The two-day May Regatta (May 26-27), also the first event in the club’s Summer Series, kept crews on their toes as Saturday’s brisk breeze gave way to lighter, though no less challenging, airs on Sunday.

While most classes saw their final races shortened, the race officers on both lines earned universal praise for thinking on their feet and reacting promptly as the wind began to ebb away. The broad smiles in evidence in the Club’s bar perfectly demonstrated that the 175 Regatta had got off to a flying start.

Royal Southern Yacht Club 175 regatta

It was a glorious weekend of racing for all classes - photo Michael Austen

Close, close, close in IRC2
The closest racing of the weekend came in IRC2, with four different winners from the four races. Andrew Given’s J/109 High Tension emerged on top (2-1-6-2) just two points ahead of Michael Wallis’ Jahmali, the only one of the front runners not to take a bullet (4-4-2-3). Only three points behind was Extra Djinn (1-3-4-8), tied on 16 points with Inspara (5-5-5-1). Alaris was the fourth boat to take a win (7-6-1-4).

"Any time the wind blows and the sun shines is just fantastic," said High Tension crew Doug Webb. "We proved, as ever, that we are better in heavier weather, but both days were really good. Really well run racing as usual."

Photo finish in IRC1
Meanwhile, in a regatta that saw several tight finishes, the almost-too-close-to-call award went to Mike Bartholomew’s Tokoloshe which beat Edward Leask’s Magical Mystery Tour by a single second in the last race, a result that helped the King 40 to a perfect 1-1-1-1 scoreline in IRC1.

Mike Bartholomew said: ‘The boat was going well and the crew were working well. We seemed to have great boat speed especially when it counted – we were getting off the line well. The weather was perfect and the race organisation was great,’ he added, celebrating back-to-back Summer Series regatta wins having won the September event last year.

Jika Jika continues form
Also picking up where they left off from autumn success, was Mike Holmes and the crew of the J/97 Jika Jika who won IRC3 by five points (1-2-2-1) ahead of Tony Mack’s McFly (4-1-4-2) and Nick Munday’s Induljence (7-4-1-4).

"It’s been a pretty competitive regatta," said Mike Holmes. "Out of the four races three of the J/97s won one. I think we were probably the most consistent. Very, very different days. We hadn’t done a lot this season but Saturday blew a few cobwebs out. What it’s shown is that the J/97s are a very competitive boat, and the things that separate you are good starts, good tactical decisions and good crew work. This is our third season and we’ve got a very good and a very consistent crew, and on several mark roundings we were able to take places. The others did well and it was nice to see Indulgence, which is a father and son crew as well, get a bullet."

Royal Southern Yacht Club 175 regatta

The XODs enjoyed a great battle - photo Michael Austen

Winning ways for Princess Jalina
Getting in to winning ways in spectacular style in the XOD fleet was David Palmer and the crew of Princess Jalina. "It’s my third season and until this year I’d only won one race," he explained. "Last weekend I won two out of four and then we came here. We won all three races on Saturday, but on Sunday Lisa Childerley (Palassie) was going faster than me in both races. We won the start in the first race and got away.  She caught us up and none of us knew where the finishing line was; we were a little lost. As it happened we called up the Committee Boat and asked where we were, they told us and we just turned around and hoofed it – and we got there first, but that was not a serious race."

After their single discard Princess Jalina (1-1-1-1) finished five points clear of Palassie (3-2-3-1) who were a single point ahead of Andy Hamlett’s Satu (2-3-2-3).

Confused Green Line racers
Navigational imprecision appeared to have featured in a number of Green Line races, with crews heading for a variety of unintended marks. The best explanation offered to ‘baffled’ race officers came from a J/80 sailor – "We only do windward-leewards, we don’t know where the marks are."

In the J/80s Mark Baskerville’s Mistral (2-1-1-2-1) narrowly edged out Mike Lewis’ Jester (1-1-2-3-2) after the discard.

In the 175 Rule Class, George Beevor’s Magic emerged a clear winner ahead of Bill Cartlidge’s Penrose III and Serena Alexander’s Watermark of Hamble.

175 Regatta
The Royal Southern Yacht Club 175 Regatta sponsored by Brewin Dolphin and supported by Gaastra Pro Gear, Mount Gay Rum, Barbados Tourism Authority, Piper-Heidsieck and Swarovski Optik,  comprises a 16-day racing festival which commenced with registration on Friday, May 25th and, with an occasional reserve day built in, will work its way through to the overall prizegiving on Sunday, June 10. The 175 Regatta, incorporates the Club's regular May and June Summer Series Regattas, includes activity ashore and afloat, encompasses all classes of day boats, keelboats and ocean racing boats that regularly support the Club and even introduces some spectator-friendly model boat racing.

During this packed schedule, the Royal Southern Yacht Club is hosting 35+ classes and over 500 sailors to participate in what will be the largest gathering of competitive yacht racing ever run under its burgee.

The June Summer Series Regatta takes place on June 9-10. For more details see the Royal Southern Yacht Club.