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Trident-UK 2012 May

2018 Lendy Cowes Week - Day 3

by Rupert Holmes, CWL 6 Aug 2018 22:36 BST 4-11 August 2018

Competitors enjoyed a fabulous classic sea breeze day at Lendy Cowes Week, after a long postponement while race officials waited for the wind to arrive. They were rewarded with a stable 10-15 knot south westerly breeze on another warm and almost cloudless day.

The bulk of the larger Black Group yachts started on the inshore Royal Yacht Squadron line, short tacking along the shore to the west. The start of IRC Class 1 was a spectacular sight, with the front row yachts perfectly in line when the cannon fired. There was soon much shouting for room to tack before boats grounded, as well as close port/starboard tack incidents.

Tor McLaren's MAT 1180 Gallivanter was perfectly placed to control the fleet and stayed ahead for the first few tacks, before Johan Gustavsson's Ker 39 Vencom took the lead five minutes into the race. Phillippe Frantz's NMD43 Albator took line honours, but couldn't save his time on Bertie Bicket's lower rated Swan 42 Fargo, while Colin Campbell's Azuree 46 Eclectic took third.

IRC Class 2 was subject to an individual recall at the start and Chris Jones and Louise Makin's J/111 Journeymaker ll duly went back to restart correctly. This left Adam Gosling's new JPK 11.80 Yes! in the favoured inshore position, to leeward of Andy Williams' Max Fun 35 Mad Max and Francois Goubau's First 47.7 Moana.

When Yes! had to tack offshore she passed ahead of the starboard tack fleet, but Moana and Mad Max lost out through having to make aggressive course changes to pass astern of a starboard tack boats. Tony Mack's J/111 McFly started towards the outer end of the line and was also well placed, passing just astern of Yes! before joining her in tacking offshore. Ian Schenkel and David Cummins' Ker 39 Rumbleflurg was also in the mix, but strayed a fraction too far inshore in an attempt to gain relief from the adverse tide and grounded, losing valuable minutes before they finally floated free.

Roger Bowden's King 40 Nifty was the first boat to cross the line at the end of the 23-mile race, with Yes! finishing a minute later. However, there was no gun for Yes! - she had been one of the premature starters and had not returned to restart correctly. Moana, Sunset Child and Jua Kali were also scored OCS. Christopher Daniel's J/122E Juno won on corrected time, ahead of Nifty and McFly.

The classes starting from the Black Group Committee boat, positioned to the east of Lepe Spit, had a long beat against the tide along the north shore to their first mark. Sam Laidlaw's Aguila has dominated the Quarter Tonner class all week, taking a straight run of race wins and today was no exception. "It was a classic western Solent course today," says boat captain Brett Aarons. "After the start we tacked early to benefit from tidal relief on the mainland shore and then it was a matter of keeping cover on the fleet until the windward mark. We had plenty of good boat speed, and Sam sailed the boat well."

Niklas Zennstrom's Rán took the gun for today's Fast40+ race, the fifth in their short series over the first four days of Lendy Cowes Week. A second place for Peter Morton's Girls on Film keeps the Isle of Wight team on top of the leaderboard by a single point. Dutch competitor Bas de Voogd's Hitchhiker kept up consistent form, finishing the day in third, for both the race and the series.

"Worth the wait," commented Rán's Niklas Zennstrom. "Stuart (Childerley) made the right call keeping us ashore and when we finally got out we had no delay. It is great to have Peter Morton back from injury, as it really has put the pressure on us - you can't make any mistakes, as all of the boats will punish you if you do. The last time we did Lendy Cowes Week was in 2013 with the Maxi 72, and it is great to be back, especially in a boat that is really suited to the Solent. It is fantastic to mix it up with other classes here - you don't get that at a fully professional regatta."

"Consistency is our trade mark," adds Hitchhiker's Bas de Voogd. "We got a good start today but Elvis and Rebellion were above us, which was a small problem. However, we got into a real fight with Rán and Girls on Film. We must have put in over 20 tacks, which was a real work out for the team.

