The sun shone on the Solent as summer didn’t quite seem ready to quit for the inaugural Royal Thames Yacht Club Women’s J/70 Open Championship. The race committee were faced with a weekend of contrasts from little to no wind forecast on the Saturday and a very breezy Sunday. Royal Thames Yacht Club Academy Team managed to secure a victory in Race 4 despite creating a large rip in their spinnaker, with Royal Lymington Yacht Club coming in second, closely followed by RORC crossing the line a mere second later. A series of broaches on the run to the finish line separated the rest of the fleet, proving costly to the Royal Southern Younger Members. The course for the fifth race of the weekend was shortened as the wind continued to pick up. Despite having no spinnaker, the Royal Thames Yacht Club Academy were still able to secure another win over RORC, with the Royal Southern Younger Members third. After four firsts and a fourth across the weekend, it was a convincing Royal Thames Yacht Club Academy victory with Anna Prescott helming and Rachel Tilley, Meia Harnett, Emily Wiltshire and Cat Wallace crewing. Second place was closely fought with the Royal Southern Young Members team of helm Becca Anthony, Emily Dresser, Molly Brown and Christine Shrimpton narrowly securing victory over the RORC team of Laura Dillon, Lena Having, Kass Schmitt, Isabelle Hung and Clare Wilsey. With prizes coming from sponsors Slingsby Gin, Brain Fud and custom technical clothing from RashR, competitors were well rewarded for their efforts. The winners will be awarded the impressive Lochan Challenge Cup at the Prize Winners dinner on November 5 at the Royal Thames Yacht Club. For more event details, visit www.royalthames.com.