A gusty north easterly breeze kept all the competitors on their toes for the first day of racing at the Land Union September Regatta. Up to three races for all classes were held in the Central and Eastern Solent. Today’s winners in the Black Group were; Alex Locke’s Toucan, David Bartholomew’s Tokoloshe 3, Christopher Daniel’s Juno, Gordon Craigen’s Jacana, Howell & Newell’s Arcus, Claire Dresser’s Lady Penrose and Graham Nixon’s Magic. In the White Group there were wins for Jonnie Goodwin’s RYS Team and Simon Patterson’s Standfast in the J/70 Class. Gary Rossall‘s Little X was the winner of both races in the XOD Class.
In the SB20 UK National Championships, seven windward leeward races have now been completed. John Pollard’s Xcellent is top of the leaderboard, Simon Russell’s Sportsboatworld is second. McAdam & Whelan’s Breaking Bod is third.
Simon Russell looks after the SB20 Fleet as Director of Sportsboats World. “John (Pollard) has been dominating in the UK SB20 fleet for a number of years, but we like to think we have given his team a run for their money,” commented Simon. “With the Covid-19 situation, most of the SB20s have not been racing this year, so it’s fantastic to see a large fleet getting together. Breaking Bod is also going well and there is really close racing right through the class.”
In the HP30 Class, Glyn Locke’s Farr 280 Toucan had a stellar day, winning all three races. Lucian Stone’s Fareast 28 Vendetta is second and Mike Lewis’ Lutra 30 Jester is third.
“A super puffy day with 20-degree wind shifts either way plus the wind speed was up and down as well,” commented Alex Locke, helm for Toucan. “We were a bit rusty as a crew, but we held it together and put in some good manoeuvres. The Race Committee did a great job getting three races in, and it was nice to go around the cans at the end after two windward leewards. It was a really interesting day and really good fun.”
In IRC 1, the 16-strong class had three races today. David Bartholomew’s Cape 31 Tokoloshe 3 won the first two races and leads the big boat division. James Gair’s Mills 39 Zero II put in a consistent performance to finish the day in second. Rob Bottomley’s MAT 12 Sailplane is third by one half of a point, caused by a race-tie with Cornel Riklin’s J/111 Jitterbug. Christopher Daniel’s Juno won the last race of the day, but a retirement in Race 2 puts the Performance 40 National Champions out of the chocolates for now. Michael O’Donnell’s J/121 Darkwood is just off the podium after three races, and will be looking to have a great last day to threaten the leaders.
In IRC 3, Gordon Craigen’s J/105 Jacana leads the class, after a 1-1-3 today. In second place is Howell & Newell’s A35 Arcus, which was the overall winner of the 2020 IRC National Championship last week. Kevin Taylor’s J/99 Jump to it is third, just a point ahead of Becky Walford’s J/92 Brenda’s J.
“Above 10 knots we can really hold our own against the more modern boats,” commented Jacana’s Gordon Craigen. “The overall idea was to keep in clear air and use the shifts and puffs to our advantage. The wind was lighter in the last race of the day and we didn’t have the right rig settings. It’s great to be out there with good friends, especially co-owner Mark Stevens. We have known each other for years, and Mark’s daughter Connie brings the average age of the crew down a lot!”
The Club Class enjoyed two round the cans races today, and whilst the racing is designed for less cut and thrust than a windward leeward course, there was close racing nevertheless! Claire Dresser’s Sigma 362 Lady Penrose won the first race by just 40 seconds after VPRS time correction. Royal Southern YC Commodore Graham Nixon, racing his Elan 40 Magic, won the second race to lead the class on countback.
Sunday 20th September will be the last day of racing at the regatta. The SB20 UK National Champion will be crowned and prize winners for the Land Union September Regatta will be announced. Land Union, Antigua Sailing Week and North Sails have provided some amazing prizes!
All of the racing, race management and facilities ashore are organised in line with HM Government and RYA guidance on Covid -19. All teams race with a reduced or limited crew with social distancing. For more information: www.royal-southern.co.uk