Please select your home edition
Edition
Selden
Product Feature
Multihull Seamanship by Gavin Le Sueur
Multihull Seamanship by Gavin Le Sueur

Cowes Classics Week 2018 Day 2 - Light conditions give way to great sailing

by Cowes Classic Week 25 Jul 2018 06:48 BST 23-27 July 2018
Sunmaid V, Red 1 Class winner on day 2 of Cowes Classics Week © Tim Jeffreys Photography

The second day of the 11th edition of Cowes Classics Week, the Red Funnel Race Day, saw the English heatwave continue unabated but with lighter winds than yesterday's opening day. After a postponement of two hours, and more for some classes, racing got underway in the Solent when a steady south westerly set in during the afternoon.

As the wind kicked in racing for the cruiser class fleets, racing from the Royal London Yacht Club's shore line, got underway. Some of the oldest yachts in the 160-strong fleet were lined up one of five race course areas for the 16 classes taking part, including Olympic Soling medallist Ossie Stewart and his all-star crew including father and son Damon and Alan Roberts in his recently acquired Thames Rater Dorothy built in 1984. The team scooped two wins today in the Gaffer class.

Despite the headache of the late arriving wind for Course Race Officer Derek Hodd, the Gaffers, along with Classes Red 1 and 2, Green and Blue, with their mixes of Swans, one off classics, Contessa 26s, 8 metres, and many others, completed a mid-Solent race around the fixed marks today. Derek reported a steady F3-4 from the west enabling the shoreline classes to finish a race each.

Lawrence Wride grabbed his second win in Class Red 1 in the vintage One Tonner Sunmaid V with Polar Bear lying second after a 2nd and 3rd. As with all the entries Sunmaid V was designed before 1974.

Polar Bear owner Douglas Peniston is no stranger to Cowes Classics Week having competed previously in his 1964 Folkboat. A 1974 built ¾ tonner Polar Bear was abandoned during the 1979 Fastnet in the extreme conditions, with all crew saved, and later found washed up on the beach in Brixham. She made a full recovery and several owners later, Douglas is now sailing her with "six friends in broad white hats who have all known each other since they were 14." He has only had the boat since December but says "We are competitive, racing hard, and enjoying it too."

On the race circuit for the Bembridge One Designs, Loch Longs, and Squibs competitors were not so lucky. On the course area to the east of Cowes at Peel Bank winds were very fluky with a local easterly taking advantage of the shelter from the land to compete with the dominant westerly.

Despite needing a longer postponement than the other classes, Course Race Officer Amanda Harding managed to get two windward leeward races in for each class.

Nine two-crew Squibs, representing a 1967 design, were on the start line making a special appearance for just one day only. Fiercely competitive, these boats of just six metres long are raced by top keelboat sailors like Etchells and Dragon Champions Graham and Julia Bailey who scooped first place in both races.

The Loch Longs, a number of which were designed and built in the 1930s and 1940s were also on the same course and again, one winner dominated both races, Jonathan Evans in Tantrum. The same went for Russ Fowler in Bembridge One Design BOD1 with his two wins.

Better conditions were experienced on the race course off Bramble Bank which hosted the Darings and the Solent Sunbeams. "We had around 10 knots on the course with shifts between 10 and 15 degrees," reported Peter Taylor, a former Chairman of Cowes Classics Week. Peter was sailing his Solent Sunbeam Betty and his performance today won him the day's Red Funnel prize. "We played the shifts, and managed to get ourselves into the right place for a win," said Peter, for whom this is his first season in the boat. "There were four boats in very close proximity at the finish. It was a good day's racing."

The 13 Darings also raced close and furious. A Cowes Class, the fleet knows the waters well, no more so than George Dibben in Streak, scoring first in both of the windward leeward races.

