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Preparation in full swing for Cowes Week 2022

With Cowes Week starting this Saturday all boats are pulling out all the stops as they get ready for the week ahead. Cowes Week is the highlight of the Class’s season, we have 11 boats entered this year and the forecast is looking good with a south-westerly breeze for most of the week. Z80 will be looking to defend their crown as overall winners for the week from 2021, but this is no mean feet as we have had 5 different winners in the last 5 years!

The public slipway in Old Portsmouth was busy this morning with 3 boats being pulled out for a good scrub and an extra coat of antifoul.

The yard was also a hive of activity with the Z69 getting the power tools out, we are not sure if this was last minute modification or crew training… all will be revealed next week.

One of many challenges of Cowes (other than hangover management) is knowing where you are going, so Crews are searching high and low for their copy of Winning tides (or will it be mid-fleet tides this year?) to help them navigate the Bramble bank.

It will be a busy week both on and off the water, with 7 races planned and 2 social events. On Saturday we have an informal BBQ in CCYC
and on Thursday we are holding our Class Dinner at the Island.

You can follow all the racing via the Cowes Week YouTube Channel which will be showing all the race starts live, our first start is at 1245 on Saturday of the
Squadron line. Race results will be posted every day, shortly after racing on the Cowes Week website and watch our Facebook page for the
race reports! Plus, do tune in to Cowes Radio, especially on Thursday as Liz will be live on air!

As always Cowes Week is looking set to be a great week and one the Class looks forward to every year. There will be some great racing around
the cans, and we’ll have just as much fun off it in the bars and pubs along the high street!

Zoe Whittaker’s avatar 28-Jul-2022 By Zoe Whittaker in Sailing & racing

Race Report - Saturday 23rd July

PSC, MB, SS, BT, SS

Saturday racing at its best! 17knts + with a strong west tide made it a wet race!

67 was gateboat with the course starting at PSC, then to get some pre-cowes week practice in the next mark was Mother Bank to port.

After some close tacking up the wall-it was a game of spot the (correct) red can!

The middle of the channel offered a very strong tide so the gamble was to tack along stokes bay out of the tide before crossing .... Or alternatively cross the channel and then tack up the IOW coast. Certainly th IOW gave you better visibility of motherbank.

Out of 7 boats out on the water, only one risked the tide for better visibility..Z54. but would it pay off?

Safe to say- It paid off! - and Z54 had a 1NM lead on the rest of the fleet. Followed by the rest of the fleet all within close proximity of each other as they head down wind with the tide back to Suffolk Sails.

The down wind leg was close, 54 rounded the SS first followed later by Z70 who stayed out in the strongest tide, shortly followed by 69 and 68.

The boats had a short tacking match up the wall back up to Baker Trayte and down wind to finish at Suffolk Sails.

Finishing order was 54, 70, 68/69, 76, 67, 53

Safe to say -54 was waiting for us at the bar after a very clever early call on the water.

Written by MC (Z70)

Zoe Whittaker’s avatar 25-Jul-2022 By Zoe Whittaker in Sailing & racing

Race Report - Thursday 21st July 2022 - Little Wind, Lots of Tide

The race on the 21st July was race 4 in the 2nd Thursday Series, and what a change from Tuesday evening, lovely weather still, little wind forecasted to die… The committee boat setup on station at KB and laid a leeward mark, and then set a course up to Baker Trayte (P) KB (P) 3 times around…. A short postponement was needed to allow all the boats to get back to the correct side of the start line. The start got away at 19:06 with two hoots of the horn and an X-Ray raised.

Z67 & Z68 worrying looked at each other as “one boat over” was announced on the radio, Z68 returned and thankfully for Z67 the X-Ray was removed as Z68 started again. The fleet headed left into the strongest tide. Z79 took a commanding lead, Z57 hot on there heals and Z74 appeared out of nowhere also looking strong. Z67 was not going well, too light for us to find any kind of grove. A hitch into the right along with a few other boats and it looked better as we passed in front of Z69.

