The Zhik SB20 Solent Series 2, hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club, as part of their 175th anniversary celebrations has taken place over the Queens Diamond Jubilee weekend. And what a weekend it has been!
With fabulous “foam up” conditions, the fleet have enjoyed six back to back windward leeward races in the central Solent. The Race Committee, lead by Tony Lovell, did a fantastic job in extremely uncomfortable conditions on board the anchored committee boat.
Saturday presented the fleet with an easterly blow, sunshine and short, sharp Solent “chop”. The sun shone and the racing was competitive, especially at the top of the fleet between Andrew Oddie’s Underground Toys and Jerry Hill’s SportsboatWorld.com. Having lead the first race by a comfortable margin, Oddie took the race win from Hill by the smallest of leads having reeled Hill in on the beat to the finish line. By the end of day one, Oddie lead the SB20 fleet with a 1,1,2, results leaving Hill in hot pursuit having notched up 2,2,1.
Sunday arrived with more brisk conditions. Twenty knots from the south west, with gusts up to thirty knots. Full credit to Gary Baker, helm of Trio, who did well to compete in the fast and furious conditions, sailing double handed.
The “Oddie – Hill” battle continued on day 2. This time Hill and his crew of Richard Lovering and Matt Alverado took the win in the first race. Oddie battled back in the second with crew members Gareth Edwards and Guy Jackson. Hill equalised the result in the final race, leaving both teams on equal points. Hill took first place overall on count back, having won the final race.
SportsboatWorld.com (Jerry Hill) were instantly recognisable on the water this weekend as they were trialling a new suit of sails that are in development for consideration by the class. The sails have been cut from the original templates, and are built using the same fabric, just in a “smoke” colour. The introduction of new generation sails, will be developed in conjunction with the class associations and sailors before their general release, which isn’t likely to be until 2013.