With a top-quality line up of Championships, Regattas and hosted events that will cement its position as one of the leading Yacht Clubs in Northern Europe in 2016, the Hamble-based Royal Southern Yacht Club has just thrown open its doors to members and non-members to celebrate the Start of Season day.
The Royal Southern is the largest club on the river Hamble delivering an ever-expanding programme of racing events to members of all ages; from youngsters in Optimists through to small keelboat and offshore racers. Members and visiting teams are accustomed to enjoying the best standards of racing and shoreside facilities in the world and this year will be no exception.
Commodore Chris Mansfield says: ” Whatever your age and whether single or a family member, when you join the Royal Southern you need never be bored again! There is so much to do both on and off the water and the atmosphere is terrific. We have plenty of space to accommodate everyone’s needs, really excellent food and some very good beers.”
On Saturday (19 March) the Royal Southern hosted its Start of Season day, an opportunity to meet up and enjoy the Club’s fantastic facilities and have some fun. Existing and new members were invited to meet representatives of the Sailing, Motorboat, Racing and Cruising committees to discuss plans for the season and sign up for some of this year’s events. Youth & Academy representatives were also on hand, as were Golf and Shooting enthusiasts as these popular sports form an important part of the non-sailing activities, as does the Bridge Club, all supported by the Royal Southern.
The New Members Party enjoyed a healthy turnout whilst new berth holders in the 64-berth Prince Philip Yacht Haven were invited to enjoy their own ‘meet & greet’ the neighbours party! Lunch was followed by an opportunity to develop your Crane usage skills and some RIB familiarisation was taken up in spite of the chilly conditions. As it was also the last in the Academy Frostbite Series that day the prize giving was held in the afternoon, supported by Doyle Sails who have come on board as a RSrnYC Academy sponsor.
A Crew Match & Champagne Reception preceded the lively Fitting Out Supper, presided over by Club Commodore Chris Mansfield and Rear Commodore sailing Graham Nixon.
During dinner, everyone enjoyed a short presentation from the evening’s guest speaker, Nikki Curwen (27) who successfully completed her first Mini Transat last winter.
Nikki launched her Mini campaign at the Club in 2014. She outlined the requirement for qualifying for the Mini Transat as being almost as hard as the race itself and she handled her own race planning, sponsorship and media commitments throughout. Her race took 25 days in the Proto class with 28 boats starting and only 14 finishing in Guadeloupe. Nikki even thoughtfully took time out to make a special video message to the Club to thank everyone for their support while she was actually competing. Suffice to say, the room was in awe of her incredible accomplishment. When asked what was next for Nikki, she was quick to answer that she’d like to do another Mini Transat.
Hosting & running premier events
This year the Club is running a number of major events, including the J-Cup in June, the J/111 European Championships coinciding with the Club’s July Regatta, the X-Yachts Solent Cup, Oyster Week and the new Fast 40 Class National Championships, as well as the Summer Series of monthly regattas sponsored by Harken, North Sails and Champagne Joseph Perrier.
Additionally, the Club is running match racing events including the Qualifiers and Final of the 2016 ISAF Grade 2 Match Cup which in 2015 formed part of the World Match Racing Tour. A new ‘Hamble Classics at the Southern’ Regatta has also recently been announced to take place in September and there are also very busy cruising and motor boating programmes.
Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. has confirmed another year of sponsorship of its generous initiative to reward the overall winner of the Club’s Summer Series, the ‘Champion of Champions’ at the glittering Prizegiving evening held in November. From this year BTM is also adding a new ‘Champion of Champions’ Trophy. The winner will also receive flights to Barbados and hotel accommodation for two. They also take part in the Barbados Week sailing events, the highlight being the Mount Gay Round Island Race in January 2017.
Photo: Graham Nixon