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Champagne Charlie July Regatta at Royal Southern Yacht Club - Day 1

by Louay Habib 14 Jul 2019 01:10 PDT 13-14 July 2019

Glorious conditions blessed the first day of racing at the Royal Southern Yacht Club Champagne Charlie July Regatta, supported by Charles Heidsieck. A fresh northerly breeze of 12-16 knots ushered in fresh conditions, supplementing warm air and sunshine through broken cloud.

Race Officer Philip Gage set up the Black Group line in the Eastern Solent, utilising the wind funnelling out of Southampton water and the picturesque Osborne Bay. The White Group, managed by Race Officer Mike Foster, was positioned on a similar access, well off the mainland shore for a windward leeward course. The full compliment of scheduled racing was completed by all classes. After a wonderful day of racing, well over a hundred sailors returned to the Royal Southern Yacht Club to enjoy refreshments, live music, and all of the facilities of the modern clubhouse on the banks of the Hamble River.

After three races, Blair & Beckett's King 40 Cobra leads IRC One, notching up a 1-3-1 on the first day. Chris Jones' J/111 Journeymaker II is in second place, ahead of Tony Mack's J/111 McFly. In IRC Two, Simon Perry's J/109 swept all before them, scoring straight bullets, Mike Bridges' JPK 10.10 Elaine Again is second, and Rob & Lucinda Mclean's modified 1720 Spider Pig is third.

In the HP30 Class, Malcolm Wootton's Farr30 Evo, Pegasus DekMarx put in a good first day of racing to score 1-3-1 to lead the class by a single point from Jamie Rankin's Farr 280 Pandemonium. Glyn Locke's Farr 280 Toucan is just two points off the lead in third.

"Fabulous conditions, but for Pegasus we were just about able to plane downwind, while the other HP30s were more in their element. Race 2 was going well for us but we got the wrong side of a shift, and competitors could see that and capitalised on it. The forecast for tomorrow is for lighter conditions, which will be better for Pegasus. Today we had some great breeze, very welcome after a season which has seen very light or very windy conditions. We have a narrow lead, so all to play for tomorrow." commented Pegasus' Malcolm Wootton.

In IRC Three, Handley & James Mustang 30 Gr8 Banter scored two bullets to lead the class after three races. Olly & Sam Love's SJ320 Frank" finished the day second in class. Dudley Stock's X-302 Xtract is third in class, and showed great sportsmanship today after touching a mark. Dudley admitted the foul immediately to the race committee and accepted a time penalty, Xtract finished the day on a high winning Race 3. The close racing in IRC Three was exemplified in the last race of the day, with a tie for second place between Gr8 Banter and Frank".

In the Club Class David Hitchcock's X-38 Red Five won both of today's races. Ian Wilson's Soak Racing dominated the J/70 Class, winning all three races. Annabelle Body racing the Royal Southern YC J/70 Boysterous finished the day in second place, with Andrew Barraclough's Jenga8 in third.

Richard Vanner's Blanco leads the Contessa 32 Class, Alice Butcher's Panache is in second place, and Peter Sanderson's Muscadet de Havelet is third. "What a marvellous day on the water, we were a bit too eager in our second race, and had to go back, which meant we were the last of the Contessa's to cross the line, but we sailed well to win the race. It was lovely to come back to the Royal Southern after racing and meet everyone from all the classes for a drink and a chat. We are really looking forward to tomorrow," commented Blanco's Richard Vanner.

After racing the Quarter Deck on the Prince Philip Haven was full of laughter with competitors enjoying a complementary 'fizz party' with spot-prizes from Charles Heidsieck, Harken and PigBags. Live music from Katie Kelly, and a champagne quiz, got the party going into the evening. Racing at the Royal Southern Yacht Club Champagne Charlie Regatta continues tomorrow, Sunday 14th July, with racing for all classes in the Solent.

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