Royal Southern Yacht Club’s Summer Series gets underway

The hit and miss nature of early season yacht racing was fully displayed at the North Sails May Regatta, the first event in the Royal Southern Yacht Club’s Summer Series 2018.

While the wind refused to co-operate on the first day, Saturday 12th May, the second saw three races for most of the nine participating classes, albeit with light and challenging conditions in the early encounters.

Nevertheless, the hard work of the Club’s volunteers in the race management team put smiles on the faces of the 58 yacht crews who took part, and saw the tills working overtime in a sun-drenched Clubhouse after racing.

Cobra, Jiraffe and Antix took the top spots in IRC 1 to 3 respectively, with Pegasus DekMarx (HP30), Jongleur (J88) and Xarifa (Club Class) taking the rest of the black group plaudits.

In white group, Cosmic headed a competitive J/70 fleet, with Whimbrel winning the XODs and Evensong taking victory in the Mixed Sportsboat division.

At the well-attended prize-giving Commodore Karen Henderson-Williams paid tribute to the hard-work of the volunteer race management team led by PRO Peter Bateson and Tanya Robinson with the invaluable support of Dermod O’Malley and Nick Hollamby, and thanked North Sails for their continued contribution as sponsor.

Three races in a 16-strong IRC1 saw three different winners in what is shaping up to be a highly competitive class. On the day, the 2-3-1 consistency of Michael Blair and Stevie Beckett’s Cobra saw them emerge as clear leaders ahead of Roger Bowden’s King 40 sister ship Nifty, with Rob Bottomley’s First 40 Sailplane only pushed on to the third step of the podium on countback. Julie Fawcett’s Mat 12 Night Owl 2, pictured, took a third place in the uber-light opening race of the regatta.

IRC2 was another class with a healthy entry list, and saw Simon Perry’s J109 Jiraffe sweep the board with three straight bullets. Jock Wishart’s JPK 1080 Shaitan took two runner-up places on her way to second spot, a point ahead of Elaine, Edward Mockridge’s Elan 37.

Malcolm Wootton’s colour-coordinated Farr 30 Evo Pegasus DekMarx took the HP30 class in front of Mittens Revenge, Mikhail Tokarczyk’s Far East 28R, and Glyn Locke’s Farr 280 Toucan.

It was tight at the top of the competitive J70 class, with the top three each separated by only a single point.

Patrick Liardet’s Cosmic – pictured – edged in front, just, with a 3-3-1 scoreline to take the win ahead of Paul Ward’s Eat Sleep J Repeat (1127) and Graham Clapp’s Jeepster. Chris Taylor – EV Experts (974) – also took a race win on the way to fourth place.
Report: Phil Riley
Pictures: Paul Wyeth