Wonderful weekend racing J70s in the shifting swells of the Solent. The
streamline sportsboats certainly didn’t disappoint and delivered a
number of power races of the Blues Versus Reds. J70s Thames V
Squadron.
The teams arrived early Saturday morning on the reliable red jet and
were greeted to hurricane flair braising conditions; the high street
turned into a flash flood river and the Sainsbury’s sign blew its own tack
to the Britannica shop.
Sheltered from the deluge and huddles in Shephards, the crews
continued layering garments, thick waterproofs, providing a perfect
haven opportunity for registration, introductions and boat allocations,
whilst awaiting the bursts and spurts to pass over.
A gap in the torrent stipulated the excuse to head east out of Cowes; the
sea fairing sailors opened and aired the sails and stretched their water
legs to acclimatize accordingly. Marks, targets were set and the 3 races
began back to back – no lunch break – just straight quality racing
sailing.
The streamline J70s beautiful frames were pushed and extended to
diverse angles; early on it was easy to identify that the reds were much
more practised J70 deckhands and consistently took the fleet lead.
Broaching boats and bodies hanging – tested against the elements.
Amusement, excitement and fun were had by all.
Rainbows littered the skies and an ominous dark swell from the west
approached, the last race reduced to 2 rounds followed by a race into
Cowes to prevent capture in the next Solent billowing surge.
Beers gathered in the XXX – followed by the sailors scrubbing up into
shirts and skirts for a delicious 3 course supper in the XXX – reflection,
digestion and conversation a burst.
Sunday morning, there was no hanging about, helm and crews were
ready to tackle race mood, however the Solent was producing much
more sedate conditions, barely a puff! – Keen troops headed east and
embarked on a couple of races before the water was still and the wind
limp. A executive decision of race completion and the reliance of the
tide to bring the fleet home.
A fabulous gathering of splendid, talented mariners and I am sure us
seadogs will look forward to stretching and racing the J70s in the
Spring.

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