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Allspars 18ft Skiff Solent Grand Prix Series - Round 3

by Tom Hill 13 May 15:41 BST 11-12 May 2019

The weekend saw the third round of the Allspars Solent Grand Prix Series which has kept the UK 18ft Skiffs busy and well trained for the first half of the season.

The fleet are into the groove for this season and that showed with some close racing on the Solent over two days. The fleet were joined by Heinrich and his team from Germany who was collecting his skiff out of the container having just come back from the JJ Giltinan in Sydney.

Day 1

The teams rigged in a breezy Northerly, but nothing to worry any of them to not plug in the big rigs. After all, it was onshore and a bit cold, so it would be OK once they got out there, right? Not entirely!

The first race was set off in glorious sunshine and teams 3 stringing nicely round the course. However, by the final upwind, the sun had given way to some pretty black cloud cover which brought with it loads of extra pressure which made for a gusty and breezy leg. Most of the teams struggled to wrestle their big rigs around in small rig weather and went swimming. After a short shift in the race course to line up with the new wind direction had settled after the storm, two more races were sailed, with Marine Poole and The Time Genie jostling for the first place and Rutland not far behind.

Day 2

After a short delay to let the breeze settle, the fleet got on the water in to a lighter breeze than Saturday. They were awaited by a well set course and racing got under way immediately in case the breeze decided not to hang around. The first start saw a brave Union Rose attempt the Port flyer with complete success, sailing over the top of the rest of the fleet off the line but struggling to hold off the other teams for the rest of the race.

The Time Genie gave the port flyer a go in the second race, but got shut out big time and found themselves near the back for the first time in the regatta. The final race was in a touch more breeze and shuffled up the teams. Rutland displayed a textbook method of how to go from second to last in one simple manoeuvre by coming in very hot for a mark rounding, but left far too much on to get the kite in the bag before the who fleet sailed around them. Marine Poole continued their form for Sunday and got the better of The Time Genie overall, to take the overall win.

A huge thanks to Nick and Pippa for getting in a packed race schedule from some testing weather patterns. Thanks also to James Head Photography for catching the action over the weekend and Allspars for their ongoing support to the Grand Prix Series and the UK fleet. The teams are packed up and ready for the long drive out in a couple of weeks to join more European boats for events in Campione and Arco, Lake Garda!

Overall Results:

PosBoat NameR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1Marine Poole21111[2]6
2The Time Genie1222[4]18
3Rutland33442[5]16
4BabyCham54[7]33419
5The Green Skiff4[6]555322
6Union Rose75366[7]27

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