The 52nd Folkboat Week took place in challenging conditions in the Solent, between Saturday 19th and Saturday 26th August. Hosted by the Royal Solent Yacht Club (RSYC) in Yarmouth, and proudly sponsored by Lymington Yacht Haven, the event continues to be a popular end-of-season regatta for the Folkboat fleet.
Sailors may be notorious for complaining about the sea, but this year’s very light winds and strong tides gave both the Race Team and sailors plenty to grumble about! However, all 9 races were completed, one entire race (billed as the Long Solent Race East) with Spinnakers flying, against the tide for 5 hours only to turn to come back to Yarmouth against the tide! Still, this is all part of the week’s experience.
The 31 Nordic boats and the 8 classic cruisers all had their chance to be in the lead as the fickle wind changed people's positions with only 200 yards difference between them! The wind and tide tested one and all to the limit, but Pilgrim skippered by Sally Kalis, had her best ever result of 7th overall.
The winner Stralende, owned by Simon Flack, came from Parkstone SC, Poole, and had to beat the nearest boat on points, Crackerjack, owned by Matthew Jones and Stuart Watson, from Lymington. 3rd was another local, well known boat Tak, owned by Jeremy Austin, with Madeline, owned by Ed Donald and crewed by his daughters coming 4th.
First place ended in a last day hard fought Match Race that fooled many a competitor who thought that these two boats had found more wind in unusual places and tried to follow only to discover that they weren't interested in winning this last race, only beating each other.
The classics racing was equally tight, but finally Folkdance from Emsworth won the day, despite some good results from Dirk Kalis, helming Kingdom Come.
To add to the excitement, several boats ran aground almost every day, but no damage was done only the skippers’ pride!
The final Prize Giving Dinner with 105 sitting down to an excellent meal and a late-bar-closing ended the week with everyone looking forward to next year.
Save the date - 18th to 25th August 2018
See the full race results and photos courtesy of the RSYC.
Extracts from the Folkboat Ditty, written by Christine Hartley-Webster
Again it's August, give a cheer,
'Cos once again Folkboats are here.
The Club resounds with fun and craic,
We love it here - always come back.
With 30 Nordics on the line,
We're in for an exciting time.
The gleaming Classics all look great,
And here, all will participate,
In racing, socials, quizzes, meals,
Fine dining at the Club appeals.
Now Pilgrim and our Columbine,
Are s*** hot on that starting line!
We're up with Tak and Crackerjack,
But then, what cheek, we heard Stu crack-
"Watch out boys, here the oldies come"-
Just shoot him with that starting gun!
A wind shift caused Countdown to move,
Which should have been quite slick and smooth,
But where was Marksman? - no, oh dear,
They couldn't get her into gear!
The ebb had swept them right away,
We thought, they won't be back today!
The Friday winds were very light,
The tides were strong and movement slight.
And though Stralende led all race,
Madelaine creamed in to take first place.
They're neck and neck - you should have seen 'em,
With half a second there between 'em!
Now, Sally's up there with the best,
It's 'cos her boat's a dragons nest.
And Lady Dragon brings the wine,
And bakes banana cake devine.
At last we had a strong young crew,
And Frances showed him what to do.
Our main, stamped '98' ne'r fails,
This crew proved younger than our sails!
Today the windward mark caused grief,
When YSA tacked, Tom clenched his teeth!
The flood pushed all against the mark,
Which wasn't such an easy lark.
Two boats today ignored the rest,
To beat each other's their contest.
Match racing, they dropped down the fleet
For Crackerjack's the one to beat.
Stralende did it - boys well done,
You've got the trophy, got the gun!
We love the Week here, think it's great,
And all of us appreciate,
The staff and all the great ROs,
Ensuring that the week just flows.
The Foxes get a special cheer,
For slaving hard for us all year.
But Lym Yacht Haven, we love you,
It's heartfelt thanks for all you do.
So raise a glass and drink a toast,
Our Sponsors and The Club, our host.
By Christine Hartley Webster