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2024 Save the Dates!

2024 is a big year for the Class as we shall be celebrating our 90th Anniversary. To make the most of the year we have released a set of key dates for your diary’s

Not your average Poona!!

With the cancellation of the Poona Challenge event the Victory Class decided to try and stage its’ first team racing event since 2013 for the Clutterbuck Trophy. Hopefully this would give the Class a fighting chance in the team racing event we are hoping to host against the Royal Gibraltar Yacht Club and Royal Naval Sailing Association in our 90th Anniversary Year.

So how many would turn up? – hopefully 4 boats, but maybe 6 or 8!! The crews gathered at 11:30 on Saturday, and with some gentle(?) persuasion 6 boats were mustered.

Z78 – Jim D & Mike E

Z73 – Jim P & Munch

Z71 – Peter & Zoe

Z70 – Matt S & MC

Z67 – James & Harry

Z9 – Matt D & Claire

After a quick brief on team racing and changes to the standard fleet racing rules,the boats were drawn for the scheduled 5 flights programmed then a winner takes all final flight.

To distinguish the teams high vis jackets were distributed to the helms to help with the changes of teams between flights.

The regatta team (Scam, Max, Heather and Liz) and the crews headed out of the harbour for a predicted 1300 start. There was a small delay due to the repositioning of Z75 after a ghost passage out of the harbour the previous evening (ask Ian P for more details).

Scam and Max quickly positioned the inflatable marks (borrowed from PSC – thank you), while Liz set the start line from PSC buoy. So the course was windward to the Black inflatable (starboard) – then a reach around KB (starboard) to the downwind Yellow inflatable (starboard) back to the gate,
with the finish being signified by the shorten course “S” Flag (this course was defined as Course A).

So first flight Blue (78, 73, 71) v Yellow/High Vis. (70, 67, 9). With no spinnakers being used and the course being shortened on the first lap, the
Blue team took victory (8pts) with finish order 71,78,67, 70, 73 and 9. Peter delighted on securing his first race victory!!

With the wind veering, the course was altered to a windward leeward (KB (starboard) to the downwind Yellow inflatable (starboard) back to the gate). Ready for the second flight Blue (78, 9, 67) v Yellow (71, 73, 70). The course was shortened on the first lap, the Blue team took an easy victory (9pts, remembering that in 3 boat racing a 1-2 – any is a win) with finishing order 67,78,73, 70, 71 and 9.

The course was redefined back to Course A, with the inflatable marks being moved to suit the wind direction. This time KB (starboard) - Black inflatable (starboard) - Yellow inflatable (starboard) – Gate.

Third flight Blue (78, 71, 9) v Yellow (73, 70, 67) the Yellow team took victory (9pts) with finishing order 78,70,67, 73, 71 and 9

The tide going across the course – definitely provided an interesting strategy to the teams at mark roundings. Not only did it affect the teams but also Saprisiti as it was noticed to be dragging at the start of the fourth flight. Start abandoned and after repositioning of the start line the racing was again underway.

Fourth flight Blue (78, 70, 73) v Yellow (9, 71, 67). At the start 73 was OCS, only to return to clear the infringement. With a little coaching the Yellow team seemed in control of the flight at the first mark (2,3,4). The Blues, determined not to be beaten, reversed the scoring by Z78 gaining on two of the blue team from 5th. Z70 lost, then regained 1st place on the downwind. Now in 1st, 3rd and 4th Blue would secure victory, this left Z9 to try and slow an opponent to promote their own team member. Unfortunately, the move was not executed as planned and Matt just ended up with Yellow at the tail of the fleet. The Blue team took victory (6pts) with finish order 70,78,73, 67, 9 and 71.

Fifth flight: Blue (78, 70, 67) v Yellow (9, 71, 73) the Blue team took victory (6pts) with finishing order 78,67,70, 73, 71 and a DNF for 9.

After some complicated weighting of the results the draw for the final was made: Blue (70, 67, 71) v Yellow (78, 73, 9). So, the wind had stabilised and the course stayed as Course A. The teams positioned along the start line – individual recalls for both 71 and 73. Z73 again returns to exonerate itself, but not Z71 – oh dear! Blue took control of the race with boats in 1, 3 and 4. The team finish in the same order without 71 receiving a finish signal. Consequently the finishing order 67,78,70,73, 9 with 71 OCS. However, in 3 boat team racing an OCS is 10pts – therefore giving victory to Yellow (10pts). So the winner grinners are Jim D/Mike E(Z78), Jim P/Munch (Z73) and Matt D/Claire(Z9)… with Matt and Z9 making its’ inaugural trophy win (with Dolphin’s last win being 1988)!!

