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Cowes Week 2021 Day Three Monday 2nd August

The Victory Class had a late night change of start from committee boat to RYS line, still at an unacceptable 1135, the wrong side of midday ! The change was due to the race committee looking at the forecast with a shift to light easterly winds and a strong tide at the finish, they wanted to keep us west so we could get home for beer. The forecast was windier than expected, but looming large clouds threatened wind and rain again (clothing choices made challenging!). The Victory Class were going west, our yearly pilgrimage, unchartered territory !!

Z71 successfully left their mooring with all the ropes in the right place, already a better day than yesterday… West going, downwind start at the Squadron line with the following course-

YachtDataBank p
East Lepe s

Laid black mark (8J) p

Laid black mark (8K) p

RYS line finish

The fleet were shy of the line (unlike the XODs!!!) with eventual golden buoys Z54 very line shy but with pace, ended up leading the first leg west to Lymington. Z77, Z70 and Z71 were the next group chasing down the Cowes Week defending champions, Z54. Z80 and Z74 went far right towards Southampton, Z71 overtook Z70 downwind with some great kite flying from the reserve trimmer, whilst the actual trimmer (Stretch) searched hard with binos for the leeward mark. Z67 (self professed) were very slow downwind and Z73 taught them a lesson sailing over the top of them, Z74 were behind them.

The short beat back to East Lepe, dodging the Redwings, XODs, Squibs and Mermaids, led to some place changes. Back west, what was the tide doing? Trending eastwards? Has the Victory Class ever gone this far west? We turned our winning tides over to never before used pages.

Laid mark 8J was a delight to spot on the northern shore, Z77 weren’t sure if they were heading for a moored powerboat, Z71 was definitely sure where the mark was. Z54 was still in the lead but the gap was closing. On a bloody long run Z74 accelerated past Z67, Z69 and Z70 to set themselves up for a final hurrah to the finish. The last time Graham Stone was this far west became a man overboard, much to Munch and Jules’ disgust (circa 2012).

The last leg(ish) home included a hook around laid mark 8K in Thorness Bay, just about where a huge tanker had parked up for lunch (is it only ever here during Cowes Week?!). By now the tide was ripping to Portsmouth/East and Z54, Z77 and Z71 were still in the lead, but all was to change as Z77 got the tactics right and pulled away from the other two, Z71 had lunch and Z54 ran out of chocolate. These relapses in concentration meant the rest of the fleet caught up, some of us totally screwed up the rounding of the laid mark and bore away so hard the spinnaker could’ve been hoisted, if it was on the correct side! Z77, Z69 and Z74 absolutely smashed the rounding and slingshotted to the finish. Z54 promptly deployed the drogue, whilst the fleet sailed past. Z67 tried hard to get back into contention.

With a shifty breeze around Gurnard point, boats tried their luck in the deeper water but ultimately it didn’t pay off. Z80, Z70 and Z54 stayed inside (risking the wind dropping) but had flatter water, Z71 out by Gurnard cardinal fought hard to keep Z70 and Z54 behind but Z80 snuck through in the last 100m possibly due to the jib being backed on the wrong side by the youth crew on Z71… oops.

The results-

Z77

Z69

Z74

Z80

Z71

Z54

Z70

Z67

Z73

Congratulations Z77. Let’s enjoy the light winds tomorrow….

Zoe Whittaker’s avatar 02-Aug-2021 By Zoe Whittaker in Sailing & racing

Cowes Week 2021 Day 2 Sunday 1st August

SW Force 4, with some light patches on the course but no big squalls (like yesteday!), some threat of rain. After some beers in the Island Sailing Club and then some more in the Duke of York, some members of the Victory class were feeling more spritly than others as we gathered in the morning. What to wear was another question, a soggy and cold first day wasn’t too be repeated.

