Since arriving in Cowes for the 44Cup all eight teams had been expecting conditions to build for the second day of racing and with 20-24 knots to kick things off, that was precisely what was delivered.
As the day progressed and the tide turned against the breeze, the fun dial was wound up. The wind speed built, the sea state increased and the downwind legs became full-on foam-ups.
“That was probably the most extreme conditions we’ve sailed in for a while,” said Team Ceeref’ tactician Adrian Stead. “It wasn’t so much the wind but the short steep Solent chop that made it hard to break free on the downwind legs.”
But when they did there was no mistaking it as bow waves and straight wakes provided the telltale signs of boats sitting pretty at 17-18 knots.
But it wasn’t all about the pressure on the water.
Chris Bake’s shore crew had spent the night unstepping the mast and repairing a damaged mast track. With the work finished by 5am the next task on the job list was to get back into the mix and make the effort worth it.
While Bake’s team’s job list had reduced, Team Nika’s had increased after a close port and starboard incident went wrong leaving Nika with a torn mainsail after tacking too late underneath Aleph who saw their wind instruments stripped from the top of the mast during the clash of the rigs.
Hugues Lepic’s Aleph Racing (3,2,1,4,3,1) lead after six races completed, with a five point advantae over Igor Lah’s Team Ceeref (6,1,6,2,2,2)
Racing continues through Sunday.
44Cup Results after 6 races
1st. ALEPH RACING – 14 pts
2nd. TEAM CEEREF – 19 pts
3rd. TEAM AQUA – 22 pts
4th. CHARISMA – 27 pts
5th. ATOM TAVATUY – 28 pts
6th. PENINSULA RACING – 31 pts
7th. ARTEMIS RACING – 39 pts
8th. TEAM NIKA – 39 pts