The finish time was just after 16:30, 3hours of racing with 6 close races – giving crews lots of manoeuvring practice and a small insight into team racing.

With a minor debrief at the bar and refreshments – hopefully the ground work has been established for the Class to provide more discussions on basic rules and another push for team racing to be added to future programs.

Thank you ALL, both crews/helms and helpers (and PSC for the use of inflatable marks) for making such a great, enjoyable event!!!!


(Photos by Heather)

Scam’s avatar 08-Sep-2023 By Scam in Sailing & racing, Race Report

Z74 ‘Peregrine’ wins Cowes Week 2023!

​Congratulations to Team Peregrine with helm Tom Hartridge, winning overall in the Victory Class in a tough Cowes 2023. With Z78 ‘Ziva’ helmed by Jim Downing in 2nd, and Z69 ‘Zinna’ helmed by John Scammell in 3rd place.

Geoff Dixon’s avatar 06-Aug-2023 By Geoff Dixon in Sailing & racing

Race Report: Fleet Race Tuesday 25th July - The Dunlin Tub

The Fleet Race, for the Dunlin Tub, as sailed on Tuesday evening was the last race before the Class head to Cowes and Cowes Week on Friday. Possibly an inauspicious trophy to have on that particular evening, given that Z15, Dunlin, was lost on a fresh day in Cowes Week 2001. Cowes Week preparation also accounted for the lower than usual turnout, but 6 boats came to the line at PSC racing mark, Z53, 54, 68, 73, 74 and 80. Of those the 4 boats that were heading to Cowes later in the week were anxious to test their boats and their competitive edge!

Z15 Dunlin, with Dawson Penn at the helm and a certain young Victory and Contessa 32 sailor as crew. Circa 1992

With race officer Hugh Pringle set up at PSC racing mark, Course 2 was called, with 2 beats to BT followed by two shorter beats to PSC, all with Suffolk Sails as the downwind mark. The breeze was an encouraging SW gusting to 20 knots, enough to get your teeth into.

The fleet were keen on the line, stacked up at the committee boat end with 30 seconds to go. At the last moment a dive down the short line saw them all off the outer end with no one OCS, out towards the west going tide, undoubtedly the way to go. Z54 the leeward boat just squeezing past the buoy with 80, 74 and 68 to weather and behind. As 54 squeezed up from below one by one the others tacked off for clear air, leaving 54 to take advantage of the best of the tide further out. At BT 54 had the lead with 74 and 80 rounding not far behind.

Down the run to Suffolk Sails 54 extended with Heather working the kite hard. 74 and 80 neck and neck behind. Repeat up the beat to BT again, 54 tacking too early for the buoy and allowing 74 to close a little, but 54 first round again and 74 and 80 on top of each other behind.

54 leading round SS and beat to PSC, the lead still comfortable, but you can’t make a mistake in the Victory Class and here comes the first one. 54 gybes to come down the run on port, 80 follows, but 74 holds out on starboard gybe and gets more breeze, storming up on 54, while 80 also benefits from breeze filling from astern after a lull. 54 under pressure at Suffolk Sails, but just holding the overlap inside 74 with 80 behind.

It’s often important to keep hold of the big picture when you find yourself in close quarters. Mistake no.2, 54 allows 74 and 80 to tack first and they foot off under and out into the breeze. An early tack onto Port sees them both cross 54 as PSC approaches, but they were a little early with the tacks this time, 54 holds on and takes a little benefit from a lift into the wall, lifting over 80. Not quite over 74 however, who cross on starboard 1/2 boat length ahead, to round PSC to start downwind to the line first, with 54 second and 80 third. 74 in more breeze off the wall and 54 defending against 80 sees Peregrine take the Dunlin Trophy at the line, to add to a few others waiting for collection at the prizegiving… 54, 80, 68, 73 follow with 53 retiring.

Well done to 74, but all the Cowes bound boats are no doubt happy with their performance! Thanks to Mr Pringle and team for a great race.

Now there apparently needs to be a song in here, so, with Cowes Week approaching, all together now…

“What Shall We Do with a Drunken Sailor, What Shall We Do……..

Race Report – Saturday 8th July - The Rhum Bar by The Boat Drunks

As some of the race reports are now referencing song titles and as it was world rum day perhaps the Rhum Bar by The Boat Drinks fits the bill.

World Rum Day!!!

The song about a bar that serves rum. The bar is described as being a place where people can go to forget their troubles and have a good time.

