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GJW Direct 2020

British Classic Week 2021 - Day 4

by Helen Porter 22 Jul 14:29 BST 17-24 July 2021

It was more of the same as far as the sun was concerned on day for at British Classic Week, with another scorching hot day in Cowes. With the AP over AP flags up, yacht owners and crew settled into a lazy morning tinkering on boats and enjoying the hospitality in the regatta marquee.

Towards lunchtime the easterly wind started to show, so the Royal Yacht Squadron (RYS) Race Officer Dai Prichard proceeded with Race 4, sponsored by OneSails.

After class starts, Classes 1 and 2 set off westwards from the RYS inner line on a downwind start with the last of the ebbing tide. No sooner than the yachts had their spinnakers set, a south westerly blew in and crews scrambled to hoist jibs, drop spinnakers and set off upwind. Making the most of the last of the tide and a building breeze, the yachts took a tight reach to Cowes Yacht Haven in 5-7knots.

After tacking around Cowes Yacht Haven to starboard, Classes 1 and 2 beat across the Solent in champagne conditions to Yacht Data Bank in a by-now established 8-9knot wind.

Having rounded Yacht Data Bank to port, it was a tight reach to the west in 11knots of wind and in a slack tide to West Lepe. Round the mark to port, spinnakers were hoisted for the downwind leg back with the tide to the RYS line in a steadily fading breeze.

Classes 3 and 4 sailed a shorter course, sailing upwind from the RYS inner line to Gurnard and crossing the Solent on a tight reach to Lepe Spit. Time was now ticking on, and the race committee shortened course to allow time for the yachts to get back to RYS for the start of the Ladies Race.

It was a quick turnaround before the ladies took to their respective helms and set off downwind with the tide from the RYS inner line to West Ryde Middle. The wind was fickle and light, so spinnakers were dropped well ahead of the mark to allow for the shifting wind direction. The yachts bunched up around the first mark in a dying wind and a strong flooding tide, so the race committee again shortened course at the second mark, QXI International.

Race 4, class 1 winner was Happy Forever, 8mR Helen continued her winning streak in Class 2, Clyde Linear 30 Mikado took her third class win in Class 3, and Robert Clarke 10 Tonner won Class 4.

The Ladies Race was won by Alice Courage on 8mR Helen, with Jody Wincer on Cereste in second and Zoe Dunne on Happy Forever third.

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