Please select your home edition
Rooster 2020 - Impact BA - LEADERBOARD

Cowes Week 2021 Day 5

by Rupert Holmes 4 Aug 2021 21:36 BST 31 July - 6 August 2021

After a long postponement racing got underway today just after lunch, in bright sun and 6-8 knots of wind. A fickle sea breeze that rarely became fully established created a really challenging day for both competitors and race officials, especially later in the afternoon when the weak south-westerly flow fought the initial south-easterly.

The first classes to get under way from the Royal Yacht Squadron line, in an easterly breeze of 6-8 knots, were IRC Classes 0 and 1. They were competing today for the Britannia Cup, one of the most historic and prestigious trophies in the sailing world. Guy Gillon and Christian Hamilton's GP42 Khumbu looked well placed at the inshore end of the tight start line, with Tony Mack's J/111 McFly also nicely placed on her windward hip. Ian Atkins' IC37 Icy also came out well in a gap further offshore, as did Peter Morton's The Jean Genie, having tacked onto port nearby just before the gun.

By contrast, Tony Langley's higher rated TP52 Gladiator started at the outboard end of the line, initially sailing her own race, continued offshore on starboard tack, when others tacked inshore right to the limit of the exclusion zone off Cowes Harbour.

Although the sea breeze was turbulent, with big wind shifts, the fleet made reasonable progress on their 17 mile course, until a leg back from the eastern Solent towards the finish on the Royal Yacht Squadron line.

Having built up a good lead on the water, Gladiator sailed into the transition zone with no wind between the early south-easterly sea breeze and the weak south-westerly that was slowly moving in from the west. Morton, however, headed towards the north shore, where the south-easterly was more consistent that he would benefit from less adverse tide in the shallow water.

Despite sailing a longer distance, The Jean Genie picked up a good vein of breeze close inshore off Lee on Solent, before tacking onto starboard and transitioning fairly smoothly into the new wind. By now Gladiator was sailing at speed in the south-westerly, but didn't have enough runway left to catch the smaller boat. Morton finished 32 seconds ahead to take line honours and win the Britannia Cup. Icy was third on the water, having also approached from the north, but was beaten into second place on corrected time by Tony Mack's J/111 McFly.

In IRC Class 2 John Barrett and Paul Woodfood's Corby 36 Stiletto, and David Franks' J/112E Leon, both also headed along the north shore after their last mark, rather than pointing directly to the finish. Like The Jean Genie they stayed in the south-easterly for long and then had an easier transition to the south westerly. Stiletto took line honours in the class, but was unable to save her time on Leon, who took victory on corrected time by 23 seconds. Another J/112E, John Cooper's Jooped, took third both on the water and on handicap.

For the past few years the HP30 class has offered tight high adrenaline racing that doesn't require a big budget. Sunday's race, for instance, saw three boats cross the finish just five seconds apart at the end of a two and half hour race.

Today Richard Rankin's Farr 280 Pandemonium approached the line first, dipped back just before the gun, but still turned up too soon and was premature. Another Farr 280, Jon Powell's Betty, was nicely placed at the inshore end of the line, before tacking onto port, heading inshore almost to the limit of the exclusion area off Cowes.

Toucan was first across the line today, also winning on corrected time, having approached from the south, six and a half minutes ahead of Jerry Hill and Richard Faulkner's Moral Compass, which approached from the north. Alain Waha and Matthew Waite's Go West Cogital took third place today.

Many of the J/109s approached the start line with enthusiasm, but with a strengthening flood tide pushing them onto the course side, they had to dip back and therefore couldn't accelerate to full speed before the gun. Even then, two boats were premature, one of which did not respond to the recall signal. William Tahourdin's Jedi took victory in today's race, three minutes ahead of John Smart's Jukebox, while Jazzy Jellyfish finished third more than 20 minutes later.

Four White Group day boat classes started and finished from a committee boat line today. In the Mermaid class, Robert Glanville's Annabelle took victory by a margin of three minutes. However, the fight for second place could hardly have been closer and the next four boats, led by Anthony Eaton's Halluf and Richard Hill's Sheen, finished only 46 seconds apart. Sheen retains first place overall, two points ahead of Charles Glanville's Bluebell.

In the Victory class, Hugh Pringle's Pelican took victory today, ahead of Gareth Penn's Christina and Nick Benham's Zilch. A disappointing fifth place today for Russel Mead's Shearwater ll leaves her tied on 18 points with Pelican at the top of the leaderboard.

Tomorrow promises a return to a stronger winds, with a southerly 12-18 knots increasing to give gusts of 25 knots or more in a front later in the afternoon. A further amendment to the Sailing Instructions has been issued to bring some start times forward and change the start lines in use:

Related Articles

Entries open for Cowes Week 2023
In this iconic regatta two of the most competitive classes are worlds apart At 197 years young, Cowes Week remains one of the pre-eminent regattas in the world, and this year the team expect to welcome more than 500 boats racing in 37 different classes. Posted on 17 Jan
Cowes Week announces official Charity Partner
Tall Ships Youth Trust named for 2023 and 2024 Cowes Week Limited is delighted to announce that Tall Ships Youth Trust (TSYT) will be the Official Charity Partner for 2023 and 2024. Posted on 12 Jan
Cowes Week 2022 overall
A spectacularly busy finish line at the Royal Yacht Squadron The last day of Cowes Week featured short, action-packed races in a solid north-westerly gradient wind, culminating in a spectacularly busy finish line at the Royal Yacht Squadron. Posted on 6 Aug 2022
Cowes Week day 6
Khumbu wins the New York Yacht Club Challenge Cup A thrilling finish for the Grand Prix yachts competing for the New York Yacht Club Challenge Cup, one of sailing's most coveted prizes, saw Christian Zugel's GP42 Tschuss lead three boats across the Royal Yacht Squadron line just 30 seconds apart. Posted on 4 Aug 2022
Cowes Week day 5
Ian Atkins' Dark 'n' Stormy wins the Britannia Cup Lighter winds this morning increased to give competitors another great day on the water, predominately in breezes of 10-18 knots. Posted on 3 Aug 2022
Pip Hare wins Cowes Week Women's Day Trophy
Recognising the outstanding contribution, commitment, and achievements of women in sailing This evening solo round the world racing sailor Pip Hare was awarded the Cowes Week Women's Day Trophy, which recognises the outstanding contribution, commitment, and achievements of women in sailing. Posted on 2 Aug 2022
Cowes Week day 4
Women's Day sees a great ratio of female helms More brisk winds and warm weather provided a further day of excitement for the fourth day of Cowes Week. Sir Ben Ainslie, the most successful Olympic sailor ever, was racing today, demonstrating just how seriously the top teams take their racing. Posted on 2 Aug 2022
GP Zero fleet at Cowes Week day 3
Three races - three different winners - just seconds apart Three days into Cowes Week, all seven boats in the big boat class are competing in the GP Zero Series. After a postponement a south-westerly gradient breeze provided excellent conditions with wind over tide rucking up the Solent. Posted on 2 Aug 2022
Cowes Week day 3
One highlight: more than 20 XODs crossed the finish line overlapped After a relaxed morning waiting for wind, Cowes Week competitors enjoyed a third successive day of glorious sailing and close racing in ideal conditions. Posted on 1 Aug 2022
Cowes Week day 2
Lashings of excitement, thrills, spills and adrenaline Warm weather, combined with winds gusting above 25 knots, provided lashings of excitement, thrills, spills and adrenaline for competitors at Cowes Week today. Long downwind legs for many classes ensured competitors came ashore with big grins. Posted on 31 Jul 2022