A Force 3 north-easterly and glorious sunshine greeted teams competing in the Hunter 707 team racing event at Royal Southern YC last weekend

A Force 3 north-easterly off the land and glorious sunshine greeted teams competing in the Hunter 707 team racing event run by the Royal Southern YC on the weekend of May 22 and 23.

With four crew per boat and teams of three, the 48 competitors ranged in team racing experience from regulars Southampton Institute to some from the 707 fleet that had never enjoyed the tactical intricacies of the pre-start and mark traps.

The experience of the Institute team showed through immediately as they dominated racing early on. Though they were not to have everything their own way as they were beaten by the Yellow team in the last race of the day, and although beating the Blue team of Beaver Hunter, Flying Low and Miss Moneypenny on the water, one of their boats was over the line at the start, and having not gone back that gave them a second loss.

After day one the Yellow team of Doh!, Swallow and Sword were leading with only one loss, from Southampton Institute in second.

Sunday and the teams motored out to a totally flat Solent, but the wind soon filled in, and although a lot patchier than the day before and swinging between the south and south-west there was enough to get through all the flights.

The Pink team of Black Sheep, Darkness and Surfeit were on fire and made a strong comeback. They dominated their second race against the Yellow team by beating them with a 1, 2, 3, after all three Yellow boats went back at the start. It also looked like they had their second race against the Institute in the bag, until their lead boat touched the leeward mark.

Last race of the day and it was Southampton Institute against the Yellow team, the deciding race of the weekend, and as if that pressure wasn’t enough the wind dropped to provide very testing conditions.

At the wing mark it was the Yellow team in a winning 2, 3, 5 but confusion over a judge’s call saw that turn into a losing 2, 3, 6 by the last mark. It was all too play for on the final beat and in the light conditions the advantage went to the 707 fleet whose experience of keeping 707s moving in those conditions proved invaluable. At the finish it was yellow team 1, 2, 6 – the winning combination for the race but was it enough for competition?

Both teams were on an equal number of overall match wins, equal wins against each other and equal points in those races, but with the Yellow team having won the last race they took the overall victory. After their resurgence on the second day the Pink team finished third in front of the Blues.