Boats started to round Baker Trayte and promptly stop moving as the fierce east going tide made itself known. Z79 did treat the fleet to an inspection of its new kite, a nice violet and white number adorned with Glass Slipper, nice! The mood on Z67 improved as we reach Baker Trayte as all boats where now again together and we had a chance going around on the inside. Staying out in the strong tide for a little too long evaporated this renewed vigor.

Boats where now pointing in every direction scattered across the Easter Solent, searching for wind, less tide and back eddies. This was going to be hard work and a bit of a waiting game.

Z67 was not in the mood for waiting and dreaming of cold beer, retired heading towards the nearest pint of HipHop. Z77 did not have to wait that long and managed to cross the finish line and take the win. Z68 was the next boat to retire, and then Z57 finished (having had a much drying race with the boat in a vertical position) albeit 18 minutes after Z77. Z69 squeezed across the finish line followed by Z79.

Z54 & Z74 gybed, gybed, gybed, gybed and then gybed trying to stay on the right side of the finish line. Z70 got close, like within a meter, and then drifted back and then got close and then drifted back, and well you get the picture. In the end all three boats had to retire.

Back in the sailing club, (the bar manager was very impressed with the amount of beer consumed this evening) crews dripped in throughout the evening, depending on how their races went, or how bored they had got, or how long they had to wait for there lifts back to Portsmouth. Such was Z77 commanding lead, they had had there two pints, done there socializing travelled home, had coco and where in bed before most of the crews had returned. (Possible exaggerated for a good story)

Final positions where Z77, Z57, Z69, Z79. Retired Z67, Z68, Z54, Z74, Z70

Such was the quality of the racing this evening, Hampshire Fire Services published a picture of the scintillating racing, that then made the BBC too(https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-62262198)… ( Ok, maybe we were just photobombing there wildfire pictures, but that did explain the burning smell around Gilkicker)

With two races left before Cowes week hopefully all crews have done their practice and are in top form for a week of the highest quality racing in the best fleet in the Solent.

Munch, Bowman and trimmer on Z67, still not a photographer.

P.S. For all budding race reporters, a word of wisdom, don’t type your reports directly into Facebook. It has a habit of crashing when you are about 90% finished. I hate writing a race report twice for the same race. DOH!

Zoe Whittaker’s avatar 22-Jul-2022 By Zoe Whittaker in Sailing & racing

Race Report - Tuesday 19th July 2022

During the afternoon leading into the 2nd Tuesday series Bishop painting (4/5), there was scorching sunshine (hottest day of the year?) followed by ominous clouds which brought some sporadic rain and no wind, the Solent appeared glassy for a while, followed by 20kts filling in from the prevailing SW. High tide was about an hour before the race start, creating a lumpy sea for the eight Victories (Z57, 67, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 80).

Liz was OOD on sapristi with Max, Chris and Mike E. They decided on starting at KB with the windward mark as green post (p), KB (p), BT (p), KB (p), PS (s) Finish at SS. The tide was just turning between west to east going. We had a busy start but Z74 (Tom and Duncan) shot out the gates with Z75 (Nick, Clive and Ian) on their heels, Z78 (Mark, Jim and Zoe) was being luffed by Z77 (Hugh and Frank). Z67 (Joppers and Munch) were late to the start but radio ahead and still raced. There was a good battle to the windward mark with Z74 holding out for the lay, leading the trend for Z75 and Z77. Z74 rounded first and headed downwind on a course that looked like they didn’t know where the leeward mark was (Sorry Tom, or blame Duncan for the nav?). The crew on Z78 rounded the windward and looked up to see the pink and white spinnaker of Z75 flapping manically following a broach and the mast of Z76 (Kim, Chris and Jules) at a less than optimum angle- I’m not sure folding masts will become a popular feature within the fleet- leading to them retiring. Z57 (Janet and Stretch) decided the wind and waves were too much for frail Variety and they retired.

Z74 kept their lead, followed by Z78 and then Z75. Z78 decided not to hold their spinnaker on the tight reach between KB and PS but kept Z75 behind them. It was neck and neck to the finish with Z78 just piping Z75. Z74 was already past Fort Blockhouse and ready for a post racing pint.

