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​Saturday 18th May Race Report

Hold tight, it is a double race report from the Saturday multi-series...

On what turned out to be an absolutely splendid day, five Victorys emerged from the harbour entrance to a flukey 3-5kt breeze from the SE. The plan was to complete two races in the 1st Saturday series for the final points in the Helmsman Cup. Due to too much wind at the start of the season only one other race had been sailed in this series, meaning there was everything to play for today!

Z77, Z71, Z70, Z68 and Z53 gathered in the sunshine to workout what the course was going to be and who was going to be gate boat. Class Captain, Liz, on Z70 set the course from Suffolk Sails to - Gleeds (p), Vail Williams (p) finishing at Suffolk Sails.

After a speedy start(!) the fleet split with Z70 and Z77 heading off to the channel, Z71, Z53 and Z68 banged right but then Z68 decided to head off to the channel with the promise of more tide. The wind was shifty, the tide was confused and places were changing all the way up to Gleeds.

Z68 rounded first followed by Z71, Z77, Z70 and Z53. A reach to VW had everything to play for, 71 and 77 caught up with 68 as we all gybe around the mark. A slow leg from VW to SS meant that 68, 77 and 71 spread out looking for the breeze. Closing into SS, 71 felt the need to change it up- you don’t win a race by following the boat in front- deciding to test 77 and 68 with a couple of gybes which snuck them ahead and into the lead.

The results from the first race-

1st Z71

2nd Z77

3rd Z68

4th Z70

5th Z53

After the first race the wind seemed to ease and shift to the south, a new course was set starting at Suffolk Sails, RNC&RAYC (p), KB (p), Portsmouth Sailing Club (p), RNC&RAYC (p), finishing at Suffolk Sails.

Once we got away the wind decided to return to what it originally was and the first leg to RA was nearly a reach. Z70, being gate boat again, got a tactical advantage as the wind shifted, they were heading perfectly for RA. Z71 and Z77 tacked once clear of the start and chased Z70 down, Z77 went low along the wall with Z53, Z68 and Z71 stayed high on Z70’s stern. Rounding RA, Z71 and Z77 had just snuck ahead but it was still very close between the fleet as Z70 and Z68 tacked around the windward mark together.

It was now a reach to KB and a gybe to head for PSC, the wind shifted once again and Z71 attempted to hold the kite once they had rounded PSC (heading back for RA). The kite was swiftly dropped, during the drop the fleet to closed in on them. Now fighting to round RA for the last time, Z77 tried everything they could to overtake Z71.

Coming into RA, Z71 rounded first and got their kite set for the reach to the finish (the wind had shifted once again!) close behind them Z77 followed and then Z68, Z70 and Z53. It was now a drag race to the finish, albeit fairly slowly considering the wind speed…

1st Z71 Tim, Joppers and Zoe

2nd Z77 Hugh and Kim

3rd Z68 John and Bill

4th Z70 Liz, MC and Chris

5th Z53 Ron, Chris and Rosie

Once again the sun shone on the Victory Class for a great afternoon of racing!

Thank you again to Class Captain Liz for driving Rosina and being gate boat, i think you can hang your buoy up for the season now.

I must say Z71 had a secret weapon, owner Gareth Penn was busy with childcare duties so our friend Tim Carter stepped in to helm with Z70s usual crew James Jopling (Joppers). Thanks boys for getting Z71 racing and winning the Helmsman Cup.

Next race is Tuesday 21st May for the fifth race in the Tuesday Shield (1st Tuesday)

See you on the water !

Zoe, Z71

Zoe Whittaker’s avatar 18-Jun-2019 By Zoe Whittaker in Sailing & racing

Delphine’s Last Race

​Please join us for Delphine’s last race on Thursday 20th June (the first race of the Victory Class Solstice Regatta).

Delphine's ashes will be taken from the Camber to Z38 Minx for a final race on Thursday, with Andrew Terry on the helm. After the race, once everyone has finished, we would ask the Victory fleet to gather around the committee boat for a few minutes, where the ashes will be scattered from Minx. You are very welcome and encouraged to add any individual flowers as you wish, and/or fly battle flags or any other appropriate decoration you may have.

