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British Classic Week 2023 - Day 4

by Helen Porter 19 Jul 2023 18:52 BST 15-22 July 2023

Day four of British Classic Week was packed with fast-paced racing for the classic fleet and the 6mR classes.

In the morning, the classic and modern classic fleet took on the regatta's Lady Helm Race and the replacement race that was cancelled earlier in the week.

Contributing to the overall series points, the Lady Helm Race saw the fleet set off upwind to the West on the RYS combined line to East Lepe. With the tide running East, the fleet tucked close inshore, which made for some tight racing to get out of the tide.

Having started in 11 knots from the West, the wind continued to build throughout the race with gusts of 18-19 knots. From East Lepe to port, kites were hoisted across to Gurnard and a series of windward/leeward legs followed to Williams Shipping, back to East Lepe, and a return to Gurnard before heading to the finish at the RYS line.

Laurent Giles sloop Whooper triumphed in the Lady Helm Race overall, followed by Spirit 52 Happy Forever in second, and Stella Timoa in third.

As soon as the last yachts crossed the line to finish the morning race there was barely time for crews to grab a sandwich before they were back on the racetrack for class racing around the cans.

The race office set short courses for Classes 1-3, with individual class starts from the RYS inner line. Each class set off downwind against the tide in strong breeze with gusts of 20-22 knots from the west.

Classes 1 and 2 held spinnakers to East Bramble, rounding the mark to starboard and reaching across to the Isle of Wight shore to take Mother Bank to port. From the strong gusts at the start, the wind dropped right off mid-race back to 11-12 knots.

From Mother Bank, it was another reach back up to Royal Yacht Squadron off the mainland coast and a beat back with the tide in gusts of 18-20 knots to the RYS line.

Class 3 sailed a similar but shorter course downwind to Ancasta, a reach across to Peel Bank and north to East Bramble. Taking East Bramble to port it was a short beat with the tide to the RYS line.

The afternoon race was won by Crusade in Class 1, Whooper in Class 2, and the gaff cutter Eilun in Class 3.

In the 6mR classes Battlecry did the double in Open Division winning both races and Abu made it two wins from two races in the Classic Division.

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