We had a successful day’s racing after a slow start. The planned 4 way team race was reduced to 3 teams when the House of Commons failed to appear. The Bar fielded a full team against the Law Society and Sheffield University Alumni. The race officer was Hugh Edowes.
The teams were
- Alex Charlton (H), David Hunt, Helen Dennis in Halluf
- Nick Francis (H), Andrew Venables, Tim Lamb in Scuttle
- Rory Caslin (H), Giovanni Passamonti (H) and Robin Powell, in Jade
The day started in leisurely fashion with little wind and the briefing at 9.30 am was extended to account for a change in race plan due to the HoC team not attending. After consultation with the Race Captains from each team hybrid race rules were adopted with all three teams racing together and against each other using team tactics. The low points system was used to score.
We were taken out to the fleet to rig at 1100. Casting off the mooring bouys we were just able to make way against the west flowing tide in a very gentle southerly breeze. The entire fleet made graceful progress in line astern rounding yacht Crystal moored off Seaview. There was insufficient wind to race and so the fleet returned to their moorings and we came off the water for an early lunch. SVYC served an excellent roast and we were joined by the Commodore who came over from the Royal London at Cowes after hosting a splendid dinner the night before attended by 30 members and including many past and present officers of the club. We were also joined by Michael Briggs who was cruising in Mikado which was a pleasant surprise.
We set off again at 1400 with the promise of a breeze in Seagrove Bay which could be seen on the surface of the largely still Solent. With a little paddling the fleet assembled around the committee yacht and a short square course was laid with a windward start, spreader, leeward and another spreader to make the final mark.
Alex Charlton and Nick Francis helmed throughout, Rory Caslin in his first outing in a Mermaid helmed for the first three races when he was replaced by Givovanni Passamonti for the last race. Rory sailed a Firefly for the Bermudan national team but quickly adapted to the slower rudder response time of the Mermaid likening it to a supertanker in the time taken to execute a turn.
In the first race of one round of the course the Bar executed a blinding start and maintained their dominance throughout with audacious team sailing by Rory Caslin who set a trap at the windward spreader allowing Nick Francis and Alex Charlton to sail through and gaining 1 and 3 with Rory 4 winning overall with 8 points. Sheffield were 2, 5 and 7 (13) and the Law Society 6, 8 and 9 (23).
Race one proved to be the high point for the Bar and Sheffield narrowly won the second race with 1, 8 and 4 (13), the Bar 3, 6 and 5 (14) and the Law Society 2, 7 and 9 (18)
The third race was won by Sheffield 1,2 and 9 (12). The Law Society took 5, 8 and 3 (16) and the Bar 4, 6 and 7 (17),
Giovanni Passamonti took the helm from Rory in the fourth race which was extended to two races. The result was 1, 2 and 4 for Sheffield (7), 3, 5 and 7 for the Bar (15), and 6, 8 and 9 for the Law Society (23).
The overall results were Sheffield 46, the Bar 54 and the Law Society 80. Nick Francis was the best boat for the Bar with 15, Alex took 18 and Rory/Giovanni 21.
The verdict from all competitors was that it was a great day’s racing to be repeated. It was the first time Nick Francis and Rory had sailed the event and both expressed a wish to sail in the event against Seaview on 4 July.