Any other sailing friends and colleagues are very welcome to attend in ribs or other vessels, but please note that specific timing will be dependent on the race duration and is likely to be between 19:45 and 20:30

Monitor VHF channel 15 for communications as class racing ends.

If you would like to join us on the water and do not have a local boat please contact Geoff Dixon.

Everyone is invited to return to PSC after racing where Delph will be buying the drinks for a while, and there will be some small eats, to encourage you to stay, reminisce, and tell stories of sailing exploits with Delphine! 

Geoff Dixon’s avatar 17-Jun-2019 By Geoff Dixon in Sailing & racing

Billy Mulvin (23.12.1935 - 2.06.2019)

​​ Many of you will already have heard the sad news that Billy Mulvin passed away last weekend.  Billy was a long standing member of the Class sailing on Shearwater for over forty years.

He was brought up in Dublin and moved to the UK in his early 20s having graduated from the Dental School at Trinity College and set up home in Cosham with his late wife, Sheila.  He was a passionate sportsman playing rugby for Portsmouth as well as being selected for Hampshire.  Retiring from rugby he sailed with his old team mates, Ian Mead and Ged Grieve in Shearwater for nearly fifty years.  Billy brought his ‘work-hard' ‘play-hard' approach to sailing, especially Cowes Week. As well as loving the racing at Cowes, Billy fully embraced the social side where the trio were early adopters of the Royal Corinthian for the week, a legacy that lives on with the Class to this day.  Many of you will recall the late night games of ‘Bomber Command’.  This always culminated in a port engine fire having to be put out by a soda syphon.  The port engine was usually an X-Boat sailor!  How Billy and his team mates ever sailed the next day remains a mystery to many.

Despite their ’tiredness’ the following day they often found themselves with a gun.  Their success was in no small part due to Billy’s trimming skills and strength on the long spinnaker legs which remain a feature at Cowes.  Upwind Billy was adept at keeping his cigarette alight in all weathers. He even managed to keep the ember burning on his Marlboro one day after falling into the Camber!

Aside from the Victory Class, Billy sailed in a number of IOR boats over the years including with Adlard Coles whose books many of you will have read.  Billy was unfortunate to be the first person to be rescued in the tragic 1979 Fastnet Race while sailing with fellow PSC member, Tony Lloyd.  Their boat, Camargue, capsized in heavy seas in the St George’s Channel.  Many will have seen the news footage of the crew being winched into the Culdrose helicopter and Billy’s subsequent appearance on ‘This is your Life’!  

Billy was a life-long sportsman playing golf and squash.  The  latter probably longer than was sensible.  He also had many interests which included history and archaeology and was a volunteer for the Probation Service.   

Billy leaves children Siobhan, Neil and Jo. His funeral is at 11am on Thursday 13th June at St Thomas’s Roman Catholic Church in Emsworth and afterwards at the Slipper Sailing Club.

Russell Mead

Gareth Penn’s avatar 10-Jun-2019 By Gareth Penn in

Delphine Freeman:  6th November 1930 - 19th May 2019

​I’m very sorry to have to pass on the news that Delphine Freeman, Victory Class, Portsmouth Sailing Club and Royal Albert Yacht Club member, passed away on the 19th May at the Gracewell Nursing home in Fareham  aged 88. Delphine was an Honorary Life Member of the Victory Class, and a previous class secretary and social secretary. She crewed in the class from the 1950s and owned and very successfully raced Z38 Minx in the 1980s and 1990s. Delphine was still sailing Minx at the age of 80. Many members will remember her mischievous personality, her dedication to the Victory Class and her enthusiasm for getting her boat out racing at any and every opportunity.

There will be a private family cremation, but the intention is to scatter Delphine’s ashes at sea with an opportunity for friends and sailing colleagues to get together to remember her.  Details will follow in due course. 

