Champagne conditions for Taittinger regatta
For the first time ever the SB20 class were awarded a start at the very popular Royal Solent Yacht Club Taittinger Regatta; with a total of 200 boats and over 1,000 sailors it has been called a Mini Cowes Week.
A fleet of six SB20s competed at the event, one each from: St. Petersburg (Russia), Torbay, Poole, Lymington, Warsash and Hamble. The Royal Solent Yacht Club organised a very comprehensive social programme including a Champagne Taittinger Reception, (included in the £26 entry fee), on the Friday evening and the famous Towers Party with fireworks on the Saturday evening.
The forecast was for very light winds but on both days a fresh and steady sea breeze came in about 10:00 just in time for the start. Racing was round the fixed marks in the Western Solent and most of the legs were either beats or runs.
The first race, sailed in around 10 knots of wind, was won by Team Melston from Russia followed by our recently crowned National Champions, Team Xcellent from Royal Torbay Yacht Club, with our 2017 Solent winners Dark & Stormy, from Warsash Sailing Club in third. The second race followed after a short break in a similar breeze which then dropped leaving some of the fleet being carried in the wrong direction by the tide. However the breeze came back and the race was completed with the finishing position the same as the first race.
On Sunday the breeze was better starting at about 10 kts and reaching 20 knots by the end of the race so marginal “Champagne Sailing”. Again, the finishing places were the same so the regatta and some Champagne Taittinger was won by Melston (Kirill Frolov) with Xcellent (John Pollard, Stephen Procter, Charles Hook) second and Dark & Stormy (Andrew Bell, Alida Lewis, Adam Kitchen) third. They were followed by Turbulenece Too (Natalie French, Doug Innes, Paul Hine) sailing together for the first time, Red Kite (Roger Harford, Tim Bigg) who sailed the weekend double handed and Wavelength (John Cornish) who was also sailing with new crew.
Many thanks to the Royal Solent Yacht Club, Yarmouth Harbour and the Western Solent weather for a very enjoyable regatta, the S20 fleet felt very welcomed and realised we have been missing out for many years!
The results from this regatta count in both the UK National SB20 series and the Solent SB20 series (see below). The next UK event is the SB20 Cowes Grand Slam 2018 at Lendy Cowes Week, where the sunshine and summer Sea Breezes are likely to still be in force.
Thanks for this event report to Roger Harford & Doug Innes. More Champagne sailing to come next year!
Overall results (click to enlarge):