Despite promising forecasts all week and a very pleasant breezy day on the Saturday Race 6 got off in less than perfect circumstances with an ebb tide ripping through the start line and a very light breeze. We failed to make our customary good getaway and left ourselves a lot to do. Unfortunately the main threats in the series Quokka (Elan 37) and Astarte (First 34.7) both had stunners and led the fleet to the first windward mark.
Having gained a few places upwind we held our own on the run before taking huge chunks out of the leaders by staying left up the second beat. With an excellent downwind leg (VMG running) using the pressure on the mainland shore we took more time out of those around us and crucially spotted the breeze holding on the left hand side for the first leg of the final beat. This paid massive dividends as we sailed around watching boat after boat slogging up the middle.
5th around the last windward mark then and with a real shout of catching the leaders, who were starting to park up down the run. Once again we took advantage of the better zephyrs down the mainland side and VMG running saw us sailing around all but Quokka when our luck ran out with the wind. Moving the 8 ton 40-footer was always going to be fun compared to the relative lightweights that are Quokka and Astarte and sure enough both of them did enough to ease away to take 1st and second in the race, we recovered for 3rd.
Some frantic maths followed as we reckoned that after 6 weeks of racing this meant that all three of us were on 9 points. Sailing Instructions were read and re-read and a hastily convened committee meeting on board decided that we had second place overall from Astarte and ahead of Quokka purely based on race wins! How close is that!!!
It's a bit of shame that we couldn't get out title back, especially having led the whole series, as this was Flair IV's last Warsash, but perhaps it is fitting as that was her first series result straight from the box at Warsash 2002! We are delighted to announce that we will shortly be taking delivery of the new Elan 410 (hull no. 6) and that she will be called Premier Flair! If she is half as successful as the "old girl" then she will do well, but it is with a tear in our eye that we watch Flair IV retire to do family duty with the Macgregors! We would like to that all our supporters and sponsors throughout five stunning years with her, Sanders for the speed, Gul for the clothing, English Braid for holding the boat together, Selden for keeping Pete’s cloth upright, Garmin for telling us where we are going and Tacktick for telling us how quickly we are getting there, Galliford Try for a few years of great company and hospitality, Premier for keeping her safe at Swanwick and Elan for telling the world how we make their boats go fast!! Look out for her supporting events at PYC or the 420 circuit and be mindful that you can still charter her if you want to win at events like the Silicon Cup. Flair IV is nearly gone, but will never be forgotten!