Light winds dominated the JOG Solent race last weekend, one of the few 'round-the-cans' races in the JOG Inshore programme

The JOG Solent race, one of the few round-the-cans races in the JOG Inshore programme took place in very light, mainly SW winds last weekend. With forecasters predicting different but light winds, race officers Peter and Sandie Chartres sensibly laid a course of two laps, leaving the opportunity to shorten the course if required.

Class 5 was first away with Cobweb (Sonata), Funky Duck (Jeanneau Fun) and Blazer (Laser 28) getting the best starts, and withAlchemist (Half tonner) and Surveyor of Hamble (Sigma 33) leading the chasing pack. Opinion was very divided as to whether to hug the shore or seek more wind in the centre of the Solent. Alchemist and Funky Duck chose the latter and appeared to benefit.

In Class 4 a large gathering met at the pin end, with several yachts having to tack round and re-start. Incognito (Beneteau 35s5), Saponetta (Sunfast 32) and Zingara (DB1) were first across, but all ended up heading into the windless patch just west of the start. Therefore it was Captain Andy Hill’s J92 Just Enough that looked good initially by standing out to the centre.

In Class 3, the two highest rating boats, Minnie the Moocher (Ker 11.3) and Panther (Mumm 36) led away from JACP (J110), as they were able to keep the apparent wind up with their light displacements and large rigs. First around the first mark was Alchemist in Class 5, always good in light airs, followed by Minnie the Moocher in Class 3, and X-Tosea (X332) and Just Enough in Class 4 – all 3 classes now together. There was a large gap before the next group rounded, with the lead pack hoping a tidal gate would make a comeback from the chasing group difficult! This was not to be, as it turned out – as the leaders drifted down to the East, the chasing pack came up to the mark in some wind, and carried it around the mark and down to towards the Brambles Bank, catching up with the lead pack who were stuck with no wind further down the course.

By the time most were drifting down towards Clipper, Minnie the Moocher was finishing on the shortened course at Gurnard, saving her time by half an hour on corrected. In Class 4, Liz Bodley’s Zingara was one who benefited from the change around, coming around Clipper and overtaking the leading Class 4 boats in the fluky winds off Norris to enjoy her first win in the JOG series from Saponetta. In Class 5, Alchemist held her lead to win from the lowest rating boat, Cobweb who managed a podium finish in only her second outing in JOG.


Class 5 1st – Alchemist, Half Tonner; 2nd – Cobweb, Sonata; 3rd – Blazer, Laser 28

Class 4 1st – Zingara, DB1; 2nd – Saponetta, Sunfast 32; 3rd – Vampire, J92

Class 3 1st – Minnie the Moocher, Ker 11.3; 2nd – JACP, J110; 3rd – Born Slippy 2, Prima 38