Brilliant End to Cowes Race Week

Published on August 13th, 2016

Cowes, UK (August 13, 2016) – High pressure, brilliant sun and a solid westerly breeze again delivered perfect conditions for the final day of Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week. The wind dipped briefly in strength to around 10 knots as a belt of thin cloud moved across the Solent around midday, before increasing to 15 knots with stronger gusts when the sun returned 30 minutes later.

The bulk of the White Group dayboat classes completed their series today. Nigel Grogan’s Rehydrated had already won the Squib class with a day to spare, counting seven points from six races, a performance that also saw him win White Group overall. Emma Baker’s Buccaneer won today’s race, lifting her up to sixth overall, while a second and fourth for Duncan Grindley’s Surprise and Martin Harrison’s Hussar cemented their overall second and third places respectively.

“I am absolutely delighted and feel really proud to be taking the trophy back to Burnham-On-Crouch,” Grogan said. “We had a bit of a shaky start to the week with an OCS on the first day, which put us under a bit of pressure, but from there on we sailed well and managed to gather a string of useful results. It was however, as always in the Squib class, exceptionally close racing throughout.”

With Martin Harrison having beaten Grogan in the Squib class in Monday’s race by 88 seconds, the title of overall Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week winner again goes to Adam Gosling’s JPK10.80 Yes!, who finished the regatta counting only first places in IRC Class 3.

The larger boats dominated the Sportsboat class results, with Malcolm Wootton’s Farr 30 Pegasus Dekmarx winning with a day to spare. A win in today’s race helped seal second overall for David and Kirsty Apthorp’s J/88 J-Dream. Lloyd Thornburg’s Farr 280 Fomo took third overall, four points behind J-Dream. Rob and Lucinda Mclean’s Spider Pig headed the smaller boats in Sportsboat Division 2, ahead of two other 1720s, Tom Richardson’s Premier Cru and Stephanie Merry’s Midnight Cowboy.

Jack Davies’ Yeti won today’s race for the J/70 class, winning both his class and the Under 25 trophy. Fourth place today was just enough for Ali Hall’s J Curve to retain second overall, one point ahead of Claire Lasko’s Elizabeth. David Atkinson’s Sweaty Betty won the SB20 class with two days to spare, with Robert Corbally and Joe and Tom Hemmant’s L.O.S taking second overall, ahead of Roger Harford’s Red Kite.

Nick Stagg’s China Wight led the Etchells fleet into the start line today, but lost out by having to slow down to avoid being OCS. The class started in such a tight bunch that China Wight was almost spat out the back of the fleet, while series leader Andrew Cooper’s Ice was a nose ahead of half a dozen other first-row boats. He also led at the finish, taking his second win of the week to win the class overall on 11 points. Shaun Frolich’s Exabyte 7 took second overall on 13 points and Rob Elliot’s Bon Vivant third on 15 points.

Only two points separated the top three boats in the Daring class going into their final race, with Giles Peckham’s Dauntless on 16 points and John Corby’s Doublet and Andrew Norton’s Decoy both tied on 18 points. O Laughton-Scott’s Darius looked best placed at the start of today’s race, with Kim, Laurence and Tristan Orchard’s Dancer inshore and Decoy at the outer end of the line also looking good. However, neither Peckham nor Corby were in the front row. The latter was one of the first boats to tack onto port, while Peckham continued on starboard for longer, gradually clawing his way up through the fleet.

Peckham notched up another win, his fifth of the regatta and with another discard kicking in was able to drop the 10th place he picked up on Wednesday to win the class counting only seven points. However, it was a bad day for Corby, who had to count his seventh place today, leaving him second overall on 15 points, one point ahead of Norton.

Jenny Stutley’s Chime led the Dragon fleet into the outer end of the line this morning, but had to hold back to avoid starting prematurely, handing an advantage to Martin Makey’s Ganador and Gavia Wilkinson-Cox’s Jerboa. Further inshore Eric Williams’ Ecstatic established a two-length lead on Oliver Morgan’s Christianna, however when they crossed tacks a few minutes after the start the offshore group was ahead.

Simon Barter’s Bertie won today’s three-hour race – his first win of the week – nine seconds ahead of Martin ‘Stavros’ Payne’s Bear, with Graham Bailey’s Aimee third. Bailey again won the class overall, on 13 points, ahead of Payne and Wilkinson-Cox.

In the Sonar class David Peerless’ Pisces and Alistair Barter’s (Dragon sailor Simon’s son) Bertie established an early lead off the start line, with Barry Byham and Simon Clark’s Dolphin also getting away cleanly. Today provided a double win for the Barter family, with Alistair leading Dolphin at the finish by 36 seconds, while Peerless took third place. This left Bertie and Dolphin tied on 15 points, with the count back in Barter’s favour thanks to his four race wins.

