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Allspars 18ft Skiff Solent Grand Prix Series - Round 2

by Tom Hill 27 Apr 13:11 PDT 20-21 April 2019

The weather gods were both kind and cruel to the U.K. 18ft skiffs last weekend for the second round of the Allspars Solent Grand Prix Series. The fleet were expecting to be comfortable on their big rigs all weekend, with rumours of summer like temperatures.

The usual suspects assembled at Calshot Activities Centre and made their way to what has become their private Skiff beach. A gem of spacious rigging and launching area and a sheltered launch out onto the Solent. The fleet had decided to test "stadium racing" for the weekend, bringing the racing closer to shore for spectators to watch. Once the wind settled, the fleet launched for some very close racing. The light winds meant it was eyes out the boats all day and the tide shuffled the deck both in prestart and around the track.

The first race was fired off incredibly quickly once the breeze settled, a testament to a good race team. The racetrack was short, but lighter winds meant there were still options. The Time Genie managed to get in front, but only just took the bullet as other teams kept them honest. The second race was again turned around quickly to make the most of the breeze. Once the fleet got going, the breeze went super light at the top mark and 3 boats were found stationary trying to get round the top mark. Union Rose capitalised on this and took the lead all the way to the finish- the team's first ever pole position!

The race team called it a day after two races before the spring tide had its way and took the skiffs out to sea! The fleet retired to a nearby pub to bask in the weather and compare accidental April sunburns before reconvening in Southampton to enjoy more beers in their usual haunts.

Sunday was set to be lighter, but unfortunately it was far too light to get racing away. Despite some promising breeze, nothing managed to stabilise for the whole day. The PRO called it a day after lunch. A decision welcomed by the teams that travelled the furthest.

So only two races sailed, but goes to show the increasing talent and close racing the Skiff fleet are developing at their base on the Solent. The Time Genie take another win, but on joint points with Rutland and ChameleonI. It looks like there will be a challenge for the overall Allspars Solent Grand Prix Series this year!

Overall Results:

1st The Time Genie, 1 4, 5pts
2nd Rutland, 3 2, 5pts
3rd ChameleonI, 2 3, 5pts
4th Union Rose, 5 1, 6pts
5th The Green Skiff, 4 5, 9pts

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