The Cork 1720 fleet enjoyed an exhilarating race, reports Brett Lewis. Reports from Moody 34 Sea Orchid and wooden Moody-built Varen

The Cork 1720 fleet has crossed the finish line in what has been a close-run race. Brett Lewis, skipper ofMurphy & Nye, reports that the sportsboats held their positions from the start line, the first four boats completing the race within 100 yards of each other. Following very similar strategies, the boats took advantage of the early-morning southeasterly breeze to carry a spinnaker reach as far as Yarmouth, dropping the kites just off Lymington after a spectacular 25 minute passage. On rounding the Needles, the 1720s then faced a 4 hour beat down to St. Catherine’s Point before rounding the headland through a hazardous press of larger yachts unaware of the speed of the smaller Corks, leading to a welter of port-starboard challenges. The fleet hoisted their spinnakers again just off Ventnor for an exhilarating trip back to Cowes. Brett commented that the conditions were perfect and the sailing brilliant, although he was a little disappointed by his top boat speed of 12kts.King Quickled the Cork 1720 fleet, whileRYA3won the Sportsboat Rule on handicap.

Meanwhile, in the Classic Racing Yachts class, Moody-builtVarenreported at 1320 that they were just crossing Sandown Bay, approaching the Bembridge ledge. With two reefs in the main, they have had a fantastic sail, with favourable tide and a fresh breeze pushing their wooden yacht at a good pace. The crew of Moody 34Sea Orchidare also thoroughly enjoying themselves, and were just off Culver Down at 1330. Apart from a port-starboard challenge in which a big wave prevented them from tacking just off St. Catherine’s Point, the crew are still talking about the dolphins they sighted in the eastern Solent on their trip to Cowes this morning! Also just in: Toby Hodges reports thatSuhailiis past Ventnor and crossing Sandown Bay – 27 boats are still behind them and they are surprised to be looking at the tides for the north coast already!

For more information on the boats mentioned in this article, click here