Z71 had a good start to the morning, got the boat ready, got the right kit on, no hangover for the youngest crew member, brilliant! … until…. when hoisting the mainsail the youngest crew member decided it would be a great time to test the length of the halyard. OH SHIT! With 30 mins before the start Stretch and Gareth had some very quick thinking, wanting to avoid a possible costly trip to Lallows (and possibly the second this season!, we went to the ISC pontoon and with some help, Gareth up a ladder and Stretch pulling the boat over, they rethreaded the halyward and we could try and make our start.


Well, we missed the start but thought we would try and catch up, whilst avoiding the squibs and XODs! Stretch quickly got the course and thankfully we at least knew where the first mark was. Time to settle down and hunt the fleet down.

If anyone would like to let us know how the Victory start went, that would be great! I did hear Z67 might’ve touched a big green buoy before the start sequence, Z54 also might’ve bumped the bottom on some rocks up the green.

Oh the course was-

CHS s

Contessa 32 Clas p

RORC p

Royal Thames p

Williams Shipping p

QXI International s

Breakwater finish line

Z71 had a delayed spinnaker hoist (to add to the delayed start!) due to the mast gubbins being in a complete mess, not great. We did catch up Z73 who fought hard to stop us over taking on the upwind between Contessa 32 Class and RORC. We then tried our hardest to catch up the rest of the fleet but unfortunately the race was a little shorter than yesterday and we ran out of race course. Z67 and Z69 weren’t far in front at the finish, only one minute between Z71 and Z67! Top work Gareth and Stretch!

Z74 led from the first mark, followed by Z70 and then a couple of changes between Z80 and Z77 but Z80 came out third. Consistency at the top of the fleet.

The results-

Z74

Z70

Z80

Z77

Z54

Z69

Z67

Z71

Z73

Zoe Whittaker’s avatar 02-Aug-2021 By Zoe Whittaker in Sailing & racing

Cowes Week 2021 Day one Saturday 31st August


Finally after two years we are back in Cowes, with a little difficulty getting the boats to their moorings. Some boats crossed on Thursday and others last minute on Saturday morning cutting it fine before racing.

Cowes has changed the format a little this year and most classes (Black and White group) are starting on the RYS line in rolling five minute starts. Yesterdays weather was mixed with light winds, 10kts from the west, but with looming black clouds tempting us with wind and rain.

Our course was set-

CHS s
Hamble Yacht Services p
RORC p
Contessa 32 Class p

Royal Thames p

QXI International s
Finish at the breakwater

A busy start with lots of other boats to avoid, classic up the green tacking with Z74 sneaking round the IDM, Z71 across the line first. A game of snakes and ladders, Z80 pulling away in front but Z74, Z71 and Z69 trying to catch them up. Z71 was first round the windward, but had some confusion whether it was the correct mark there was some delay on the hoist.

A very long downwind leg over the Bramble bank to the Hill Head shore, foreign land for the Victory Class! Lots of tide taking us East and a little light at times, Z73 did well to catch up the fleet after their delayed start.

Up the next windward there were lots of place changes, the right side ended up paying massively. The big black cloud was slowly making its way to us, Z71 put their jackets back on just before 20ish knots hit us with some painful rain!!

The middle of the course was a little bit of a blur but there was one entertaining moment on Z71 after rounding RORC, a Daring just in front of us were trying to hoist their spinnaker but a shouting match onboard got louder and louder and they nearly had a fist fight, can you protest your own crew?!

More wind blew through for the last short downwind leg from Royal Thames to QXI International, Z71 hoping we wouldn’t need to gybe! Once we rounded the last mark it was time to hot foot it to the finish near the breakwater. Unfortunately two large ships decided it would be a good time to come through the southern shipping lane. No Victories made it in front of the first one but some made it before the second. Shifty breeze funnelled down the Medina making finishing a bit of a slog, Z71 were cold, wet and looking forward to a beer.

The results-

Z74
Z70

Z80

Z67

Z54

Z71

Z69

Z77

Z73

Congratulations Z74!

