A leisurely start on day five of Panerai British Classic Week whilst crews relaxed in the sunshine waiting for the wind to fill in. By 1pm the breeze had established in the north east and the racing was planned in the east of the Solent to take advantage of the tide.
The 6 Metre class sailed two short courses back to back, whilst Classes 1-4 had a fleet start on the RYS line to kick off a long inshore race sponsored by Classic Boat magazine in the Solent.
With the Royal Yacht Squadron overseeing the busy channel and a packed start line with meticulous precision, the fleet set off to the east heading upwind in following seas.
The first leg took the yachts on a long, fast-paced beat out to Mother Bank and a port mark rounding up to Browndown in the north. Spinnakers were hoisted in haste as the boats rounded the mark and set for a close reach down a short and sharp leg to the next mark.
From Browndown, the course took the fleet east on a beat up the channel to North Sturbridge off Ryde Sands. It was a wet and windy ride for the crews as they settled in on the rail and steered clear of imposing container ships powering their way down the channel.
Bearing away to go around North Sturbridge to starboard, the fleet were able to take advantage of the tide pushing them downwind to Wightlink. Brightly coloured spinnakers decorated the Solent skies once again as yachts trimmed and tuned their way to the next mark.
From there, the course took them on a reach inshore to Quarr. Rounding the mark to starboard, spinnakers were hoisted for a third and final time for a run with the tide back to finish on the RYS inner line.
The first boats crossed the line running downwind, but by the time the middle of the fleet approached the finish they found the wind had shifted round to the north. Spinnakers were quickly dropped and sheets were pulled in for the final stretch to the finish.
Holman 31 Daysailer Stiletto crew member Josh Major commented, “It was a great race that took great advantage of the turning tide. There was no time to relax with a busy channel and the wind shift at the end of the last leg definitely took us by surprise!”
Spirit 52 Oui Fling took line honours, followed by Spirit 65 Chloe Giselle and Spirit 52 Flight of Ufford. On corrected time, Flight of Ufford won overall with Cetewayo in second and Firebrand in third. In Class 1 Flight of Ufford continued her winning streak, in Class 2 Cetewayo took first, Class 3 was won by Whooper and Cereste took first place in Class 4.
In the 6 Metres, Sioma won the first race followed by Nancy and Valdai. The second 6 Metre race was won by Sioma with Nancy in second and Thistle in third.
With only one race remaining on the final day of Panerai British Classic Week, the final prizes will be announced and awarded at the prestigious prize giving dinner at Cowes Yacht Haven tomorrow evening.