After a relaxed morning waiting for wind, Cowes Week competitors enjoyed a third successive day of glorious sailing and close racing in ideal conditions.
Highlights included the Quarter Ton class, where the top two boats finished in a dead heat, and the XOD fleet in which more than 20 XODs crossed the line overlapped.
The Sonar class, which is holding its national championship during Cowes Week . . . was very punchy at the start today. A big bunch of boats at the outer end of the line luffed prematurely, resulting in a general recall. In their second start the fleet generally approached the line more cautiously, but a group of boats were still early and didn’t respond to the individual recall signal.
Sonar – Monday
1, Acf Dolphin (Andrew Cassell Foundation)
2, Jenny (Simon Clarke)
3, Bertie (Alistair Barter)
4, Fiscal (David Peerless)
5, Discard (Tara Perris)
In the 26-strong Redwing fleet the front-runners timed their start almost to perfection . . . despite the strong stream sweeping them on course side. However, a couple were marginally too early – Robin Ebsworth’s Quintessence returned to start correctly, but Mike Toogood’s Tara and Bella Janson’s Gannet were eventually scored OCS.
Mark Downer and family’s Enigma, along with Serena Gosling’s Gosling, led the pack away from the line, with Andrew and Edward Eddy’s Plover plus James Wilson’s Quail, also looking well placed in the early stages of the first beat.
Redwing – Monday
1, Enigma (Mark Downer & Family)
2, Quail (James Wilson)
3, Red Gauntlet II (Annie, Joe & Bel Robertson)
4, Musicus (David & Andrew McCue)
5, Harlequin (John Raymond & Matt Alexander)
The Sunbeam fleet got away cleanly . . . with Sue Smith’s Maisy, along with James and Samantha Axtell’s Argosy, looking very nicely placed immediately after the start. Roger Wickens’ Danny was also doing nicely at this stage, in clear air a little closer to the shore. By the finish Danny had pulled out a 52 second lead on Maisy, while Becky Wickens and Olllie Gilcrist’s Sky took third place 14 seconds later.
Sunbeam – Monday
1, Danny (Roger Wickens)
2, Maisy (Sue Smith)
3, Sky (Becky Wickens & Ollie Gilchrist)
4, Query (Tim Hill)
5, Kitty (Simon Perkins)
The Squib fleet also had an individual recall . . . that Emma and Sam Prime’s Buccaneer responded to, but a second boat failed to return and was scored OCS. Overall leader after the first two races, Phil Rust and Steve Warren-Smith’s Aquabat, was first to tack offshore after the start in what proved to be an extremely tight race in which the first three boats crossed the line only 10 seconds apart.
Squib – Monday
1, Pot Black (Marc Moncrieff & Nick Hawkes)
2, Little Demon (Janet Dee & Shaun Hopkins)
3, Aquabat (Phil Rust, Steve Warren-Smith)
4, Kestrel (Charlie, Tom & Harry White)
5, Buccaneer (Emma and Sam Prime)
The larger Black Group yachts started from a committee boat in the Western Solent at a similar time . . . however, the smaller IRC classes scheduled to start on a committee boat in the eastern Solent had a longer wait for the new wind, with the Quarter Ton class finally getting away a little after 1500.
This is also a small class this year, but the competition could not be more intense. Jullian Metherell’s Bullit and Ian Southworth’s Protis had a dead tie for first place, while most of the fleet finished in under three minutes.
Quarter Ton – Monday
1, Bullit (Julian Metherell)
1, Protis (Team Hamble)
3, Hellaby (Peter Morton)
4, Bullet (Louise Morton)
5, Pacifist (Duncan Peace)
IRC Class 7 also had a team from Scaramouche racing the 22ft David Thomas designed Mini Tonner Riot . . . a 40-year-old boat students from the academy restored themselves. Karnye Scott, who’s helming the boat this week started sailing two years ago. He says the best part of Cowes Week is that: “It’s so competitive and if you want to win you have to train really hard.”
IRC Class 7 – Monday
1, Ziggy (Kevin Downer)
2, Timoa (Andrew Gilmour)
3, Expressly Forbidden (Lulu Wallis & Bryn Phillips)
4, Warrior (Charles Kimpton)
5, Ipqu-Aya (Henry Rochford)
Report by Rupert Holmes