Zoe Whittaker’s avatar 01-Aug-2021 By Zoe Whittaker in Sailing & racing

Race Report from 27th July 2021

1st race of the Twilight/Candlelight series, a grey afternoon with 15-18kts of wind from the SW. Jim D and Mike Scott were OOD on the good ship Galadriel.

Eight boats left Haslar but Z53 turned around due to bilge pump issues and a lot of water in the boat from the mega thunderstorms on Monday night. Galadriel was anchored by KB, course 2 was set (first time for Z71 on a set course this year!)

Course 2 is as follows-

RA p
SS p

RA p

SS p

PSC p

SS p

PSC p

SS - Finish

The line was biased for a port hand flyer but only Z71 fancied trying it out, a little early but managed to sail past the fleet on port once the gun went off. The fleet then split a little with some going into the wall and some heading out on starboard. Lots of ducking and place changes up the first beat especially when there were some sneaky lifts. Z57, Z75 and Z71 seemed to be neck and neck until a few bad tacks for Z71 lead to them ducking some starboard crossers.

The race was shortened at the first PSC lap, with Z57 and Z75 clear ahead followed by Z54. Z71 and Z68 found it out on the last two laps together, Z71 just pipping Z68 on the finish.

The final results-

Z57

Z75

Z54

Z80

Z71

Z68

Z70

Thank you to Jim and Mike for OOD duties. There are no more races left before the Blackbird Trophy/Cowes passage race on Friday. Good luck to all those competing at Cowes Week, don’t forget we have an extra year of beer to catch up on!!

Zoe

Zoe Whittaker’s avatar 28-Jul-2021 By Zoe Whittaker in Sailing & racing

Crews Race race report

With about five boats looking likely to enter the crews race it looked like a good opportunity for the helms to hand the tiller over. However, once Galadriel arrived in Victory Village the weather filled in from the NE and blew up. This increase in wind speed made the conditions marginal for the crews to handle, and with Cowes Week just around the corner it was decided that 19 knts gusting 22 would be too much. In typical sailing fashion the forecast was wrong and it moderated just as the pints were poured in PSC!


Instead we enjoyed a few beers followed by an informal but excellent forum led by Stretch. Focussing on Cowes Week but also all aspects of racing Victories, it was great to get our heads back in the game ready for this weekend.

Pizzas arrived and we continued discussions, but avoiding rule talk as we would have been there all night! The main takeaway was how important communication is between crews and helm on the boat.

Thanks Stretch for a great evening off the water, hopefully we can reschedule the crews race for later in the year.
Look out for Cowes Week race reports starting from Friday with the passage race to The Island.


Zoe

3rd Saturday Series – Saturday Trophy - Race 1

3 boats kicked off this series,

Z54, Z70 and Z73. The wind came across the land from the NE and with an outgoing tide made for an interesting battle. The course set, starting from PSC
was, with Z54 being the gate boat was:

Gleeds – port, PSC – port, Linington – port, Suffolk Sails – Finish

The fleet immediately headed to the channel to seek the tidal advantage, Z70 got there first and stayed there all the way to Gleeds, despite some argy-bargy with a Sunsail yacht. PSC was next and reached in considerable less time than the beat took, the fleet remained unchanged with Z70 in the lead of Z54 and Z73. Up again to Linington which saw all the boats heading to the channel, before tacking up. This was not as easy as its sounded as they wind was getting light and the tide was playing games. This meant plenty of tacks were required to reach Linington. The last leg down to Suffolk sails was a very close reach to start, then a run and then back to a reach to the finish. Z70 remained ahead of Z54. Z73 retired but still had an eventful trip back home as tey required a tow as their outboard got a little salty! Thankfully Orinoco rescue them into the safety of the harbour.

Zoe Whittaker’s avatar 30-Jun-2021 By Zoe Whittaker in Sailing & racing

2nd Thursday Series –  Puffin Trophy – Race 3

A good fleet of 9 boats set sail on a sunny Thursday evening, we were set course number 2 but starting at KB instead of the Victory line. With the tide coming into the harbour the smart move was getting over to the wall for the beats. This paid throughout the race despite the lure of more breeze further out. There was close racing throughout with Z57 leading for the first half, followed closed behind by Z74. Z74 took the lead on the last beat and stayed there for their first win in the series.

