The Royal Southern Yacht Club’s 2022 Summer Series is off and running with the North Sails May Regatta held 7 – 8 May on The Solent.
The race management team, led by Principal Race Officer Peter Bateson and Race Officer Peter Saxton, provided 60 teams with great racing in seven different classes. Black Group had six races, on a mixture of windward-leeward and tight round the cans courses. While White Group had ten short, sharp windward leeward races.
North Sails May Regatta Class Winners: Twenty (SB20), Eat Sleep J Repeat (J/70 Open), Powder Monkey (J/70 Corinthian), Gweilo (HP30), Jagerbomb (J/111), Sailplane 3 (IRC 1), Happy Daize (IRC 2), Banter (IRC 3).
As with all of the Summer Series regattas, superb après-racing social events are organised at the club’s purpose-built facility on the banks of the River Hamble. The North Sails coaching team was out on the water, and after racing on Saturday, their experts Jeremy Smart and Ruaridh Wright presented a debrief, including detailed drone video and top tips from specialists including double-Olympic sailor Chris Grube. Hundreds of sailors enjoyed a great regatta, in sunny light to medium conditions. The North Sails May Regatta Prize Giving was held at the Royal Southern YC Clubhouse with North Sails jackets, books, and sail bags for the winners.
Black Group – RO Peter Bateson
Rob Bottomley’s Mills 41 Sailplane 3 won three out of six races to take the big boat class win. Mills 39 Zero II VME Racing, skippered by James Gair was second and Simon Perry’s Cape31 Jiraffe was third.
Jean Eudes skipper for Sailplane 3 commented: “A great start to our inshore season, this crew has been together for a while, and they performed very well, especially with North Sail’s Ruaridh Wright on tactics. The first day we had 10 knots of wind, which is what this boat needs, she is a rocket upwind in that breeze or more. The second day was a bit lighter, especially the first race, and the crew worked hard all weekend, as one mistake and we would be behind.”
Ten teams raced in the HP30 Class, which was well won by Chris Townsend’s Farr 280 Gweilo, scoring four bullets. Jerry Hill’s Farr 280 Moral Compass was second, just a point ahead of the top Far East 28 Resolute, skippered by Andrew Peake. Jamie Rankin’s Farr 280 Pandemonium was just a point off the podium in fourth.
Gweilo is a new HP30 team for the season, tactician Richard Powell commented: “The Farr 280 is a great boat, a fantastic Solent flyer, a mini-TP52. Chris (Townsend) is on the tiler, and we have three of the Vines family, Ben, Jenn and 16-year-old Ollie, plus Jono Price who raced on the boat as Toucan. This season we are really just getting to know the boat, and we love the development class aspects of racing. We know Jerry Hill and his team well and it was very tight racing at this regatta, I think we just got a few things right, especially up wind. Well done to Race Officer Peter Bateson for firing off six races in at times unstable conditions. The racing was really close, and we are really looking forward to racing in the HP30 Class this year.”
J/112 Happy Daize, skippered by James Chalmers with his Knight Build crew, scored all podium finishes, including three bullets to win the 12 strong class. Mike Yate’s J/109 JAGO was second. Mike Moxley’s HOD 35 Malice and Mike Bridges JPK 1010 Elaine Again had a terrific duel at the regatta, including a tie for the win in Race 2. Malice took third for the class at the regatta from Elaine Again by just 1.5 points.
It was nip-and-tuck all regatta in IRC Three with half of the ten entries scoring race wins. Ian Handley and Tim James, racing Mustang 30 Banter, put in a solid second day to win the class. Oliver & Sam Love’s SJ320 Frank 3 also saved their best until last, winning the last race of the regatta, edging David Greenhalgh’s J/92 J’ronimo into third after countback.
“We had some great really close racing, one race the top five were just 20 seconds apart after time correction,” said Banter’s Ian Handley. “We were two points off the lead after the first race, due in part to the wind shutting down in the last race, so we had it all to do on the second day. As always, Banter has some young crew on board, including my daughter Alice and Ben Shorrocks. The North Sails drone footage was especially helpful in analysing our starts for lessons learnt for the rest of the season.”
With eight one-design J/111s there was hot racing for the class. Paul Griffiths’ Jagerbomb scored three race wins and two second place to win by just two points from Sally and Tony Mack’s McFly. Cornel Riklin’s Jitterbug was third, just two points ahead of Dirk & Dianne van Beek’s Race 3 winner, Sabriel.
White Group – RO Peter Saxton
Paul Ward’s Eat Sleep J Repeat romped home scoring nine bullets in ten races. Ian Poynton’s Powder Monkey scored their first podium finish in the J/70 UK Class coming second overall and was the top J/70 with an amateur crew. Paul Barnett’s Scottish team racing Panther in their first season also made the podium for the first time and was only a point behind Powder Monkey after nine short sharp races.
Ian Poynton lent Powder Monkey to his friends Hannah Muskett and Ross Perchard, who raced with Fran Evans and 15-year-old Freddie Denton. “We have done very little J/70 sailing in the past and not since last September!” said helm Hannah Muskett. “Ian is the kindest man in the world to let us race Powder Monkey for the series at the Royal Southern. Racing J/70s takes us back to our student days racing J/80s. A J/70 is incredibly tweaky, so it took us a few races to get going and watch Paul Ward, we learnt so much, especially being soft on the controls in light air. It was a fantastic weekend with incredibly well-run race management.”
Mark Gillett’s Twenty scored four bullets out of nine races to win the SB20 Class. Second was Charlie Whelan’s Breaking Bod and third was Simon Berry’s Betty. A special mention for Oliver Hill’s teams and Liam Pardy’s SportsBoat World Racing, who both won races at the North Sails May Regatta.
“I have been racing SB20s with Paul Hine for 12 years, and it is great to have won this regatta,” commented Twenty’s Mark Gillett. “As always in the SB20s it was very close racing, undoubtedly the difference was definitely the new boat we collected on Friday!!”
“We have a fantastic season of racing planned for the Royal Southern, and many thanks to North Sails for supporting the May Regatta and also to the race management team who produced a first-class racing on both courses,” commented RSrnYC Rear Commodore Sailing Paul Ward, who also won the J/70 Sprint Series event at the regatta. “Having coaching from North Sails experts is a wonderful way to start the series. I am sure all of the teams have benefitted from their help, which will boost the standard of racing for everybody.”
The next regatta for the Royal Southern Summer Series will be a special occasion at the prestigious club. The Champagne Charlie Platinum Jubilee Regatta will be held 4 – 5 June, celebrating the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. The regatta is supported by Charles Heidsieck Champagne and is an open event for club members and visitors to the Royal Southern YC. A Crew Ball will be held at the Clubhouse during the regatta.
North Sails May Regatta (7-8 May)
Champagne Charlie Platinum Jubilee Regatta (4-5 June)
Salcombe Gin July Regatta (9-10 July)
Land Union September Regatta (24-25 September)