The Royal Southern Yacht Club’s Summer Series Harken June Regatta was blessed with spectacular conditions for the final day of action.
The southwesterly wind piped up from 15 to 20 knots by the end of the day, and with wind over tide, a lumpy sea state tested the resolve of well over 300 hundred sailors taking part.
The reigning J/97 UK National Champions, Andy and Annie Howe’s Blackjack II, were unbeaten in IRC three, as well as Royal Southern Yacht Club Commodore, Karen Henderson-Williams, racing her Dehler 37, Illywhacker, in Club Class.
In IRC 1, the two King 40s tied for first place; Blair and Beckett ‘s Cobra and Roger Bowden’s Nifty, each sharing a race win on the last day. Nifty was declared the winner on countback by the narrowest of margins. Cornel Riklin’s J/111 Jitterbug was third.
“It’s been a brilliant weekend – absolutely fabulous.” commented Nifty’s skipper, Roger Bowden. “We had a lot of close racing, with just a few seconds separating us in every race, which is really good stuff. We have had this boat for about a year, and really, we are still getting used to it. In the past, we have struggled a bit in heavy conditions, and it was great to see we had reasonable control of the boat this weekend, which is very encouraging for us. It would be nice for the crew to win the series, but we will take every race as it comes.”
In IRC Two, Mike Moxley’s HOD35 Malice had a great day on the water, scoring two bullets to take the class win from Malcolm Wootton’s Farr30 Pegasus. Roger Phillips’ J/109 Designstar 2 was third.
Blackjack II, took a comfortable class win in IRC Three, ahead of Claire Dresser’s Sigma 362, Lady Penrose. Martin Moody and Cara Golden’s Platu 25, Scallion, was only launched this week and placed third. In IRC 4, Peter Parker’s Sigma 33, Stan the Boat, scored a 2-1 today to finish at the top of the class. Fenton Burgin’s beautiful 6 Meter Sioma was second, a point ahead of Anthony and William Tahourdin’s X-95, Thistle VI.
In the J/88 Class, David and Kirsty Apthorp’s J-Dream scored a win in the last race of the regatta to secure the class win from Dirk and Dianne van Beek’s Sabriel Jr. Richard Cooper’s Jongleur won race four and finished the regatta third in class.
In Club Class, Royal Southern Yacht Club Commodore, Karen Henderson-Williams, racing Illywhacker, won today’s only race to score a perfect three wins for the regatta. Vice Commodore, Graham Dixon, racing Elan 40 Magic, suffered a torn mainsail and retired from the last race, dropping to third for the regatta. Michael Rowlatt’s Grand Soleil 45, Giuliana, was runner-up for the class.
Jonathan Powell’s J/80 Betty continued to impress, scoring two more race wins, to secure the class win in the One Design Division, by seven points. Nick Haigh’s J/80 Slightly Steamy, scored a 1-2-2 today, taking second place on countback from Chris and Hannah Neve’s No regrets. In the J/70 and XOD match race duels, Ben Mansfield’s J/70 Yeti won all of today’s races to beat Philip Chandler’s Blackjax. Andy Hamlett’s Satu was the winner of the XOD Class. However, runner-up Diana Wilson’s Mischief did have one consolation; finally getting the better of Satu in the last race.
In the Mixed Sportsboat Class, Tom Clay’s SB20 Whyaduck won all of today’s races to win the class by two points from Charles Whelan’s SB20, Here comes Bod. Steve McLean completed the podium, racing SB20 Sponge Bob.
Royal Southern Yacht Club Commodore, Karen Henderson-Williams, welcomed competitors to the Harken June Regatta Prize Giving, and paid tribute to race officers, Philip Gauge and Tony Lovell, as well as the entire race team. “It has been a wonderful weekend of racing, with 74 boats entered, and it would not have been possible without our race management team and club volunteers – thank you all very much. A big thank you also to Harken UK for generously providing all the prizes.”
Racing at the Royal Southern Yacht Club continues with the J/80 UK National Championship from Friday 16th – Sunday 18th June.
by Louay Habib