RVYC's first frostbite race started in an unusual way but ended with champagne racing. It's very rare to have a start time at Fishbourne five hours before high water but as the low neap tide was high this wasn't a problem. A great turnout of 24 boats competed, with 44 competitors was a great start to RVYC's popular open series.
A fine N by NE F3 with a F4 squall on a glorious autumn day, tempted a strong turnout from cruisers to Oppies. The cruisers lined up in an aggressive start with shouts for water but no quarter given and Nigel Talbot's Nitrix stayed out of the mix by sailing fast and low and making course side by the end of the line. The windward mark was a long beat out to SE Ryde Middle (J). With a reach down to Peel Bank(V), the cruisers initially met up with the Squib class who had just come from the windward mark just on the edge of the shipping channel. Both fleets headed to Peel Wreck (H) to return to Peel Bank where they met up with the fast handicap fleet, who joined them heading south again to Peel Wreck. From there, the cruisers to Woodside (0) and then Box(+), while the other classes went to the Leeward mark and then finish.
The Squibs returned through the line to finish at the next windward mark but the wind was flicking and although close, second, third and fourth kept their places in the same order with Aquabat (Steve Warren Smith) ahead by some margin.
There was a wide range of ages in the fast handicap but a similar speed over the water even with Lasers and Aero. The start was close, with two groups at either end of the line and a satisfactory split to port and to starboard up wind. Although Harry Blowers' Laser showed tremendous turn of speed throughout and won convincingly on the water, all the fast fleet had a great blast down from Peel Wreck to the leeward mark as the wind picked up later in the day.
The Oppies had a textbook start, close and on the line at speed and managed their windward leeward course in creditable time, given that they competed after doing Oppi training for a couple of hours.
Last updated 22:36 on 16 February 2020