Johnathan Howe - Squirt, winners of Round Three
The 2021 National Champion’s Squirt took Round Three in another closely contested weekend for the Cape 31 Fleet. With a strong breeze on Saturday and a much lighter day on Sunday the event had it all. Halfway through the first 31 Race Circuit - three rounds in there are Three Round Winners!
The first day of the Royal Southern Jubilee Regatta was a treat. 15-20 knots from the North East, wind against tide and 12 teams on the start line. With a triangle course, followed by a triangle sausage there was lots of variety thrown at us by the race committee - something a bit different for the navigators and tacticians to deal with.
The conditions led to lots of boat on boat action, a few close calls and some difficult laylines. Tokoloshe, Gallivanter and Squirt all finished the day with a bullet each. A collision between Fanatic and Jubilee took them both out of the final race of the day whilst in the top half of the fleet opened the door for the rest of the fleet behind them.
After working all evening at Hamble Yacht Services Jim Walker and Ed Davison made sure both Fanatic and Jubilee were fixed up and ready for racing on Sunday.
Sunday was a much lighter affair. With a 2 hour postponement it wasn’t looking hopeful as the teams headed out to the race course. Just after midday a light westerly breeze picked up allowing for two good races before the time limit of 1500.
With seven teams finding themselves on the podium in the five races across the weekend it all came down to the last race. Two general recall’s later and the fleet was off on a short 3 lap windward leeward course. Squirt pulled off a bullet despite not having a great start and with a disappointing race for Tokoloshe that secured the win for Squirt with a few points to spare after the discard!
The Arabella team racing on Gallivanter had some moments of greatness with two bullets putting them on the podium for the first time since joining the fleet. There were podium race scores for Tony Dickin's Jubilee, Johnny Cooper's Fanatic, Anthony O'Leary's Antix, and Bertie Bickett's Harlequin.
Sunday’s 1,3 consolidated the win for Squirt, 4 points clear of Tokoloshe.
David Lenz, tactician on Squirt said, “The racing is great, the fleet is growing really quickly and there’s a heap of great sailors coming into the fleet. It’s really good fun to learn how to sail these boats faster - so many little tricks and techniques.”
Round Four is Cowes Week - with four more new boats arriving before then and some of the Irish guys coming to join us we will have up to 20 boats on the start line! A few of the teams will be trying their hand at the IRC Nationals this weekend run by the Royal Ocean Racing Club.