Despite the lack of wind yesterday, many of the IRC Bowsprit 10 classes, including Jo Richards' Full Pelt, had an exciting day's racing.

Despite the lack of wind yesterday, many of the IRC Bowsprit 10 classes, including Jo Richards’ Full Pelt, had an exciting day’s racing.

This ultra-fast, water-ballasted downwind flyer made the most of the conditions and pulled out a sizeable lead almost straight from the start. But with her significantly high rating, she was never realistically going to feature high on the scoreboard.

“We started in a gradient northerly,” commented Richards, “and had a run down to the first mark with our large spinnaker, pulling out from there. Things were looking good at that point but the wind picked up just after we finished which allowed the rest of the pack to sail the last part of the race at speeds that effectively put paid to any hope we had of a reasonable result.” But according to Richards, it’s not the winning at this event but the enjoyment of the sailing, which he believes, is something people frequently tend to forget about. Full Pelt is a really fast boat but under this sort of rating it’s virtually impossible for her to win. “She’s a fantastic boat, we have a good team on board,” added Richards, “and we’re really not too worried about where we finish. Because she’s designed for lake racing, she’s fast in light winds too and a real pleasure to sail.”

Another happy team at the end of the day’s racing in the IRC Bowsprit 10 class was the crew aboard Nigel Brooke’s J/109 Judgement Day, who chased Full Pelt round the course and eventually won the race on handicap. Given that they are used to coaxing every last bit of speed from their Merlin Rockets, it wasn’t surprising to find this super-hot team pushing Richards all the way. “We finished 32 minutes behind Full Pelt,” commented Brooke, “and because we get about an hour on her according to rating, we knew, even on the water, that we had probably won.”

For Brooke and his team, the aim is to finish this regatta with a reasonable result and then prepare for the Hamble Winter Series where they hope for some really good things.