Over the weekend the Sonata Southern Championships took place in Cowes, hosted by the Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club who welcomed seven home teams and one travelling team making the 15hr round trip from Newcastle!
Six races were scheduled across the two days with light North Easterly winds forecasted. Saturday got underway on time with Race Officer Tony Bedingfield laying his start line just off East Cowes. Three races were completed in 5 – 9kts of E/NNE breeze, two windward/leeward style with a Solent round the cans finishing the fleet back at the Cowes Corinthian buoy. After day one it was Robin Leather onboard ‘Sonic’ that led with a solid 3,1,3 scorecard –Luke Goodall’s ‘Wasp’ in second 1, 3, 5 and ‘No Retreat!’ being OCS on Race 1 put the visitors down the leader board in third with a 9, 2, 1.
Back at Cowes Corinthian all the crews enjoyed the summer conditions and ice cold rose and beer flowing right the way into the night with some teams not even making it home and settling for a bunk onboard!!
Day 2 promised a bit more wind which allowed the Race Committee to get racing away on time in 12 – 15kts NE – however an overzealous fleet saw the general recall flag go up and everyone coming back for a second go – under black flag the fleet got away, some teams opting for the island shore with tidal benefit and others picking their way through the shifty Northerly breeze.
Across the six races five different boats all posted a race win [Wasp, Sonic, No Retreat!, Araya, Minim, Sonic] just showing how close the racing was with nearly every race finish having boats overlapped.
After racing, teams headed back to the Cowes Corinthian YC for the prize giving with No Retreat lifting the Sonata Southern Rose Bowl and the podium places being awarded wine kindly donated by the Losty family.
At the culmination of the sixth race and a discard kicking in it was the visiting team of Adam Ovington sailing onboard Jackie Riley’s ‘No Retreat!’. The win a fitting tribute to the ‘No Retreat’ name and David Riley who sadly passed away last year and who was a stalwart of the Sonata Class previously a Class Treasurer in his time.
Winner Adam Ovington remarked:
“What a great weekend, such a friendly & helpful class! Super close racing, boats often finishing races overlapped with each other. Race Committee did a great job of getting six races in with dubious forecast. The Cowes Corinthian YC were excellent hosts on & off the water. Our biggest thanks to Mark Angell for dozens of messages helping us with logistical challenges of travelling from Newcastle to the Isle of Wight! We’ll be putting the Southerns in the diary for next year for sure!!”
Winning two out of the six races the Leather Family onboard ‘Sonic’ took second place with 14 points cementing the spot by a convincing win in the last race. Completing the podium Mark Angell’s ‘Minim’ took third place with 14 points. Robin said, “The family really enjoyed racing in the variable conditions. The courses were great and the competition friendly and fun. My 13-year-old son Samuel helming to a race win was a special moment.”
A big thanks to all the teams that took part on what seems to be one of the busiest weekends of the year!
Finally, thanks to Jason Losty for directing the event, Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club for Hosting – Race Officer Tony Bedingfield and a lot of work behind the scenes from Laurie Tennant.
The 2024 Sonata Southern Championships will take place as part of the International Paint Poole Regatta running from the 25th – 27th May, 2024 so get it in your diaries!!