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Royal Southern Yacht Club May Regatta

by Louay Habib 9 May 21:38 PDT 8-9 May 2021

The Royal Southern Yacht Club May Regatta, supported by Doyle Sails, was the first big open event of the year for the prestigious yacht club located on the Hamble River. 72 teams enjoyed thrilling racing in The Solent with seven classes racing on two racecourses.

Congratulations to the class winners: Tony & Sally Mack's J/111 McFly, Glyn Locke's Farr 280 Toucan, J/112E Happy Daize skippered by James Chalmers, Quarter Tonner Protis helmed by Ian Southworth, David Hitchcock's XP38 Red Five, Simon Patterson's J/70 Standfast and Peter Baines' XOD Felix.

The first day was cancelled due to high winds but it was well worth the wait. On Sunday, a southerly wind, piping up to over 20 knots in the gusts, delivered excellent racing conditions. The key areas to a top performance was spotting the shifts in wind direction and staying in the best breeze.

Full Results at yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eID=14379

Black Group - PRO Peter Bateson

Tony & Sally Mack's J/111 McFly was the winner in IRC 1. The 16-boat fleet was bristling with high performance yachts flying hi-tech sails. Chris Jones & Louise Jones Makin's J/111 JourneyMaker 11 was second, just a point ahead of Michael Blair & Stevie Beckett's King 40 Cobra.

"McFly goes well in the light and planes in the heavy, so to win in medium strength air, in that fleet, was really very pleasing," commented Tony Mack. "The afterguard made some great calls, gybing away into better pressure. We could literally talk to JourneyMaker, we were that close. On the helm I don't get much chance to look around, but there are some really good sailors right through the class."

In the eight-strong HP30 Class, Glyn Locke's Farr 280 Toucan, with son Alex on the stick, won two out of three races to take the podium. Jamie Rankin's Farr 280 Pandemonium was second. Competing in their first race with a new boat, Alain Waha's FarEast 28 Cogital was third.

"Really good fun with great racing," enthused Toucan's Alex Locke. "It was super-shifty and playing the puffs, the variations and the angles...it was all on! We had a few tricky starts, but we kept fighting and taking the opportunities. Looking at the quality of teams in our fleet, this is going to be a really exciting season."

Team Knight Build, racing J/112E Happy Daize and skippered by James Chalmers, was the winner of IRC 2. Gordon Craigen's J/105 Jacana was second on countback from Mike & Susie Yates' J/109 Jago. In IRC 3, Team Hamble racing Quarter Tonner Protis scored three straight bullets to win the class. Ian Handley & Tim James' Mustang 30 Gr8 Banter was second with Olly & Sam Love's SJ320 Frank3 in third.

"We are sailing covid-compliant, so just six on board, making the short races quite hard work," commented Happy Daize's James Chalmers. "It is all about, teamwork racing shorthanded and they were just brilliant today. The boat's going well, and it is lovely to be back out racing. We can't wait for the next regatta, when we will be fully crewed."

In the Club Class, David Hitchcock's XP38 Red Five was the winner, just a point ahead of two well sailed Contessa 32s. Martin Collen's Andaxi won two races but did not compete in Race 3 to place second on countback from Mark Catherall's Teela.

"Really well-organised racing in excellent conditions, it was wonderful," smiled Red Five's David Hitchcock. "It was quite a sight with so many yachts racing. Red Five is very much a team of family and friends that have known each other for over 40 years, it was a real pleasure to be out racing again."

White Group - CRO Tom Rusbridge with Tanya Robinson

The 19-strong J/70 Class was racing in the inaugural J/70 UK Sprint Series. Five short, sharp races on a tight windward leeward course were designed for adrenalin pumping action. Simon Patterson's Standfast was the event winner, scoring two bullets. Paul Ward's Eat Sleep J Repeat was in the top three for every race but was second by a single point. Martin Dent's Jelvis was third, similarly just a point behind Paul Ward's team. Charles Thompson's Brutus II was fourth, scoring a race win in his brand-new J/70.

In the XOD Class, Peter Baines' Felix won two of today's races to win by a point from Gary Rossall's Little X. Andy Hamlett's Satu was third.

All racing activities were designed to follow RYA Guidelines for Coronavirus restrictions. Whilst a prize-giving was not organised, the expansive Quarter Deck and Marquee at the Royal Southern Clubhouse was open for sailors, adhering to UK Government Coronavirus restrictions. The Royal Southern Summer Series is scheduled to continue on 12-13 June with the Champagne Charlie June Regatta, incorporating the SB20 Southern Area Champs.

For more information about the Royal Southern Yacht Club please visit www.royal-southern.co.uk

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