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Cowes Classics: A classic day at Cowes.

The Victory Class does not often venture ‘way down west’, defined as anything much beyond Stokes Bay, except of course for Cowes Week, which remains the highlight of the Class season. Cowes Classic Week however, while not able to entice us for the whole week at the peak of our own racing calendar, has in the last few years welcomed us for a single day’s racing in their space mid-week. A slightly more relaxed and Corinthian regatta organised by the Royal London Yacht Club is supported by an exceptionally professional race organisation on the water, and gives us the opportunity to race on courses in more unfamiliar corners of the Solent, a fine ‘warm up’ for our time in Cowes a few weeks later.

Z79 Zinderella heads for her new owners debut at Classics!

And so on Wednesday of this week 7 boats did indeed venture quite a long way west, with an early departure from the harbour before 9am to a committee boat not far off Hillhead Sailing Club. With a SW breeze it was a relatively pleasant trip along the Stokes Bay and Lee On Solent shore, to find Jeremy Spencer - Cooper (recently met by some at the Seaview Regatta) waiting for us with a committee boat and numerous inflatable marks. Also present were the Daring Fleet, to share the course with us.

Quite a cross section of the class hove to around the committee boat, with the old (Z53, Z54 and z68), the bold (Z70), the young upstarts (Z76, Z78) and the downright nervous, Z79, whose new owner Paul Maidment had made heroic efforts to get Zinderella ready for her first race under his ownership. Paul was however rather well supported on board by Ian Perryman and John Scammell, as we were all soon to realise.

In contrast to previous years where short sharp multiple races were held, this year promised two longer races out over the back of the Bramble Bank followed by a passage race home. Very much Cowes Week territory and conditions with 12 – 18 knots of breeze and a fluctuating SW breeze, with a building west going tide across the race area. The information for the first race set the scene, the windward mark was at 200 degrees, 1 mile away. We got the sense we were going to have to work hard on the windward/leeward courses with the strange (for the Victory Class) concept of a spreader mark at the windward end as well.

Race 1 saw Z76, Z79 and Z54 promptly off the line with Z76 quickly taking control at the front. Behind us Z68 and Z78 were keen, but Z78 quickly seemed to have a luff tension problem as she left the committee boat. One tack and the broken main halyard was obvious, a short day for Jim and Mark. Meanwhile Kim in Z76 led round the windward mark, Z54 behind and 68 and 79 too close for comfort. Spreader mark, and back down the run. Some separation by the leeward mark, but then confusion for Z79 on the course directions, and she turned for the finish too soon. The rest pushed on, up and back a second time, not to forget Z70 and Z53 also having their own battle further back. Z76 first over the line.

Race 2, windward mark 230 degrees, 1.5 miles (how far?!). West going tide building, as was the Solent chop. Z76 and Z54 first off the committee boat end again, but Z79 away further down the line with something to prove. With Mr Scammell on the helm this time 79 went hard left, picked up the shift and lifted over 76 and 54. Z68 also took the left hand side and was giving 54 a hard time at the top of the beat, but 79 was away, 76 chasing, and 54, 68, 53 and 70 behind. No mistakes this time and a clear win for 79 after the next run-beat-run. Looking like money well spent so far Paul!

And so to the passage race home. Home is of course a long way west against the west going. And it was not going to be made easy. A short beat to a laid mark, fetch to East Bramble, a beat back west to North Ryde Middle, a slow run right up the middle of the tide to Browndown, back to North East Ryde Middle (just to make it interesting) and a run all the way home, in on the beach at Gilkicker, to Suffolk Sails. The start had a familiar ring to it. Z76 first off the line in control followed by 54, 79, 68 ,70,53. Kim seemed determined to stay at the front, 54 hung on the tails of his oilskin jacket. But the order was set, 2 hours of racing followed, where 76 and 54 extended, while sometimes with only 3 boat lengths between them. 60 years separated the boat ages, but only half a dozen boat lengths after 2 hours racing when we reached Suffolk Sails… another win for Z76.

Thanks to everyone who came to play on Wednesday, 8 hours on the water before we reached the tables outside the Bridge Tavern, and 4 hours of very intense racing, but there seemed a lot of happy people! Congratulations to Team 76, first overall on the day, but also to Z79, Paul, Ian and John, second overall and a great start for Z79’s racing career!