​Delphine was born and lived her life in Portsmouth. During the war years  she was an evacuee to a boarding school outside Portsmouth, and remembered very clearly travelling home on VE Day to find the parties in Portsmouth in full swing.  Delphine joined the new National Health Service as a nurse, and retired in 1989 after over 40 years service, having worked for 22 years as a Theatre Sister before moving to Southampton as Senior Nursing Officer Theatres, and then becoming Head of Theatre Services for the City hospitals, developing a number of aspects of the service.  Working out of Southampton General, she was known as ‘Miss D,’ and had a fearsome reputation for her uncompromising approach. Her Victory crew at that time, who’s wife gave birth in Southampton, recalls a shiver running through the maternity ward at the news that Miss D was coming to visit!

On retirement Delphine turned her organisational abilities to help the Victory Class and served as Social Secretary, and overall Class Secretary 94-98. On a personal note she gave me great support in my time as class captain. 

First and foremost however Delph was a sailor, a self taught seat of pants Victory sailor who could never be underestimated on the race course. Initially crewing with Bob Smith on Z19 Wild Rose, Delphine had the benefit of learning with something of a legend in the class, sailing with Bob at a time when Wild Rose won 127 races and was placed in more than three hundred in nearly six hundred starts.  As well as learning the racing aspects  she also recalled being required in those days to take long white gloves to Cowes Week (for meeting Royalty) as well as the Victory’s tender, to get ashore from the rafted pile moorings in the Medina. 

Delphine moved on to sail with Mike Bradmore in Z38 Minx, and as Mike ended his Victory sailing days Delphine took on ownership of Minx completely in 1984.  The boat and its new owner were well matched and well named, Delphine having a mischievous character and a very minx like approach to getting things done to her satisfaction, both on and off the water!   No one could make a Victory point upwind in quite the way Delphine could, and her determination to get her boat out racing saw some seasons where Minx sailed every race held. She was also a great ambassador for the class, always willing to take a potential new member out sailing.  At one point it seemed that there was an entire generation of Victory sailors who had started their Victory racing forward of the thwart in Minx, having first experienced crossing the harbour in the trademark 10ft Fairey Ducking that was the boats tender.

In the 1990s a racing partnership developed between Andrew Terry, Martin Brown and Delphine… Delph and her ‘Toy Boys’ had some great success over this period, and Andrew became a co-owner in 1994 having graduated to being allowed to sail upwind while Delphine sailed the downwind legs.  While Delphine and Minx never managed an overall Cowes Week win, the rest of the fleet knew well to watch them carefully.  A typical example in 1999 saw Minx up against previous Cowes Week winners John Tremlett in Zinnia, Barry Middleditch in Steadfast, and Nigel Sefton Smith in Woozle.  Add in Ian Andrew in Z50 and Chris Hornsey in Z10 and a first class fleet came to the line.   Having won the last race of Cowes 1998, Minx proceeded to win the first race of Cowes 1999. Two days later on Monday Minx did it again, and Delphine got to go to the winners cocktail party. And finally, on a tricky light wind final Saturday, Minx won a third race!  Never ever would a wise Victory sailor ignore Minx and her ‘senior owner’

Delphine continued to sail on Minx until she was old enough to know better, and always took a great interest in Cowes Week results in particular. Minx continues to race and win on the water in 2019, and no doubt Delph would approve.

Geoff Dixon 

Geoff Dixon’s avatar 03-Jun-2019 By Geoff Dixon in Sailing & racing

​  ​Saturday 18th May Race Report

Hold tight, it is a double race report from the Saturday multi-series…

On what turned out to be an absolutely splendid day, five Victorys emerged from the harbour entrance to a flukey 3-5kt breeze from the SE. The plan was to complete two races in the 1st Saturday series for the final points in the Helmsman Cup. Due to too much wind at the start of the season only one other race had been sailed in this series, meaning there was everything to play for today!

Z77, Z71, Z70, Z68 and Z53 gathered in the sunshine to workout what the course was going to be and who was going to be gate boat. Class Captain, Liz, on Z70 set the course from Suffolk Sails to - Gleeds (p), Vail Williams (p) finishing at Suffolk Sails.

After a speedy start(!) the fleet split with Z70 and Z77 heading off to the channel, Z71, Z53 and Z68 banged right but then Z68 decided to head off to the channel with the promise of more tide. The wind was shifty, the tide was confused and places were changing all the way up to Gleeds.

