J 70 Southern Area Championships


J/70 Southern Area Championships
The Royal Thames Yacht Club created and hosted for the second time the Southern Area Championships for the J/70 class to be held over two days in the Solent.
22 entries confirmed the high interest in the event which promised 4 races a day and a paella supper in the Sugar Store at Shepards Wharf to bring the class together socially after racing.
The forecast was for strong winds on day one and the RO, Jenny Woods, sensibly opted for the Wootton Creek area of the Solent which gave some protection from the wind and offered an area of flat water.
In the event it was demanding but hugely exciting sailing for these high performance sports boats and Soak Racing, Ian Wilson, set the bar high with two bullets and two top ten results but the Royal Thames Academy were hot on their heels with a second, a third and two fourths racing a RTYC club boat.
There were many thrills and spills with broaches at the leeward gate and one spinnaker halyard having to be cut to release the entangled yacht.
Given the speed of the racing the Race Team proposed a fifth race but the competitors decided to set off for home with many bruises to treat and stories to tell.
After a most enjoyable social evening Sunday brought almost perfect conditions of sun and 12-14 knot breezes.  The Royal Thames Academy set a blistering pace with 2 bullets but also scored a 14 and 13 which showed the intensity of the competition.  Some of the finishes were almost impossible to tell apart as the yachts finished line abreast.
It was the experience of Ian Wilson’s team helmed by Marshall King that showed through with 2 bullets but no worse result than a 3rd that gave Soak Racing the win and the coveted invitation to the RTYC Prize Winners Dinner in November.  Ossie Stewart with Lawrie Smith managed through sheer consistency to come in 2nd followed by the Academy in 3rd. 
The feedback from the competitors was that they enjoyed the back to back racing with short sharp windward leeward courses and good food at the social event.  It is clear that with the development of the J/70 class this event could build and build.
Thanks are due to the full team of RTYC volunteers who run the race boat, lay and move the marks under Jenny Woods’ careful eye.

Click here for Results

CSO 22.5.2017