The results were: Z74, Z57, Z77, Z78, Z68, Z69, Z54, Z70, Z73

Zoe Whittaker’s avatar 30-Jun-2021 By Zoe Whittaker in Sailing & racing

Cowes Week Class Dinner 2021

​Cowes Week 2021 Class Dinner - to be held at the Island Sailing Club on Thursday 5 August.

RSVP to Matt via mattsalt1@gmail.com

Crew Social

​Crew Race and Social now on Friday 23 July 2021

Any questions, please contact Stretch - stretch172@gmail.com

Solstice Regatta Saturday 19 June Race Report

Solstice Regatta Saturday 19 June Race Report

Third time lucky for the Solstice Regatta racing this year after the first two days were rained off. Our Saturday race saw 6 Victories venture out into the Eastern Solent to partake in a course, which once finished would earn them Cornish Pasties and Lemon Drizzle Cake. All washed down with lashings of (not ginger) beer. The course was a Committee Boat start at Royal Albert heading via:

Linnington - starboard, Browndown – port, Gleeds – port, Royal Albert – starboard, Linnington – port, Suffolk Sails – finish

With the race stating at 1300, just after low water the tide was running to the east. After crossing the start line all the boats headed out into the main Solent Channel to seek the tidal advantage. Gleeds was reached within 25 minutes with Z69 round first, followed by Z67, Z70, Z54, Z53 and Z73. Then the calls came, ‘what Browndown, that’s Cowes’; one unnamed boat even brought binoculars! Decisions, decisions as the fleet split, some towards the Haslar Wall and others back out into the main channel going the shorter route via the central Solent. At the Green Post, the fleet was close together running down the shoreline. No fishing lines were caught but we did interrupt a photoshoot, to the displeasure of the model, who’s outfit clashed with our bright spinnakers. And yet Z69 lead ahead of Z54, Z70, Z67, Z53 and Z73. As we carried on further east, more challenges awaited; a large fleet of Lasers needed to be navigated, most went round but two went through adding new obstaclesto the Laser course. Once navigated, the challenge was getting round Browndown against the tide. Z69 rounded first and whizzed off east with the help of the tidal gate. Z54 and Z70 had a tussle, a couple of jibes later Z54 rounded next with Z70 close behind. Z67, who decided to stay close in and have a nosy into the houses in Lee on Solent rounded 3rd. Z53 decided to try fishing as they went round by trawling their spinnaker whilst Z73 closed the gap.

The beat upto Gleeds beckoned, with the tide still going east the key was the balance of boat speed and height. Z54 went for height and Z70 went for speed; at the windward mark of Gleeds Z54 was ahead and even despite the earlier house viewings Z67 had crept up. With time ticking; the course was shortened at Royal Albert; this lead to close racing between Z53 and Z73, who had the dryer spinnaker? Z73 did; they pipped Z53 to the finish by just a couple of boat lengths. Ahead of them was Z67 in forth, Z70 in third and Z54 second, just. Z69 was first with room to spare.

Racing complete, but; most importantly the Cornish Pasties and the cake waiting back in Portsmouth, noses and bows pointed to the shore and headed home. Once ashore, a 2-course meal was enjoyed by all. We were all grateful to Liz, Angie and Zoe for the food and luckily we beat the rain which fell shortly afterwards.

Finally, before we finish do spare a thought for our Committee boat, (Sid, Annie and Mike S) their intention was for a fish supper but all they caught was the invisible fish. So, if it wasn’t for those pasties they would have been rather hungry this evening.

The Solstice Regatta is not over yet, we get to do it all again on Tuesday; up the harbour.

Zoe Whittaker’s avatar 19-Jun-2021 By Zoe Whittaker in Sailing & racing