23 July 2015 – It was an early start for competitors on the fifth day of Panerai British Classic Week 2015 as they prepared for the start of the Around The Island Race sponsored by EFG International from the Royal Yacht Squadron line at 08.00.
The Around The Island Race was largely won and lost on the beat out of the Solent through Hurst narrows. The tide had turned flood forcing the fleet to decide between the mainland and Island shores. The Island side was the shorter distance but the wind was lighter in under the Needles cliffs. Going out on the mainland shore meant sailing to the north of the Shingles Bank which added significant distance but kept the boats in better wind.
Vincent De Vries who sailed ‘L’Esprit du Morbihan’ to third place chose the northerly route and pushed it as hard as he could. “We knew there was a back eddy off Hurst and we saw Cetewayo, but didn’t believe what happened because they were ahead by 1.5 miles and we got to them in maybe a minute. We had perhaps 5 knots of current in the eddy. We tacked maybe six times, only going 25 metres from the shore each time. We could touch the posts on the end of Hurst Castle. We didn’t know if there were any rocks but we went for it. We came out a couple of hundred meters ahead of them and that was fantastic.”
Race winner Giovanni Belgrano of ‘Whooper’ opted for the Island shore and explained that the decision caused them some nervous moments too. “We had to work so hard. We took a big risk and tacked right in under the cliffs and then up over the Varvassi to keep out of the tide to get to the virtual mark.”
Finishing between ‘Whooper’ and ‘L’Esprit du Morbihan’ for third place was Michael Hough’s ‘Chloe Racing Spirit. Line honours in the Around the Island Race went to ‘Soufriere’.
The boats doing the inshore Solent race were sent off to the west for a beat towards Beaulieu, then a reach across to Gurnard Ledge and finally a run home. For the first time all week David Sherriff’s ‘Jap” was knocked off the top spot, finishing third behind Avia Willment’s ‘Siris’ in second and Pascal Oddo’s ‘Jour de Fete’ in first.
Back ashore the outcome of the Jury’s deliberations on race four were revealed and they awarded an elapsed time adjustment redress to those who had been affected. As a result we can now advise that the winners of Race Four were Armin Fischer and Robert Towbin’s ‘Sumurun’ in Class 0, Stephen O’Flaherty’s ‘Soufriere’ in Class 1, David Murrin’s ‘Cetewayo’ in Class 2, Giovanni Belgrano’s ‘Whooper’ in Class 3, David Sherriff’s ‘Jap’ in Class 4 and Pascal Oddo’s ‘Jour de Fete’ in Class 5.
Today’s Around the Island race does not count towards the series points, but with the results of race four decided we can now confirm the overall standings and that tomorrow will see some very close battles for podium places.
John Caulcutt, Jamie Matheson and Stephen Hemsley’s ‘Mariquita’ leads Class 0 by a single point from ‘Sumurun’ with Zbynek Zak’s ‘Eleonora’ ten points behind in third.
Class 1 is led overall by Sean McMillan’s ‘Flight of Ufford’ who has a three point delta over ‘Soufriere’ with ‘Chloe Racing Spirit’ ten points adrift in third.
‘Cetewayo’ is leading Class 2 by three points from Jamie Matheson’s ‘Opposition”, who in turn is six points ahead of ‘L’Espirit du Morbihan’
With five bullets to her name and the introduction of a discard after tomorrow’s final race ‘Whooper’ has secured Class 3 and Andy King’s ‘Gluckauf’ is assured of second, but the battle for the final podium place between Barney Sandeman’s ‘Laughing Gull’ and Andrew and Mary Hales ‘Freyja’, who are separated by just two points, will be tight.
The podium is already decided in Class four where ‘Jap’ takes victory with five straight firsts, Jonathan Dyke’s ‘Cereste’ is second with five second places and Timothy Wood’s ‘L’Etoile’ is third with a 17 point lead over his nearest rival.
Class 5, incorporating the 8 Metres, on the other hand will go down to the wire. Pascal Oddo’s Q Class ‘Jour de Fete’ had a three point lead over leading 8 Metre ‘Siris’, while David Parsons, Jonathan Cork and David Glasgow’s ‘Athena’ and Murdoch McKillop’s ‘Saskia’ will fight it out for third place.