"Lendy Cowes Week holds a special place for me, I first came here racing a One Tonner when I was 18. Those memories, combined with racing in the FAST40+ class, are perfect. I also love racing in tide - as a small boy I grew up sailing in the South of Holland with lots of current."

White Group dayboats

The 100 strong Squib fleet, which is holding its National Championship at Lendy Cowes Week, followed the larger Black Group yachts in a classic start, short tacking along the Green, before a windward-leeward course in Gurnard Bay. This competitive fleet got away cleanly after one general recall. By the time they reached Gurnard Bay Steve Warren-Smith and Stu Rix's Aquabat had built a commanding lead over Nigel Grogan's Helmut Shoing ll and Bryan Riley's Brimstone.

Aquabat continued to extend her lead, showing impressive height and boat speed. Having judged the tricky tidal layline to perfection, Aquabat rounded the first windward mark a full minute ahead of Helmut Shoing ll. Brimstone overstood by several boat lengths and therefore rounded alongside Dick Batt's Squib 30 seconds behind Helmut Shoing ll. By the finish Aquabat had pulled out a further 30 seconds ahead of Helmut Shoing ll, while Micky Wright's Spoof moved up to third place.

"Hats off to the race officers who made a great call in postponing the race until the wind filled in," says Warren-Smith. "We sailed a good beat up the Green working the tides and tacks. Having an echo-sounder was valuable too and we managed to inch ahead. Once in the lead, in clear air it was all about keeping the fleet behind. We're really pleased to be on track this early in the regatta and are looking forward to more of the same tomorrow."

Most of the White Group dayboats started from the Bramble line, with a beat to the first mark of Quinnell. In the Daring class Giles Peckham's Dauntless took a third consecutive win, but it was one he had to fight for. With a 'Z' flag in force, indicating an automatic 20 per cent penalty for any premature starters, the fleet was cautious in approaching the line.

"We had a great race today - a nice long one," says Peckham. "However, we had an awful start, getting caught in dirty air in totally the wrong place. Thankfully my excellent crew of my wife Jane, Milo Carver and Richard Romer-Lee insisted we checked out where the first mark was before the start. We knew exactly where to tack out into the stronger tide, while the others seemed to sail further upwind. We hit the lay-line perfectly and, although we arrived at the mark level with Audax, we sneaked ahead on the next leg and held our lead to the finish."

In the Sonar fleet Alistair Barter's Bertie enjoyed a big lead ahead of Michael Luckmann and Christian Berndt's Wisconsin on the first beat. The latter crossed tacks just ahead of two other Island Sailing Club owned boats - Hibiscus, skippered by Paul Patrick, and Miscreant, skippered by Rob Peace. Wisconsin then tacked to cover, instead of following James Holman's Biscuit into shallower water with less adverse tide.

Wisconsin maintained her advantage on the boats nearby until the decision as to where to make the longer tack offshore to the mark. Georgina Hill's Discovery made the best call, with an early tack that saw her make a big gain. It was a decisive point in the race and, while Barter maintained his lead, Hill took second place ahead of Steven Palmer's Sparepart. Palmer is a double above knee amputee, sailing a boat owned by the Andrew Cassell Foundation. One of his team of four, Laura Cammidge, is also visually impaired.

The XOD class sailed a windward/leeward course from a committee boat. Jason Owen, sailing Fury, a borrowed boat, had a comfortable lead at the finish to win his first race of the regatta, following a second place yesterday. "We are all delighted," says Owen. "We have the boat, and crew, nicely tuned-up from Cowes Classic Week and everything seemed to go to plan today. We started midway along the line, and had good speed. We had five close crosses on the beat but we were always in the top three or four."

Rory, Amanda and Stuart Paton's XL took second place today, 26 seconds behind Fury. Max Crowe's Clair de Lune just slipped into third, two seconds ahead of series leader John Tremlett's Lass.

Today was also Lendy Cowes Week's official charity day for the 1851 Trust, which among other activities, is running a host of interesting workshops for children and young teenagers, as well as a family treasure hunt. These are on offer all week from the Trust's stand on The Parade. There's also more info here: www.1851trust.org.uk/projects/lendy-cowes-week

For full results visit www.lendycowesweek.co.uk

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