The Royal Ocean Racing Club’s annual Vice Admiral’s Cup Regatta was sailed on the Solent. The fleet was treated to a wide variety of weather conditions—cloudy to sunny, light to breezy, shifty to streaky, and, of course, current. The second day of racing delivered short, sharp races that tested sailors over a wide range of conditions. It was a day of intensely close racing in a very shifty north-northwesterly breeze of mostly 10-15 knots, but with a number of lighter spells and a brief squall that saw gusts above 20 knots. The J/70s joined the action for the first time on Saturday, with the fleet enthusiastic to get away. Five boats – Andrew Barraclough’s JENGA 8, David Atkinson’s RASCAL RACING, Patrick Liardet’s COSMIC, Doug Streuth’s DSP and Adam Munday’s OCEAN ROPE – were all called over at the start of the first race. This left the way open for Paul Ward’s EAT SLEEP J REPEAT to pull out an impressive 10-length lead by the end of the first beat. He was followed by Charlie Thompson’s BRUTUS and Liardet’s COSMIC, even though the latter lost out through overstanding the first mark. In the end, Ward finished more than a minute ahead of Clive Bush’s DARCEY, while COSMIC took third just four seconds later. DSP won the second race, but slipped down to 11th in the third race. The fourth and final race of the day saw DARCEY take a commanding win, ahead of BRUTUS. In the tightest of finishes, Philip Rees’ BRYN took third place just three seconds later, and DSP fourth, seven seconds later. Summer sun returned for Sunday’s racing, with bright sun and rising temperatures, but initially without any wind. The committee boats left the dock when the beginnings of a southerly of 2-3 knots sprang up in the central Solent at 1030 hrs. Half an hour later, it had swung into the southeast and increased to 8 knots, and the AP flags signaling the postponement came down at 1100. The J/70s used the regatta as Round 3 of their 2019 UK J/70 Grand Slam Series. A win in both races saw Paul Ward’s EAT SLEEP J REPEAT cement overall victory ahead of Clive Bush’s DARCEY, while reigning Grand Slam Champion, Doug Struth’s DSP, was third. All races were decided by a minute or less, with race five going to Ward’s ESJR by just five seconds from DARCEY. “This was the first time for the J/70s at the Vice Admiral’s Cup, and the race team did a great job for us, with six exciting races over two days,” said Ward. “Onshore at the RORC clubhouse, we enjoyed catching up with the other classes over a few beers and a curry. Thanks to all of the team at RORC for a great event!” For more RORC Vice Admiral’s Cup information, visit

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