RTYC and RYS Fleet Racing 1/2 October


A wonderful weekend was spent racing J70s in the ever changing Solent. The streamline boats certainly didn’t disappoint and delivered a number of powerful races of the Blues and Reds, Thames and Squadron.
The teams arrived early Saturday morning on the reliable Red Jet and were greeted to hurricane flair braising conditions; the High Street turned into a flash flood river meanwhile the Sainsbury’s sign blew its own tack to the Britannica shop.
Sheltered from the deluge and huddled in Shepherds, the crews continued layering garments, thick waterproofs, providing a perfect haven opportunity for registration, introductions and boat allocations, whilst awaiting the weather fronts to pass through.
A gap in the torrent stipulated the excuse to head east out of Cowes; the crews rigged their boats and set off to acclimatise accordingly. Jamie and his able team laid the marks and the 3 races began back to back – no lunch break – just quality racing.
The streamline J70s beautiful frames were pushed and extended to diverse angles; early on it was easy to identify that the reds were much more practised J70 crews and consistently took the fleet lead. Broaching boats a plenty and bodies hanging – tested against the elements. Amusement, excitement and fun was had by all.
Rainbows and an ominous dark swell from the West approached, the last race reduced to two rounds followed by a race into Cowes to escape the next round of what the Solent was preparing.
Beers gathered in the Pavillion – followed by the sailors scrubbing up into shirts and skirts for a delicious three course supper in the Squadron Castle – reflection, digestion and conversation a burst.
Sunday morning, there was no hanging about, helms and crews were in a ready to tackle race mood, however the Solent was producing much more sedate conditions, barely a puff! – Keen troops headed east and embarked on a couple of races before the water was still and the wind died from the West. An executive decision was made for race completion and the reliance of the tide to bring the fleet home, well almost all…
A fabulous gathering of splendid, talented racers we are looking forward to stretching and racing the J70s in the Spring.
Juliet Fisher