A 40 minutes blast on the Solent with lots going on, broken masts, retirements and as always some very close racing. Good practice for that thing happening soon… Cowes Week… anyone heard of it?

The final results were-

Z74

Z78

Z75

Z80

Z77

Z67

Z57 (RET)

Z76 (RET)

Zoe Whittaker’s avatar 21-Jul-2022 By Zoe Whittaker in Sailing & racing

Crews Race - 14th July 2022

A bit delayed… but blame the social secretary!


Race report written by new crew Jed Rogers.

Crews Race - 14th July 2022

Thursday night’s Crews race saw an excellent turnout of 11 boats for a highly active race in the glorious sunshine. The race consisted of many laps of a windward-leeward course with PSC as the windward mark and the laid orange as the bottom mark, passing through the gate (KB to the committee boat).

The wind was 8-12 kts from a strange northerly, providing many tricky shifts but flat water for the crews.

Congratulations to Z74 for the win and leading from the first leg. Closely followed by Z67 who gained two places to finish second. In third place was Z77 who were shortly behind with a gap of 14 seconds.

A special thanks to Stretch for organising the race, it turned out to be perfect conditions for a superb evening of racing with the largest start this year out in the Solent.

The social committee organised pizzas for some dehydrated sailors from local restaurant abarbistro to accompany the post-race social in Portsmouth Sailing Club.

The final results were:

Z74 - Helmed by Adrian (Crews Will and Tom)

Z67 - Helmed by Munch (Crew Joppers)

Z77 - Helmed by David W (Crew Hugh and Jules)

Z75 - Helmed by Stretch (Crew Clive)

Z76 - Helmed by Zoe (Crew Sally and Kim)

Z69 - Helmed by Max (Crew Scam and Jed)

Z80 - Helmed by Gareth P (Crew Russell)

Z68 - Helmed by Geoff (Crew Bill)

Z48 - Helmed by Mike E (Crew Jim D)

Z54 - Helmed by Lelde (Crew Geoff and Heather)

Z70 - Helmed by Matt (Crew MC)

Many thanks to Liz and the team on Sapristi!

Race 2 Saturday trophy series

Race report….. Brace yourselves, it’s guest crew (stroke rockstar crew) report.

OOD Z69

Course: PSC(start)- MR(p)-SS(s)-MR(p)-SS(s)-GL(p)-SS(fin)

The above might mean something to you, it means little to me. This is officially my second official Victory Class Portsmouth race, the last time I took part in a victory summer race, Z69 was still being sailed by Jeremy, we were all much younger and big scam was with Kate1…. Long story and not important.

Z69 gate, one crew without his hearing aids…(that’s me!) Gate opened first across were Jim and Mark in 78, followed by 67,54,68 in close proximity.

Beat to Mary Rose; z69 closed the line and shortly after tacked onto port, the fleet were pushing the channel side, at the first cross Z69 crossed ahead of 78, 67 and 68 close by.

69 held the left side for longer and this paid rounding with a healthy lead. 78 second, close followed by 67&68. 54 with a bit of ground to make up.

2nd lap…Z69 extended by guarding the left of the beat, 67 caught up 78 and 68 (the wily old dogs??) were in the mix. 67 rounded just Infront of of 78, 78 rolled 67 on the 2nd run.

The last best saw 69 extend, but the race for 2nd was on, 78 and 67 were close, but those wily old dogs in 68 plugged the left hard and we’re looking good, would they sail around the outside of 67 and 78????

69 on the way home, 78 second and 68 tucked in behind, 67 dropping a place in the beat. A good gap to 54 and 70 showing an RTD.

well done scam for a good Cowes week tester of a course. Well done Max for sailing with scam* (someone has too).

See you all in two weeks for The big one!

Simon (Suffolk Sails)

P.S. what a great looking finish buoy you guys have…

P.P.S what a great fleet you guys have, it’s not about the boat….

