Dauntless, the Daring sailed by Richard Acland and his crew, with Five first places and a throwaway third took victory at the top of the Cowes Classics Week leaderboard of the 143 yachts which took part in the 12th edition of the event this week.
The Daring Class was just one of six keelboat classes competing on the Royal London Yacht Club’s committee boat race areas along with the National Swallows, Solent Sunbeams, Dragons and Flying Fifteens, Bembridge One Designs and X One Designs.
A win in the XOD class, 37-strong, was another great achievement of the event. Max Crowe, sailing with his father Mike and Jeremy Baker in Clair de Lune put in the most consistent performance of the series in their fleet with a 6,4,2,8,1 to beat second placed David Palmer in Princess Jalina
In the Solent Sunbeam class Roger Wickens continued his dominance in the fleet in Danny, achieving three firsts and a second place gaining him the status of second highest performer in the whole of the Cowes Classics Week fleet, as well as a third year gaining the top Solent Sunbeam spot.
Tim Street’s Tschuss took the combined Vintage Dragon and Flying Fifteen class in Dragon Tschuss with a trophy also going to Flying Fifteen Flip Flop sailed by Will Morris. Runner up was Bill Daniels’ Mistress, ably crewed by his grandson.
Yet another class to put in a high octane performance on the water was the 15-strong National Swallow Class. The Swallow boasts a classic heritage originating as a two-man Olympic class for the 1948 Olympics but now sailed with three crew. Harry Roome in Skua took first place.
Another six classes racing from the Royal London’s shoreline on longer Solent courses were also vying for the overall trophy. Every classic yacht taking part qualified for the event by virtue of being a 50 year old design or more.
Cruiser classes, Folkboats and Gaffers were equally in with a chance. Lawrence Wride’s Sunmaid V, the 1967 One Tonner who was last year’s champion, couldn’t quite repeat her overall win but she did take the Class One top spot again this year, beating Richard Hargreaves’ Aeolus into second place.
The Folkboat Class made their mark this year as a small but fiercely competitive fleet. The mid-Solent fixed mark courses produced a winning result for Stuart Watson in Crackerjack who also won the event’s ‘Best New Helm’ award.
Possibly the most picturesque yachts on the shoreline were the Gaffers. The oldest amongst them was Spinaway X, also the oldest in the whole Cowes Classics Fleet at 130 years. Her age hasn’t slowed her down and she was winner in the Gaffer ‘Silver Fleet’, while Cormorant, a one-off gaff yawl built in 1911, was winner of the ‘White Fleet’.
Further information and results see www.cowesclassicsweek.org.