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Panerai British Classic Week - An absolute scorcher

The opening race day of Panerai British Classic Week at Cowes was an absolute scorcher with barely a cloud in the sky. Unfortunately, the wind was not quite as reliable.

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The first challenge was getting over the start line safely. The tide was pushing the boats onto the wrong side of the line and the light south westerly was only just sufficient for them to make way against it.

Several boats found themselves over the line as the gun went and had to make the slow and painful crawl back up tide to restart correctly. Once underway the fleet streamed west and into a developing south-westerly sea breeze.

The first few legs saw them making good progress, but as they turned back towards the central Solent a competing south-easterly sea breeze tried to fill in too and the net result was a classic Mexican stand-off between the two directions.

The resulting game of snakes and ladders was painful for some, but rewarding for others.

In Class 4 a pair of 1963 Kim Holman designed Stellas showed the fleet the way. On the line Richard Matthew’s Scorpio led John Mulcahy’s Estrella, with Rufus Gilday’s Venya, a 1939 40 square metre Spidsgatter designed by Jac M Iversen, taking third.

In Class 3 Peter Robinson’s lovely Kim Holman Rummer yawl Tinkatoo, built by Stanilands & Co of Yorkshire in 1960, never put a foot wrong.

Following them home for second was Tim Yetman’s 1924 West Solent One Design Suvretta, with Robert Veale’s 1958 David Cheverton sloop Danegeld third, and Michael Briggs’ Mikado, a 1904 Fife designed 30 Linear Rater and the oldest boat in the regatta, fourth.

Guy O’Bierne, co-owner of Tinkertoo, was delighted with their win in Class2. Giovanni Belgrano’s 1939 Laurent Giles sloop proved that she hasn’t lost her winning ways by beating Lawrence Wride’s Sparkman & Stephens’ One Tonner of 1967 Sunmaid V into second place, with Gildas Rostain’s 1968 Olin Stephens One Tonner Volonte in third.

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The racing in the metre boat classes was as tight as ever. In the Sixes, victory went to Charlie Hatfield’s 1946 Nicholson designed Mena with Tom Richardson’s Thistle second and Robert Owen’s Valdai third.

In the Eights, Christopher Courage sailing the 1939 Alfred Milne designed Helen took the victor’s laurels from Murdoch McKillop’s Saskia, with Richard Bendy’s Osborne third.

Monday will see the fleet take on the Around the Island Race sponsored by EFG which will start from the Royal Yacht Squadron at 08.00. For those yachts who elect not to race around the Island there will be an inshore race starting at 10:00.

Full results here

Fiona Brown
10 July 2017 6:53 GMT


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