For a few official photos see here:

https://www.cowesclassicsweek.org/the-regatta/galleries/wed-29-june-2022#!_TJP4976

And for full results:

https://www.cowesclassicsweek.org/results/victory-ccw-2022-1

Geoff Dixon’s avatar 30-Jun-2022 By Geoff Dixon in Sailing & racing

Zinderella comes to the ball!

​Congratulations to new owner Paul Maidment on the launch of Zinderella, Z79, on a sunny Sunday morning at the Camber. A real family affair too! Great to see this David Heritage built GRP boat back in action after some time ‘laid up’ and looking pristine thanks to Paul’s efforts. We look forward to equally shining results on the water soon!

Geoff Dixon’s avatar 26-Jun-2022 By Geoff Dixon in Sailing & racing

Race Report - 23rd June 2022

The final race in the Harbour Series- much to everyone’s delight! The race also counted as a one off for the Hamper Trophy. OOD was Z73, Jim and Martin. The afternoon of grey skies slowly turned into sunshine and a gentle breeze of ~8kts from the SW, a perfect evening for some racing.

Sapristi was parked near Pile 91 and course 12 was set. The crew on Z76 promptly looked at course sheets for out the harbour and wondered how they were going round PS to port and then KB…. doh!! For those who are also unfamiliar with the set courses up harbour, course 12 looks like this-

Pile 58 p

Pile 91 p

Pile 58 p

Pile 91 p

Pile 58 p

Finish (at B1)

Z76 and Z68 were rather relaxed at getting all the way up to Pile 90 and Z76 ended up towing Z68 at full speed whilst AP was displayed for us. There was only one place to start, the committee boat end, all six Victories (77, 76, 75, 69, 68, 54) jostled for a good start with the tide against us we could risk getting close to the line. The tactic on this race was to stay on the left side of the course out of the stronger tide and then make the dash across Portchester Creek to round Pile 58.

On the first leg there were lots of place changes, Z74 had to tack to make it inside a green post and subsequently had to duck a few boats. Z69 found clean air and stormed ahead, making it around the windward in first place. Z76 was in stealth mode (both with a lightweight crew (x1) and a clean bottom), on the second windward they fought hard and overtook Z69. The crew on Z76 has finally learnt what all the string does and where it is, which meant there were a few speedy spinnaker hoists, furthering the lead on Z69. On the second downwind to Pile 90, Z69 attempted to go high and reach over Z76 but Helm Kim defended his position and kept the lead.

There were a few squeaky moments on Z76, despite being in the lead, Z74 went far right on the course during an upwind leg and it looked like they had pulled a blinder! The wind shifted and lifted those on the left side up to the windward and we kept Z74 behind (Sorry Tom, it has to happen at least once this year!!).

On the third trip to Pile 58 the crew on Z76 were convinced there was another downwind leg but thankfully the sensible helm had counted the laps correctly and ignored his crew (not usually a good thing to ignore the crew but today it was necessary). Now just to cross the channel and pass down the B buoys to the finish. The question on Z76 was, do we cover our position as Z69 was sharking up behind, or stick to the wind shifts… we did both and for once it didn’t go pear-shaped, we pulled away from Z69 and tacked to the Gosport shore just as the wind shifted. Z69 was being stalked by Z74 and unfortunately lost out on their second place just near the end.

Now I’m sure we only counted three B buoys, does anyone know where the missing one went ?!

The final results were-

Z76 Kim and Zoe

Z74 Tom, Duncan and Adrian

Z69 Scam, Max and Jed

Z54 Geoff and Lelde

Z77 Hugh, Frank and Tom

Z68 Bill and Robin

Congratulations to Z74 for winning the Harbour series, up harbour racing is quite fun even if we do moan about it!

The next race is Saturday 25th June, the single-handed race.

If you fancy writing a race report please give it a go, just post it on Facebook, pictures always welcome !

Zoe

Zoe Whittaker’s avatar 24-Jun-2022 By Zoe Whittaker in Sailing & racing

Race Report -  Solstice Regatta (final race)  21st June 2022

A light south-easterly always presents a course setting challenge especially with a dropping breeze! We opted for a windward-leeward configuration with Gleeds as the first windward mark followed by a shorter beat to a laid mark for the fleet’s subsequent upwind work. We then held our breath that the wind would hold enough for boats to make against the strong west-going tide.

The starboard bias on the line start line meant a lot of traffic on the committee boat end. For a moment it looked as though one boat at least might be deprived of room at the committee boat. As it happened the boat too close to the action was Z53 who found herself the wrong side of the line and the Race Officer’s right eye. Very unfortunate as they clearly had good boat speed around the course.