After the slow race today perhaps it was what all the competitors needed!!!

So three boat out for the last race of the Presidents’ Shield – Z69, Z54 and Z73. A small delay due to a timing issue onboard Z73 but with the rain consigned to the past, the course was set as KB(Start) – MR(P) – SS(S) – GL(P) – SS(S) – GL(P) – SS (finish).

Z69 took on the gate boat duties with Z73 and Z54 starting early on the gate opening on starboard tack. So, the long…long beat to Mary
Rose with the tide just starting to change to flow west. With a few early tacks the three boats continued east towards the port layline, Z54 south of the three, Z73 to the north and Z69 in the middle further east.

Then the wind started to drop, with a small sign of breeze filling from the south-east. Towards the Spitbank fort, Z54 had gained a healthy lead. In fact Z69 were looking to kedge as it had started to drift backwards. Z54 had made the new breeze first and tacked on the layline, with both of the others waiting for the breeze to reach them.

Z54 managed to round the first mark one and half hours after the start…break out the rum, but perhaps Geoff was thinking about overhauling the results to regain his beloved trophy for the vacant space on his stairway wall.

Z69 managed to pick the breeze up before Z73, managing to keep the chances of retaining the trophy alive.

The decision was taken to shorten the course (with the virtual ‘S’ flag) due to the wind conditions and predicting another long beat to Gleeds.

On the downwind leg to the finish, Z54 seemed to be slowing down with the breeze line reducing as they sailed to the west. Is there enough time for Z69 to catch? Z73 was still struggling around Mary Rose.

Not enough for a close finish. Well done Geoff, Chris and Hugh for completing and winning the race. Z69 second and Z73 finishing third.

So the Presidents’ Shield remains in place in Max’s kitchen for another year, Geoff’s wall still vacant with second, and a great third place by the whole Z73 team!!!

Time for a dirty banana!!! – Enjoy the rum!!!

Scam’s avatar 09-Jul-2023 By Scam in Sailing & racing, Race Report

Race Report - Tuesday 4th July - 2023 Visitors Race

2023 Visitors Race

Class Captain, Matt Salt, has organised a massive turnout for the visitors race but unfortunately couldn’t organise sunshine and champagne sailing…

Possibly the wettest race of the season (so far!)...a wet front came in at 1800 just as crews, helms and visitors were getting ready to go racing, this rain was soaking everything in sight and penetrating through all waterproofs, even the trusty MPX weren’t safe!

…. Fourteen Victories were forecast to race but two dropped out (Z76 and Z53), leaving a whopper turnout of twelve on the start line! With the wind and rain coming from the West, the course was set with a laid mark and Sapristi forming the start - KB p - Linington p - Gate KB p - Linginton p - PSC s - Finish at Suffolk Sails.

After a ten minute postponement to wait for the visitor on Z69, Tokyo 2020(+1) Olympian Eilidh McIntyre, the fleet got off to a fairly fast start with Z70 and Z74 leading the fleet. Z70 rounded the windward mark in first place and trundled off with their spinnaker to Linington.

The spring tide was pushing the fleet North and into the harbour entrance with boat passing between the nav aids before the wind swiftly died whilst everyone struggled to make it through the gate. Unfortunately Z67 was pushed into the channel and had to retire, Z68 promptly retired due to the soggy windless conditions. Z78 was wondering if the fleet would make it home in time for pizzas… ! Somehow Z74 kept moving and made it through the gate first (not before two squeaky tacks!), Z69 followed and then Z80, Z77 and Z75.

After a lot of bobbing and shivering - apparently it was July but temperatures felt like December - the wind filled in a smidgen and the remaining Victories crept towards KB. Thankfully Maxine on RIB Phame was on the water which allowed the course to be shortened and finished at KB.

The results were-

1st Z74 - Ross Partridge

2nd Z77 - Chris Fluett

3rd Z69 - Eilidh McIntyre

4th Z75 Oliver George Taylor

5th Z80 Dick Batt

6th Z78 Morgan Allan

7th Z54 Ben Holloway

8th Z73 Colin Church

9th Z70 Ben McInnes

Z67 RET - Neil O’Leary

Z68 RET - Ryan Deane

Z9 RET - Neil Millerchip & Stuart Evans

The OODs on Sapristi were Liz Ballard, Sid Dollery, Mike Ellison, Harry O’Leary and visitor Sarah O’Leary, plus rib support Maxine Reeves. The soggy sailors returned to Portsmouth Sailing Club and feasted on pizzas, cupcakes and beer.

