Sailfest Day 2


Breeze on in Portland Harbour for the second day of handicap racing

The forecast of a lesser breeze was disregarded by the weather gods on Sunday morning. An hour before the sailors went afloat, for the second day of racing at GJW Direct SailFest, Portland Harbour took on a magnificent turquoise hue speckled with white horses. The wind gradually strengthened from then throughout the first race, on a larger course than Saturday featuring some awesome reaches. A few breakages, significantly an RS300 mast and an Iso boom, forced some early retirements but the majority of the fleet remained out and had a respite in race 2 as the wind abated a little.

Between the 2nd and 3rd race of the day the wind returned and from then on there was a steady flow of retirements throughout the afternoon. With the northerly breeze building back to a more than healthy 22 knots a challenging chop developed. But at the same time the sun came back out and conditions were stunning for those remaining out for the 3rd race. Phantom sailor Will Gulliver put on a notable display to lead from start to finish in his fleet but unfortunately damaged his boat which has left him unable to compete in the Raymarine Long Distance Pursuit on Monday.

Great determination was shown amongst the younger members of the fleet battling the conditions, with the youngest member of the fleet Scott Chudley finally succumbing to retirement just after the start of the third race. The most exemplary performance to note was that of the safety team, without fail on hand to support the tiring crews, some after multiple capsizes.

Although many of the Byte Class are remaining to take part in the pursuit race, their National Championship concluded at the end of race 6. The prize giving was held prior to Peter Aitken's daily debrief and Peter presented the prizes. Winning 5 out of the 6 races was Louis Sanders who took the Championship title and an array of race win trophies. Charlotte Gough in 3rd place won race 3 and was first lady in the event. Former champion Richard Whitehouse was in second place overall and Edwin Pope 4th. Edwin co-ordinated the prize giving and announced that, following discussions at the AGM held on Saturday night, the Bytes are planning to return to SailFest for their Championship next year Peter's debrief included video coverage of the demonstration given by the top fireball sailors in 20+ knots of breeze. Truly impressive.

Monday dawns with similar conditions that have met us for the last 2 days with race officer James Gollop keen to get the race under way promptly at 10.30 to complete the 150 minute pursuit before a predicted drop in wind in the early afternoon.


Developed by YorkSoft Ltd