Racing begins with the Sportsboat World/Spinlock Sprint Championship on Friday, 4th September, which will see six quick-fire races scheduled on one day, as an exciting warm-up for the 2015 National title contest.
The National Championship racing takes place from Saturday, 5th September to Monday, 7th September, with a further 10 races scheduled over three days for the Open and National Championships.
“This event is all about spending the maximum time racing!” Alan Hillman of Sportsboat World explained, “With many people finding themselves time-scarce today we need to find formats for sailing events which give maximum bang for your your buck, so we are trying this format at the inaugural Sportsboat World/Spinlock Sprint Championships.
“It’s a great use of time on a practice day when you would normally hold just one race. Instead we’ll have six starts with loads of short legs to really test the teams’ boat handling, as well as on-the-water coaching available and debriefs to get everyone on their toes before the nationals, and give the hugely experienced race management team at the Royal Southern YC a good work out!”
Around 25 boats are so far entered for this year’s National Championship contest, in a high quality fleet which includes recent Grand Slam winner at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, Adrian Peach and his team on ‘Uber’, and former National Champion Joe Llewellyn, who won the title in 2011 and launched a new boat ‘Forelle Estates’ this season. SB20 Class President Ed Russon on ‘Black Magic’ and Class Measurer John Outhwaite on ‘Baloo’ will also be ones to watch, while Andrew Oddie’s ‘Underground Toys’ team welcomes former Volvo Ocean Race and 18ft Skiff sailor Rob Greenhalgh, fresh from winning the Moth European Championships, to lay down a strong challenge.
The SB20 class’s ‘Tour de France style’ winners’ spinnakers will be out in force, with the red Harken Youth Spinnaker to be flown by the top crew with an average age of 25 years or less, black Hyde Sails Masters Spinnaker for the top boat with an average crew age of 50 or more, and bright pink Sportsboat World leader’s spinnaker carried by the top placed boat from the preceding day. There will also be prizes in each category, while competitors in the Sprint Championship will be entered into a raffle to win a brand new jib courtesy of Sportsboat World and a set of Spinlock Personal Flotation Devices.
The weather forecast for the weekend is for moderate north-westerlies of around 7-11 knots, making for tactical racing with plenty of place changes anticipated over the 16 scheduled races.
The event also includes a Hog Roast BBQ at the Royal Southern Yacht Club, which has recently opened the brand new Prince Philip Yacht Haven, a world-class facility on the Hamble River that includes a new quay wall, slipway and pontoons.