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Lymington Town Sailing Club Solent Circuit - Race 4

by Robin Milledge 8 Nov 2021 05:22 PST 7 November 2021
J80's Traffic Jam and No Regrets enjoy close racing in the LTSC Solent Circuit © Robin Milledge

Following the abandonment of Race three of the LTSC Solent Circuit due to gale force winds on the previous weekend, race four of the series took place on Sunday 7th November in unseasonably mild and sunny weather, with competitors enjoying a steadily building breeze roughly in line with the flooding tide, giving near perfect Solent sailing conditions.

With the early westerly wind veering to the north west the race committee had to make a short postponement just before the first start of the day to reset the windward mark, but once the course was reset the start sequence got under way without further delay. IRC Class one was the first to start with the fleet bunching at the committee boat end of the line, all eager to get to inshore and out of the string spring flood tide. A few boats were forced out resulting in some unscheduled manoeuvres to cross the start line in good order.

The same scenario played out for most of the other class starts, with only Andy Ash-Vies Custom International 6 Meter, Wild Cat choosing a port approach to the line and a quick tack on to starboard at the gun.

Courses were set to take the three handicap classes and the Folkboats on a series of windward / leeward legs around the West Solent, with course distances of between ten to fifteen nautical miles.

Andy Robert's J105 Jin Tonic lead the way in IRC Class One, to pull out a substantial lead over the competition and secure line honours and first on corrected time. Bob Bakers J97 Jaywalker was second and William Newtons J105 Jelly Baby third.

In IRC Class Two Allan Hills J30 Colleen prevailed on corrected time over Andy Hinds Hanse 29 White Mischief and Harry Hutchinson's Swan 36 Anna Mai.

Stuart Duffin's Elan 310 Flying Boat put their asymmetric spinnaker to good use in the building and veering wind, where downwind legs became reaches, to get ahead of Geoff and Mandy Stocks Giles 33 Jungle, but Richard Truscott and the crew of the Westerly Konsort Unity sailed well to keep in touch with the faster boats in the class and take the corrected time victory ahead of Flying Boat and Jungle.

The Folkboats enjoyed some close racing, with Simon Flacks Strelende taking the lead ahead or Ray Mitchell and Charles Darleys Freedom and John Cooper and Becci Wigleys Jen. Flack looked to have done enough at the last leeward mark, only to see Mitchell and the crew of Freedom lifted on starboard as they closed the finish to take the victory. Strelende was second and Jen third.

The J80's were scheduled to race two short windward / leeward courses. A start line incident saw Chris and Hannah Neve's No Regrets doing penalty turns immediately after the start of race one, but the well-practiced crew were back in the hunt by the end of the first lap, exchanging places with Toby Colliers Traffic Jam and Keith and Liam Willis's Dark and Stormy. With the course shortened to two laps No regrets looked to be heading for another first place, closely followed by Traffic Jam, only for Dark and Stormy to benefit from another lift in the breeze allowing her to overtake both her competitors on the final approach to the finish and secure the win in their first appearance of the series.

With the wind now firmly out of the north west the race committee adjusted the course for the J80's second race, giving a windward / leeward course across the tide. Another close race for the leading three boats saw Traffic Jam prevail over Dark and Stormy and No Regrets.

After two hours of racing, in a building breeze and testing conditions the fleet headed back to the bar to enjoy the offerings of series sponsor Ringwood Brewery.

Racing continues on Sunday 14th November. Single race entries are still open via the on line entry page at www.ltsc.co.uk/solent-circuit

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