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​Race report from 9th July- Dick Batt visit

With Dicks visit postponed until todays race, we all gathered in the Camber ‘as usual’ until we realised that the harbour was about to close due to the imminent arrival of the great aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth. Rosina, with Z67 in tow, made it across to ballast which allowed all the Victories to rig and wait for the grey elephant to park in her berth.

Bill and John from Z68 were our OODs in Rosina, once we made it out onto the swashway they made a quick getaway to KB to set the line. The course was- 

Darling Associates P Vail Williams P KB S Finish at Suffolk Sails/Line

The wind slowly died and the tide confused the sea but the race got off to a clean start for Z74 with Dick Batt onboard. The fleet split with some going into the wall for clear air and the others heading southwest for the strong west going tide, carrying them up to the windward mark. The first leg was full of close crossings and ducks, places were changing all the way up to DA. Z54, Z57 and Z70 went tight into Gilkicker corner but stalled in a tidal eddy. Z74 and Z80 made it round DA followed by Z71. Once again the ten boat fleet split- Z80, Z78 led the fleet right, Z71, Z75 and Z70 went left into the beach. The tide propelled Z71 and Z75 around Gilkicker beach and into the lead, the tide (and good kite trimming) helped keep Z71 in the lead on the long downwind to VW. Unfortunately the boats that went right got stuck out by the tide. On our way down to VW, Z71 spotted Rosina gunning it from KB to VW- we were expecting a shortened course due to the dying wind. Turns out that Rosina just wanted to watch us round VW! 

With a short(ish) fetch from VW to KB, Z71 held out in front but mid fleet there were places changing, it was all down to the final drag. 

Rounding KB and hoisting the kite, Z71 decelerated and was nearly caught by Z75 and then Z57 when they rounded. Z75 and Z71 now had a game of cat and mouse to the finish- cover and go into the wall, or stay out with more breeze?  Z71 kept their lead after gybing near the wall and pulling away from Z75. The final results- 1st Z71

2nd Z75

3rd Z57

4th Z78

5th Z74

6th Z80

7th Z70

8th Z77

9th Z54

10th Z53 Thank you to Bill and John for running the race. Thank you to Dick for the winners bottle. Congratulations to Z71- Gareth, Hiram and Zoe - i’m sure Z71 won the same race last year, definitely deja vu !! See you tonight, Thursday 11th July, for a special one off race. Don’t forget to book your Cowes week social tickets through Matt and your new class tie!



Zoe Whittaker’s avatar 11-Jul-2019 By Zoe Whittaker in Sailing & racing

Victory Class social events Cowes Week 2019

​Don't miss out on some fantastic events!

​Race report from the Solstice Regatta 2019

The Solstice Regatta combines racing on Thursday and Saturday with an extra multi race on Friday to make a series, this year the Saturday race was also the 85th Anniversary race.

Thursdays race was also extra special as it was Delphines Last Race.

Firstly - thank you to everyone for their help over the weekend, without all the hard work the regatta would not have been a success!

Ten Victorys took part in the regatta with windy decreasing from a windy/stormy Thursday to nearly nothing on Saturday with bright sunshine, a typical English summer!

On Friday night we headed out the harbour entrance for two short races along the wall, OOD was Sid Dollery with his fantastic radio voice!

A course was set from KB to PSC, through the gate, down to Suffolk Sails and through the gate. The first race was three laps and the second was two due to the dying wind.

There was close racing across both races but Z69 pipped both wins!

After racing on Friday we all gathered in Victory Village for some rum punch and pasties, it was a lovely way to see out the Summer Solstice and to reminisce on the evenings race.

On Saturday the sun was shining with a gentle breeze, Sid once again was OOD and set a (long!) course from KB, Mary Rose, Browndown, Mary Rose, KB, VW, finishing at Suffolk Sails.

Unfortunately the wind didn't hold and we finished at KB, however the fleet enjoyed a long downwind leg to Browndown with tactical tidal decisions to be made. Z69 chased down Z48, Z75 and Z68 tousled with eachother off Gillkicker. Upwind to MR Z69 caught up Z48, Z75 closed in on them and Z54 overtook Z68, to then be overtaken by Z70.

The last leg from MR to KB was a slow slog- the wind barely filling the kite and there was constant wake from boats and ferries in the busy Solent.

The final results are below. Congratulations to Scam and Max on Z69, they retain their Solstice Regatta winners title!!

The next race of the season will be tonight, Tuesday 25th May... if there is any wind! 

Solstice Regatta Pontoon Party

Victory Class 85th Anniversary Celebrations

​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 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
Gareth Penn’s avatar 07-Jun-2018 By Gareth Penn in Sailing & racing


​​Z79 offers aunique opportunity to enter the exciting world of Victory sailing with a brand new GRP boat fully fitted out for racing, including a full set of sails.

Provisionally called Zing – because of her lively performance in winning her test race – Z79 was recently built by David Heritage in Cowes.

Zing was commissioned by the Victory Class to ensure that a top class, racing-ready new Victory would be available to potential new owners wanting to get on the water without delay.

Zing was fully fitted out for racing by David Heritage and tuned and set up by Shaun Hopkins. She is fully compliant with the European Recreational Craft Directive (RCD). She has been tried and tested in the Victory Class course in one race, which she won decisively. Since then, Zing has been laid up and is being maintained to its build standard and is ready to sail immediately. 

There are only two photos of Z79 in existence, both of which are shown here, however she is built to identical standards as Z78 which is also pictured here and is available to view and test sail. 

Price £28,000

Viewing by appointment. Ring Hugh

Pringle on 07973 176501 or email