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Plas Menai 2015

Lendy Cowes Week 2017 - Day 8

by Rupert Holmes on 5 Aug 29 July - 5 August 2017

Giovanni Belgrano's 38ft Laurent Giles Whooper, which was confirmed yesterday as overall winner among the Black Group yachts, has also been announced as overall Lendy Cowes Week winner.

The overall winner among the White Group dayboats is 14 year old Freddie Peters, who also won the RS Elite class, the Newcomers' trophy and Young Skippers Trophy. The RS Elite is renowned for close racing, but Peters' Riff Raff dominated the leader board, winning all but one race. Ossie Stewart's More T Vicar took second overall and Colin Smith's Shaken Not Stirred third.

"I think I can put our win down to a combination of things," said Peters. "Getting a good start was crucial, and knowing where we were going on the course. Thanks to Ellie and Emily who did a fantastic job, we always knew where we were going. The other thing, of course, was boat speed.

Race detail

The final day of Lendy Cowes Week dawned bright and sunny, with a west north westerly breeze of 7-10 knots. All starts today took place from the Royal Yacht Squadron's inner line, with an accelerated starting sequence for the reduced number of entries in Black Group, which finished their points series yesterday.

The forecast included a low risk of the showers that were predicted further north on the mainland also affecting the race area. The cloud built over the mainland shore during the morning, as predicted, but by the time of the Redwing's start at 1215 a powerful squall line could also be seen working its way up the western Solent.

The postponement signal went up at 1218 for the remaining three starts, with the starting area now pummelled with driving rain and gusts above 25 knots. Many of the dayboats preparing for their starts scurried back into the shelter of the River Medina, while one of the big Cowes Harbourmaster's RIBs was towing in a stricken cruising yacht.

With the rain blowing horizontally through the RYS starting platform, any race officials that could be spared scurried off to shelter, leaving a skeleton crew at the leeward end of the shelter. The lone figure of Cowes Radio's Simon Vigar was left facing the onslaught, while valiantly continuing to broadcast from the weather end of the platform.

The sun was back 10 minutes later and the postponement signal came down at 1229. A stream of boats headed back to Cowes having retired, some with no visible damage, but others with headsails in tatters, plus a Redwing with a broken mast that was towed back by a RIB from the RYS.

The last start of the week was for the XOD class. John Tremlett's Lass, went into the last race for the XODs as overall leader 14 points ahead of Simon Russell's Swallow, counting four first places and a second. However, Tremlett's discarded 18th place from his result on the opening day left his overall lead in this big fleet vulnerable to a less than perfect result in the final race.

Today's race started cleanly, despite the strong ebb tide carrying the fleet towards the line. Jon Clark's Gin & Tonic, Hamish Wilson's Mischief, Swallow and Kim Slater's Madeleine were best placed at the outer end of the line. However, the wind direction favoured the other end, yet Rory, Amanda and Stuart Paton's XL was the sole boat there, starting on port tack and clearing ahead of the fleet by a good five lengths.

It turned out to be a very close race, with the first 18 boats crossing the line in less than 100 seconds after more than two hours. XL was first, five seconds ahead of Roger Yeoman and Mike Moss' Xcitation, with Paul Woodman's Ibex third two seconds later.

At the start Lass appeared to be well buried in the fleet, but pulled up to seventh place at the finish, a performance that sealed another overall win, with half the points of Swallow, who took second overall despite dropping to 24th in today's race. Ibex took third overall, eight points ahead of James Meaning's Gleam in fourth.

Having discarded a disqualification for a port and starboard incident on Monday Malcolm Stewart's Isabel won the Victory class, with an almost perfect score line of first places, other than a second place in the opening race. Team Scammell's Zinnia was second overall and Geoff Dixon's Zelia third.

"This boat was built in 1948 and is the oldest boat in the fleet," said Stewart. "We bought her 10 years ago, raced her here last year, and now we've done what we set out to achieve so we are immensely happy. It was certainly a tough week but we learned a lot from our experience last year. In fact we studied the notes from last year and followed the classic rules of sticking to the fleet and not doing anything clever – it seemed to pay off. More than anything though, we had exceptional boat speed, especially upwind, and pointed five degrees higher than anyone else, which made a huge difference."

