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Spencers Estate Agents Royal Lymington Yacht Club Thursday Night Late Series - Day 7

by Vicky Leen 20 Aug 2019 20:47 BST 15 August 2019
Spencers Estate Agents Royal Lymington Yacht Club Thursday Night Late Series Day 7 © Mark Jardine

A 10 knot North-Westerly breeze during that gently faded during the evening provided welcome calmer condition for the 55 yachts contesting race 7 of Spencers Estate Agents Thursday Evening Late Series. The tide was already flooding by the start, and increased in strength during the race.

Eighteen Folkboats jostled for position and got away at the first time of asking, heading into the tide for a laid mark towards Hurst. Bonnie rounded first closely followed by Svane, Tak and Crackerjack clear ahead of the main fleet. Spinnakers were hoisted for the run down to Yarmouth with the fleet sailing high to counteract the increasing flood tide in the main channel. Tak sailed lower and rounded the mark first followed by Svane and Crackerjack as they started the second beat. The breeze was becoming patchy but most boats were able to lee bow the tide searching for the mark in the bright and low setting sun. In the dying breeze, the race was shortened at the next mark with a win for Crackerjack followed by Tak, Svane and Bonnie in that order.

The J80 class had a close fetch to the first mark near Pennington. Wildcat led narrowly from Traffic Jam at the turn, with Emoji in third. The downwind leg across to Yarmouth saw Traffic Jam power past Wildcat with the two then locked together for the beat back across to Colten. Wildcat led round, but again Traffic Jam was ahead at the leeward mark back on the Island shore. However, whilst beating back towards the mainland in the dying breeze the race was shortened at Colten giving Wildcat the win, from Traffic Jam with Emoji staying in third.

Despite Cowes Week and summer holidays, over half of the 17 yachts in LAH 3 fleet started the race. A clean start was made by all competitors from a committee boat line, perhaps tactically motivated, 3 yachts seemed very shy of the line despite doing well in the series. A spring tide was close to low water but yet to make its power felt. The first leg turned into a fetch against a building adverse tide. After rounding the first mark, the fleet enjoyed a run across the tide to the Island shore towards Yarmouth.

The leg back over to Lymington was a strong beat against the tide pushing all boats to the East. Those who chose to leave the Island shore and tack straight for the next mark with a slight lee bow from the tide seemed favoured, and those who opted for the shallower water of the mainland side to dodge the tide sailed a greater distance. The race was astutely shortened by one leg by the race officer due to a rapidly dropping breeze. Kevin Podger in his Yeoman finished ahead of the fleet to receive both the line honours and the win, followed by John Fitzsimons in his Bolero 26, and then David Harmer in a First 25.7 yet beaten on handicap by Rene Chinnery in a Westerly Regatta 290 just behind him.

Series results so far can be found here.

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