Thank you to all the Victory owners for taking out a visitor and thank you to all the visitors for enduring a very very soggy race. We hope to have you back for future races, I can assure you we usually order sunshine !

See you on the water,

Zoe, Z78

Zoe Whittaker’s avatar 06-Jul-2023 By Zoe Whittaker in Sailing & racing

Cowes Week Knowledge Share Session

Please see details about the Cowes Week knowledge share session

Zoe Whittaker’s avatar 12-Jun-2023 By Zoe Whittaker in Sailing & racing

Age Matters… Race Report Thursday 8th June

8 boats on the line on Thursday night for race 3 of the Puffin trophy. A fine mix of the Victory Class at its best, with 4 wooden hulls and 4 GRP ready to go, covering 66 years of Victory builds, from Z54 (1949) to Z80(2015). The wind was in the ENE (again!) 15 - 20 knots, but a steadier breeze then we might have seen of late, and with the promise of moving up the scale to the 20 knot end as the evening went on.

Z74 ‘ in the chair’ for the evening set a course from a start line at PSC…… SS - BT - Liningtons - BT - SS. At the start the fleet were keen, too keen in some cases, Z54 and 69 early and ducking back down the line, and 67, oh so close to not being OCS, but the ’X’ went up and back they went after an almost! perfect start.

Going left to the wall for too long on the first beat did not pay. Out to the right got you to the right side of the curve as the wind shifted. Z78, Z80, Z54 first around SS with barely a 1/4 of a length between them. A gaggle of boats behind. Z78 low off the mark, Z80 up the middle, Z54 high and up over Z80. Down the long run to BT the wind swung just a little to the east, allowing the windward boats to hold a good line to the buoy and make the most of the gusts. At the mark its Z54, Z80, Z78, with 77 and 69 right behind. Still nothing in it.

The east going was running. Off the buoy on Port was the way to go, racing down the tide, but 77 and 69 tacked left at the buoy for clear air back towards the wall. A bit of a header on port half way down the beat and 54 and 80 tacked left for a distance and then back on to port down the middle. The middle seemed a good place to be. Z77 and 67 hard out to the right, and 69 and 77 to the left were losing ground. 54 extending on 80, and 77, giving up early on the left hand side, closed on 80 to cause some distraction. By Liningtons 54 had half a dozen boat lengths clear, with 80 and 77 behind, and the rest of the fleet close. The gusty breeze had a surprise for 69 just after the mark, pushing her into an unexpected broach, quickly recovered.

Places basically unchanged at BT. One beat to SS to go. Most of the fleet off on Port, down the tide again, trying to judge where the corner was for a tack to SS. Z54 covering, Z80 holding second. Z54 tacks for the buoy, still some 3/4 mile away, looking good. Z69 has gone early however. Up the middle. Z54 watching closely. Are the lifts going to get him to the line first. Looking ok for 54, but 80 is a little further to windward and at risk. Z54 across the line first, the oldest boat of the night still has some legs, but Z69 is second, a great recovery, leaving Z80 with the third gun, a few seconds and 66 years behind!

Honourable mention for Z9, great to see them making progress on a breezy night (but despite the number the boat is a relative youngster), and many thanks to hardworking Mike and our third generation Victory sailor Vicky Metcalf on 54 for the effort ( I won’t mention your age!)

Photo: ©Chris Smith

Saturday Victory racing - “Simply The Best”

Saturday 27 May 2023

Second Saturday Series (Presidents Shield) Race 1

A beautiful summer’s day encouraged 7 boats to join the fight for the coveted Presidents Shield. The breeze was a light North Easterlyas we exited the harbour for the racetrack, but became more fickle in bothstrength and direction as the boats congregated at KB. The race was postponed whilst several courses were deliberated, and wind forecasts reviewed. After 20 minutes the breeze settled in a Southeasterly direction and the course was broadcast as GL(p)-SS(s)-GL(p)-SS(s)-GL(p)-SS(finish).

The gate opened with Z76 attempting to enter early but the majority of the fleet waiting at the outer end of the two-minute line, to take advantage of the east going tide. Z69
continued to the south, the rest of the fleet slowly finding places to tack to get back to the east going tide. Z69 held out until the layline, a huge call, with most of the fleet tacking below Z69’s line. At the first mark, Z69 first, with a significant gap, Z54 in second, with Z78, Z70, Z73 following closely behind, slightly further behind was Z53 and Z76.

