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Our News and Notices

Services Offshore Regatta (SOR) 2017

Central - 12 Jul 17 General

Monday the 19th June, 115 Serving personnel of the 3 services, supplemented by 3 IRC crews mustered in Hornet. With 9 Victoria 34’s, 3 J109’s & 3 IRC entrants( Ilex of Upnor, Ginger & Crazy horse) this was the best turnout for the SOR for many a year.

With the emphasis on Tactical racing, this year promised much and was unique in many ways. One of the Offshore committee Commands HMS CATTISTOCK, Lt Cdr James Baker was able to utilise her as the committee boat for the start of the event, something the RAF may struggle to emulate next year. The First Offshore race was a Passage to Brighton with a twist, one had to circle the Isle of Wight first, the tactical part? Each skipper could choose in which direction they went!

The weather gods then intervened and before any Vic’s could make it to the second mark the tide became a larger factor than the wind, the art of Kedging was re-learnt. The committee, then afloat in Nick Millers ‘Halcyon Sea’ made the call 5 hours into the race to shorten the course, there would be no Island rounding, of little relief to the Vic fleet as they were still kedged! Meanwhile the combined IRC & J109 fleet had stalled with only the Army’s ‘Trojan’ rounding the turning mark and had opted to go North over the Island. The shortened course resulted in a turning mark off Cowes, then to Brighton.

Wednesday awoke to a 10 knot easterly, a BFBS film crew, drone pilots & sunshine! The inshore series and a tactically demanding Compass Course were raced, all whilst being buzzed by an expertly flown drone that captured some brilliant footage of the fleet at work. With the results stacking up, it was becoming clear that the Army were developing quite a lead, that said, never did the Navy or RAF let up in their efforts to get the very best out of their boats. That evening we were hosted by Brighton Marina Yacht Club for a BBQ and social, they had allowed us the run of the place, the use of their RiB, a Protest committee and the warmest of welcomes. RNSA members will find a friendly club that proudly boasts ‘We race all year’.

I am deeply indebted to: BMYC for their generosity and genuine warmth of welcome, they could not have been more accommodating. HSSC for supporting both ends of the event. JSASTC for the supply of nine Vic 34’s, safety briefs and equipment. Nick Miller for allowing ‘Halcyon sea’ to act as committee boat and accommodation. Mike Shrives as Principal Race Officer. The Offshore Committee for their team management and preparation.

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