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Sea Ventures Super Series Test Event Round 3, Yarmouth

by Mark Angell 28 Nov 2023 10:52 GMT 25-26 November 2023
Sea Ventures Super Series Test Event Round 3, Yarmouth © Mark Angell

Under a sunny and bright blue winter's morning sky, Round 3 of the Sea Ventures Super Series test event got under way from the mainland shore to the North East of Lepe Spit. A light and cold Northerly breeze saw the fleet starting downwind with a strong Westerly going tide catching some of the fleet out. Once across the MarkSetBot start line, the key decision was whether to stem the tide on port under spinnaker or sail to the Island shore for tidal relief.

First to the Island side rounding mark was the double handed team of GameOn followed closely by the fully crewed Sun Fast 3300s who had both taken the more direct, tide stemming route. The fleet carried on to the West with a strengthening tide underneath them, making lay line calls a tricky exercise for navigators. After 15nm and 3hrs of racing the doubled handed team of Ian Hoddle and Zeb Fellows took the win 51 seconds ahead of the JPK 1030 Insert Coin.

Starting this time on the Island shore the fleet was given an up wind start for Race 2 with all teams showing their starting skills, the whole fleet on the line at start time! Flat water and 10kts of breeze delivered a competitive beat with teams trading places - after the first lap and 45 mins of racing PRO Rich Palmer made the call to shorten the course due to a right-hand wind shift and sun light starting to fade at 15:50! (That's winter sailing for you.)

Round 3's host port of Yarmouth Harbour and its excellent warm facilities turned out to be a big hit with all involved! The whole fleet warmed up over some bar tactics in The Bugle, followed by cooking their own steaks on hot stones at On The Rocks, Yarmouth with awards presented for Rounds 1 and 2.

Frozen decks and a confused wind direction greeted the sailors on Sunday - the race team held the fleet ashore under a short postponement allowing the wind direction to settle. Once the wind had steadied, racing got under way at 11:04, with another downwind start the fleet headed to the mainland shore off Beaulieu with a beat back up to Charles Stanley buoy. The JPK 1080 Mzungu! owned and helmed by Tony White showed some good speed, leading the fleet and setting their asymmetric for a long downwind leg to the Central Solent. At Salt Mead [Newtown Creek area] and in a lightening breeze the Sun Fast 3300s and JPK1030 were able to close in on Mzungu!

The trailing Sun Fast 3300 Fastrak, elected to roll the dice and gybed to make the most of the south-westerly breeze, targeting less tide on the mainland shore. Shortly after fellow Sun Fast 3300 'Kestrel' covered to protect their position. With the fleet now split between the mainland and island shore only time would tell. Insert Coin and Mzungu! who had led to this point continued to sail down the island shore but lost the breeze and with it the lead, having to gybe and cross the strong tidal flow in the middle of the Solent. The mainland paid generously with less tide and more wind seeing Fastrak XII leapfrog four boats and take the win followed by fellow SF3300 Kestrel.

Race 3 and Round 3 winner James Harayda sailing Fastrak XII with his Gentoo youth team onboard commented: "This weekend delivered three great races, two of which took us down towards Yarmouth on Saturday, then a predominantly downwind race back into the central Solent on Sunday. Despite the cold weather, light forecast, and strong tides, the weekend offered up some great conditions and some very close racing against the other five teams.

These conditions made the racing very tactical where we saw several lead changes and it was important to stay focussed and sail with eyes out of the boat. Onboard the Sun Fast 3300, Fastrak, I was joined by members of the Gentoo Youth Programme, supported by Sea Ventures. We owe a big thank you to them and FourthCape for putting this weekend together in such a great format."

The Double Handed team onboard GameOn remarked: "A great weekend of racing on GameOn in this weekend's Sea Ventures Super Series." Ian Hoddle "My first season with the boat so having the ability to extend the season and get some additional close and competitive racing with different co-skippers has been super valuable. Racing double handed against the boats with three or four crew onboard within the Solent on short legs definitely sharpens everything.

"A change of co-skipper with the young talent of 16-year-old Zeb Fellows [From Sun Fast 3300 Orbit]. He received the rock star treatment, Saturday AM delivered by RIB to GameOn on the start line... these youngsters today!

"The conditions this weekend were ideal yet varied over the two days and pushed us both hard. Really pleased with Day 1 results [1st and a 2nd] and still kicking ourselves for Day 2 when on the final long run we should have used our leading position to cover our closest Sunfast 3300 competitors when they gybed away... found more pressure!

"Day 2's memorable moment... Zeb at the mast hoisting the A2 in 20 knots as we rounded the mark... I hadn't caught up tailing the halyard on the winch... the spinnaker filled and all I could see was Zeb started to rise skyward!

"All in all, great fun was had by everyone involved!"

Round 3, Yarmouth Results:

1Fastrak 3300SF33001274116
4Insert CoinJPK10301292439
6Hair Of The DogSF 32000.9975618
7Black BettyDehler 300D16558821

After three rounds the leader board is dominated by the Jeanneau Sun Fast 3300 teams - maintaining their overall lead the fully crewed Kestrel squad lead just two points ahead of the duo onboard GameOn with a seven-point deficit to 3rd place Fastrak XII.

The fourth and final Round of the Sea Ventures Super Series will take place as a single day's sailing on the 9th December when the winner of the series will be decided and the host port shall be Hamble

Charles Darbyshire from Super Series organisers FourthCape commented: "The Sea Ventures Super Series has been great fun to run as a test of the format, with valuable feedback from competitors, host ports, and race team. Our intention is to roll this out as a new event open to all in 2024. We will look carefully at the calendar to see what weekend slots are available and which host ports are able to support the Super Series.

"The social element is an important part of the Super Series formula, so getting the Saturday social right is a priority, it's clear so far, that Cowes, Lymington and Yarmouth have been great hosts! We are looking forward to rounding off the test in Hamble. We're grateful for the support of Sea Ventures, MarkSetBot, and the Island Sailing Club, and hope to recruit further supporters to bring the event to a wider audience."

If you would like to be kept informed of Super Series developments then please contact us at

More information at:

Overall Series Results after 3 rounds:

6Insert CoinJPK10305634524332
3FarrcicalFarr X23326388841
7Hair Of The DogSF32007777775653
8Black BettyD30 OD7777758856

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