For the inaugural Royal Corinthian Yacht Club's Packard Ladies' Trophy eight 707s lined up at the start on Sunday afternoon for a great race, held in near perfect conditions. The helms came from various fleets within the Club and there were no rules about the sex of the members of the crew, either would do!
Pocket Battleship got off to a tremendous running start heading east from the club line towards No 3. The rest of the fleet were very close behind and this position stayed the same until the first mark when the decisions were taken by the various boats where to get across the river to Greenward on the north shore.
As the boats prepared to round this mark to starboard it was clear that those who had left it later and taken as much of the ebbing tide out of the river had taken the initiative and several positions had changed through this tactical decision.
Both Beaver Hunter and Aquaholic came from behind and were now lying 3rd and 4th respectively with Riotous now holding them off by a whisker in a gritty second place. Still leading the way, beating up the Roach to Jubilee, Pocket Battleship led most of the fleet along the shallows of the west shore. Blowfish and Swallow decided to stick to the east side only to realise their mistake as they watched the other boats being lifted up the bank to the mark.
With the fleet now spreading out it took some great sailing by the crew on Marlin to claw back three positions on the downwind leg to Hollywell and the subsequent repeat of the beat up to Jubilee. Baby Beluga, Beaver Hunter and Aquaholic were all in their sights and with some skillful tacking they had got up to second position. Riotouswere not to be outdone as they returned downwind back to Holliwell, retaking second position and then getting past Pocket Battleship as they returned to the club line via Horse Shoal to take a deserved victory.
In the middle of the fleet Aquaholic and Beaver Hunter positioned 4th and 5th respectively were having a battle of their own on the last beat to Jubilee. On the way back to the club, Beaver Hunter managed to get past Aquaholic to finish 4th as they went through the moorings, having dived off to the shallows of the north shore leaving Aquaholic sticking to the south.
At the back of the fleet a great battle was being fought between Blowfish, Baby Beluga and Swallow. Baby Beluga was struggling with upwind speed, a problem for this boat in several of this year's series. First Swallow were able to take advantage of this, returning for the second time to Jubilee and then Blowfish managed to pass them on the return to the club from Holliwell.
The Packard Ladies' Trophy has not been raced for over 100 years so it is great that it will now become an annual fixture in the RCYC racing calendar in future, bringing members of various classes together and it is a testament to the 707 fleet that it allowed various crews to mix and enjoy a great day's one design racing.
Full results are available here...