Competitors racing in the inaugral Solent Forts Race were blessed with arguably the best sailing weather this year! The Saturday afternoon warm up session saw people dissappearing off for hours, taking in the fantastic sailing area that we have at HFSC...
It looked like we would be waiting for the wind to kick in on Sunday as conditions looked particularly light as the fleet rigged up.
Following the briefing, the 13 competitors headed out onto the water and we were met with some promising conditions for the race, there was plenty of breeze out on the water to make the start interesting, and at 11am sharp, the 5 minute horn was sounded and 5 minutes later the fleet was heading for it's first mark - Horse Sand Fort.
10 minutes later, the field had split, the majority heading for open water to the south, whilst HFSC members Richard Golden & Matt Illston headed for the northerly route - a decision which they would end up regretting...
The cloud that provided the initial blast of wind passed over head, leaving behind an area of dead calm roughly covering the entire fleet... Progress for the next hour and a half was very difficult - especially for the northerly fleet. The Spitfire of Golden & Howting was seen to pass over the submarine defences at Southsea 3 times as they were pushed on by gusts, then back by the tide!
By the time the fleet had rounded the first mark, the forecast sea breeze began to fill in from the South, and the race was off again.
Progress was much more swift from this point on - Will Sunnocks in the M20 Vampire was smoothly gliding ahead of the field, while the Nacras of Simon Northrop, Adam Piggot and Grant Piggott were battling closely all the way... Jim Mundy's Tek Kat came in for an adjustment only to find that they'd been DSQ for missing the start finish line.
Over the line first was the Vampire, followed by a clump of F18's, Vipers and the shocking pink Nacra 20C...
The winner of the inaugral Solent Forts Race in his Nacra Infusion F18 was Simon Northrop and Simon Farren - many congratulations to them.
Results after handicap:
|Entry No.||Sail No.||Class||Helm||Crew||Position||Notes|
|09||1581||Formule 18||Simon Northrop||Simon Farren||1|
|12||7||AHPC Viper Double||Raphael Sicouri||Marcela Mingozzi||2|
|06||1519||Formule 18||Adam Piggott||Alain Sign||3|
|07||1588||Formule 18||Grant Piggott||Adam Kay||4|
|05||GBR1||M20 Vampire Duo||William Sunnucks||Oliver Egan||5|
|10||825||Formule 18||Dougie Wright||Ben Newton||6|
|08||239||AHPC Viper Double||Nicholas Barnes||Tom Walker||7|
|03||099||Spitfire||Richard Golden||Charles Howting||8|
|11||44||Nacra 20 Carbon||Chris King||Matthew Ammis||9|
|01||2688||Formule 18||Matt Illston||Doug Wagstaff||DNF|
|02||131||Spitfire||Neil Phillips||Elaine Phillips||DNF|
|04||GBR1||TekKat||Jim Mundy||Martin Sedivel||DSQ|
|13||315||Hurricane 5.9 SX||Nick Moore||Max Oliver||DNF|
"Thanks again to HFSC for a great weekend, everyone made us feel very welcome – something we don’t get when we go to bigger clubs !!! I think the race format is spot on and its good having very visible marks to head for"
"A hearty thank you to you and fellow members of HFSC for an excellent weekend. If you want fewer boats next year you went the wrong way about it!"