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)

Or over here…
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