With virtually now wind in the Solent this morning, the FAST40+ Fleet was kept ashore by PRO Tony Lovell until midday, but it was well worth the wait.
A 6 knot northwesterly wind was just about sailable for the start of the first race and by the end of the second, and final race, the breeze piped up to 12 knots to give champagne conditions for the fleet.
The Alex Mills KER40+ Invictus took the first race by a delta of 46 seconds, having read the conditions to a tee. The second race was incredibly close, won by Stuart Whitehead’s Carkeek MkII Rebellion by five seconds, with the top eight boats finishing within a minute of each other.
Peter Morton’s Carkeek CF40+ Girls on Film is top of the leaderboard having scored two second place finishes today. “It is just so close, you couldn’t put an ice cream wafer between the boats.” commented Morty. “One bad hoist or miss one shift and boats pass you, there is no hiding place in the FAST40+ Class.” commented Girls on Film owner, Peter Morton. “Today was all about reading the breeze and staying in good pressure and Dave Lenz on our team did a good job. In the first race Invictus really got it right and got a good win. In the second race, it was incredibly close, right through the fleet. Tomorrow’s Round the Island Race is going to be very interesting, one thing we definitely want to avoid is hitting the wreck off The Needles, I have done it twice and I don’t want to do it again!”
Stewart Whitehead’s Carkeek MkII Rebellion won the last race to finish the day in second place. “All of the boats have come on this year, which is making for fantastic racing.” commented Stewart. “We are much happier with our boat speed this year and although the boat is now lighter, we have a heavier crew, so we have more righting moment and that really helps upwind. Tomorrow, is looking like a real range of conditions, with anything between eight – twenty knots forecast, so there is a lot of discussion about which sails to take. I am really looking forward to the Round the Island, the crew are not too talkative but at the right moments, we have some great conversation, and although it is mostly about me concentrating on driving, it is all good fun.”
Bas de Voogd’s Carkeek MkIII is in third place on countback from Ker40+ Invictus. Johnny Vincent’s KER40+ Pace led for much of the first race but finished third, and a sixth in the last race, left the newly crowned FAST40+ National Champions in fifth place after two races, just ahead of the German Felci designed Silva Neo, on countback.
Round Two of the 2017 FAST40+ Race Circuit will conclude tomorrow with the Round the Island Race, presented by Cloudy Bay. The FAST40+ fleet will go in the first start of the day at 05:30 BST (04:30 UTC). Conditions are looking good for a fast race, with the fleet expected to take approximately five to six hours to complete the 56 nautical mile course. The winner of the race will be presented with the FAST40+ Cloudy Bay Trophy.
For more information visit www.fast40class.com.
by Louay Habib