With the west-going tide running hard on the right, boats had little option but to hold out to the left for all the windward legs. Those unfortunate enough to find themselves in dirty air found themselves having to take some pain further out in the eastern Solent.

Z74 soon established a good lead and was able to sail her own race. Behind her Z77 sailed a good race keeping Z48 at bay for the duration. Going into this, the last race of the Solstice, Jim and the Mikes had already accumulated several spare points and found themselves having to avoid corners deep conrners . Their third place put them several points ahead of Z76 who did not have the best of races.

Well done Mike Scott and his team of Jim Downing and Mike Ellison for winning the Solstice Regatta.

Zoe Whittaker’s avatar 23-Jun-2022 By Zoe Whittaker in Sailing & racing

Race Report - Friday 17th June 2022

The second evening in the Solstice Regatta with a multi race. Light breeze from the SW. The course was set with Sapristi forming a line with a small inflatable halfway between BT and KB. BT was the windward and KB the leeward, through the gate.

The first race was won by Z48, then Z76, Z69, Z54.

The second race was the same course but on the second round at upwind leg from KB to the finish we got timed out about 10/20 metres from the finish. The race was all to play for as all four Victories were very close together.

We retired to the bar for copious amounts of beer, ready for the race on Saturday.

Thanks to Sid and everyone else onboard for OOD duties.

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

Race Report - Saturday 18th June 2022

Course set-

Start at KB(?)

PS p

Red Post p

SS p

Gleeds p

SS p

Gleeds p

Finish at SS

12ish kts from the NE, shifting N and building up to 18/20 kts, rain looming.

A typical Saturday course with a little upwind to PS and a long downwind to the island side to find the red post.

After Kim on Z76 declared he just wanted a good start we both thought at 60secs to go that we had messed up but actually turned out to be a good start and first the the windward.

The fleet settled into the long downwind with Z80 slowly creeping up on Z76 and overtaking the other boats (Z54, 77, 69, 48).

At the red post Jimmy on Z48 stayed on port tack and headed North to catch channel and the tidal escalator heading into Portsmouth harbour, they had a absolutely stonking leg and came out smells of roses !!

Z80 kept Z76 behind (but not by much!!), Z54 and Z69 were having their own battle, Z77 enjoying being out but chose to retire as they returned from the red post.

Two up on Z76 (Kim and Zoe) quietly decided that as the breeze was building and more waves were coming over the deck, it would be nice if the committee boat could finish after one round of Gleeds, alas they let us keep on racing ! We chose not to put the spinnaker up on the final downwind as stomachs were rumbling and sandwiches needed to be consumed, plus no places were going to change during the final rounding.

It was a bumper race for new crew (and women out racing!)

Z69 had new crew Lynne onboard

Z54 had both Helene and Lelde onboard

Z77 had Tom Worley onboard- recently getting back into the class.

The final results were -

Z48

Z80

Z76

Z54

Z69

Z77 (RET)

We then returned to PSC for beer and food from Southsea Deli, unfortunately the weather closed in and the wind got up to 40kts, not the gloriously sunny afternoon in the Boomyard that we were expecting!!

Many thanks to Sid, Annie, Liz and Chris for OOD duties this weekend. The final race is on the Solstice this Tuesday, will Z48 win the regatta ?

Race Report - Thursday 16th June 2022

Solstice Race 1

Victory 2022 Season “Heats Up”

Whilst temperatures reach levels above those currently being experienced in the Maldives and Jamaica, 7 boats motored out for first race of the latest trophy up for grabs in this summer’s red hot racing calendar.

Unfortunately, whilst ideal weather for an ice cream on the seafront, hopes of a scorching first race melted away as the last of the breeze dropped.

As Salty (Z70), Liz and Chris hoisted the AP, the most interesting spectacle became the convoy of fishing boats making their way into the harbour.

Shortly afterwards, racing was abandoned and we all headed back to the bar.

Stay tuned, as the Solstice Regatta heads into the weekend. In the words of Glenn Frey - The Heat is On.

Joppers

Race Report - Tuesday 14th June 2022

Thank you to OODs Z68 (John and Robin) with guests Liz B and Chris Smith.

Beautiful summer evening with a light breeze, no oilies needed tonight! Sapristi was parked along the wall near PS and a windward mark was placed upwind towards Gleeds/Linnington but half as close. Four windward leeward laps were set.

