Sea View, Isle of Wight. 24th – 25th June 1917
Just five Sonatas took part, BFG from Kent, Exposition and Presto from Poole, Joey from Chichester and Kallista from Cowes, which was a shame, because it was a great event. Those of you who didn’t make it missed a treat.
We completed 8 races in rather blustery conditions, very well managed by PRO Jeremy and his excellent team. We even managed to come ashore for lunch on Saturday! I have never experienced that before at a Championships. It was possible because Sea View Yacht Club’s race area is almost on their doorstep in the Eastern Solent, right opposite No Man’s Land Fort, one of Palmeston’s follies, now a swanky hotel.
Saturday started with 12 – 15 knts of SW breeze and we all wore our No. 1’s and flew kites around the 30-minute W/L course twice. The breeze built and the lighter crews changed down to No. 2’s. Chairman Joe, Expo, dominated, loosing just one race to Joey during the day. Not sure if it was John or Kevin driving Presto, or both, but they finished the day with a brace of seconds and two thirds. The black and white boats had an exchange of places behind. By the end of the day, most were down to smaller rigs and no spinnakers except Joey, who held onto the genoa throughout, slid sideways quite a bit but went rather fast.
Sunday, drizzle and more wind. The tide, which had been a factor on Saturday, became more of one on Sunday. A couple of misjudged lay-lines saw some interesting manoeuvres at the top mark, and, indeed, at the bottom one. Fortunately without contact or damage but the ability of a Sonata to bear away 45º within six feet was tested to the limit. Joe managed to wash his Windex and, according to him, got the inside of his boots wet from water entering around his neck! BFG went sight-seeing to the Fort having spectacularly wound her kite around the forestay which took a mile of sea-room to sort out. The four Sunday races were held back-to-back with Jeremy kindly finishing the last at the Club end of the course, allowing us to drop sails within 100 metres of our moorings. The ultra-efficient RIB service whisked us ashore in a matter of minutes. Then the sun came out – always does, soon as racing is finished.
Big thanks to SVYC, lovely Club, great race and support management. We should definitely go again. Seaview itself is very pretty, two or three bars/restaurants as well as the Club. No Cash Point and no convenience shops nearer that a couple of miles away, as Kevin found out, needing to buy breakfast for their self-catering digs. So, come prepared. Made up for handsomely by the proximity of the race area with a spectacular view across the Solent to Portsmouth and Southsea and beyond. Entertainment was limited to watching the America’s Cup USA/NZ race Saturday night in a very friendly bar. A slightly different style of racing than we had just experienced!
BFG remains at Seaview, courtesy of SVYC, to compete in the RTI next weekend together with Kallista and, apparently, Wasp from Poole. More on that anon.