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Weymouth Yacht Regatta 2020

by Kathy Claydon 24 Sep 2020 08:13 PDT 12-13 September 2020
Weymouth Yacht Regatta 2020 - Jura, SaskiaVII, 58 Degrees and Mini Mayhem in IRC 3 © S Dadds

Forty boats from along the South Coast enjoyed a hotly contested Weymouth Yacht Regatta including Class racing for J24s, VX Ones and Squibs.

There was an excellent variety of courses to keep the competitors in six different starts on their toes in 10-15 knots for three races on Saturday and two races on Sunday in slightly lighter airs. The wind was shifting through 30 degrees so everyone was concentrating hard during some close racing. With very little chop being generated by the westerly breeze and glorious sunshine, Weymouth Bay genuinely delivered champagne sailing conditions.

All three IRC Classes were closely contested with just a few seconds separating competitors at the top of the fleets. One design J24 and VX One fleets also enjoyed close racing on both days and an informal prize-giving at the Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy.

Due to the Covid restrictions this year, we were unable to socialize in Weymouth Sailing Club and The Royal Dorset Yacht Club, but we were able to hold prize-givings on both Saturday and Sunday in the open air at Weymouth Sailing Club Hookers Dock. By organizing into smaller groups by Class, 'bumping' elbows and liberal use of disinfectant spray, competitors felt safe throughout.

The shifting wind kept Principal Race Officer, Michael Gill and his team busy, ably assisted by three RIBs repositioning plenty of laid marks to allow for an interesting variety of courses.

Many thanks were given to our sponsors: Bussells Chandlers, Moatt Sails and Kingfisher Ropes.

Winner of the overall Regatta and of IRC1, receiving the Nick Sharp Exit Trophy and the Kingfisher Marine Cup, was the very quick Happy Daize, a J112E from the Solent, skippered by James Chalmers, closely pursued by a battle between Jo90 (a J90) and four Grand Surprises. Bon Vacances, skippered by Gary Owens lead the Grand Surprises to take third.

A special trophy for the highest-placed visiting yacht was awarded to Volante (Elan 395) from Poole YC, skippered by Kevin Cross, winning IRC 3 with some tough competition from Mini Mayhem (Melges 24) and Saskia VII (J97). IRC4 was won by Suspicion, a J24 skippered by Colin Hall with Moonshadow II (Contessa 32) and Betty (Archambault Surprise) ensuring every second of the last race mattered.

The WhyBoats trophy, for the highest placed boat new to the regatta, was presented to Alchemy (Jeanneau 32), skippered by John Arnold.

Racing among the six WSC Squibs was dominated by Richard Frost and Allan Tyler in Saskia V. Second place went to Hope (Simon and Gill Vines) and third to Alderbaran (Jim Mitchell and Peter Jackson)

The VX One class was won by Ruby (Andy Crouch) with David Chandler in Chad coming a close second place - well worth the long drive from Cumbria for the event!

Competition in the J24 fleet was intense with a joint first place on Saturday but Cacoon, skippered by Nye Davies from Poole YC prevailed after the five races, with Jive, skippered by David Cooper from Saltash SC in second place.

Many competitors praised the excellent Race Officer, Michael Gill, and the friendly atmosphere throughout the event. We were pleased to see visiting yachts from as far away as Cumbria and Cornwall.

Next year's Weymouth Regatta will be held in early September. For more detail on this, along with full results and more photographs, please visit weymouthregatta.uk

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