Jon Powell's Betty finished the week on just six points in the J/80 class, winning the series three points ahead of Chris Body's MockingJay. Terence O'Neill's Aqua J was a further 10 points further back in third overall.

Racing this week has been extremely tight in the Dragon class, with three boats in strong contention for an overall class win going into the final race. Today's race was no exception, with places two to six separated by only 27 seconds. Graham Bailey's Aimee won four of the eight races during the regatta, but a retirement on Sunday meant he had to count a disappointing ninth place on the opening day, as well as fifth place today.

Oliver Morgan's Christianna won today's race ahead of Gavia Wilkinson Cox's Jerboa and Owen Pay's Furious. Morgan's result lifted him into first overall, one point ahead of Aimee. Martin Payne's Full Speed also had a disappointing race today, finishing sixth, which saw him take third overall, one point behind Aimee.

Elliot Noye's Porco Rosso put up a very strong performance in the SB20 fleet to win the class with a day to spare, counting just 11 points. Richard Powell's Marvel took second overall on 23.5 points and Hussain Al Jabri's Oman Sail 3 third overall on 45.75 points.

Steve Warren-Smith's Aquabat won six of the races in the Squib class to win with eight points. David Wines and Keith Davies' Plymouth based White Magic and East Coast based Malcolm Hutchings and Andy Ramsey's Lady Penelope, finished the week tied on 16 points, with the tie break resolved in favour on White Magic thanks to her race win on Wednesday.

Today the Redwing fleet hit the full force of the squall as they came off the start line in the fast west-going tide off Gurnard north cardinal buoy. A win in today's race for Annie, Joe and Bel Robertson's Red Gauntlet ll helped secure third place overall, five points behind Serena and Rosie Gosling's Gosling. However, no one could touch Ed Nainby-Luxmoore's young crew on Snowgoose ll, which took first overall by an impressive margin of 14 points. It was a performance that also earned them the Under 25 trophy.

Roger Wickens' Solent Sunbeam Danny had a very consistent week, with one race win, three second places and a third. He won the series overall five points ahead of Becky Wickens and Oliver Gilchrist's Sky, which finished tied on points with Stewart Reed's Firefly.

Rob Elliot's Bonne Vivant won the Etchells class with a day to spare, two points ahead of Shaun and Emily Frohlich's Exabyte. Rob Tyrwhitt-Drake's Desperate was eight points further back in third overall.

John Corby's Doublet won the Daring class with a day to spare and didn't come out to play on the final day. Today a win for Giles Peckham's Dauntless, his third of the week, secured his second place overall, ahead of Andrew Norton's Decoy.

In the J/70 class a win in today's race for Jack Davies' Yeti, by just one second over Robbie King's The Janitor cemented Davies' overall win, ahead of Lorenz Mueller's Swiss YCB-Team and Paul Childs' F'in Majic 2.

Piero Panccia's IRC optimised Farr 280 Adriatica dominated the leader board of the Sportsboat class, winning with a day to spare. Malcolm Roberts' modified nine-metre Ker Sunshine took second place, 19 points behind Adriatica. David and Kirsty Apthorp's J/88 J-Dream took third overall, one point behind Sunshine.

Christina Moncur's Ffoenix won the Flying 15 class five points ahead of Tony Beddingfield's Durban Fflyer. Charles Apthorp's Foof and Sam Chan's Freefire20 both finished the event tied on 27 points, with Foof taking third overall thanks to a win in today's race.

Alastair Barter's Sonar Bertie won the class counting only first and second places, with Andy Cassell's Jenny seven points adrift in second overall. Third place went to Barry Byham's Dolphin, while Robert Peace's Biscuit was the best placed boat from the Island Sailing Club fleet in fourth overall. Noel Dobb's Bluebell won the Mermaid class, ahead of Hugo Mills' Sheen and Ben Few Brown's Cynthia.

The Swallow fleet went into the final race with Mike Wigmore's Gwaihir, on four points, and two boats – Anthony Lunch's Solitude and Charles Fisher's Migrant – tied on six points. Gwaihir didn't compete today, so had to count his previous eight point discard, while a win for Lunch, by a 20 second margin over Sir Malcolm Green's Archon, saw him lifted into first overall, two points ahead of Migrant, with Archon third overall.

www.lendycowesweek.co.uk

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