After three days of tough competition the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club's Vice Admiral's Cup Regatta has been declared a huge success

After three days of tough competition and equally tough partying the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club’s Vice Admiral’s Cup Regatta has been declared a huge success.

Set up in the wake of the Admiral’s Cup’s demise the regatta was open to series production yachts with Class 1 being for 44-46ft yachts and Class 2 for 37-41ft yachts. The 12 boats racing in Class one incorporated six Farr 45s, four Swan 45s and two DK46s while Class 2 was made up of six Farr 40s plus one Kerr 11.3.

The aim was to provide an antidote to the high pressure and complexity of modern regattas and in keeping with that philosophy racing was run on a level-rating basis. For the competitors this was a wonderful return to the good, old first-past-the-post days and was not only simple but also resulted in some fantastically close racing in both classes across a range of conditions.

Racing got underway on Saturday 9 July in a gusty north-easterly of between 9 and 13 knots in warm but overcast conditions. With such closely matched fleets getting a good start, spotting the best lanes and picking the shifts were imperative.

After the first three races it was Chris Brown’s DK46 Fastwave, with Andy Beasdworth calling the shots, that had pulled out a small lead in Class 1 with a 4, 1, 1 scoreline. Behind them Keith Miller’s Swan 45 Crackerjack, with tactician Ian Budgen, put in the next best performance of the day scoring 2, 3, 3, whilst Peter Morton and his crew aboard Farr 45 Atomic had to settle for third with a mixed bag of 1, 2, 6. Ian Budgen commented: “We had a pretty good day. It was good to see the three different classes level rating and it working well.”

Meanwhile in Class 2, which incorporated the B&G Farr 40 UK Championship, David Murrin’s 2XL got off to a wobbly start with a fifth in race one but rapidly regrouped and went on to win races two and three. Aboard Victric Tony de Mulder’s fortunes went the other way with a first in race one, a second in race two and finally a Z Penalty in race three which put them into sixth for the race and second overall. Nick and Annie Haigh’s Too Steamy scored 4, 3, 2 to end the day in third overall.

Day two brought beautiful sunshine but a much lighter, less settled breeze and the boats went out into the Eastern Solent in search of what little wind there was. PRO Willie Sanderson and the RCYC’s race management team did an excellent job to get in two races, but the wind finally gave out mid afternoon and the planned third race could not be started.

The light and shifty north-easterly made for a tough day and there were plenty of place changes and close calls to keep the spectators gripped. In Class 1 Atomic put in the most solid performance scoring 1, 2 to take the overall lead after five races. Crackerjack got off to a mediocre start in race four with a seventh place but came back to win race five which was just enough to pull them up into second overall. Chris Brown and the Fastwave crew was recalled at the start of race five, made a late return and was unable to recatch the fleet but went on to redeem themselves in race five with a third place leaving them in third overall.

In Class 2 the Farr 40s found themselves playing second fiddle to the Kerr 11.3 of Peter Rogers and Roger Duckworth as Highlife scored two bullets and moved up the leaderboard into second place overall. 2XL scored a pair of seconds which was enough to hold onto the overall lead whilst Victric scored 3 and 5 to drop back into third overall.

Yesterday’s final two races brought more difficult sailing as the gradient and sea breezes fought for supremacy. In Class 1 race six proved to be something of a Farr 45 benefit with David Wadsworth’s Audacious first, Jerry Otter aboard Rebel second and Atomic third. In Class 2 the Farr 40s were back in the ascendance for race six with Victric first, Too Steamy second and 2XL third.

The race committee was just able to get both fleets away on race seven before the 1330 start cut off, however, as the boats came down the first run the sea breeze finally began to win its battle and by the middle of the leg half were running and half beating. In recognition of the rapidly deteriorating conditions a shorten course was signalled at the end of the first lap. In Class 1 Crackerjack took first from Rebel with Nigel Bramwell and his Swan 45 Hawk making their first podium appearance of the regatta in third. In Class 2 2XL put the cherry on their cake with a final bullet with Rob Goddard and Farrfalina/Cadhire UK second and Victric third.

In the overall standings Class 1 went to Peter Morton and his Farr 45 Atomic crew by just one point from Keith Miller and the Swan 45 Crackerjack with the DK 46 of Chris Brown in third place. In Class 2 David Murrin and 2XL won overall and took the B&G Farr 40 UK Championship with Tony de Mulder’s Victric second. The Kerr 11.3 of Peter Rogers and Roger Duckworth took third overall whilst Annie and Nick Haigh’s Too Steam was third in the B&G Farr 40 Championship and fourth overall.