Sam Jenkin’s Swallow Svala was the best placed boat at the outer end of their start, tacking immediately onto port, leaving Anthony Lunch’s Solitude and Charles Fisher, Richard Thompson and Nigel Glennie’s Migrant leading the starboard tack group away from the line. Migrant went on to win today’s race, his fourth of the regatta, which he finished counting eight points.

John Houghton’s Avocet took secured second overall thanks to a second place in today’s race. Solitude and Malcolm Green’s Archon finished the series tied on 14 points, with the count back for third overall resolved in favour of Green thanks to his two race wins.

Jonathan Nainby-Luxmoore’s Redwing Snowgoose 2 started the day with a commanding points lead. However four boats were only two points apart in the race for second overall. Today the fleet was noticeably closer to the line than previously classes in the final 30 seconds before their start. The two boats at the outer end of the line were both OCS, including Snowgoose 2, leaving a tight group of boats, including Nick Rowton-Lee, Rory Morrison and Paul Lacy-Smith’s Banzai ll, Colin and Becky Samuelson’s Toucan, Nicholas Robertson and David McCue’s Musicus and Nick Woolgar and Olav Cole’s Goose, all in the first row.

James Wilson’s Quail won today’s race, lifting him up to fifth overall, while third place for Banzai ll secured her position second overall, three points ahead of John Raymond and Christopher Hill’s Harlequin.

The Flying 15 class was again won by John and Rupert Mander’s Men Behaving Badly, who won with two days to spare and took the runner’s up spot in White Group overall. However, the day started with three boats in close competition for second place. Nick Clarke’s Black enjoyed a two point advantage on 16-year-old Will Heritage’s Freddie Flintoff, who in turn was one point ahead of Richard Drabble’s Fram Freyr.

With the wind increasing, Andrew Rutherford’s Double Trouble was early leading into the line, luffed above the outer distance mark, before ducking back to make a perfect start to windward of Black. Fram Freyr also had good speed off the line, popping out in third place right behind the two leaders. Heritage won today’s race, nine seconds ahead of Andrew Millband’s Fifty Fifty, with Black taking third 33 seconds later. Heritage therefore took second overall, three points ahead of Clarke.

In the Mermaid class William Edwards’ Annabelle started closest to the outer end of the line, a length ahead of Guy Mattinson’s Adastra before making an early tack offshore. Noel Dobbs’ Scuttle was also looking well placed, a length ahead of a larger group of mid-line boats. Dobbs was almost 30 seconds ahead of Mattison at the finish today, with Ben Few Brown’s Sheen in third place. Dobbs’ win today, his third of the week, sealed his third place overall, while Mattison wins the class, one point ahead of Few Brown.

The final start of the day was for the XOD fleet. Series leader, John Tremlett’s Lass responded to the individual recall signal, eventually crossing behind the entire fleet, with the exception of a handful of back markers, on port tack. This left Simon Russell’s Swallow, Neil Payne’s Sirena, Roger Yeoman’s Xcitation and Rory Paton’s XL as the best placed boats, with Michael Martell’s Astralita and Nik Froud’s Venus also looking strong.

Lass worked back up the fleet remarkably quickly, keeping clear air in the big fleet as the fleet tacked past the throngs of spectators on the Green to the west of the Royal Yacht Squadron. At the end of today’s two-hour race Payne held a 12 second lead on James Meaning’s Gleam, with Swallow taking third place 36 seconds later. Lass was able to discard her seventh place to take another overall class win, while Xcitation similarly discarded a disappointing 23rd place to retain second overall. Meaning’s second in today’s race sealed his position in third overall.

With the main series for Black Group yachts having concluded yesterday, today’s racing was for individual class trophies. James Gair’s Mills 39 Zero ll was victorious in IRC Class 1, while Jonathan Gardiner’s First 40 Minx 3 won IRC Class 2, and Frank Lang’s X-40 Optim’X IRC 3.

Oliver Legrain’s A35 IBA Sailing Team won IRC 4, while Rob Salter’s J/92 Jackdaw takes away the silverware in IRC 5. In IRC 6 Samantha Flint and Olly Love’s Impala 28 Too Frank took their second win of the week, while Paul Dunstan’s Folkboat Mandarin was victorious in IRC 7

In Cruiser Division A Rob Denning’s Swan 46 Bewick of Cowes led the fleet away from the start, with Phil Munday’s Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 52.2 Great Escape of Southampton a little to leeward. Munday took line honours at the end of the three-hour race, 30 seconds ahead of Denning, but was not able to save his time against the lower rated boat. Simon Grigg and Anne Jackson’s Arcona 370 Arcadian took third place on corrected time, less than two minutes behind Munday.

In Cruiser Division B Janet, Lionel and David Miller’s Swan 38 White Heather took both line honours and first place on corrected time, ahead of Jonathan and Pippa Wallis’ Swan 36 Sheeva and Keith Harding’s Sun Odyssey Reach 4 the Wind.

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Report By Rupert Holmes

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