As the fleet left the moorings on the final day of the regatta it all felt a little strange. Firstly there was cloud cover and a very slight nip in the air … and we were sent to a different racing area. However, by the starting time the sun had burned off the clouds and we enjoyed another warm day with light breezes. Our racing area was to the North West and along the Calshot shore. A bold choice not so much for the wind as this was parallel to the shore from the now customary North to North East, but because of the tide – some 2 knots at times also from the NE.
After a couple of delays and a false start, we finally got away on what transpired to be our last race. Clear air at the start line was critical to get into the shore and the lesser tide. Half way up the first beat and close tacking up the shore six boats had broken away from the rest of the 50 strong fleet and 5 of these were Itchenor boats – Lass, Merlin, Foxglove, Astralita and Thora. (Roger Yeoman said “It suits the Itchenor boys to have some dry land to tack against rather than all this open water stuff.) They were joined by Anitra with former Captain’s Cup winner David Bedford as tactician. In fact four of the six boats had Captain’s Cup winners on board. John Tremlett and Richard Jordan sailed Lass into a comfortable lead with Anitra establishing herself in 2nd slot. The other four boats swapped places over the five legs of the race. Once these six had reached the weather marks and taken advantage of the tidal gate they the represented, the gap was substantial. The finishing order was – Lass, Anitra, Merlin, Foxglove, Astralita and Thora. Lass, Merlin and Astralita all enjoyed their best results of the week while Foxglove and Thora equalled theirs.
The overall winner of the week was Kim Slater’s Madeleine from Parkstone as a result of a consistent series of results – worst position was today’s 12th. Alastair Ashford and Rick Neall in Foxglove were also consistent performers able to discard yesterday’s 17th to take a well deserved 2nd place. As a result of today’s win and a 2nd and 3rd yesterday, Lass moved into the top ten and finished 7th one place ahead of David McGregor in Annabel. Rounding out Itchenor’s top performers were Thora (Messrs Roose, Barnes and Priscott) in 16th and Princess Jalina and Merlin – 20th and 21st.
I am left with a clear impression of a well run regatta on and off the water, a friendly bunch of competitors who were all challenged by the conditions the weather gods and the Solent served up.
Full results Click