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AAM Cowes Week – FAST40+
Reaching start for the FAST40+ Fleet - Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week – 09 Aug, 2016 © Paul Wyeth

AAM Cowes Week

FAST40+ Race Circuit – Otra Vez finds the way

After four days of racing at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, three FAST40+ boats have now claimed race wins, testament to the fierce competition within the thirteen-strong high performance class.

Cowes Week delivered champagne conditions today but light airs in the tidal confines of the Solent produces a difficult weather conundrum. The shifting light northwesterly breeze, and the shallow areas of the Eastern Solent, produced a maze of possibilities where going the wrong way could put a team from hero to zero.

AAM Cowes Week – FAST40+

AAM Cowes Week – FAST40+ Race Circuit – 09 August, 2016 © Ingrid Abery

The race committee went for a bold reaching start towards East Bramble. Bill Coates Texan Ker 43 Otra Vez was determined to win the favoured side and battled with James Neville’s British JV42 INO XXX for corner. Both yachts hoisted Code Zeros but Otra Vez got the better of the duel. With the wind funnelling out of Southampton Water, it was no surprise to see boats fighting for the mainland side of the race course, that was the easy decision, but fighting for clear air on Ryde Bank was akin to a game of three dimensional chess.

Bill Coates Texan Ker 43 Otra Vez was determined to win the favoured side and battled with James Neville’s British JV42 INO XXX for corner. Both yachts hoisted Code Zeros but Otra Vez got the better of the duel and Otra Vez was away in clear air.

The 20-mile race, lasting over three hours, produced close battles throughout the fleet. The top three yachts finished with 30 seconds of each other. Otra Vez took line honours and the victory on corrected time by just 14 seconds from Sir Keith Mills British Ker40+ Invictus. Overnight leader Girls on Film, skippered by Peter Morton was third. Anthony O’Leary’s Irish Ker 40 Antix had a solid race placing fourth, just one second ahead of Johnny Vincent’s Pace on corrected time.

“With the wind speed up and down and shifting up to forty degrees, today was about being able to shift gears and make the best use of the tide.” commented Otra Vez’s Bill Coates.

AAM Cowes Week – FAST40+

AAM Cowes Week – FAST40+ Race Circuit – 09 August, 2016 © Ingrid Abery

“We got our tactics spot on at the start, as the left paid, and later on we did a great job of getting around Girls on Film and then Invictus by using the tide well on Ryde Bank. Having local knowledge, like Steve Hayles on board, makes a big difference and being the boat with the biggest draft, trying to stay in shallow water to avoid current is not easy. The team put in a big performance today, and you have to, if you want to get a win in this fleet.”

by Fast40 Class

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