The penultimate day of Lendy Cowes Week saw a return to gloriously sunny weather, with a west south westerly breeze of 15-22 knots.
Today saw a change of start lines for many classes, with most Black Group yachts starting on the inner Royal Yacht Squadron line. The White Group dayboats had a downwind start further offshore on the Bramble line, with the exception of the XOD fleet, which started from a committee boat.
It was also the last day of the points series for the Black Group yachts. Some of these won their class by a commanding margin, including Adam Gosling’s Yes! in IRC Class 3 and Giovanni Belgrano’s Whooper in IRC Class 6. However, for most it was a tough fight to the end.
Belgrano finished the regatta counting a clean sweep of first places, to win Black Group overall, breaking Gosling’s four year long hold on the title. “This is something I never thought we could achieve to be honest,” said Giovanni. “I bought the boat a long time ago for pottering around the Solent, but we realised her potential and got into racing more and more. This year has been incredible – we’ve had a very windy season with a lot of wind against tide, we’ve learnt lots and the more we do well the more the team buys into it. As far as we’re concerned Yes! is the role model for racing in the Solent so it’s fantastic to displace her and win Black Group overall.”
The Fast40+ fleet and IRC Classes 0 to 3 had a downwind start from a committee boat on Ryde Middle Bank in the middle of the eastern Solent. First away was the Fast40+ fleet, in which major fireworks were expected between the two overall leaders in the fleet – Sir Keith Mills’ Ker 40+ Invictus and Peter Morton’s Carkeek 40 Mk4 Girls on Film – which went into the day just one point apart.
Today Morton came out on top, with Mills pushed down to fourth, while Bas de Voogd’s Hitchhiker took second and Steward Whitehead’s Rebellion third. Girls on Film therefore won overall, three points ahead of Invictus, with Hitchhiker third in the series.
In IRC Class 0 another win today for Tony Langley’s TP52 Gladiator, along with being able to discard the 17 points they picked up due to retiring on Wednesday, saw Langley win the class counting a straight run of race wins. Igor Yakunin’s Ker 46 Lady Mariposa finishes second overall on 14 points, and Christian Zugel’s MAT1180 Tschuss third on 19 points.
IRC Class 1 had a very tight race today, with only 91 seconds separating places three to seven on corrected time. A disappointing seventh place for James Gair’s Mills 39 Zero ll – Cowes Race School saw him having to count a fifth place picked up on Wednesday and dashed any hope of an overall class win.
Sam Cox’s King 40 Nifty won overall, counting only first and second places, to finish the series six points ahead of Gair. A fourth today was just enough for Tony Mack’s J/111 McFly to take third overall ahead of Mike Greville’s Ker 39 Erivale lll.
Royal Ocean Racing Club Admiral Andrew McIrvine’s First 40 La Reponse went into the final day having won IRC Class 2 overall with a day to spare, thanks to a scoreline of 4,1,1,1,1. He had an eight-point margin over another First 40, Alex and Andy Moore’s Tilt, while David Rolfe’s Shadowfax, also a First 40, was lying in third overall, just one point behind Tilt.
With Shadowfax second in today’s race, and Tilt forced to take a time penalty that pushed her back into sixth, Rolfe took second overall, with a two-point margin on Moore, once the discards were applied.
Going into the final race Adam Gosling’s JPK 1080 Yes! led IRC Class 3 with a score of only six points from five races, giving him a 19-point buffer ahead of Paul McNamara and Tony Lowe’s First 40.7 Incognito. Ed Fishwick’s Sun Fast 3600 Redshift Reloaded and Charles Ivill’s J/112E Devanti Tyres were on 34 and 35 points respectively, with both carrying a 21 point penalty for retiring in the opening race that could be dropped once the discard kicked in after today’s race. Peter Morton’s JND35 Salvo was lying fourth, also with a big discard pending.
Today Yes! finished second to Redshift Reloaded by 84 seconds on corrected time, dashing Gosling’s hopes of winning Black Group overall for a fifth consecutive year. Salvo took third in today’s race, while Incognito and Dvanti Tyres well pushed down into fifth and sixth places respectively. This leaves Redshift Reloaded second overall in class and Salvo third.
The Black Group boats starting on the Royal Yacht Squadron line today had a strong ebb tide behind them. This caught out a number of competitors who tried barging in at the pin end, with varying degrees of success.
The competition for the top spot in IRC Class 4 could barely have been tighter. David Franks’ JPK 10.10 Strait Dealer started the day with a two point margin on both Peter and Sarah Hodgkinson’s X362 Sport Xcitable and Oliver Legrain’s Archambault 35 IBA Sailing Team. Franks therefore needed a second place or better in today’s race to seal another overall class win.
IBA Sailing Team took line honours today, three and a half minutes ahead of Strait Dealer, and saved his time on the lower rated boat by a margin of just nine seconds. Another JPK 1010, Thierry Bosshart’s SRS Bienne Voile, took third place on corrected time in today’s race, pushing Xcitable into fourth. This leaves Strait Dealer overall winner on eight points, with IBA Sailing Team second on 10 points and Xcitable third on 12 points.
Harry Heijst’s Sparkman and Stephens 41 Winsome started the day with a clear overall lead in IRC Class 5, carrying only 6.5 points. However, four boats were in contention for second place overall – Nick Munday’s J/97 Induljence on 19.5 points, Jean-Francois Nouel’s Sun Fast 3200 SNSP Hakuna Matata on 21 points. Also in the mix were two further J/97s, Bob and Jon Baker’s Jaywalker, and Mike Sellers / Chris Miles’ High Jinks, both on 24 points.
