Despite a delayed start due to fog, the 2012 J Class Regatta got under way at Falmouth yesterday, with Ranger crossing the finish line ahead of Velsheda (below), Rainbow and Lionheart.
The sun was struggling to break through before the official start time of 12 o’clock, so the race start was postponed for an hour. At the start, the boats split into two sections; Lionheart and Ranger at the starboard end of the line, and Rainbow and Velsheda at the port end.
As they accelerated towards the windward Helford River mark, Ranger – who had sailed on the seaward side of the course – managed to pull in front by a few boat lengths, and by the time she’d rounded the windward mark she’d had stretched her lead to 200 metres, turning downwind and launching her spinnaker.
Lionheart was next around the mark, but after an early gybe she ran into a spinnaker problem, dropping it on deck and launching another, smaller spinnaker. Meanwhile, Velsheda and Rainbow sailed with spinnakers offshore, picking up a fresh wind from the seaward side and by the end of the leg, with freshening wind, closing the distance on Ranger.
After around two-and-a-half hours of racing in various wind strengths across the bay, Ranger crossed the line first, comfortably ahead of Velsheda and Rainbow, with Lionheart fourth.
For images of the first day’s racing, click here: