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Lymington Town Sailing Club Solent Circuit - Race 6

by Robin Milledge 25 Nov 2021 04:35 NZDT 21 November 2021

The sixth, and final weekend of the Lymington Town Sailing Club 2021 Solent Circuit was sailed in unseasonal conditions on Sunday 21st November. Blue skies and sunshine accompanied by a brisk and chilly northerly wind greeted the competitors for a final challenging morning's racing on the Western Solent. Thanks to Race Sponsor Harken UK for their support.

A moveable mark was laid off the Pylewell foreshore, giving a short beat for all classes before a reach to the west followed by a series of windward, leeward legs across to the Island shore. The strong flood tide meant a cascade course was needed, offsetting each mark to allow for the tide, with a final reach from Zwerver, off Sowley, to the Berthon buoy and short beat to the finish. The multiple yellow race buoys laid off Yarmouth caused some confusion as to the location of Mark 2, resulting in several retirements for boats sailing around the wrong marks.

IRC Class 1 were first to start, with Ray Crouch's Adams 10 Boomerang first out of the blocks, demonstrating that a perfect start is possible once in a while! Sadly, their lead lasted only a few hundred metres as Boomerang was soon overhauled to windward by the much larger Swan 45 Luna. With owner Tim Webb at the helm and a motley crew of thirteen on board, Luna would extend her lead and enjoy line honours by over seven minutes. However, this margin was still insufficient to prevent Andy Robert's and the crew of J105 Jin Tonic taking their fourth handicap win of the series and overall victory ahead of Bob Bakers Jaywalker and William Newtons Jelly Baby.

In IRC Class 2 the superbly restored classic quarter tonner Love in a Mist made her only appearance of the series to take the win on corrected time and make the final overall standings extremely close for the three chasing boats. With four races completed and the single discard coming into play the hotly contested class saw the leading three boats split by only three points overall. Andy Hinds Hanse 29 White Mischief doing just enough to take overall victory ahead of Harry Hutchinson's Swan 36 Anna Mai and Allan Hills J30 Colleen.

The Lymington Adjusted Handicap class saw some close racing with the top four boats all in contention for a podium place. Richard Truscott's Konsort Unity took a final first place to secure overall victory ahead of Denis Bate's Beneteau 32s5 Roller Coaster and Stuart Duffin's Elan 32 Flying Boat.

The Folkboats enjoyed some of the closest racing with the leading four boats separated by just seconds after two hours of racing. Sadly, for the leading two boats confusion over the correct yellow mark off Yarmouth led to retirement, leaving Julian and Clare Sowry's Mistral to take the honours in Race six, followed by Simon Flacks Stralande and James Hoare and Graham Coulter's Samphire. Despite the navigational oversight, overall victory went to Ray Mitchell and Charles Darley's Freedom, with John Cooper and Becki Wigley second in Jen and Stralende in third overall.

The J80 fleet were given two short windward leeward races in order to make up for the one lost race on week three and complete a full series of nine races for the first time in several years. The brisk conditions meant some tactical and exciting downwind action and very tight racing amongst the leading four boats, with numerous place changes. Chris and Hannah Neve's No Regrets revelled in the conditions to take victory in both races and the overall win by five points. Andrew Hurst's Fiducial / Seahorse Magazine was second in both races ahead of Keith and Liam Willis's Dark and Stormy 2. Toby Colliers Traffic Jam did enough with two fourth places to secure second overall ahead of Dark and Stormy in third.

With racing completed for the series and all crews ashore at LTSC, the prize-giving was held in the outdoor marquee where crews enjoyed the offerings of series sponsors Ringwood and Flack Manor Brewery's as well as prizes generously provided by Harken UK. Prizes were presented by VIP Guest and recently retired Club Steward Consuelo Guzman.

LTSC would like to thank all competitors for their support of the series, with a special thanks to all volunteer club members who manned the committee boat and mark laying RIBs and supported the successful running of the event.

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