RTIR this year was very different to the last 3 years which have been windy, fast races. With forecasts of sub 5 knots of wind, competitors were expecting a slow ride around the Island. Northern (skippered by Lucy) and Southern Child (Skippered by Chris) were out together with a Grand Soleil 40 (Skippered by Christian) which we chartered to fulfil the high demand for the race this year. With all 3 yachts in the same class, there was some ‘banter at the bar’ on Friday before the race with some wagers being made. The team on Northern Child bravely offered up a bottle of Champagne for the winner over line amongst the boats.
From the start, Southern Child led the 3 yachts up the Solent and being the fastest of the 3 this was no surprise. In the very light airs, Northern was suffering a bit and the Grand Soleil took the lead at the Needles when Southern over stood. Once there, the fleet stopped and Northern with her momentum glided peacefully past both Southern and the Grand Soleil much to frustration of the other crews. After a nail biting hour of stop start sailing, the wind finally filled in again and progress towards St Catherines resumed. The Grand Soleil took the lead and never looked back from here, being the first to finish in just over 11 hours. Southern followed with Northerns crew deciding to retire just after St Catherine’s, although they were not alone with another 700 or so yachts that also retired, fearing they would not make the race time limit.
The good sports on Northern Child duly presented the Champagne to the crew of the Grand Soleil, made up mostly from the Girl Team that sailed with Lucy in the Fastnet last year and few new recruits who made up an excellent crew together with Simon and Bill who did the Fastnet on Northern Child in 2011.
We have already sold out one yacht for RTI 2015 so if you want to join us next year please be sure to let us know early.