Day One of the Mumm30 European Championships and the sun shone on the competitors and the winds were a pleasant but shifty Force 2-3, unseasonally from the North West.
The quality fleet is comprised of 26 entries, representing five European countries though notably there are no Italian entrants.
The windward leeward course for Race One was set in the mouth of Southampton Water and perhaps with the knowledge of no discards being allowed in the 11 race programme the fleet got away cleanly at the first time of asking.
First to the windward mark was Mike BUDD sailing Gul Seven, a recent recruit to the fleet having successfully campaigned a Melges24, followed by regular Mumm30 campaigner Jimmy PAHUN helming Region Ile de France and in third John GRIMSON on board Media Network International. Downwind Pahun overtook Budd by gybing early a position he held to the finish. Budd finished second however on the final run Grimson lost third place whilst undertaking penalty turns allowing Robert BARR on Kanati to finish third. The racing was tight throughout the fleet for Race One with only four minutes covering the first to last finisher.
Race Two and the course was moved closer to the northern shore to eliminate some of the effects of the tide as the wind had dropped slightly. Taking a course up the middle of the windward leg the first to arrive was Louis BROWNE'S Asterix followed by Vincent BARNES'S Cotes d'Armour and Diarmuid FOLEY in Mammy.
Downwind the fleet split but by the leeward mark the positions remained the same. Back to the windward mark and the first three were pulling out on the rest of the fleet and the status quo remained to the finish. The fore runners from Race One did not feature in Race Two with Jimmy PAHUN no doubt cursing his resolute sole pursuit of the right hand side of the beat on the initial windward leg which was to put him near the back of the fleet.
Into Race Three and for a while it looked like the wind was dying further but as the race started it picked up. A new race and another new leader, Monkey Business helmed by David WILKINSON was the initial leader followed by Harald BRUNING'S Topas and in third Bite the Bullet helmed by Theoule MANDELIEU. Bruning then took the lead and Mandelieu came up into second with Wilkinson eventually finishing third.
So far in the Championship no boat has managed to stamp their authority on the fleet so the early signs are that this will be a very open championship.
There were a number of protests so the following results are provisional. Complete results are available via the link below.
Top Five After Three Races
||Bite the Bullet
||Peter de Rdder