A deep run down to Suffolk Sails, with no changes in positions. Z69 keeping the lead. The next beat to Gleeds dictated the fleet’s desire to go south again for the east going tide. With the starboard rounding of Suffolk Sails, it meant threading through the fleet after the mark. This helped Z54 in second place, as they managed to extend into a different wind pattern and gained an advantage at the start of the second beat with Z78. Z69 tacked first for the mark, with Z54 crossing in front, and Z78 dipping behind.Z54 then tacked and Z78 continued out further south to the East going tide. Was the wind going to shift enough to allow Z69 to make the mark? Alas, no! Advantage Z78, but even they had to tack again for the mark in the light and shifting conditions. So, at Gleeds, Z78 led, followed closely by Z69, and Z54. Z78 had a little trouble launching the spinnaker, the gap then closed, probably only 3 boat lengths from the stern of Z78 to the bow of Z54. Due to the light and shifty conditions, the OOD then shortened the course.

The unstable conditions made spinnaker trimming difficult, especially with the light chop on the water. So, the boats were in a line, led by Z78, followed to leeward and behind by Z69 and again, leeward and behind by Z54 all trying to sail deep for the layline to the finish, but the conditions didn’t allow. 20 boat lengths out from the finish, Z54 made an aggressive move to windward of the leading boats, pulling the leaders to the north of the rhumb line, requiring the boats to gybe to the finish. Z54 extended to windward and in front of Z78, had they done enough to cross his bow? Unfortunately not [for them], and with Z69 now on the inside, controlling the situation outside of 3 boat lengths to the mark. Z69 dragged the fleet past the natural gybe layline, to the extent that they now had to beat back to the finish in the light and tidal conditions at Suffolk Sails. Z69 was first to gybe, followed closely by gybes on Z78 and Z54. Z69 managed to squeeze round the buoy to take the victory. Two boat lengths behind, Z78 came into the mark close and gybed slowly to the finish, but a gap inside appeared, with the fast-approaching Z54 taking a chance to cross the line inside Z78. Coming down on the rhumb line behind a further distance away, was Z70 and Z73, an impressive performance from Liz with her all-female team. And then slightly further behind, was Z53 and Z76. It was a glorious day for the first of the President’s Shield. In the words of the Great Tina Turner; “Simply the Best”.

Maxine & Nicky

Scam’s avatar 28-May-2023 By Scam in Sailing & racing

Race Report - 13th May 2023

So finally Summer has arrived… a glorious Saturday race…

Unfortunately missing a couple of boats due to other commitments the fleet was down to four..z53, z54, z68 and z69…

Due to having three crew and previously z54 being gate boat..z69 took the honours of organising the course as OOD. With the wind in the north east the rendezvous point was Gleeds..

So the course set start(GL) - SS(p) - MR(p) -SS(s) - GL(p) - SS(fin).

New to the Saturday team on Z69 was Scam’s Australian brother…

The race started on time with the fleet waiting late to cross the gate. First out was Z53, followed by Z68 and then Z54 with the east going tide. Gate closed.. z69 to the north and the fleet to the south…

Beat to SS.. Z69 tacked.. but the shifting conditions allowed gains under the tide for the starboard tackers…

On the the first mark Z68 tacks followed by z54 and then z53. Z68 and z54 cross clear ahead of z69. Z69 tacks ahead of Z53.. The tack to the lay line… shifty conditions z54 on the layline first, Z68 follows but Z69 tacks under their bow… is it good?….

Round the mark z54, followed by z69 inside z68 with z53 in the rear…z69 just holding off z68 to the mark rounding…

Z54 Gybe stop go East, z69 and z68 run deep to the eastern tide…Gains made by Z54 with Z69 slighttly extending from Z68 with Z53 chasing hard…

Mary Rose Z54 slows a little, followed with a gap before z69, z68 and z53….

Beat to Suffolk sails…north to the mainland shore.. z69 lifting inside z54 but not enough… z68 slipping to a comfortable third.

So the story is … Scam birthday next week .. Max wants to book a weekend away … but the trophy.. Helmsman cup is more important… z68 need two firsts to clinch the trophy from the current leader(z69)….

The race continues.. z69 keeps Z54 honest but defending against Z68, with z53 following closely..

So the last leg z54 to the north channel, z68 tacks near the mark to the west…z69 tacks to cover…

Z54 wins, Z69 second, with Z68 third followed with Z53 a couple of minutes behind!!!

Congratulations to Z54, a fine win… Z69 completes the set to win the series… very happy Max…

Now to the next…. Presidents shield, well who knows in which home the trophy will hang….we’ll see you out there!

Scam’s avatar 14-May-2023 By Scam in Sailing & racing