Battle of Britain Regatta

With light airs and confused wind directions forecast, 8 Nordic Folkboats and 3 classics came together for the last Summer Weekend Regatta, part of the inaugural Summer Weekend Regatta series. With Eala sailing up from Yarmouth, Gybe n, Lady Linda, Haanchen and Madelaine from Lymington, Mistress from Portsmouth, Smokey from Emsworth and Jarramas from Marchwood, the Hamble fleet of Valhalla, Svenja and Cidron Too were joined by Folkboat friends from all corners of the Solent.

Our Hamble class captain Kim Morley organised a great event, with pre-booked moorings at the RAFYC pontoon, a warm welcome from Kim and a hand to moor up, cold beers and time to catch up with fellow Folkboaters on the pontoon or in the club. Along with a social every evening, themed to the Battle of Britain, this gave the ideal backdrop for the fleet to have fun as the curtain dropped on our summer season.

The RAFYC ran windward leeward racing in very fickle conditions, with a combined start for Nordic and Classics, in the vicinity of Hill Head, with only one race possible each day. The tidal relief given by the Bramble bank and Southampton water came into its own, without this racing at all would have been highly unlikely. It also made for closer racing, with the tide less of a factor than is usual in the west and east Solent.

On Saturday, confusion prevailed after the first round of two, with all boats finishing after one lap, having seen the blue flag flying on the finish boat – but with the benefit of hindsight no S flag flying on the start committee boat to shorten the course. A few boats subsequently did the second lap. With 2 sets of finishes to ponder, the redress jury of RYA officials decided the fairest result was to take the finish times from the first lap, which all starters completed, with the top 3 Nordics being Madelaine, Cidron Too and Gybe n.

If it was possible for the conditions to be more unstable, Sunday brought them. The morning was spent floating around waiting for the wind, with fond memories of a Saturday evening that gave the option after supper of the dance floor or England v Argentina in the world cup rugby. Some great moves on show, whichever choice you made!!

With the wind going through 180 degrees, F0- F1, the race officer was finally able to get the fleet away early afternoon in what started as a northerly and ended up as a SE/ S – F0 to F1! Another competitive start saw Gybe n and Hanchen lead the fleet away at the pin end on starboard tack in a flood tide, with Eala, Cidron Too and Valhalla tucked up to windward. Gybe n rounded the windward mark, having picked her way through a very tricky light airs first leg, closely followed by Valhalla, Eala, Hanchen and Madelaine. Gybe n managed to hold her lead through the doldrums and big wind shifts to come home first, followed by Madelaine in second and Eala third.

Congratulations to Mistress in the classics, ahead of Smokey and Jaramass.

In the summer weekend regatta series overall, the Nordic Folkboat winners after the 3 regattas were Gybe n (14 points), second Madelaine (37 points), third Eala (54 points). Congratulations to Cy, Simon and Richard for their overall series win in this inaugural year, Team Gybe n have also been big supporters of each weekend regatta off the water – in this their first year together.