Z68 rounded first followed by Z71, Z77, Z70 and Z53. A reach to VW had everything to play for, 71 and 77 caught up with 68 as we all gybe around the mark. A slow leg from VW to SS meant that 68, 77 and 71 spread out looking for the breeze. Closing into SS, 71 felt the need to change it up- you don’t win a race by following the boat in front- deciding to test 77 and 68 with a couple of gybes which snuck them ahead and into the lead.

The results from the first race-

1st Z71

2nd Z77

3rd Z68

4th Z70

5th Z53

After the first race the wind seemed to ease and shift to the south, a new course was set starting at Suffolk Sails, RNC&RAYC (p), KB (p), Portsmouth Sailing Club (p), RNC&RAYC (p), finishing at Suffolk Sails.

Once we got away the wind decided to return to what it originally was and the first leg to RA was nearly a reach. Z70, being gate boat again, got a tactical advantage as the wind shifted, they were heading perfectly for RA. Z71 and Z77 tacked once clear of the start and chased Z70 down, Z77 went low along the wall with Z53, Z68 and Z71 stayed high on Z70’s stern. Rounding RA, Z71 and Z77 had just snuck ahead but it was still very close between the fleet as Z70 and Z68 tacked around the windward mark together.

It was now a reach to KB and a gybe to head for PSC, the wind shifted once again and Z71 attempted to hold the kite once they had rounded PSC (heading back for RA). The kite was swiftly dropped, during the drop the fleet to closed in on them. Now fighting to round RA for the last time, Z77 tried everything they could to overtake Z71.

Coming into RA, Z71 rounded first and got their kite set for the reach to the finish (the wind had shifted once again!) close behind them Z77 followed and then Z68, Z70 and Z53. It was now a drag race to the finish, albeit fairly slowly considering the wind speed…

1st Z71 Tim, Joppers and Zoe

2nd Z77 Hugh and Kim

3rd Z68 John and Bill

4th Z70 Liz, MC and Chris

5th Z53 Ron, Chris and Rosie

Once again the sun shone on the Victory Class for a great afternoon of racing!

Thank you again to Class Captain Liz for driving Rosina and being gate boat, i think you can hang your buoy up for the season now.

I must say Z71 had a secret weapon, owner Gareth Penn was busy with childcare duties so our friend Tim Carter stepped in to helm with Z70s usual crew James Jopling (Joppers). Thanks boys for getting Z71 racing and winning the Helmsman Cup.

Next race is Tuesday 21st May for the fifth race in the Tuesday Shield (1st Tuesday)

See you on the water !

Zoe, Z71

Zoe Whittaker’s avatar 18-May-2019 By Zoe Whittaker in Sailing & racing

​Tuesday 14th May race report

​The first up harbour race of the season was greeted by glorious sunshine and a(nother) NE breeze that seemed to be easing as the helms and crews arrived in Gosport to rig their Victorys.

Race officer duty tonight was provided by Z57- Janet, Stretch and baby Stretch (Ben). The course was set starting at V1-

Z1 p

C1 p

Gate (V1 - committee boat)

Z2 p

19 p

Finish (between B1 and pile 13)

Now i mentioned an easing breeze… well, bang on the 1 minute gun the breeze decided to appear but this time with more northerly in it. All boats got away quickly on the start and fought up to Z1, Z76 (Kim) rounded the windward first, followed swiftly by Z71 and then Z80 and the rest of the fleet all closely together.

Due to the shifting wind with sneaky gusts the downwind leg to C1 was more of a broad reach and then a tight reach. So whilst attempting to fly the spinnaker between Z1 and C1 our next task was to actually find C1, which i now know is nearly at Fareham (see chartlet…)

I’m not sure about the rest of the fleet but Z71 - who is usually three up - did struggle to hold the kite and also struggled to get it down again! The Welsh Dragon eventually made it back into Z71 with a fresh rinse from the sea.

There are many challenges of the racing up the harbour, that’s probably why we don’t visit frequently, they include- moored boats, parked warships, a lot more buoys and posts to hit, mud- if the tide is out, navigation to the next mark- often up another creek, making sure you stay the correct side of the posts, and last night there were dinghies and yachts also racing around the same area. That is a lot to contend with !!