Z75 attempted a port hand flyer but pesky Z78 got in the way. The fleet mostly went right up the beat, hoping for favourable tides. Once again Z74 did a great job at keeping the fleet behind them and won the race from the first downwind. Z77 (Frank and Angus) joined in for the racing but retired to PSC bar once they had enough fun. Z57 thankfully didn’t get their main stuck up again!



The final results were-

Z74

Z80

Z76

Z75

Z57

Z54

Z78

Z70

Z77 (RET)

See you tomorrow for the first race in the Solstice Regatta!

Zoe

Zoe Whittaker’s avatar 15-Jun-2022 By Zoe Whittaker in Sailing & racing

Race Report - Thursday 9th June 2022

Victory Class evictee Gareth Penn, ex-crew Zoe Whittaker and the ever helpful Liz Ballard braved the high security of Haslar Wall to start the first race in the second Thursday series for the Puffin Trophy. Both (ex)Z71 sailors had the same idea about bringing a can of beer and light snacks.

Course two was agreed with a good SW breeze and perhaps some looming rain.


Eight boats lined up for the start, with X-ray being displayed for the first time this year (?) as both Z54 and Z67 were very over the line. The fleet initially split with half going out and the other half staying in. From the wall it seemed that four boats went round the windward together, due to our lack of binos we couldn’t tell who was who until the spinnakers went up.

At SS the positions were- 74, 76, 54, 57, 67, 69, 78 and 70.

At the second rounding of BT Z67 suddenly stopped, dropped their main and subsequently worried the OODs, no man overboard but they had a few broken blocks/shackles. Z67 retired shortly followed by Z70. Sapristi went to check on both Victories but all was well.

Meanwhile, Z76 had spinnaker trouble whilst Z75 and Z54 pulled away at the front. Z57 moved up the fleet and so did Z78. The weather gods played ball and we didn’t need to shorten the course.

The weather closed in on the final leg, once again the British summer was nowhere to be seen!

The final positions were-

Z74

Z54

Z57

Z78

Z69

Z76

Z70 RET

Z67 RET

Well done to Tom and crew on another win!

See you tonight for some sunny racing.

Zoe

Zoe Whittaker’s avatar 14-Jun-2022 By Zoe Whittaker in Sailing & racing

Tales from the SVYC Westmacott Regatta – Jubilee Weekend, 3 to 4 June 2022

Tales from the SVYC Westmacott Regatta – Jubilee Weekend, 3 to 4 June 2022

The Class were invited to partake in a Regatta at Seaview Yacht Club over the long bank holiday weekend. The Regatta had been organised to celebrate 100 years since the Seaview Mermaid was designed by Alfred Westmacott and launched back in 1922. Other classes, also designed by Westmacott, including the Victory Class and Bembridge One Designs were also invited to join in the celebration.

Five boats, Z68, Z69, Z70, Z75 and Z80 made the simple passage across the Eastern Solent from the North to South Island to represent the Class. Racing was planned to start on Friday afternoon but not until we sampled an excellent lunch at the Club on their terrace. Lunch was an extended affair as we waited for late afternoon sea breeze to fill in. This gave us time to have a well earnt ice cream whilst enjoying the sunshine. By mid-afternoon there was enough breeze that we headed onto the race course for 2
windward-leeward races. Over 15 boats took part in the racing across 3 different starts. Z69 won both Victory races, having successfully navigating the fickle breeze and strong west going tide.

The weather was due to turn for Day 2 of the regatta, so Z68 and Z75 headed home to Portsmouth Friday afternoon.

In the evening, all competitors were invited for dinner and drinks in the upstairs member bar of Seaview. Which from the racing platform gave great views overlooking the Solent and back to our familiar territory of Portsmouth. During dinner, we were treated to a very entertaining history of Alfred Westmacott and the boats he designed. After dinner the evening continued in good spirit with stories being shared between all the Classes at the dinner. I am pleased to report that the Victory Class were the last ones standing at the bar and as racing was canned for Saturday we headed to the Old Fort Inn to continue the dark and stormy evening!

Z69 and Z80 headed back Saturday morning in the strong breeze while Z70 stayed until Sunday to represent the Class at the Jubilee ‘Sail by’ which included a 21-gun salute overseen by crowded audience watching from the yacht club and high street.

The hospitality from the Seaview Yacht Club was excellent all weekend and we were made to feel very welcome. We all really enjoyed the weekend and concluded that future visits are definitely on the cards!

Zoe Whittaker’s avatar 13-Jun-2022 By Zoe Whittaker in Sailing & racing