The two-day regatta was held in a superb conditions in the Central Solent, a southwesterly gradient wind, ranging from 13 to 20 knots knots, provided ideal racing conditions for the fleet. After two days of thrilling racing, the flotilla returned to the safe confines of the Prince Philip Yacht Haven to enjoy the full facilities of the Royal Southern Yacht Club. Ian Schenkel and David Cummins' Ker 39 Rumbleflurg was crowned 2018 Performance 40 National Champion, and Doyle Sails Rob Larke, took a memorable victory over 'his idol' in the J/70 Class.
Half of the 16 teams racing for the Performance 40 National Championship made the podium in a thrilling series of seven races, with the championship going right to the wire. Ian Schenkel and David Cummins' Rumbleflurg took victory in the last race on countback from Blair and Beckett's King 40 Cobra. Rob Bottomley's First 40 Sailplane, with a young Scottish crew, was third.
“The Performance 40 Class is designed to provide competitive racing for similar boats racing under IRC, and we had incredibly close and thrilling racing.” commented Rumbleflurg's David Cummin. “It is fantastic to be racing for a national championship, in boats that are virtually one design, all credit to Dave Swete for coming up with the class.” added Ian Schenkel. “I hope other owners see what great racing we are having and come and join the class. Well done to the Royal Southern, the race management was top notch.”
The Club Class had three long races of one and a half hours. David Hitchcock's XP-38 Red Five was the winner with 2 firsts and 1 second. Michael Rowlatt's GS45 Giuliana was runner-up. In IRC Two, Peter & Sarah Hodgkinson's X-362 Xcitable was leading after the first day, but Simon Perry's J/109 Jiraffe had a consistent regatta to win the class in the last race. David Riley's Corby 33 No Retreat was third.
Six straight bullets for Handley & James' Mustang 30 Gr8 Banter produced a flawless display in IRC Three. Dirk & Dianne van Beek's Sabriel Jr also won all six races in the J/88 Class. Glyn Locke's Farr 280 Toucan won the HP30 Class, just a point ahead of Malcolm Wootton's Farr30 Pegasus DekMarx. (Due to a protest the HP30 results changed resulting in Pegasus and Toucan matching points with Pegasus winning overall, on countback).
In the J/70 Class Thor Askeland's Mjolnir, helmed by Doyle Sails Rob Larke, was the winner, taking the series win in the very last race. Ossie Stewart's Alfie, helmed by multiple work champion and Olympic medallist Laurie Smith, was second and Lendy Cowes Week Champion, Doug Struth racing DSP was third on countback from Niklas Zennstrom's Rán
“Laurie Smith was my idol when I was growing up, so beating him was a bit special.” commented Rob Larke. “Thor (Askeland) was unable to race this weekend, and let me take the boat out, and we were determined to do our best for him. Doyle Sails are delighted to support the Royal Southern Yacht Club, and not just for this regatta. The club recommend us to their members for our service and support, so it is proper that we give our support back to them. The conditions were spot-on for the J/70s, and overall we opted for going high downwind rather than soaking towards the mark, and our downwind speed was a big factor. I also won a Doyle Sails kit bag, which I have had my eye on for some time!” Joked Rob Larke.
In the XOD Class, Nick Brebner's Lark won all three races on the first day. However, Lark did not compete on the second day but still won the class on countback from Andy Hamlett's Satu, and Peter Baines' Sphex. Christian Sutherland's SB20 Reach Around scored a perfect five bullets to win the Mixed Sportsboat Class, ahead of Mike Lewis' J/80 Jester. Chris Body's J/80 MockinJay was third.
During the two day regatta, many sailors and members enjoyed the facilities of the Royal Southern including being entertained by a Madonna tribute band on Saturday evening. The Doyle Sails September Regatta Prize Giving was held in the Upper Bar of the Royal Southern Yacht Club. Tom Milne, Managing Director Doyle Sails UK, officiated at the Prize Giving. Royal Southern YC Commodore Karen Henderson-Williams, who was racing on Red Five, commented: “Many thanks to Doyle Sails for supporting the regatta, and a big thank you to our race officers, Peter Bateson and Jane Windsor, and their team of volunteers that have worked tirelessly to provide excellent racing for all the competitors."