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Royal Channel Islands Yacht Club Spring Regatta 2021

by Bill Harris 29 May 16:58 BST 22 May 2021
Foxhound in the melée during the RCIYC Jersey Spring Regatta © Bill Harris

In company with all other early events in the 2020 programme, the Royal Channel Islands Yacht Club's Spring Regatta, also, fell victim to the Covid lockdown. It was not until the end of May, last year, that racing resumed, albeit confined to local waters and devoid of visiting boats.

The restrictions that prevailed this April saw the Spring Regatta shifted to the weekend of 22nd and 23rd May. However, Covid was not the enemy, on this occasion. The forecast for high winds throughout the week caused the organisers no end of head scratching. The single thread on which the Regatta hung was a brief window of opportunity that manifested itself on Saturday with more gale force winds forecast for Sunday. So it was that this evergreen two day event shrank to a single day and, then, with a programme of two races for all classes rather than the customary three for the 'small' boats.

It was a fine sunny day and, although strong westerly winds prevailed throughout Saturday, the lee provided within St Aubin's Bay meant that seas were mostly moderate, especially for those boats tucked inside the Bay where winds tended to be, predictably, fluky. The cruiser classes and their committee boat, to the south, found conditions somewhat livelier, a clear hangover from the weeklong gales.

Unsurprisingly, conditions took their toll on turnout with numbers halving from seventy-four to thirty-seven boats across the sportsboat, cruiser/racer, dayboat, sport catamaran, dinghy and windsurfer classes. Nevertheless, most classes were reasonably well represented and the boats that did sail were clearly content with their afternoon's boisterous outing although tempered by the odd breakage, for some.

Jeff Chinn's J105, Jewel, had a cracking start by taking the first race in IRC 1 but suffered a breakage that saw her retire before the second race. David Myatt's elegant 8-metre, Erica, was one of the few to hoist a spinnaker in the first race, a plan that foundered leading her to retire but to press on to win the second race on corrected time. Bob Milner's Grand Soleil 46.3, Grace, put in the most consistent performance, however, to win the Class on countback with equal points to Alan Stevens' First 44.6, Zanzibar. Erica was third. Allen Brown and partners' Melges 24 sportsboat, The Dog's........!, ever ready to fly her spinnaker, was the top performing boat in IRC 0 & 1, having returned the best times in both races.

In the face of stiff competition in the combined IRC 2 and Quarter Ton fleet, Julian Barber's Farr 727 came through to win both races in the QT class whilst IRC2 competitor Tom Hill's Albin Express, White Magic, took a first and second overall, giving way to Super Q on countback in the combined class.

Deborah Hutchings and Chris Fritot's highly competitive Dehler 38, Mystique of Jersey, proved to be unbeatable on the day, winning both races in the RYA NHC white sail class. Don Thompson's recently acquired Foxhound 30, the truly beautiful gaff cutter Foxhound, also performed brilliantly to clinch second in both races.

Whilst the Island's dayboat fleet continues to flourish, it fell to Jack Horton's Kamala to fly the flag for the class. For almost all of the boats that had entered, the conditions were such as to keep the boats based in St Helier safe in their berths; the beat across the Bay lacking critical appeal, no doubt. Kamala, based in St Aubin, turned out for what proved to be a victory lap.

Despite the inevitable capsizes and pitch poles, the conditions provided fast, exhilarating and very enjoyable racing in the sport catamaran class (all Hobie 16s). With a win in the second race, victory on countback went to Ollie and sister, Hannah, Voak sailing Ships and Giggles. Aaron Le Cornu and Rachael Vibert, Top Kat, won the first race to finish on equal points. Nauti-Cat, Tom Hunt and Tom Newman, was third with a second place in the second race.

Eight of the original eighteen entrants migrated from their normal base at St Catherine to join in the fun! Kai Surcouf, one of the youngest in the class, sailing his Laser 4.7, MEN3, won the event with a first and second whilst James Tilley, sailing Laser Y2K, was second with third and first places. Martin Speller, sailing his Laser, Liquid Impulse, was third, one point adrift of Y2K.

Similarly five of the nine boats that had entered made it to the line in the 'slow' open dinghy class. The first race went to Sam Romer sailing his Optimist Funky Monkey. A third place in the second race put him one point ahead of second race winner Grace Sherrington and Charlotte Boyles' Feva. Tamsin Ingram, sailing her Optimist, Salty Bean, was third just one point behind.

The conditions could hardly have been better for the windsurfers, making their first appearance at a Spring Regatta. Sailing Kona boards, four of the eight original entrants turned out. Justin Horton sailed to victory in both races in the face of stiff competition from Andy Hart and Michael Millar, second and third, respectively, after countback.

Despite the vagaries of the weather, the Regatta provided a great opportunity for sailors to squeeze a bit of exciting sailing in between the gales. The forecast had promised gale force winds for Sunday afternoon and, sure enough, they duly arrived.

Forthcoming regattas:

  • 2nd - 4th July -Logicalis 164th Gorey Regatta (NoR on www.goreyregatta.org)
  • 31st July - 1st August - Savills 30th Channel Islands Hobie Cat Championships
  • 10th - 12th September - Carey Olsen Jersey Regatta

Overall Results: (detailed results are available through www.rciyc.je/sailing)

Class 0+1 (2 races) (IRC Sportsboat & Cruiser/racer)
1 The Dog's - Allen Brown & Ptnrs (1 & 1)

Class 1 (IRC Cruiser/racer)
1 Grace - Bob Milner - 5(3 & 2)
2 Zanzibar - Alan Stevens - 5 (2 & 3)
3 Erica - David Myatt - 7 (RTD & 1)

Class 2 + QT (2 races) (IRC Cruiser/racer & Quarter Ton)
2 White Magic - Tom Hill - 3 (1 & 2)

Class QT (IRC Quarter Ton)
1 Super Q - Julian Barber - 2 (1 & 1)
2 Tom Bombadil - Steve Pearl - 3 (3 & 2)
3 Fahrenheit - David Hall - 8 (2 & RTD)

Class 3 (2 races) (NHC Cruiser)
1 Mystique - Deborah Hutchings & Chris Fritot - 2 (1 & 1)
2 Foxhound - Don Thompson - 4 (2 & 2)
3 Lady Catherine - Darren Stower - 6 (3 & 3)

Class 4 (1 race) (Dayboat)
1 Kamala - Jack Horton - 1

Class 6 (2 races) (Sport catamaran - H16)
1 Ships & Giggles - Ollie Voak - 4 (3 & 1)
2 Top Kat - Aaron Le Cornu - 4 (1 & 3)
3 Nauti-Cat - Tom Hunt - 7 (5 & 2)

Class 8 (2 races) (PY Dinghy)
1 MEN3 - Kai Surcouf - 3 (1 & 2)
2 Y2K - James Tilley - 4 (3 & 1)
3 Liquid Impulse - Martin Speller - 5 (2 & 3)

Class 9 (2 races) (PY Dinghy)
1 Funky Monkey - Sam Romer - 4 (1 & 3)
2 Feva - Charlotte Boyle & Grace Sherrington - 5 (4 & 1)
3 Salty Bean - Tamsin Ingram - 6 (2 + 4)

Class W (2 races) (Windsurfer - Kona)
1 Kona Blue - Justin Horton - 2 (1 & 1)
2 JER1 - Andy Hart - 5 (3 & 2)
3 Kona Gas - Michael Millar - 5 (2 & 3)

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