YMs Solent Weekend 18/19 June


24 Younger Members braved early mornings to head over to Cowes on Saturday for the annual Solent keelboat weekend.

This is the first year in which the event has coincided with the Cumberland Regatta, and as such the YMs ran the racing ourselves.  It also afforded the opportunity for members of all ages to socialise in Cowes, as the Rear Commodore Sailing kindly extended an invitation to enjoy drinks aboard his yacht, Kirima, after racing on Saturday.

We ran two series over the weekend, a Saturday and a Sunday series, and teams were scored both on each series individually, and on their combined regatta score.

Saturday saw some light but relatively steady conditions, with the wind averaging 5-10 knots from the west. Given the fact that we only had five J70s in action on Saturday, and the need to ensure all 24 sailors enjoyed a full weekend of racing, we decided to rotate so that each of the six teams sat out one race and acted as race committee.

This provided a useful taster of race officering for several YMs, many of whom have since expressed an interest in taking on RO duties in future events, thus widening our pool of race officers. The fact that racing ran incredibly smoothly despite these changeovers is testament to the great work of Matt Pimm in the support RIB and to each of the teams’ grasp of the requirements.

Some very close racing saw the top four crews separated by just 3 points after six races, with Amelia Boadle leading her team to victory in Saturday’s series, just ahead of David Miller’s crew in second, with Tom Quigley and co. taking third on a very tight countback.

On Sunday, we were joined by some of the RYS boats. They also kindly lent us a sixth J70, and we secured a race team happy to run the races for us. This all meant that we were able to get nine J70s out on the start line, and pit our scratch crews against RYS teams that race together week in, week out.

Conditions were much less stable than the day before, with the race committee having to re-lay the course a couple of times, not aided by a deflating leeward mark that almost sank at one point. Tom Quigley’s pep talk to his team on Saturday evening clearly had the desired effect, as they scored very consistently to take the prize for the Sunday series ahead of Amelia Boadle’s crew. It was not quite enough, however, as the overall results saw Amelia just pip Tom by 2 points, after an 11-race regatta.

Top three:
1. Amelia Boadle; Charlie Lowe; Chris O’Connor; Ella Brown   (23 points)
2. Tom Quigley; Fiona Wood; Rebecca Wood; Ed Bayliss      (25 points)
3. Edward Fox; Thea Crawshaw; Gus Brown; Alexander Dixon         (27 points)

Our thanks must go to Sarah Hornby for helping to organise the event, Matt Pimm for his sterling work as race support, shifting marks and running changeovers, and Richard Hill and the Cumberland fleet for welcoming us to the RYS basin on Saturday evening. We look forward to our next event, again in the J70s, in Cowes in September.