an exciting moment as the two boats neared, Andrew trying to force Martin down, he being on the starboard but windward side. Martin called "up" three times before gently nudging the offending boat. This was probably the moment Seaview took victory as at the final tally it was down to points and Seaview won by 38 points to 44.
The sailing was followed by dinner at Sea View Yacht Club.
An east north-easterly Force 5 in glorious sunshine on Saturday attracted six Redwings and two One-Designs.
Both classes were set the same course and it worked well for the Redwings, which cut through the short swell and showed good speed. However, the One-Designs found the going wet and hard.
There was little change in positions with Matt Alexander finishing two minutes ahead of Joe Robertson, with Tom Scott third.
In the One-Designs, William Bland and Jos Coad took an early lead, with challengers Peter and Jo Truman retiring after the first round.
On Sunday, tricky winds made the course very difficult and it was a lottery as to which was the best way to race.
Scott, Serena Gosling and Robin Ebsworth found the zephyrs and Robertson and Alexander found the holes.
Eventually making it back to Pepe just as a light Easterly breeze kicked in, a short beat to Garland and back was injected to boost morale as Scott won the weekend’s trophy, the Coronation Cup.
ROYAL SOLENT YC
With the Gaffers weekend in Yarmouth, it was a busy weekend for the club.
On Saturday, there was the Gaffers Race, and in the afternoon the X Class racing was cancelled because of heavy gusty winds.
Sunday of the Gaffers weekend is traditionally the Queen’s Jubilee Race for all classes.
Having had too much wind on Saturday, Sunday was the other way with very little.
The Folkboats, XODs and YODs all had a tricky little course that kept them in sight of the clubhouse with a few boats finding it too complicated and going the wrong way. The lead changed hands several times in all classes. In the Folkboats, The Otter just managed to beat Bossa Nova who had held the lead for a long time.
Gleam in the XODs, clawed her way back into the lead in the very last seconds of the race in a fickle dying wind. The YODs saw Puffin, helmed by Stephen Payne, win by a clear margin, Genista having suffered the same fate as Gleam, but only managed to get back to third behind Puffin and Diatom.
The Gaffers had a longer course which took them across The Solent and then a reach back towards Yarmouth with the boats looming out of the mist, they looked very impressive. However, as the wind became lighter some of the smaller boats struggled to finish against the tide. The results were a whitewash for Lymington boats with Zinnia beating Charmina and Alice III after the handicaps were calculated.