Southerly Regatta 2014 at the Royal Yacht Squadron, Cowes

1st June, 2014

The 2014 Southerly Regatta started well with the fleet sailing to Cowes on Sunday in Caribbean conditions of 25C and 15 knots. With all the yachts safely tucked up in the marina and welcomes said, plans turned to the Hog Roast dinner and Pimms, where old friends met up with a large number of new owners.

This may have lead to slightly sore heads as the fleet emerged on the first day to drizzle and very light winds, as boats launched, the wind came in and the skies started to clear leaving a nice day with 10 knots and blue skies.

The fleet were a little suppressed by the amount of tide running through the start under the RYS castle, with the last boat getting away a few mins late. Southerly 115, Dutch Courage got away cleanly and was sailing well until the 42RST's and 38s unfurled their kites and were soon off at 7 knots down to Osborn Bay. Southerly 42RST, Legato, were first to the mark and lead for the rest of the race, taking the canon and the win by a few seconds to Southerly 115, Dutch Courage with a gaggle of 38's coming in behind.

Tuesday dawned to a little more breeze and again more drizzle which quickly cleared ( Jim Saltenstall’s mantra “rain at 7 clear by 11”, was true again). The first race took the fleet to the east then back to the west for some traditional Solent cross tide racing. This lead to the lead changing every few seconds as various boats found eddies and patches of wind. The race was shortened at gurnard with Southerly 42RST, Legato, again taking the line but ending up 3rd overall. The true star of the race was Southerly 115, Grehan, who sailed a stunning race and was nearly untouchable, with again the well sailed Southerly 110, Carina of Solent, coming in 2nd.

With some competitors wiping off the paint marks from a misjudged tide, the 2nd race started with a good 10-15 knot beat up towards hill head and anti-clockwise around the Solent. With the race officer being told that the fleet only draw 1m with the keels up he gave the option to prove this and to sail across a very visible leap spit, which some competitors did to great gains. The race finished with a tight reach back from leap spit.

Special mention needs to go to the stunning Southerly 46RS, Gneiss Fantasy who took line honours and doing so with style. On corrected times the Southerly 32, Pippa J, won overall with Southerly 115, Grehan 2nd and Southerly 115, Dutch Courage 3rd .

Race 4 was a longer affair with many buoys around the Solent. The whole fleet started on the B of bang of the canon. With some boats not realising how close the first mark was there was a few tussles and shouts but everyone got away cleanly.

With the fleet taking a clockwise route this time, kites were out for the majority of the race. Jeremy and Joel were out in the North Sails Rib shouting words of advice to all boats. The fleet split into two packs with the Southerly 46RS Gneiss Fantasy, leading but with Southerly 38, Distraction, hot on their heels. With a freshening breeze the tight reach down to the penultimate mark had some boats hard pressed but none out of control (thanks to the twin Southerly rudders). The Southerly 46RS, Gneiss Fantasy, took the final canon of the event and Southerly 38, Distraction taking the win on corrected times, with Southerly 38, Bettina 2nd and Southerly 42RST, Legato 3rd.

With everyone’s fill of racing the fleet prepared for a Champaign reception, prize giving and three course dinner on the platform of the Royal Yacht Squadron. Winner of the Southerly Cup : Nigel Campling, skipper of Southerly 115, Dutch Courage.

Overall winners:

1st S115, Dutch Courage, Nigel Campling

2nd S38, Bettina, Nick Jones

3rd S42RST, Legato, Pete & Carolyn Leggett

4th S38, Distraction, Derrick & Janet Gill

5th S110, Carina of Solent, Derek & Andrea White

6th S32, Pippa J, Nigel Williams

7th S115, Grehan, Peter & Gusti Taylor

8th S42RST, Saving Grace II, Guy & Rhonda Taylor

9th S32, Roshanak, Julian & Diana Hansen

10th S46RS, Gneiss Fantasy, Malcolm & Claire King

11th S42RST, Mojito, Richard & Janet Poppe

12th S38, Aqua Vita, Alan & Sharyn Vine

13th S42RST, MoJo, James Eddison & Minh Tran

Special thanks goes to the events sponsors : North Sails, Lewmar, Spinlock, Selden