Vice Admirals Cup, May 2012

Solent, England
16 J109s, 11 Quarter Tonners and 19 SB20s competed over 8 races on the Hillhead plateau of the Solent.  All races were windward / leewards and, because the newly named SB20s (SB3s) do not have sail numbers on the spinnakers, the gate was to leeward of the start line so the boats beat to the finish.

SolentXtra was represented by Robert Lamb, Tina Scott, Jane Windsor and Andy Bull.  Unfortunately, Emma Bourne had to pull out with family illness to deal with.

The first 2 days were pretty light and from the south to south west.  With a east going tide a spreader mark was used effectively for tidal correction and the runs were good with plenty of jybing.  The third day saw completely different conditions with a northerly cold wind peaking at about 16 knots and, as the tide was then unfavourable for a tidal correction, marks were set up on the sailing wind as the best compromise.

The real difficulty all weekend was managing to get all the starts away before the first group, the J109s, interfered at the start line on their way to the gate. With a target time of 45 minutes, boats should round the windward mark at about 15 minutes so with a sequence time of 12 minutes after the first start there was no room for an AP or gerneral recall.  In that case the sequence extends to a minimum of 18 minutes when the first fleet are on top of the start line.  Ideally, it would therefore have been best to have a long first beat and a shorter second lap, thus increasing the time before the J109s got back to the start area on the first lap.  With a few constraints in the mark laying department this was only attempted on the last day.  However, because difficulty was had getting the Quarter tonners away on the 1st race that day, even that technique only saw succes on the very last race.

So it was difficult running 3 fleets on a windward / leeward with a target time of 45 minutes, but the feedback from the sailors is that they enjoyed it.

The Vice Admirals Cup was held in the Solent on Friday 18th, Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th May 2012.

The Vice Admirals Cup is run by the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club and this year has two courses - one for bigger boats and this includes the selections for the Commodores Cup; the other for J109s, Quarter Tonners and SB3s.  Robert Lamb has on the previous three years, run the J109s and the Quarter Tonners so opted to run those fleets again when invited back for this year.  The SB3s will join in for the first time.

There are 14 J109s entered, 10 Quarter Tonners and 20 SB3s.

Robert Lamb will be joined by Tina Scott, Jane Windsor, Emma Bourne and Andy Bull from SolentXtra.

The course will be predominately windward/leewards with the possibilty of a round the cans race at the end of each day if conditions are favourable for this.  Racing will take place on the Hillhead plateau on the north side of the central Solent.  The challenge will be managing such diverse classes of boats as the J109s and the SB3s on the same course.  The intention is for the W/L course to have two windward marks spaced such that the J109s will use the furthest on all laps, the SB3s the nearer of the 2 marks and the Quarter Tonners a mix of both.  Spreader marks will be used as tidal correction legs if the wind and tide are in the right directions.  Probably a 2 lap W/L will be the case with as long a first beat as possible in order to achieve the best separation of the fleets as possible.  Three or 4 lap races are unlikely to give the separation required.

We hope to have 3 races on Friday, 3 on Saturday and 2 on Sunday.

Click here to go to the event microsite.

© SolentXtra 2012