Conditions out on the Solent again favoured the brave as the wind stayed up for the second and concluding day of the Royal Southern Yacht Club’s Rigit June Regatta.
While the weather was determinedly unseasonal the full-on racing brought a smile to many faces with another complete programme of races.
The popular 15-strong IRC1 class saw a dramatic change in fortunes at the top of the standings with overnight leader Cobra having a day to forget with an OCS on the first race followed by retirement in the regatta’s sixth and final contest.
Staying consistent, meanwhile, paid off for Rob Bottomley’s First 40 Sailplane, which was able to pick up a couple of extra crew after white group racing was cancelled in anticipation of boisterous conditions, which duly arrived later in the day.
Sailplane won IRC1 four points clear of Tony Mack’s J111 McFly, which was hotly pursued by a pair of hard charging international J111s, Paul van Driel’s Dutch entry Sweeny and Jorg Sigg’s Swiss team on Lallekonig.
“We were slightly fortunate as Cobra was over the line and then had a problem,” said Bottomley. “And the J111s were on fire today as the course favoured asymmetric boats – yesterday it was symmetric boats – so they came up the standings.
“It’s always interesting racing against asymmetric boats as they disappear off to the side and then reappear. Having a couple of extra crew helped as well, especially when we saw 30 knots and above.
“And I would really like to thank the race team for keeping it simple – the first course was a good one and they repeated it, which is always a good idea.”
In IRC2 Tim Goodhew’s Sunfast 3200 Cora continued its winning streak with two further bullets – taking its total to five – to win by a handsome margin from Rob and Lucinda McLean’s modified Cork 1720 Spider Pig.
Normally racing two-handed offshore with his father, Goodhew and his crew revelled in the breezy Solent conditions.
“It was a great weekend, with even more wind than was in the forecast over both days, but our boat was nicely set up for it and we were flying upwind and even more so downwind, it was good fun,” he said.
“With the whole crew on the rail it was really flying. Though we normally sail two-handed we have friends who also like to go sailing so we brought them along. We have had a lot of big wind sailing recently, so I am just looking forward to around 12 knots!”
IRC3 went to Tim Handley’s Mustang 30 Gr8 Banter with a perfectly symmetrical 2-1-2-1-21 score line three points ahead of John Allen’s X-302 Antix and David Greenhalgh’s J’ronimo, who shared the other race wins.
A further eye-catching list of results saw Malcolm Wootton's Farr 30 Evo Pegasus DekMarx win the HP30 class with a perfect series of bullets.
“Most people don’t understand that our boats are fantastic in next to no breeze, and then they are fantastic when we get 18 to 20 knots of breeze, and when people are starting to think about not going sailing we love it as the boats are strong and fast,” said Wootton.
“It was just such fantastic fun this weekend, and we were doing a steady 18 to 19 knots, it was perfect. Three races a day was just great, it was hard, physical work but it is great value for money.”
Club Class, who enjoyed another pair of races, went to David Hitchcock’s XP38 Red Five ahead of Spiritwalker and Dido. With white group cancelled, Graham Clapp’s Jeepster remained at the head of the J70 class, as did Simon Bottom in the Mixed Sportsboat category.
At a crowded prizegiving at the Royal Southern’s Clubhouse, trophies and prizes were presented by Rigit operation manager Matylda Augustyn.
Laughter greeted Royal Southern Commodore Graham Nixon’s remarks that it was entirely appropriate to have a regatta sponsored by a rigging company when the wind never dropped below 20 knots. And his thanks for the hard work of PRO Tony Lovell and CROs Ian Bulloch and Stephen Parry were warmly applauded.
The Royal Southern Yacht Club’s Summer Series continues on July 13th and 14th with the Champagne Charlie July Regatta.
The overall winner of the four regatta Series will win a fantastic all-expenses entry to the 2020 edition of Antigua Sailing Week for seven people, including flights and a bareboat charter from Dream Yacht Charter, over £7,000.
And a final word on the Rigit June regatta from one of the crew on the J111 Jitterbug as they passed the Southern’s committee boat on the way back into Hamble – “Thanks guys, a wonderful weekend, we enjoyed it a lot.”