It is tight at the top of the RS Elite fleet after two days of racing at Cowes. Eyes are set first on the Southern Area Championship trophy, which will be awarded after the first four days, before building up to the Week overall.
Saturday launched the fleet straight into a light wind, rock hopping, classic Cowes beat up the Green with fortunes changing all the way. Gold medallist Pippa Wilson sailing Matterhorn Jack won the first cross until newly crowned National champions the Brown family in Aeolus recovered spectacularly from a premature start- helped by the Elite fleet piling up into traffic as they caught the fleets that had started ahead of them.
Aeolus' time at the front was, however, short lived and after they bounced on the beach Martin Wadhams' team in RSsailing.com pulled through to establish a good lead by the top mark. The fleet separation increased as they turned down tide and RSsailing.com never looked in doubt fir their win.
Matterhorn Jack climbed back into a solid second on the first reach which they also held ahead of Aeolus and Steve Powell's E'Tu team.
Sunday brought a total change in conditions with 18 to 25 knots and a downwind, down-tide start - another Cowes classic. RS sailing started to windward of the pack and pulled ahead, but as a huge container ship crossed just (and I mean just) between the Elite fleet (as they hammered downwind)
and the leeward mark it looked as though anything could happen. A battle royal ensued between the same first three boats over two successive beats and runs, with RSsailing.com holding the lead until Aeolus got their bow in front at the last top mark.
On a huge long, one tack close hauled come fetch leg against the tide to the finish, Matterhorn Jack found an extra gear and with height and speed motored over first RS and the. Aeolus to take a solid win. Aeolus held second and RSsailing had to defend against E'Tu on a charge up the last leg.
So, after two races only two points separate the top three and it would be tough to decide who to put your money on for the Southern Area Champs, no discard, series.
Results after Day 2:
1st Matterhorn Jack, Pippa and Roger Wilson and Rory, 3pts
2nd RSsailing.com, Martin & Amanda Wadhams & Paul Fisk, 4pts
3rd Aeolus, Jono Lyn & David Brown, 5pts
4th E'Tu Buzz Keck, Steve Powell & Botty, 8pts