A win today for David and Libby Greenhalgh’s J/92 J’Ronimo help pushed High Jinks down to sixth overall. Winsome’s overall class win was secure, but her second place today saw her hopes for a Black Group overall win dashed. A third place today lifted SNSP Hakuna Matata into second overall, ahead of Induljence.
In IRC Class 6 Giovanni Belgrano’s 38ft Laurent Giles classic Whooper counted an unblemished run of first places to win his class and Black Group overall. However, there was a tight battle today for second place overall between Simon Cory’s Cory 290 Icom Cool Blue and two Impalas, Sam Flint and Olly Love’s Too Frank, and Barnaby Smith, Graham Tullett and Nick Hance’s Imptish.
With Icom Cool Blue finishing fourth in today’s race, and Too Frank third, the former retained second overall by one point, while sixth place today for Imptish saw her take fourth overall three points behind Too Frank.
Two boats have dominated the top of IRC Class 7 this week. Jo Richards’ 19ft Alacrity Eeyore and Paul Dunstan’s Marieholm Folkboat Mandarin either won or took second place in every race and were separated by only one point at the start of the final day.
Richards made a perfectly timed start and went on to win by a comfortable margin, to seal his class win. Ollie Smyth, James Stupple, Hugo Sloper and Toby Hodge’s Sonata Joey took third place on corrected time today, almost nine minutes behind Mandarin. In doing so they sealed their overall third place in class.
Today the Sunsail Match F40 fleet was well ordered on the start line with Teads.TV1 leading a tightly packed group of boats at the outer end of the line, including Dubai Rovers, The Alliance, Lendy and Deloitte Green into the line, a boat length ahead and just on the correct side of the line at the gun.
By the time the fleet was short tacking in the strongest favourable stream past Gurnard cardinal buoy Deloitte Green and Cyberark had gained an advantage. Today’s 23-mile race was a tight affair, with the leaders only 10 seconds apart at the finish. Cowes Week title sponsor Lendy was first across the line, followed by The Alliance, with Deloitte Green taking third place 75 seconds later. Cyberark is overall winner, four points clear of Tenzing Private Equity, with Deloitte Green third.
Nine boats within the class have also been competing in a five-race series for the Lendy Finance Challenge, a five-day series open to any company in the Finance Industry. Going into the final race Lendy was leading the series with 12 points, ahead of Deloitte Green on 18 points and today’s win by Lendy sealed the sponsor’s overall win.
Caroline van Beelan and Rutger Kriger’s Jack Rabbit dominated the leader board in the J/109 class all week, winning overall by a margin of eight points. Chris and Victoria Preston’s Jubilee sailed a very strong series, but a 10th in today’s race saw her drop to fourth overall, four points behind Robert Stiles’ Diamond Gem and two behind Christopher Sharples and Richard Acland’s Jukebox, which took third overall.
The fight for first place in the Quarter Ton class went to the wire. A clear win today for Sam Laidlaw’s Aguila sealed his overall win one point ahead of Tony Hayward’s Blackfun. Louise Morton’s Bullit had been consistently in the top three all week, but retired on Wednesday and broke her mast today, which scuppered her chances of an overall podium result. She finished the week on 24 points, just one adrift of Oliver Ophaus’ Bullet, which took third overall.
Eldred Himsworth’s Drumbeat won the Contessa 32 class with a day to spare. A fifth place today for Ed Bell’s Mary Rose Tudor was just enough to secure second overall, one point ahead of Raymond Rouse’s Blanco, which had to count 13 points for a non-discardable disqualification in Monday’s race.
The first three Sigma 33s had a close race today, with little more than 90 seconds separating them at the finish. A win today for Jeff Worboy’s Workout saw him win the class overall on six points. Second place for Tony Gorman’s Stan the Boat saw him and Allan Fraser’s Prospero of Hamble finish the event tied on 14 points, with each boat having an equal number of first second and third places. The tie break was resolved in favour of Stan the Boat thanks to her second place in today’s race.
Chris Panting’s First 35 won four races in Cruiser Division A, but had to count a retirement in Wednesday’s race, so finished the regatta in fifth overall. Rob Denning’s Swan 46 Bewick of Hamble won overall by a margin of four points on Oliver Bond’s X-55 Pioneer Lutine, with Michael Carrington’s Sweden Yachts 45 Susimi ll third.
Cruiser Division B includes several First 31.7s, a 33.7, an older First 405 and several charter specification Beneteau Oceanis 37s. David McDonald First 33.7 Zenith won the class overall, having scored a bullet in every race, and didn’t come out to play today. Neil Watson’s Oceanis 37 Jasu took second overall, a substantial margin ahead of Julian Smith’s First 31.7 Papillon.
Cruiser Division C started the day with the leading group’s overall scores much more tightly packed and five boats vying for an overall podium position. Ian Cooke’s Hunter Medina 20 Tudor Rose led the fleet into the start, closely followed by Nick Arnold’s Mystery 35 Cunning Plan B, Will Hogg’s Beneteau First 210 Gwenn Glas and Simon and Julia Bowes Sunfast 37 Chatterbox.
Tudor Rose was over the line at the gun and restarting well behind the pack and looking as though her chances of an overall podium place might be in tatters. However, she worked back up the fleet to win the race six minutes ahead of Mark Atrill’s Gibert Marine 7.7 Arun Rockall. A fourth place today was enough for Jon Foreman’s Superseal 26 Calypso to win overall, with Tudor Rose second, tied on points with Keith Harding’s Jeanneau Sun Odyssey Reach for the Wind.
by Rupert Holmes / CWL