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2018 Lendy Cowes Week - Day 2

by Rupert Holmes, CWL 5 Aug 2018 20:47 BST 4-11 August 2018

Family Day at Lendy Cowes Week delivered stunning conditions with unbroken sun and a solid east south-easterly breeze of 9-12 knots. The best winds of the day were predicted to be in the eastern Solent, so all classes started towards the east.

Rob's Cotterill's Mojo Rising and Ed Bolton-King's Red Arrow led the J/109 fleet away from the southern end of the line, with the former accelerating faster and pulling clear ahead and to windward in the first few lengths. Best placed at the northern end were Jamie Sheldon's Brown Teal and the Royal Naval Association's Jolly Jack Tar, while Caroline van Beelen and Rutger Krijger's Dutch Jack Rabbit and Nick Southward, John Scott and Andy Christie's Team Whiskey Jack were in the front row more towards the middle of the line. Jack Rabbit finished 29 seconds ahead of Robert Stiles' Diamond Gem, giving the Dutch boat two consecutive race wins. Brown Teal took third place just 10 seconds later.

'It was quite light airs but we made some good tactical calls, which was key today," says Krijger. "Good crew work and maintaining boat speed was also important - it was very close and we crossed the finish line just 30 seconds ahead of the next boat.'

IRC Class 5 had an even tighter finish - the first three boats crossed the line in just 10 seconds. The fleet started cleanly, but only because a number of premature starters had already turned around before the gun. These included three boats - Charles Whittam's X-34 Juno, Alistair Bowden's Sigma 38 Mouflon Noir and an X-362 Sport - who were forced out at the southern end of the line. This allowed Phil Plumtree's Half Tonner Swuzzlebubble to take an early three length lead before quickly extending away in clean air ahead of the pack.

Harry Heijst's immaculate 46-year-old S&S41 Winsome took line honours, four seconds ahead of Peter and Sarah Hodgkinson's X-362 Sport Xcitable. However, on corrected time these boats lost out to Swuzzlebubble, which took first place followed by Jack Banks' J/92 Nightjar second and Andy and Annie Howe's J/97 BlackJack ll, the latter just 11 seconds ahead of Winsome.

In the Contessa 32 class Ray Rouse's Blanco was first away from the start, with Ed Bell's Mary Rose Tudor close on her windward quarter. Starting more towards the middle of the line, Assent also looked well placed at the start. Different members of the Rogers family are skippering this boat during the regatta, including the original builder of the Contessa fleet, Jeremy Rogers.

After a potentially disastrous start yesterday's winner, Martin and Donna Rouse-Collen's Andaxi, again rose to the fore, winning by a margin of more than two minutes ahead of Donna's father Ray. Martin and Donna are racing with seven-year-old daughter Eva on board, who's now experiencing her second Lendy Cowes Week.

"We have had two good days of racing and a fantastic on-the-water battle with my father," says Donna. "We raced on Blanco for 25 years and are now in our second season on Andaxi. Today we were last to cross the start, but put our strategy in action and came out on top. With not much to lose we opted for the Island shore, while the others headed north to the mainland shore in more tide. It was a gamble and bit touch and go because we sailed twice as far as Dad. At that stage it could have gone either way, but thankfully after we tacked we just managed to stay ahead."

White Group dayboats

Only three of the dayboat classes got away cleanly and J/70s had a general recall. There was much shouting at the inshore end of the line for the Etchells start, with one boat pinned outside the line. The building east-going stream meant there were individual recalls for every subsequent start until the Redwing class at 1135.

In the Dragon class Simon Barter's Bertie accelerated too early and had to return after the gun, while Martyn "Stavros" Payne's Full Speed, starting mid-line at full pace, looked very nicely placed. Again there was a fight for the inshore end of the line, which was won by Richard Jordan's Sankher and Oliver Morgan's Christianna. Five minutes into the race Gavia Wilkinson-Cox's Jerboa crossed tacks ahead of Sankher. Christianna went on to win today's race, ahead of Eric Williams' Ecstatic and Owen Pay's Furious.

The RS Elite class was one of those subject to an individual recall and one boat returned - James Yearsley's Urafiki. However, a further seven boats were identified as premature starters on the video replay and the first three boats to cross the finish therefore didn't receive the gun they were expecting. Robert Holbrook's Centurion was the first correct finisher, followed by Adrian Ward's Lite Bloo and Peter Copsey's The Doctor, the latter finishing just one second ahead of Urafiki.

"It was a great day of sailing," says Holbrook, "and certainly better than yesterday. We had a good breeze, good pace and a great course. The tide was very strong though, which pushed many over the line. We were close on the start line, but we judged our start to perfection and I felt very confident that we were not OCS. We only knew we'd won when we got the thumbs up from the committee boat after the first three boats to finish were deemed OCS."

Gayle Palmer's Solent Sunbeam Little Lady approached the line ahead of the fleet, reaching offshore to burn time, but was carried over by the tide just before the gun. This left Stewart Reed's Firefly and Nick Leach's Polly looking best placed, a few lengths north of the inshore end of the line, with Sue Smith's Maisy also doing well a little further offshore.

With Firefly having retired, Polly remained among the leaders and took second place, behind Julian Money and Richard Pearson's Penny. Roger Wickens' Danny, who often dominates this class, slipped to third place, finishing 80 seconds behind Penny.

The Mermaid fleet got away cleanly, with the front runners hitting the line at speed. This class is mostly owned by Sea View Yacht Club, with the boats available for charter, and this year is fielding its biggest ever fleet at Lendy Cowes Week. 81-year-old Noel Dobbs' Rosemary, with three generations of his family in the crew, was a length ahead at the gun. Ben Few-Brown's Sheen was also well placed, a little further inshore.

Today's tight race was won by John Sandiford-Haigh's Miranda, which finished 35 seconds ahead of Sheen. The next three boats crossed the line in only eight seconds. They were led by Hugo Mills' Halluf, with Rosemary finishing two seconds later, followed by Elizabeth Windridge's Serena.

Tomorrow promises to be another beautifully sunny day, but with lighter winds, including a period of calm mid-morning before a sea breeze builds. As a result a postponement has already been announced, with classes scheduled for committee boats starting one hour later than planned, and those on the Royal Yacht Squadron line two hours later.

"It's already clear there will not be any wind tomorrow morning," says Regatta Director Laurence Mead, "so it makes sense to be proactive and allow competitors to have fun tonight without having to get up early tomorrow morning." At this point the hope is to run with the normal 10 minute gap between starts, although that may change to an accelerated five minute sequence if further postponements are needed before the sea breeze fills in.

Tomorrow is also the 1851 Trust Charity Day, on which focus shine on Lendy Cowes Week's official charity. The education charity harnesses the power of professional sport to challenge young people's perceptions and help them think differently about their futures. In particular it aims to excite them about opportunities in the STEM subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.

Events during Lendy Cowes Week, organised from the Trust's stand on The Parade, include a Discover Sailing programme, daily workshops on a range of topics inspired by the America's Cup, and a treasure hunt for all the family with exciting prizes. Find out more and sign up at the 1851 Trust stand on The Parade or visit

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