Please select your home edition
Edition
MS Amlin 2019 - 728x90

Royal Yacht Squadron Bicentenary International Regatta - Day 5

by Marina Johnson 31 Jul 2015 22:56 BST 27-31 July 2015

The Royal Yacht Squadron's Bicentenary International regatta is complete. "Four seasons in one week," was the apt summary from crew member Richard Mason of Dorade of Monday's gales, and a gradual wind reduction to the windless afternoon that ended the regatta today.

Mike Broughton, navigator on Jethou explained the conditions in the Western Solent. "We started in a completely different breeze to the J Class who had started upwind to the east in a south easterly," he said. "Then the westerly came and went a bit as it fought with the conditions to the east. Eventually a light sea breeze prevailed but there were some big holes making the race a bit of a lottery. Added to that there is a spring tide, up to 3 or 4 knots, so the racing was extremely tricky.

"The Race Committee could have cancelled the race today given the conditions but it was a good afternoon with lots of challenges and ultimately a good race," added Broughton.

IRC Class 1's course was shortened from five to four legs at Saltmead in the western Solent. The race was won by Tom Siebel's Swan 90 Odin, sailed well by her crew which benefitted from the talents of Peter Isler as Navigator, and Steve Hayles as strategist/trimmer. Overall honour for the week ultimately went to Tony Langley's brilliantly sailed TP52 Gladiator.

Winning all four races in the J Class, capped by a come-from-behind victory today, Velsheda maintained her excellent record on what are considered the famous yacht's 'home waters' by winning the class. Lionheart and Velsheda ghosted down through a shortened course finish today, followed by Ranger, with guest Sir Ben Ainslie on board, in a nail-biting, windless finale with only the tidal current helping them to the final winning guns of the week.

"It is great to win overall and to win on handicap today," said Velsheda owner Ronald de Waal, "That really capped it off for us. We were on the wrong side after the start and got back into it and so it is a nice feeling to win here. This is where the J's heritage is, Velsheda's home, and so it very special indeed to win here."

The three grand Classics, Eleonora, Mariquita and Sumurun started in the same direction, and were given one long leg to a mark near the forts off Portsmouth, against the tide. A breakage to the top of her mast cost Mariquita a position in this last race and the overall victory went to Robert Tobin's 1914 built Sumurun, which gained two second and two firsts in the series.

Class 4 was abandoned in the light winds today while Class 3 had only one finisher, Rives Potts' Carina. The win sealed her overall victory in class for the owner, who also represented the visiting New York Yacht Club teams as their Commodore. Class 4 sailed enough races for a series during the week however. "We sailed hard until the time limit expired," said owner of the winning Anna Mai Phil Hutchinson. "We completely restored the boat when we bought it and scored 2nd in the recent Swan Europeans. Anna Mai loves heavy weather so we were very comfortable in the big blow of Tuesday's race and enjoyed the Race Around the Island too. It's been a varied week."

IRC Class 2 were a little more lucky. Simon Henning's Mumm 36 Alice completed today's race as winner nailing overall first place. "We had a good start today at the right end of the line and just led around the course. The contrasts of the event have been stark and it's been brilliant."

The five 8 metres weren't so lucky with the conditions. Preferring moderate winds they were thwarted both at the beginning and the end of the week, but put in two races, with both firsts going to Murdoch McKillop's Saskia.

There was total US domination of the Team Racing and Level rating events. "Anything could happen today", the New York Yacht Club's Vice Commodore Phil Lotz had commented as he and his team went into the final day of racing in the Level Rating Division. And indeed it did. With Real Club Nautico de Gran Canaria leading through the week, it took a 1st and a 5th by NYYC to nudge into the lead in today's two races. "Half our crew have sailed together regularly for a while and we also brought some new faces along with us," Lotz added. "The boats are good, a bit of a handful in the heavy weather at the beginning of the week but we've had some very even racing."

Gran Canaria's helmsman Jose Ignacio Cantero Brose, whose team was runner up said "We've been very happy with our performance, the tides are quite a challenge. All our team are from the same club and we have been racing and training together for a long time. We all live on the same island of Gran Canaria. We've enjoyed some close racing especially against the New York Yacht Club and Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club."