P.P.P.S. Suffolk Sails tee’s and hoodies, covers etc. Are available

* he’s not that bad… If you take your hearing aids out

1st Z69

2nd Z78

3rd Z68

4th Z67

5th Z54

RTD Z70

Zoe Whittaker’s avatar 17-Jul-2022 By Zoe Whittaker in Sailing & racing

Visitors Race - 12th July 2022

Vice-Captain Matt Salt worked hard to get an excellent turnout for the Visitors Race, with a favourable forecast of glorious sunshine, 8-10kts from the SW and temperatures warm enough to leave the Musto BR1s and Dubarrys shoreside.

Unfortunately the breeze slowly died and racing was rather short. The lack of breeze did work in our favour for the off-water socialising, Portsmouth Sailing Club was full of thirsty sailors.

The Victory Class have many trophies allocated to specific races, events or series and the McKay Painting is awarded to the winner of the Visitors Race.

The social committee organised pizzas from local pizzeria Circolo plus a delicious coffee and walnut cake made by MC.

The Visitors were-

Z54 Miles Linnington - Linnington buoy sponsor

Z68 Robin Townsend - Portsmouth Sailing Club buoy sponsor

Z70 Hebe Hemming - UPSC

Z74 Gareth Peters and Munch (not visitors)

Z76 Joe Speare - Haslar marina

Z77 Jeremy Miles

Z79 Dick batt - Class sailmaker

Z80 Matthew Downing - Raymarine

Z69 Jed Rogers

Many thanks to OOD Liz and team on Sapristi.

Victory Class Official Commuinications

If you do not already receive class emails and would like to sign-up to Victory Class communications please follow this link

Sign-up Here

Cowes Week Socials 2022

Email Zoe for tickets!

Scorching start to July – a quick recap of this week’s racing

Scorching start to July – a quick recap of this week’s racing

2nd Tuesday series – Bishop Painting 1

A good size fleet gathered in the glorious evening sunshine for a race of many laps, sailing across the tide. The course was start between the committee boat and KB, PSC (P), laid mark (P), through the gate x 5.

Up the first beat the fleet were split with no one really sure how to tackle the short beat across the tide. It was either tack earlier in search of wind or head to wall in the hope of less tide. Z74 made it round first and that is where they stayed for the rest of the race. Z78 made some admirable gains throughout the race moving from 9th to 4th
over the 3 laps following the raising of the shorten course flag. Towards the front there was a good tussle between Z57 and Z75 throughout. Z77 held their own. Z54, 68, 70 and 53 changed position many times depending on the speed of the spinnaker hoists and who came out round the leeward mark with the highest.

The final results were: Z74, Z57, Z75, Z78, Z77, Z54, Z70, Z68 and Z53

2nd Thursday series – Puffin Trophy

Results were: Z69, Z74, Z54, Z70 and Z77

In tricky, fickle breeze a short course was set of start between the committee boat and PSC, Baker Trayte (S), PSC (S) x 3. Z69 was the first to cross the line of a line shy fleet and proceeded to find the wind in the middle of the beat, Z54 and Z70 headed down the right-hand side. Z74 and Z77 targeted the left- hand side. With all sides of the beat chosen, it was Z69 who made the right call and made it to the windward mark first, Z74, 77 and 70 rounded together with 70 nipping inside whilst 77 and 74 set their kites. Z54
were close behind and got technical on the downwind leg by dropping their jib. At the downwind mark, Z69 had extended into a good lead with Z74 in second – Z54 had made good gains to round in front of 77 and 70.

Over the next lap Z69 continue to lead with Z74 chasing them down. Z54, 77 and 70 battling between them to stay in the best breeze, which thankfully was picking up. As the final lap arrived, Z74 had continued to make agains on Z69 who still held the lead, Z54 was in third, Z77 in fourth and Z70 fifth. This is how it stayed until the final downwind leg which saw Z77 head into the wall meaning they had to jibe back to make the line. Z70 just went straight for the line, no jibe needed and with 50metres of the race left managed to overhaul Z77.

So the final results were, Z69, Z74, X54, Z70 and Z77.

Zoe Whittaker’s avatar 08-Jul-2022 By Zoe Whittaker in Sailing & racing