21ST MAY, 2018
What a fantastic three days of racing has just been had!
RORC Cowes, Vice Admiral’s Cup (VAC) was blessed with near perfect conditions (bar a tardy breeze on the first two days) but despite this, the race committee delivered superb courses in balmy, pleasant conditions, to make for a fantastic weekend of racing.
The HP30 Class, lining up for their second outing at the VAC, consisted of five boats, including Mittens Revenge a FarEast28, three Farr280’s – TOUCAN, Pandemonium and FOMO and the highly polished Farr30 Pegasus. With Pandemonium and FOMO joining the fleet for the first time this season and with no Fast40+ class racing at the Vice Admirals Cup this year, it was down to the HP30s to lead the way in terms of performance and looks amongst the monohull classes. The sleek lines, generous hull forms and huge sails areas contrasting dramatically with the smaller and slower mono hulls racing on the Bravo course.
The racing proved extremely close throughout the weekend, with the top three boats finishing the first day tied on six points. Day two saw Pegasus move into the lead with three solid wins but on the final day, TOUCAN came back into the mix with a domineering bullet in race 7 and a second in the final race. Not enough to wrestle the lead back from the Farr30, but definitely a marker for future battles.
“We had a really great regatta– it was fantastic racing and we’re very happy that the results are so close,” says Alex Locke of Toucan. “We’ve spent a lot of time on the water, practicing manoeuvres and tweaking settings, as have other boats in the class and it’s great to see that it pays off.”
Alex’s words are absolutely bang-on. Despite the friendly nature of the HP30 Class and the Corinthian credentials of the teams, the racing is full-on. No-one gives quarter whilst racing demonstrated no more neatly than at the start of Race 6, when TOUCAN and FOMO left the door open for Pegasus to hook both boats neatly off the line at the start, forcing them to both tack around. A clear demonstration of this teams intent and focus on winning every opportunity.
Finally congratulations must go to Malcolm Wootton’s highly polished, Team Pegasus, who sailed consistently well to win the event convincingly.
“The great thing about this class is you can take an affordable boat and optimise it, or you can buy a ready to go boat like a Farr 280 and still win. As hard as we have worked on Pegasus the boat certainly doesn’t do the work for us. This weekend was seriously intense racing and much closer on the water than the results showed. We sailed well this weekend, a few mistakes for sure but importantly kept ourselves clean when we needed and trusted our own decisions and it paid off.” Comments David Thomas, mainsheet trimmer on Pegasus.
The next outing for the HP30 Class is the Nationals at Poole International Paints Regatta over the May Bank Holiday weekend and with another Farr30 and a J90 joining the fleet, the competition will continue to improve and grow. The upward trajectory continues through the season, with the arrival of a German and a Swiss Farr280 , plus a McConaghy 31 and a FarEast31 from Sweden, all coming to enjoy the competition that HP30 has to offer.