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Bottle Pursuit

Published 18:41 on 3 May 2013

On Wednesday the 1st of May, Hamble River Sailing Club organised the Bottle Pursuit, which is the traditional transition between the Early Bird Series and the A Series. Seventeen boats made their way into the Solent, where the conditions were as good as they could be, nice sunshine and a northerly breeze, around 10 knots. This unusual wind direction was a bit challenging for the Race Officers, as it forced setting a start line not far from the main Southampton channel with the Queen Victoria coming out as well as the usual Isle of Wight ferries.

The first start at 18.30 saw the XODs, Svenja and Forethought of Gosport leading the way. Starts continued until 18.45 with pretty much all boats crossing the line on time (with the exception of Imptish that appeared to spend too much time on the pontoon…).

In the first spinnaker leg, Svenja managed to create a significant gap with immediate followers and the bigger boats La Nef, Festina Lente and Wee Bear started to make their way up the fleet, making full use of their big kites.

Svenja in the lead

At the Coastline Insurance mark, the group of Svenja’s pursuers was led by XOD 159 Dux, closely followed by Wee Bear, Festina Lente and La Nef. A second group arrived at the mark shortly after, with Clipper Marine, Two Frank, Mist and Sunbow II.

La Nef catching up with smaller boats

After a few shorter legs with close racing, the competitors headed back home on a long fetchy leg. As Wee Bear was closing the gap with Svenja, she was hunted by Festina Lente. Svenja reached the last mark with a small lead and the two bigger boats were aiming for the line with the hope she wouldn’t arrive before them. A tight finish finally saw Wee Bear winning the race with seconds the margin to Festina Lente and Svenja getting a well deserved third place after such a long breakaway.

Wee Bear crossing the line seconds before Festina Lente

The rest of the boats finished in several groups, giving the Race Committee a chance to see some close upwind fighting for the line.

Anne-Louise crossing the finish line

This very pleasant evening ended at the club house with the usual Wednesday night supper. Results are available on the club website.

Last updated 13:04 on 28 March 2019

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