We have had a wonderful week! The Dainty Dish Race on Sat 19th, despite forecasts of lots of doom and gloom took place as scheduled and with NO rain (once we were underway, slight shower as we unwrapped the boats) and lovely sunshine! 18 boats went to Cowes, and once Gayle had got a quiet radio channel - (CH06) there were no dramas. We even had a nanny boat although they couldn't keep up even with sail and motor!
The S-Easterly meant spinnakers almost all the way too especially as the wind went more easterly. Lovely day to have T-shirts and shorts! 5 boats went on the Dolphins / N Island side and had a good race, the rest went south. As you can see from the photo Roger led out of the Harbour...and the rest of the way.... But at the forts all changed with Little Lady crossing from the N side of Horsesands towards Ryde Pier and skirting round everyone until the wind increased slightly and was overtaken by Melody, Emily and Query. The final jaunt to the Corinthian line saw a couple of boats fail to keep outside of all the laid mooring marks (as agreed at the Class briefing in the morning and directed by Cowes Harbour Notice) - Query and Emily which was a shame.
At the prizegiving Roger had gone out to get a special prize for the "Dolphin" racers - a very pink, glitzy toy Dolphin!!!!! Much to everyone's amusement. This was won after quite a battle we believe, by Harmony. Apparently she will be embroidered with the hull number and presented each year! Another new tradition.
We also had the Falmouth Class Captain, Lyulph Hesling and his lady, Sally, come to the Dinner. He gave a lovely, slightly embellished account of the original "Sunbeam" - her world trips etc and some booklets telling more. Interestingly, Henrietta from the Royal Victoria YC also spoke about "Sunbeam" later in the week as they have a model of her at the Club.
It was a lovely start to the week.
On Sunday, the Honey Pot Race started promisingly, once we had worked out when the start was!!! The flags were in line with us out at Trinity House, so couldn't be seen; and the sound signals didn't come out over the radio! Fortunately we were told the line was all clear so on Little Lady we did a quick turn around! We were next to Trinity, with Bryony just below, and Jenny just below and in front of her. Looo-ng reach to Quinnell stemming the tide saw us round first and on to Royal Thames. Then the wind started to drop away... The back of the fleet had a very frustrating morning trying to get round the buoy - I gather Maisy had 6 attempts and then retired to the Island for a beer! Well done for perseverance. On V6 we just got round RT before the wind died further but Jenny and Fleury and Bryony had done well.
Spinnakers up, ships to miss, but we kept moderate wind. Looking behind things were not the same! The reach to Prince Consort turned almost into a beat with the tide, 2mins of wind got us round. Jenny and Fleury were not so lucky. By the time the wind returned the fleet were catching them. Listlss run to West Ryde Middle but wind in the last minute got us round and filled with a single reach to RORC, not far from S Bramble. Then back to Royal London (off Norris Point) and Trinity House buoy against the tide once more. Spray took a flier after confusion with the course and rounded R Corinthian instead! Fleury got a well deserved 2nd. Sadly Jenny struggled after her early good fortune.
Monday brought the Trinity Cup Trophy (RLYC) and this was just as memorable with a shoreline start off Trinity. With a nice breeze up the Green to a buoy just off Egypt Point and across to Quinnell. The "Greeners" did well to start with. Christina Darby and I on Little Lady were nearly last... time for a radical re-think! We tacked off immediately after the buoy (suicidal really) for about 5mins to clear the dirty air and catch the foul tide at a slightly different angle. Maisy followed a bit later but tacked out for longer. A long leg out to Quinnell miraculously saw us much higher up the fleet than anticipated - 3rd I think, with Harmony, Fleury and ?? in front? Danny caught up by Royal Thames and went past. Then across to Wight Vodka (formerly Air Canada), up to W Knoll and home to R Corinthian and Trinity. Lots of place changes and patchy winds once more.
Points Week itself this year had a headline sponsor - Charles Stanley who had clearly had a significant impact, for the better. Banners through the High Street, etc etc and better social events, race fees and social event costs kept the same, along with the other sponsors, incl our own Haines Boatyard. All the socials were excellent and the RLYC also installed coolers so we didn't expire in the 30C temperatures too! Good class turnouts to these kept us all together which was fun. It was commentated about that were were a friendly, sociable bunch!
We also had lots of photos in the various literatures - week programme, sponsors leaflet, Classic boat mag etc :-))
The Classic Week racing, for the 3rd year in a row had light winds, which hampered the RO options but we did get in 7 out of the 8 races. No-one got mowed down by shipping or had damage or too many bruises... plus the suntans improved over the week! So all good!
The leading boats were Danny with Roger Wickens and Fleury, the defending champions. Emily was right up there until she missed the last day, along with Query and Harmony and Mystery. Mid-week Symphony and Little Lady were also scoring well. Everyone had ups and downs.
We were racing on the same track as the 7 Swallows and 7 Flying Fifteens. With little wind we had the first start with a 5min separation... as the wind tended to fill from the N (where the windward buoy was) the Swallows caught the backmarkers. To keep the peace as there was a complaint from the leaders - they went first the next day against my better judgement... they didn't like that either as we all steamed through! On Friday, the ff's got through both fleets on one race!
We had out fair share of annoyances - one race abandoned as the leeward mark dragged into the main fairway and the support boat moved it just as V6 was rounding it!! and then the wind dropped away. One way to check we all have anchors! Tee hee.
Another time the leading Swallow impaled itself for a while on the top spreader mark having already trangressed a few Rules! Mmmmm!
But on the whole, we had good racing, with plenty of decisions to be made which kept altering the fleets positions, and the sun shone! We even managed one navigation race home. Let's hope we have a little more steady wind next year for more nav. races?
So - the results! Uncle Roger went to a wedding on Friday, and so Danny was raced by the Downing family.. they got a 3rd one race, but the other stymied them (11) - even the rearguard members were surprised to be elevated for a while to the front of the fleet!! shooting past with the new breeze. So, the Burnie team on Fleury V41 kept their Trophy for 2014 - the lovely Mike Till Sunbeam painting. It was well deserved in subversive conditions! Brilliant job Joe and Cathy!
Love Gayle xxx
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Photo credits; Photos by Gayle & also Tim Jeffreys.
Regatta results for Solent Sunbeams can be found here