Once C1 had been spotted and the spinnaker was safely back inside Z71, we decided it was best to concentrate on overtaking Z76 which we tried very hard to do but didn’t quite manage before rounding the ‘leeward’ mark.

The tight reach between C1, through the gate, and Z2 was gusty. Z71 was hot on the heels of Z76 but with Z80 breathing down on both of them. Rounding Z2 a spinnaker hoist was debated but the wind gusts seemed to hold and the angle was too tight. The fleet were still really close together, there was no way through them for a nearby racing yacht!

Red post 19 was spotted to the left of a moored warship, the aim of the game was to get into the strong tide, overtake Z76 and shake of Z80 - easy right?

Rounding 19 and heading to the finish, positions had stayed fairly the same but it was all to play for in the last leg. Yet again another spinnaker hoist was debated, kite on the wrong side meant trimming the jib AND spinning the gear at the same time, the wind held and a hoist looked less likely.

Coming into the B buoys, Z76 just crept away from Z71 and Z80 decided to go low through the mooring to try and gain on Z71, it was neck and neck until the finish!

The results-

1st Z76 Kim and Ian

2nd Z71 Gareth and Zoe

3rd Z80 Russel and Munch

4th Z75 Nick and Clive

5th Z74 Tom and Duncan

6th Z70 Liz, Joppers and Salty

7th Z53 Ron and Chris

Congrats Z76 on your win!

Thank you to Z57 for your RO duties.

Despite our grumblings sailing up harbour is quite nice actually!!

See you on the water tomorrow (Thursday 16th) for the fifth race in the 1st Thursday series.

Zoe, Z71

Zoe Whittaker’s avatar 15-May-2019 By Zoe Whittaker in Sailing & racing

​Tuesday 7th May Race Report

​A strange wind direction…. north easterly led officer of the day Ron Fidler (Z53) to set course 16… i think everyone needed to check their course cards as its a rarely (ever?) used course! So to remind you-

Wall start

PSC p

VW s

KB s

PSC s

SS (suffolk sails) s

VW s

PSC s

Finish at SS

Boats on the startline were 57, 70, 71, 74, 75, 76, 78, 80, unfortunately Z68 broke their tiller and didn’t start the race. The first leg was a reach to PSC, the majority of the fleet started at the Suffolk Sails end of the line with their spinnakers up.

The fleet split at PSC with Z75 leading the pack towards the Isle of Wight, whilst Z57 took a gaggle of Victorys to the edge of the channel. The wind was gusty with a sea state reminiscent of Cowes week, if only it was a little warmer!

Z75 led around the first windward mark (VW) down the gybe mark (KB) followed swiftly by Z71 and Z76. Kites had to be dropped at PSC for the very tight reach/near beat to PSC.

Z75 continued their lead at Suffolk Sails and up to Vail Williams for a second time, whilst the rest of the pack fought for the other places.

Downwind from VW to PSC there were a few gybe battles to try and gain places, however coming into PSC Z76 pipped Z71 followed by Z57 sneaking in before the finish.

Take home from the race- when in doubt definitely put you jacket on, the waves are wetter than they look …

The results-

Z75, 76, 57, 71, 70, 80, 78, 74. Congrats to Z75 on their win!

Thank you to OOD Ron Fidler.

The next race is tonight, Thursday 9th May and then Saturday 11th May. See you on the water!

Zoe, Z71

Zoe Whittaker’s avatar 09-May-2019 By Zoe Whittaker in

Season Opener Social

Event..... Tickets Contact Matt​

Season Opener
Season Opener
Scam’s avatar 11-Mar-2019 By Scam in Social

Prizegiving 2018

​​Some very happy people at last nights Victory Class Prizegiving at the RNC/RAYC. Overall Cowes Week winners Max and Scam from Zinnia, and the man who walked away with most of the rest of the silverware, Jim Downing, Z78 Ziva, also with the Captains decanter for all his support to the class over the last year.

Geoff Dixon’s avatar 18-Nov-2018 By Geoff Dixon in Social