FAST40+ Race Circuit Round 1: RORC Vice Admiral’s Cup Day Two
The second day of racing in the Solent was held in solid breeze with Principle Race Officer, Stuart Childerley electing to send the fleet into the Western Solent for two ’round the cans’ races. The breeze increased during the day. 12 knots from the southwest pumped up to 25 knots, and more in the squalls, for a full on foam up downwind.
Race 4 was a thrilling downwind start. Ker40+ Invictus, helmed by Alex Mills, got away like a robber’s dog, putting ten boat lengths on the fleet by the first mark. Kiwi helm, Mark Rijkse, racing his Reichel Pugh designed 42 South was second with Johnny Vincent’s Ker 40+ Pace claiming third. After Race 4 was counted the overall standing had just 4.5 points separating 1st from 8th. The young German team racing Felci 42 Silva Neo, helmed by Gehrlein Dennis, had not won a race but their consistency put them in the lead by just half a point from Invictus. Tony Dickin’s Farr designed Jubilee was in third place, purely on countback.
Race 5, saw Invictus get away to another cracking start and good speed upwind put the team in the driving seat but with the wind shifting around the race course, Race 5 was far from over. Mike Bartholomew’s South African flagged Tokoloshe and Tony Dickin’s British team on Jubilee put in a good shift and were always a threat. Behind the three front runners, there was a huge scrap fro places. Peter Morton racing Ker 40+ Girls on Magnum took fourth spot, just ahead of 42 South and Pace.
After five races, Invictus leads the FAST40+ fleet by two points from Tony Dickin’s ever consistent Jubilee. Tokoloshe and 42 South are tied on points for third, with Tokoloshe just ahead on countback. Silva Neo are just half a point off podium, having beaten Bastiaan Voogd’s Hitchhiker, by just four seconds in the last race.
Invictus Helm Alex Mills: “We got the sail selection right for the first race, having correctly predicted the angle to the top mark and that is what gave us the power to get away from the fleet. After that it was really about not making any mistakes. The second race, we got away well and we had that extra bit of pace upwind. However, every team has got quicker this season and that is making for some fantastic racing.”
Invictus Tactician Robert Greenhalgh: “Today, boat speed was more of a factor and we were good in that department but the racing is super close, one mistake and you can go from first to tenth, which is what this class is all about. It was quite shifty today and tomorrow looks even more so with lighter winds forecast – It’s all still to play for.”
Racing concludes tomorrow with three windward-leeward races scheduled, teams will discard their worst race after Race 6 is completed.