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Panoramic finishers this afternoon. Credit:

Tense finishes are the order of the day

Author: Peta Stuart-Hunt   Date: 14:58 Saturday 1 Jul 2017

The leaders of IRC3 have started to make their way across the finish line! If there is one theme coming from the race this year, it is tight finishes and ‘will-they-wont-they’ moments. And surely as they approached the finish line, the IRC3 class’ Whooper, skippered by Giovanni Belgrano must have been very much hoping they will! And for a time it very much looked like they might. But a painfully slow final approach saw them lose a great many minutes and ultimately they could not make it in time for a top position.

Meanwhile in the J/70 fleet the first few boats have now finished. The class was won by Yeti, skippered by Jack Davies. Davies and his team have been having something of a dominant spell in the class. The team are a youth team and won a competition to go sailing with Annie Lush in Cowes Week last year. They won the J/70 UK Grand Slam series in the last year and are currently gearing up for the class’ European Championship to be held on these very waters under the auspices of the Royal Southern Yacht Club later this year. 

Weather-wise the wind is holding up relatively well although, as forecast it is slowly dropping away. Also as forecast, over the last couple of hours the wind has swung to the west and all classes are tacking up the Solent to make their way to the finish. To look out towards the finish at the moment is to see a classic Round the Island Race sight as boat after boat beat to the finish, laminate sails and white sails alike, glowing in the sunny patches. 

Tide wise we have now got full flow against those sailing up the Solent, making it slow going for those short tacking up the shore. Here sailors will be faces with something of a challenge as they close on Cowes, go too close inshore and lose the breeze approaching East Cowes. or get offshore to hold more breeze. Even if there is a reasonable amount of tide against you, huge gains can be made by keeping the wind, but in this light weather the tide against can be a bit of a killer. 

Certainly most of the fleets are making is about as far as Seaview and then compressing as the leaders hang on the tide. It will be a long slog for a fair few of these.

Provisional Results - Handicap

1 - Yes!
2 – Highland Fling
3 – Salvo

Classes update:

IRC0 – We believe this fleet have all now finished. 

IRC1 – The majority have now finished. 

IRC2 – The last boats in this fleet are now approaching the finish.

IRC3 – The leaders have now finished but the stragglers here run all the way back to Seaview

ISC4 – As above, the leaders have finished but the fleet stretches the length of the Solent to the east. 

ISC5 – The boats in this fleet are also spread from Cowes to Seaview – a popular spot it seems.

ISC6 – As above the leaders are getting towards Cowes but it is a long way to the tail end of the fleet.

ISC7 – The bulk of the fleet are between Ryde and Seaview

ISC8 – The tail end of this fleet are now rounding Bembridge.