As a warm-up regatta for the 2019 World Cup in Cowes, competitors could compete in the Panerai British Classic Week. And challenging it was!
The week started with light and dying winds, making for interesting times with boats laying at anchor for an hour literally metres in front of the finish line due to the strong tide. During the first few races, with boats coming with wind towards The Green in Cowes, until the wind dropped off completely. The big park-up meant for interesting times and intense moments for the skippers. Every puff of wind was welcomed and the yachts trying to make the most of this. At other times, getting to the committee boat proved just a bit too much in the current as the 8mR yachts speed matched the tide, with a number of competitors dropping anchor just to hold their position. It truly was a test of nerves!
The second half of the week, showed more wind. With more, we should say maybe a bit too much. With winds gusting in the high 20’s it was full on, especially compared to the earlier days. With yachts evidently totally prepared for windward-leeward courses, the around the can racing provided for some interesting crew handling.
The Panerai British Classic week, also hosts the Ladies race, where a lady needs to take the helm. This lead to a scramble at the bar with crews finding women to race with them. In the end, all yachts found a lady helmswoman and set off for a day of Solent racing. The results of the race were given at the prize-giving dinner. Where Team Falcon took home the silverware with Sasha Lines at the helm.
Even though the 8mR yachts had their own class results, racing was under IRC rating. With boats so close to each other on rating, it was seldom that the results differed. The Panerai Classic Week provided great sailing conditions which tested all equipment and crews from light air, to heavy air. In the end, it was Team Falcon (K20) taking the podium, followed closely by team Carron II (sui3).
The Prize-giving dinner was fantastic with the 8mR crews all sitting in close proximity to each other. The night ended with drinks and music and crews telling each other stories of how they were sandbagging to give false hope to their competitors. The comradery of the 8mR class was in full swing with crews hanging out and drinking together. Waiting on the week to come…
The results of The Panerai classic week 8mR class;