No one in the Solent could have missed the spectacle of the 46 XODs racing on their own course. The wait for the wind paid off as they also fitted two races into the afternoon. A short first beat with the tide meant that there was little separation and much excitement at the first windward gate, but eventually there was a stunning win for David McGregor in X51 Athena who stretched out a lead to several hundred metres ahead of the next boat – a rare feat in such a large class. David and his crew arrived at the fist leeward gate with a narrow lead but chased the right sides of the final beat to extend their lead.

Race two benefitted from a longer first beat and a 50/50 divide to north and south around the two gate marks and was eventually won by James Meaning in Gleam. There was disappointment however, for yesterday's winner Henry Bagnall who broke his forestay on Fury and had to retire from racing.

Light conditions are expected again on Wednesday as the five Course Race Officers prepare their advance strategies.

The organising club, the Royal London Yacht Club, is supported by the Royal Ocean Racing Club, Royal Victoria Yacht Club, Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club and Island Sailing Club. An important feature of Cowes Classics Week is the social program which aims to entertain the competitors together at different yacht club or cowes destinations. A new venue for this year was the newly opened Cowes Classic Boat Museum for drinks and street food which was highly successful. The famous RLYC tea parties are once again taking place every afternoon.

Cowes Classics Week is supported by sponsors Charles Stanley Direct, Winkworth, Red Funnel, Cowes Harbour Commission, Kendalls Fine Art, Clare Lallows boatyard, Classic Boat magazine, Zhik clothing and Robert Oatley Fine Wines.

For race information visit www.cowesclassicsweek.org.

Related Articles

Cowes Classics Week overall
Daring Dauntless takes the title Dauntless, sailed by Richard Acland and his crew, was almost untouchable in the 14-strong Daring Class which finished competing at Cowes Classics Week on Friday. Posted on 3 Aug
Cowes Classics Week day 4
Fluky winds and finished races All classes in the 12th Cowes Classics Week fleet had to kick their heels this morning on the Cowes waterfront as they, along with the Race Officers of the Royal London Yacht Club, waited for breeze to fill in from the west. Posted on 1 Aug
Cowes Classics Week day 3
A thrilling day with a cracking stiff breeze A cracking stiff breeze opened the third day of Cowes Classics Week with welcomed starts for the one design and cruiser classes after yesterday's gale-enforced postponement. Posted on 31 Jul
Cowes Classics Week day 2
Gale interrupts the programme With gusts of 40 knots in the central Solent predicted for today, and strong winds already kicking in, the second day of Cowes Classics Week is cancelled. Posted on 30 Jul
Cowes Classics Week day 1
Sparkling Solent conditions Sailing conditions could not have been better for the opener of the five day series of the 12th Cowes Classics Week today. Posted on 29 Jul
Cowes Classics ready for action
Some truly historic craft are assembling at Cowes Tension is building amongst the fleets to speculate on the opposition they will be facing and the favourites to win. Entries officially close on 25th July although some later entries may be considered. Posted on 25 Jul
Strong Solent Sunbeams fleet lined up
13 booked for Cowes Classic Week at end of July Racing on an equal basis alongside the 96-year-old V1, Dainty will be several recent GRP additions to the fleet including V66, Molly and V68, Sky. The origins of the GRP addition to this classic fleet arose 10 years ago Posted on 13 Jul
Gearing up for Cowes Classics Week
Polishing up the 225-year-old cup In just over three weeks some of the prettiest boats and most enduring designs will be battling it out on Solent Waters in the 12th Cowes Classics Week for one of the season's most prestigious prizes, the Charles Stanley 1792 Trophy. Posted on 5 Jul
Cowes Classics Week anticipation heats up
Just over 60 days to go With little more than 60 days left until the classic classes take to the water for their first race in Cowes Classics Week, a real buzz is starting to build up. The entry list is shaping up to give some seriously promising competition to all. Posted on 26 May
Cowes Classics to repeat great sailing experience
Another keen competitor coming back for another shot "As a regular competitor in Cowes Classics Week I am looking forward to another week of fantastic clear water racing and excellent courses together with the best onshore social events in the Cowes calendar," says regular competitor Sir Richard Ottaway. Posted on 2 May