Petit Bateau event finishes in Lymington

Eighteen sailors who have caught the solo racing bug competed in Petit Bateau’s popular Solo Channel Week last week.

The 6 leg, 300 mile route visited Alderney, Jersey, St Malo, Dinard and Guernsey, starting and finishing in Lymington. Sailed in 3 Open classes and also under the IRC handicap, all the prizes were hotly contested right up to the final overnight return leg, starting with a spinnaker run through the notorious Ortac channel between the Casquets and Alderney, with many a spinnaker wrap to resolve in the confused seas. It finished with a spinnaker gybe into the Needles Fairway buoy across the sluicing spring ebb tide.

The main trophy for the big boats was decided on the result of the day race at Dinard between Rob Craigie’s J122 ‘Jbellino’ and Chris Rustum’s Stewart 37 ‘Ding Dong’ both with two firsts and two seconds in the series. The tie was broken by Ding Dong’s second place to Jbellino’s third in the fickle breezes and the strong tides of the day race kindly organised by Dinard YC amongst the rocks off St Malo. The IRC prize awarded across the whole fleet was won by Paul Peggs in his water ballasted JOD 35 ‘Audacious’ ahead of Peter Olden in the J92S ‘Solan Goose’ who pipped Ding Dong by one point.

Open class 2 for boats up to 35 feet was won by Mary Falk in the evergreen QII, now 18 years old. Mary demonstrated all her enthusiasm with 5 spinnaker peels to win the leg from St Malo to Guernsey. Second in class 2 was Audacious ahead of young Oscar Mead, also 18 years old, in the J105 ‘Juneau’.

Oscar also won the Rookie prize for best newcomer and placed second in the J boat cup behind Solan Goose.
Open Class 3 for boats up to 30 feet went to Solan Goose, with Jerry Freeman in the Figaro one ‘Fluffy’ second and Karl Wilcock in ‘Wee Bear’ third.

The next race for the ‘Racing at Petit Bateau’ organisation is the Nab Solo on Sunday 17th August.