Harken June Regatta at the Royal Southern YC

Louay Habib

Sixty-one yachts competed in the Harken June Regatta, as part of the 2018 Summer Series organised by the Royal Southern Yacht Club. Glorious sunshine prevailed for a weekend of Solent racing with up to six races enjoyed by 11 classes.

Congratulations to class winners; Blair and Beckett's King 40 Cobra, James Chalmer's J/35 Bengal Magic, John Allen's X-302 Antix, Malcolm Wooton's Farr 30 Pegasus DekMarx, Dirk and Dianne van Beek's J/88 Sabriel Jr, Richard Vanner's Contessa 32 Bianco, Sebastien de Liedekerke Beaufort's J/111 Djinn, David Hitchcock's XP38 Red Five, Terence O'Neil's J/70 Aqua J, Peter Baines' XOD Spex, and Mike Lewis' J/80 Jester.


In IRC One, Blair and Beckett's King 40 Cobra put in a near faultless performance wining all but one race to take the series win ahead of Michael Wallis's J/122 Jahmali, and Julie Fawcett's MAT 12 Night Owl 2. In IRC Two, James Chalmers' Weymouth based J/35 Bengal Magic won four races to win the class ahead of Peter & Sarah Hodgkinson's X-362 Xcitable, Simon Perry's J/109 Jiraffe was third. In IRC Three, John Allen's X-302 Antix held off a strong challenge from Martin & Cara Moody's Platu 25 Scallion. Derek Budden's Mustang 30 Crazy Horse completed the podium in IRC Three.


Nine J/111s were racing under their one design class rules. Six teams made the race podium in a highly competitive series. Martin's Dent's Jelvis, the 2015 J/111 World Champion, was runner up and 2017 J/111 UK National Champion Tony Mack's McFly was third. Winner of the J/111 Class was Sebastien de Liedekerke Beaufort's Djinn, which had arrived in Hamble only a few days before the event.


"The team come from Belgium and Holland and we are very much a Corinthian team." commented Sebastien. "We have really enjoyed coming to Hamble and received such a warm welcome from the Royal Southern. The racing has been extremely well organised and very close. The J/111 Worlds are in Breskens this year so it has been very interesting to race here with British teams and other teams from Holland."


The Club Class is designed for cruising yachts with family crews and has become a popular feature at the Royal Southern Summer Series. Whilst the series promotes friendly competition, the racing is still extremely close. David Hitchcock's XP38 Red Five tied for first place with Steve & Tricia Lake's Dehler 38 Moonshine, with Red Five winning on countback having won the last race. Michael Rowlatt's GS45 Giuliana was third.


In the J/70 Class Ian Wilson's Soak Racing, helmed by Marshall King, scored four bullets but did not compete on the last day. Terence O'Neil's Aqua J scored six podium finishes to win the class ahead of Yannig Loyer's J out of the Box. Six-year-old sailor Arthur Loyer was assisting his father with tactics.


In the XOD Class, Peter Baines, racing Sphex with past Royal Southern YC Rear Commodore, John Sparshatt-Worley, won all five races in the seven-boat fleet. Racing in White Group on a windward leeward course this was the first time in eight years that Sphex has been racing. She was originally built in 1929.


"Our normal courses for Cowes Week and Captain's Cup are round the buoys with all sorts of different angles. The good thing about windward leeward racing is that is does get your boat handling up, which is vital in any kind of racing." commented Peter Baines. "An XOD is quite slow, especially in light airs, so starts are really important. All credit to the race officer for getting all five races away, we had fantastic sailing and did a little bit extra with an XOD race back to the Hamble River, which was nearly as good as the Rosé wine at the Royal Southern!"


The Royal Southern Yacht Club was a hive of activity all weekend with competitors enjoying a barbecue and drinks on Saturday night overlooking the impressive Prince Philip Yacht Haven. Vice Commodore Graham Nixon was racing Elan 40 Magic and officiated at the prize giving. Winners received gifts from title sponsor Harken and spot prizes from Doyle Sails.


"A very warm welcome to all of the visiting competitors, especially those that have come from overseas to take part." commented Graham Nixon. "On behalf of all the competitors, a great vote of thanks to the race officers, PRO Philip Gage and Tanya Robinson, assisted by Mike Foster and Paul Howard, and a big thank you to the 25 volunteers who made this regatta possible."


Racing in the 2018 Royal Southern Summer Series continues with the July Regatta which will be over the weekend of 14 / 15th of July, sponsored by Charles Heidsieck champagne.


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