J Class boat Velsheda won the Corinthian King's Cup as well as the Royal Southampton's Queen's Cup, presented by the Admiral, HRH Prince Michael of Kent.
Lionheart won the King's Hundred Guinea Cup.
During four days of racing in conditions ranging from tame to terrifying, the J Class fleet attracted hundreds of spectators afloat and ashore all keen to see these magnificent yachts. The J Class Solent Regatta attracted entries from four yachts, the first time in more than 70 years that such a fleet has been seen in their 'home waters'.
Mike Garvey, Royal Southampton Yacht Club, said: "What a fantastic regatta. Racing in the Solent was always going to be tactically challenging for the skippers and didn't disappoint. To see the yachts seek advantage through tacking duels and split gybes was testament to the highly competitive nature of the fleet. For the yachts to finish within around three minutes of each other each day after more than two hours racing was incredible, and gave the spectators an amazing spectacle which will be long remembered."
Louise Morton, J Class Association, commented: "The Royal Southampton Yacht Club not only provided first class race management which gave the yacht owners and crews the racing they requested, but also a wonderful Club House from which to base the regatta, enhanced by having Ocean Village marina at the front door where the yachts were moored. It has been a pleasure working with them on this project."
Race One, a windward leeward course in the Western Solent, saw tight racing between the four strong fleet around the 20 nm (nautical mile) course. In steady winds of around 22-25 kts with a top gust of 36 kts recorded on the committee boat. Ranger, the heaviest J competing, led across the finish line, some 12 seconds ahead of Lionheart.
The heavy weather continued into Day Two and Ranger was caught out on the line by the strong Solent tide, and couldn't pull back the commanding lead built by Velsheda, Rainbow and Lionheart. After two hours of racing less than two minutes split the first three yachts, with Lionheart taking line honours and Velsheda taking the win on corrected time.
The final day of the Solent Regatta started in bright sunshine and a real sense of expectation as all was still to play for. Lionheart, Ranger and Velsheda just needed a win to guarantee the Regatta while Rainbow needed a win as well as other results to go their way.
After a short postponement to allow the wind to fill in, the spectator fleet, which had been growing all week, had a grandstand view of these magnificent yachts powering towards the line. The cascading windward leeward course finished on the island side near Egypt Point, treating spectators on Cowes Green to an unforgettable view of four Js approaching downwind under their 10,000 square foot spinnakers.
Velsheda took line honours by some distance and hence the Series, followed by Rainbow, Lionheart and Ranger.
Mr Ronald de Waal, owner of Velsheda was presented with the Queen's Cup by HRH Prince Michael of Kent, Admiral of Royal Southampton Yacht Club, at a prizegiving at RSYC's Clubhouse in Ocean Village. The Queen's Cup was given to Royal Southampton by Queen Victoria in 1897, her jubilee year.
The J Class yachts are skippered and crewed by some of the world's top sailors, more than 120 of whom attended the prizegiving event.
Overall Results - Solent Regatta
Yacht, Sail no, Race 1, Race 2, Race 3, Points, Place
Velsheda, JK7, 4, 1 ], 1, 6, 1
Ranger, J5, 1, 4, 2, 7, 2
Lionheart, JH1, 2, 2, 3, 7, 3
Rainbow, JH2, 3, 3, 4, 10, 4
Round the Island - Hundred Guinea Cup Course
In glorious sunshine and a light easterly breeze, Lionheart, Ranger and Velsheda lined up for the classic Hundred Guinea Cup race, around the Isle of Wight over the original 1851 course. Sadly, technical issues kept Rainbow alongside the dock, but even this could not dampen the enthusiasm of the spectators. Hundreds of boats and RHIBs jostled for position around the start line, which had the Marshalls and officials reaching for their whistles.
As the 1040 start approached, the wind continued to pick up and, after a clear start, the fleet powered eastwards towards the Nab Tower. The wind eased as they approached, with Lionheart round first, setting her spinnaker and bearing away towards St Catherine's Point. Lionheart, competing in her first J Class regatta, held the lead around St Catherine's with Velsheda closing to a few seconds behind and Ranger close by.
The order did not change at the Needles but as they hardened up to battle through Hurst narrows, it was clear that the hoped for southwesterly sea breeze was not going to arrive. With a continuing easterly wind and strong outgoing tide, the Race Committee decided to shorten the race at the Needles.
Line honours and win went to Lionheart, with a race time of 5 hours, 2 minutes, 30 seconds. Velsheda took second place about two minutes behind, which reduced to a mere 26 seconds on corrected time. Ranger was third.
The Regatta's 'best amateur helmsman' trophy - the Corinthian King's Cup - was won by Velsheda who recorded two wins, a second and a fourth over the four days of racing.
Royal Southampton would like to thank its members and staff who collectively delivered keen, safe racing for the J Class fleet and a compelling spectacle for the hundreds and hundreds of spectators that will live in yachting memory for a very long time.
Round the island results
Yacht, Finish time, Race time, TCF, Time secs, Corrected secs, Position
Lionheart, 15:42:30, 5:02:30, 1.024, 18150, 18585.6, 1
Velsheda, 15:45:18, 5:05:18, 1.016, 18318, 18611.1, 2
Ranger, 15:51:17, 5:11:17, 1.013, 18677, 18919.8, 3
Best Amateur Helm – Corinthian King’s Cup results
Yacht, Sail no, Race 1, Race 2, Race 3, Race 4, Points, Place
Velsheda, JK7, 4, 1, 1, 2, 8, 1
Lionheart, JH1, 2, 2, 3, 1, 8, 2
Rainbow, JH2, 3, 3, 4, 5, DNC, 15, 3
- www.rsyc.org.uk Royal Southampton Yacht Club website