A 10-KNOT North-Westerly breeze that gently faded during the evening provided a welcome to calmer conditions for the 55 Royal Lymington Yacht Club boats contesting the penultimate race of Spencers Estate Agents Thursday Evening Late Series.
Eighteen Folkboats jostled for position and got away at the first time of asking, heading into the tide for a laid mark towards Hurst. Bonnie rounded first closely followed by Svane, Tak and Crackerjack clear ahead of the main fleet.
Tak sailed lower and rounded the mark first followed by Svane and Crackerjack as they started the second beat. In the dying breeze, the race was shortened at the next mark with a win for Crackerjack followed by Tak, Svane and Bonnie in that order.
The J80 class had a close fetch to the first mark near Pennington. Wildcat led narrowly from Traffic Jam at the turn, with Emoji in third. The downwind leg across to Yarmouth saw Traffic Jam power past Wildcat with the two then locked together for the beat back across to the Colten buoy.
Wildcat led round, but again Traffic Jam was ahead at the leeward mark back on the Island shore. However, while beating back towards the mainland in the dying breeze, the race was shortened at Colten giving Wildcat the win, from Traffic Jam with Emoji staying in third.
Despite Cowes Week and summer holidays, over half of the 17 yachts in LAH 3 fleet started the race. A clean start was made by all competitors from a committee boat line and perhaps tactically motivated, three yachts seemed very shy of the line despite doing well in the series.
After rounding the first mark, the fleet enjoyed a run across the tide to the Island shore towards Yarmouth. The leg back over to Lymington was a strong beat against the tide pushing all boats to the east.
Kevin Podger in his Yeoman finished ahead of the fleet to receive both the line honours and the win, followed by John Fitzsimons in his Bolero 26, and then David Harmer in a First 25.7 yet beaten on handicap by Rene Chinnery in a Westerly Regatta 290 just behind him.