Wednesday 25th May 2022
Report as seen from La Nef IV in the Sports Class.
On Friday all boats began to assemble at the Royal Southern yacht Club for registration followed by a very convivial BBQ in the marquee and surrounding deck. The evening was warm so needless to say the bar was well used!
Saturday dawned warm and sunny but windless. Our race management team managed by our friend Peter Bateson took us out to Hamble Winter Series buoy to await the wind. Looking around, we could see boats in Southampton Water sailing quite nicely with SouthamptonMet wind indicating a steady 6-8Kn. Annoyingly, we could also see boats in the Western Solent also sailing quite well, but it was not until around 12.45 that a very light breeze good enough for sailing hit our sailing zone.
At 13.00 the Sports Class was off on a triangular course in very fickle winds. To some extent it became a bit of a lottery, not helped by the fact that a ship had chosen to enter Southampton via the North Channel across which the fleet was trying to sail. Looking at the results of this race, it obviously favoured the lower handicap and older boats with Mike Garvey’s X-362S “Magec” first over the line and 2nd on corrected time whilst the winner with the lowest rating boat in the class, was the X-332 “La Nef IV” sailed by yours truly. 3rd was Johnathan Gardiner’s X-34 “Minx4”
Races 2 and 3 were much shorter windward leeward in style and were also a bit of a lottery as boats fell in and out of wind holes round the course. Not withstanding this Murray Findlay’s X4.0 “Boxcar” got into its stride setting the standard for the rest of the weekend by a clear margin.
At the end of the day the standings on the leader board were:
1st – Boxcar
2nd – Magec
3rd – La Nef IV
Saturday evening saw us all at the club for a most excellent buffet dinner. Initially the organisers had planned for us to all eat out on the terrace, but slowly but surely people voted with their feet and most elected to find space in the dining area where it was much warmer.
Sunday dawned with strong winds and incessant rain and was not looking much fun.
However, the committee boat led us all out to the same area around Hamble Winter Series Buoy for the final two races of the series. The wind was blowing from the usual SW at between 18 and 20 Kn with the occasional gust approaching 30 Kn. Our race officer set us quite a long first race with a very long beat against the tide which allowed the bigger boats to distance themselves from the smaller slower ones. This was followed by a long hairy spinnaker run back to HWS buoy followed by another beat and run back to the finish. La Nef IV elected not to fly a kite on the final leg as the wind was well up and the boat seemed just as fast with a goose winged headsail! Once again Boxcar Showed everyone how to sail in these conditions by w winning margin of some 4 minutes over Magec with Charles Blampied in his X4.3 “Clara” coming in 3rd.
I am not totally sure what happened in the 5th and final race as La Nef IV had had enough of the appalling conditions and elected, along with Clara to call it a day. Something strange happened however as xSabio, the X4.6 sailed by Ken Hitchen managed to pip Boxcar to the points with the X-442 “Alison Mary” sailed by Simon Anderson coming in 3rd.
I cannot tell you much about the racing in the Family Class, but I am sure they had as much fun as we did, given that they all sailed in identical conditions to the racing fleet.
And now a view from the Xc38 “Moocher” in the Family Class by Ed Storey
Yachts assembled at the Royal Southern Yacht Club on Friday for a very pleasant BBQ and a few drinks…
Saturday dawned warm and windless, however with an ever present promise of a decent thermal breeze developing, Peter Bateson and his excellent race team elected to send us out to sunbathe on the glassy Solent waters. Sure enough patience was rewarded with a gentle but sailable breeze after lunch.
Race 1 of the family fleet was a somewhat challenging affair in 0-6kts of wind with a long course set in the central Solent. Finding the wind and staying in it was the name of the game along with some interesting interpretations of the human jib pole on the downwind sections, no coloured sails being permitted in the family class. The fleet was closely matched to add to the tension with places changing all the time. In the end it was a small boat race with Xc38 Moocher taking the honours on handicap followed by X-302 Quickstep in 2nd and Xc42 Xstream in 3rd.
A better breeze had developed for race 2 over a shorter course, this time the faster boats had the edge with the win going to X4.3 BabyX followed by XP38 Red Five in 2nd and a consistent 3rd for XC42 Stream.
A very pleasant evening buffet and drinks hosted by the Royal Southern rounded off a lovely day on the water.
Sunday dawned rather different with strong wind and rain. Plenty of rain!
It was all to play for on the single pursuit race with all races to count. An epic course was set with a huge first windward leg against the spring tide. Wind was 18-25kts, visibility was poor, finding the marks a challenge, conditions were, its fair to say, sporting!
X-302 Quickstep started first to a small cheer from the fleet and the race was on. By the first windward mark Xc38 Moocher had overhauled the early starters and was first round however the fleet was compressing fast and it was not long before Xp44 Minx and X4.3 Baby X smoked past.
After that it was all a blur as we had some “issues” on board to attend with!
Final positions saw XP44 Minx take the bullet closely followed by the X4.3 Baby X. A number of boats decided conditions were a little too sporting and opted for an early finish, for those that finished it was with a great sense of satisfaction and there were plenty of smiles all round.
A huge thanks from all in the family fleet to Debbie and the X-Yachts team for organizing, Peter Bateson and his race team for the superb racing in difficult conditions and for Royal Southern for hosting.
We are looking forward to the next one.
The prize giving was brought forward to 15.30 where the winners were duly awarded for their efforts.
- Wooden Spoon Prize: Sky: Spencer Wicks.
- Best Drinkers: Xsabio: Ken Hitchen (and crew…)
- Most impressive Double-Handers: Quickstep: Clive Drury-White.
- Furthest Distance Travelled for the race: Boxcar: Murray Findlay (from the Clyde area…)
- Best Dressed Crew: Red V: David Hitchcock.
- Newest Owner: Skedaddle: Alex Sheffield.
- Best Dancer: Minx: Gary Fry.
3rd Family Class: Baby X: Anthony Esse.
3rd Sports Class: Minx 4: Jonathan Gardiner.
2nd Family Class: Xstream: Mike Marigold.
2nd Sports Class: Magec: Mike Garvey.
1st Family Class: Red V: David Hitchcock.
1st Sports Class: Boxcar: Murray Findlay.
Overall: Boxcar: Murray Findlay.