Kirsteen Donaldson, sailing the X332 "Pyxis", has won the 2021 SORC Channel Week. Kirsteen must be chuffed to do so and it was well deserved after a string of consistently good results.
Stephen Scholefield, from the J111 "mustigo" reports:
The highlight of Channel week was the approach to Portland Bill in pitch black at midnight. The approach had been thoroughly researched using the local Weymouth tide atlas - Go close inshore - 100 m from the lighthouse avoiding the shambles, the race and the standing wave - all good - until the wind stopped - speed dropped to 0.1 kn and the tide took over.
First the tide took us straight towards the shambles - which at close inspection was a series of ridges - each ridge produced alarming noises and cross waves which stopped until the next ridge and then started again.
Next came the race which was bumpy but less noisy and finally the standing wave which moved the boat through all angles and even allowed a small wave to come through the stern of Mustigo - a first.
And then calm, more calm and even more calm as the next 5 hours unfolded with zero wind. All fun.
And from the cockpit of Simon Mitchell on the Sun Fast 3200 "Roxanne":
SORC Channel Week 2021 sucessfully navigated around the pandemic and staged a great week of solo racing on the UK side of the channel.
We managed to get to all planned destinations except for Plymouth which was unable to accomodate our fleet of 10 boats.
Kicking off with an overnight race from the Solent to Dartmouth the light winds saw all but two boats retire eventually. Oi Oi and L'adventure stuck it out arriving mid - late evening some 24 hrs or more later with Oi Oi taking the win.
The second race, from Dartmouth to Falmouth had another light forecast so a shorter course was set to finish at Eddystone. All 10 boats finished and motored in to Falmouth. Pyxis took the class two and overall IRC win with Roxanne taking Class one.
A rest day in Falmouth preceded the much anticipated 120 Nm Wolf Rock race. Light winds meant that the race was started at the Lizard , the course taking us West to Wolf Rock and then back East to finish off Dartmouth.
A mix of conditions gave a true test of boats and skippers skills and tenacity , ending with a wind shut down off Prawle point, the fleet compressing and awaiting the tidal gate to open and eventually just enough wind to steer to the finish at North Skerries. Roxanne led the fleet from early on , chased relentlessly by Rainmaker, Amy Lou and Pyxis.
Mustigo went 'dark' taking a more southerly route out into channel and then reappearing near to Salcombe to join the fleet again. Roxanne took class one , Pyxis class two and overall.
Back in Dartmouth several boats had to leave us, with some entered in the Plymouth 500 Fastnet Race.
The remaining fleet raced to Portland in near - perfect reaching conditions. Initially, with TWA at 110 - 120 Chris Morton on L'adventure his Pogo 850 enjoying it's sweet spot, held the lead before the wind came aft prior to Portland Bill. The inner passage at Portland was benign and and the lead boats held their kites past the lighthouse before the gybe to finish at the Sound buoys. Roxanne took Class one and once again Pyxis took Class two, and Overall by just a minute , all but sealing her victory as Overall Channel Week winner.
Chris on l'adventure had to leave us in Portland having had a great week , firmly marking his place in the SORC fleet once again after a two year recovery from an accident had kept him away.
A night in Weymouth , another fish and chip supper on the boats was followed by a CSB start on Sunday morning for the last race to Lymington. Pyxis only had to come to the start area to seal her overall win.
Roxanne and Mustigo battled it out in rising winds finishing at North Head in 30 kts gusting over 35.
After a relatively light wind week this was a wake-up to the English Summer weather we all know and love... perhaps we'll try to get further South sometime!
For CW overall (4 races to count): Pyxis 1st (for the Petit Bateau ZTL Trophy), Roxanne 2nd, L’Aventure 3rd
For the Ana Cup for most firsts on the water
Race 1: L’Aventure
Race 2: Mustigo
Race 3: Roxanne
Race 4: Roxanne
Race 5: Mustigo
As per the precedent last year, the tie break is based on the latest race sailed, so it goes to Mustigo.
Race 1 Results
Race 2 Results
Race 3 Results
Race 4 Results
Race 5 Results