- Published on Thursday, 28 June 2012 20:37
- Written by Josh Courter
Photo by ©Michael Austen Photography
28th June 2012. It was a day of changes and more changes at the Brewin Dolphin British Open Metre Regatta in the Solent today as the wind shifted suddenly from nearly due east to SSW then finally settling on west, during the first of the two windward leeward race courses for the Classic and Modern Six Metres in the Royal Southern Yacht Club event. “We had everything from 0 – 28 knots and from various directions,” commented Principal Race Officer David Arnold, “so we were kept on our toes!”Indeed quick thinking by his committee boat team enabled the first race to be finished at the top of the second leg, on what should have been a run to the leeward mark but ended up as a close fetch. With a 30 knot forecast just an hour or so away, the committee set to work to lose no time in setting up the second race of the day the other way round, and got the fleet away promptly in the new breeze.
Conditions then went unexpectedly light on the race course but the wind picked up after twenty minutes or so, enabling the fleet to complete a full three circuits of the course, finishing in quite blustery gusts.
The day initially seemed to belong to Peter Andreae’s Erica in the Classic class, as she glided to a smooth first place finish in the first race. In the second race she went on to pick up a formidable lead of nearly three minutes only to lose it in the shifting conditions and allowing Christian Teichmann’s Abu to take her place. She and fellow Classic Sioma finally decided to call it a day as winds peaked at 28 knots, gracefully retiring to preserve their historic yachts for another day.
In the Modern Class, Robin Richardson’s St Kitts suffered disappointment in the first race as his genoa tack came apart right on the start line as the start gun was fired and he was forced to change sails before rejoining the race. However he did find redemption by winning the second race of the day.
After the first five races four boats in the Classic class are tied on points, while Tom Richardson’s Georgia has used a consistent performance in the Modern class to hold onto a narrow one point lead. It is hoped to complete the event tomorrow (Friday) but with winds forecast well beyond the Six Metre comfort zone – over 30 knots - the five races may have to count.