The fantastic Royal Yacht Squadron’s Bicentenary International Regatta came to an end on Friday, July 31, 2015. The crews from the 24 clubs from all over the world celebrated all together the club’s 200th birthday.
Mike Broughton, navigator on sailing yacht Jethou comments on the conditions in the Western Solent. “We started in a completely different breeze to the J Class who had started upwind to the east in a south easterly. Then the westerly came and went a bit as it fought with the conditions to the east. Eventually a light sea breeze prevailed but there were some big holes making the race a bit of a lottery. Added to that there is a spring tide, up to 3 or 4 knots, so the racing was extremely tricky. The Race Committee could have cancelled the race today given the conditions but it was a good afternoon with lots of challenges and ultimately a good race.”
IRC Class 1’s course was shortened from five to four legs at Saltmead in the western Solent. The winner of the race was Tom Siebel’s Swan 90 superyacht Odin, sailed well by her crew which benefitted from the talents of Peter Isler as Navigator, as well as Steve Hayles as strategist/trimmer. Overall honour for the week went to Tony Langley’s fantastically sailed TP52 Gladiator.
In the J Class, superyacht Velsheda won all four races. Luxury yacht Lionheart and Velsheda ghosted down through a shortened course finish on the last day of the regatta, followed by charter yacht Ranger, with guest Sir Ben Ainslie on board, in a thrilling finale with only the tidal current helping them to the final winning guns of the week.
“It is great to win overall and to win on handicap today,” said Velsheda owner Ronald de Waal on the last day of the regatta, “That really capped it off for us. We were on the wrong side after the start and got back into it and so it is a nice feeling to win here. This is where the J’s heritage is, Velsheda’s home, and so it very special indeed to win here.”
The three grand Classics, charter yacht Eleonora, sailing yacht Mariquita and Sumurun yacht started in the same direction, and were given one long leg to a mark near the forts off Portsmouth, against the tide. A breakage to the top of her mast cost Mariquita a position in this last race. The overall winner has become Robert Tobin’s 1914 built Sumurun, which gained two second and two firsts in the series.