Four J Class Battle it out in the Solent

Richard Langdon of Ocean Images took this shot from the mainland shore of the Solent, at the start of the first race of the J Class Regatta in the Solent

It was a difficult first day with strong winds and a fierce outgoing tide faced the four yachts at the start of the Solent regatta.

A great line up at the gun with Ranger and Velsheda just ahead of Lionheart and Rainbow. Both Lionheart and Rainbow crossed onto the North shore for the long beat into a strong 20 knot SW wind and building sea.

Ranger and Velsheda elected to work the Island shore, where the outgoing tide was expected to be stronger in their favour. At the weather mark, now crowded with spectator boats from all around the Solent, Ranger rounded first, with Lionheart close behind, followed by Rainbow and Velsheda, who had slipped back.

Ranger gybed and set a symmetrical kite whilst Lionheart split from her with a tearaway and set onto an assymetric kite.

Ranger then drew ahead sailing best angles into the foul tide with the symmetrical.

The gap between the yachts never really opened up significantly and all boats crossed the line within 137 seconds.

Finishing positions across the line were unaltered by the very small handicaps that apply to each individual yacht, to account for small performance differences.

  • 1st Ranger
  • 2nd Lionheart
  • 3rd Rainbow
  • 4th Velsheda