Over their three days of racing the Team Racing managed to fit in a total of 126 races. With the light winds of today the fleet didn't complete their intended third Round Robin, instead moving straight to the semi finals, in which the St Francis Yacht Club faced the New York Yacht Club, and Royal Thames Yacht Club against Costa Smeralda Yacht Club. As the wind died away the two victors that faced each other in the finals were St Francis versus Royal Thames. Conditions meant that only one race could be run - and celebrating at the end of the event was St Francis Yacht Club from San Francisco. "We had an awesome time," said St Francis team tactician Taylor Baeder. "Our team have sailed with against each other for a while. We made mistakes but not too many, we stuck to the basics."

The competitors were treated to a spectacular parachute display by the Red Devils, who landed in the water just next to the assembled guests on the Royal Yacht Squadron's iconic lawn. In wrapping up the event, the Commodore, Christopher Sharples thanked all the crews from the 24 clubs from all over the world for sharing the club's 200th birthday, saying "this is not just for the club but for the town of Cowes as well. The next two hundred years begins now."

Results and further information on the website: www.bic2015.org.uk

Related Articles

Pata Negra looks toward yet another big adventure
Bringing offshore pedigree to the Transatlantic Race 2019 One of the most serious, privately campaigned British offshore race boats will be on the start line of the Transatlantic Race 2019 when the fleet sets sail from Newport, R.I., bound for Cowes, Isle of Wight, United Kingdom, on Tuesday, June 25. Posted on 20 Apr
Lendy Cowes Week starts in just 112 days
A new GRP Classics Class and other changes this year Here at Cowes Week Ltd we are excited to look forward to another great year ahead, with Lendy Cowes Week starting in just 113 days. Posted on 19 Apr
Nakajima's Hiro Maru lends historical adornment
To the Transatlantic Race 2019 Ninety days from today—on Tuesday, June 25—a fleet of 20-plus yachts is scheduled to depart from Newport, R.I., and head eastwards across "the Pond" in the Transatlantic Race 2019. Posted on 27 Mar
JP Dick set for Transatlantic Race 2019
Vendée Globe veteran set for June event Few sailors, if any, on the starting line of the Transatlantic Race 2019 will have more offshore racing sea miles under their keels than Jean-Pierre Dick. Posted on 5 Mar
Prospector team digs in for a second go
Back with a new boat for the Transatlantic Race 2019 The Prospector team—led by Paul McDowell, Dr. David Siwicki and Larry Landry, and Marty Roesch and managed by Landry and McDowell—is one of five returning entries from the Transatlantic Race 2015. Posted on 19 Feb
RS Elite 2020 Nationals
Ambitious plans for the next two years The RS Elite class has ambitious plans for its National Championships over the next two years. Posted on 21 Jan
Last Chance to Enter for Super Early Bird Discount
Lendy Cowes Week deal ends midnight on the 11th It's the final few days of Super Early Bird! (ends at midnight 11th January). Don't miss out on discounted entry fees and the chance to win the following prizes... Posted on 9 Jan
Lendy Cowes Week Entries Open
Fees have been held at last year's levels The team at Lendy Cowes Week are delighted to announce that entries are now open for the 2019 regatta. Our Super Early bird discounts end at midnight on 11th January, and entry fees have been held at the same levels as 2018. Posted on 22 Dec 2018
Mele's offshore evolution at Transatlantic Race
Interview with Joe Mele, owner of Triple Lindy For Joe Mele, a 55-year-old retired doctor of internal medicine in New York City and fantastical stunt diver, ocean racing is about more than the competition. Posted on 15 Nov 2018
Transatlantic Race 2019 to set sail from Newport
Stamp your mark in sailing history Organized between the Royal Yacht Squadron, New York Yacht Club, Royal Ocean Racing Club and Storm Trysail Club, the origins of the Transatlantic Race 2019 date back more than a century and a half. Posted on 26 Oct 2018