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Thread: 2017 Cowes Week

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    30 Knot Maniac ShanaCruz50's Avatar
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    2017 Cowes Week

    Reporting live from Cowes Week on the "sunny" Isle of Wight. The beaches are lined with cabanas and striped (pronounced "stri-ped") canvas beach chairs. But, they are shuttered.

    We started off the Cowes Week charter with a racing yacht that a prior group of charterers ran into the Needles. DOH! Our replacement yacht now has a different name than our branded team gear. No big deal. But the name of our replacement boat means HOT SUN. yes, it's a nice name, but we haven't actually seen the sun since we arrived in Cowes. Let's just say, we might want to change our boat name to "mirage."

    IMG_3166.jpg"

    Watch the Cowes Week promo videos and gallery photos and you will see shed loads of shorts, polos, blue skies, and SUN. Whatever forecasting devices I keep trying have all failed at accurately predicting anything. I do hope that at some point during this weeklong Regatta, we finally get to see the sun. You can see why the Brits have a great sense of humor. It sure gets you through the drizzles.

    IMG_3171.jpg

    More importantly, our team of Aussies, Mexicans, and Americans quickly found out that the world's largest Regatta seems the least bit concerned with sailing. Yes, there are hundreds of boats racing in every different direction on the Solent. Yes, the big name Farr40s are here. Yes, the Volvo boats are here BUT, the party scene is over the top, nonstop, and in every corner of town. People that don't sail come to the island just for the parties. Even in the rain.

    IMG_3178.jpgIMG_3189.jpgIMG_3190.jpg

    More to come regarding actual sailing ...until then, Keep Calm And Party On, Garth!
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]Peace Out, Bags[/FONT]

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    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Great footage of the Farr280s racing in mixed Sportsboat Division1 at Lendy Cowes Week. Congratulations to Team Adriatica currently leading the fleet, after three days.
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    Rick Tomlinson covering Cowes Race Week on his home turf
    provides a nice glimpse of the on the water action...




























    http://www.lendycowesweek.co.uk/
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    Day 1 Round up Report at Lendy Cowes Week

    Day 1 Round up Report at Lendy Cowes Week


    Action on the start line of today's Fast40+ class race at Lendy Cowes Week. Photo: Paul Wyeth/CWL

    The opening day of Lendy Cowes Week dawned with bright sunny spells and a westerly breeze of around 10-15 knots. However, a weather front that gave rain to most of southern England moved across the race area at lunchtime, depressing the wind strength. The result was intensely tactical racing with persistence, along with good – and occasionally brave – decisions needed to achieve top results.

    By the time of the first start, for the 31-strong J/70 class, the breeze close inshore under the Royal Yacht Squadron had reduced to 10 knots. With a strong east-going stream running, the most aggressive starters held up as close to the line as possible before the gun. A pair of the Royal Thames YC’s boats started on port tack in the better tide close inshore and initially led the fleet away from the line, despite having less wind than the boats further offshore.

    However, they soon fell into a wind hole and four minutes into the race crossed tacks a few lengths astern of a group of three boats – Ali Hall’s Sceptre, Vilija Velyvyte, Sophie Sheldon and Will Jackson’s Aurora, and Guy Stephen’s Baby J – as the fleet made their way towards their first mark. Hall took the winner’s gun in a tight race that saw the first three boats cross the line 16 seconds apart. Nick Phillip’s Chaotic took second place and Paul Childs’ F’in Magic 2 third.

    The class’s second race of the day was over a windward/leeward course, starting from a committee boat stationed near Hill Head on the north shore of the Solent. This was won by a clear margin by Swiss entry Lorenz Mueller’s YCB Team ahead of John Greenland’s Jumbo and F’in Magic 2.

    After the first two races in their eight-race mini series that’s taking place over the first four days of the regatta, YCB Team is leading the fleet with a score of five points. “Although I have sailed at Cowes Week many times before, this is the first time in the J/70,” said Mueller. “We qualified within the Swiss sailing league to compete here and the team’s very happy with our performance. Today’s win was all about playing the shifts – I think we tacked on every shift, and it seemed to pay. We’re really enjoying our time here and are looking forward to the next two races tomorrow.”




    The SB20 class appeared less organised in the pre-start for their first start until the final 30 seconds, when the fleet grouped in the outer half of the line. Nigel Grogan’s Good Hydeing looked well placed among the boats toward the outer end of the line, although Martin Fox’s Arada Stoves – New Hope approached on port and gained an advantage, tacking under her lee bow a few seconds before the gun. Nevertheless, it was the closest boat to the shore, Ben Waha and Syd McLean’s Spongbob, starting mid line on port tack that won the start, just clearing a fraction ahead of French competitor Benoit Melen’s Ladybug.

    Five minutes in, as the fleet short tacked past the Green, it was one of the three Australian boats in the fleet, Elliott Noye’s Porco Rosso that held the upper hand in a very close tussle with John Pollard Xcellent. There was much place changing at this stage of the race, with careful calls as to when to tack critical in making best progress. Tacking too frequently risked losing ground, as did standing out into the stronger stream offshore, while carrying on too far inshore would result in an ignominious grounding on Grantham rocks. Raging Bull in the Sportsboat class and an RS Elite were among those who pushed their luck too hard and hit the rocks.

    By the finish of the SB20’s first race Jerry Hill’s Sportsboatworld.com held a lead of 28 seconds on Australian Michael Cooper’s Export Roo, with Porco Rosso taking third place. This class also had a second race today, which was won by Porco Rosso ahead of Export Roo and Richard Powell’s Marvel. This leaves Noye and Cooper leading the fleet at this stage, with both tied on four points.

    All classes got away on schedule today, with the exception of the XOD fleet. By the time of their start at 1245 the wind had dropped in a patch of rain. With the tide having by now turned to the west inshore, more than half the fleet was well on the wrong side of the line at the gun and a general recall was inevitable.

    The restart, 10 minutes later, was under a Z flag, indicating a three per cent time penalty for any boat crossing the line in the final minute before the start. Between the two starts a stronger breeze filled in from the west, enabling the fleet to return to the correct side of the line.

    Al Ashford’s Foxglove, Peter Baines, Tim Harding and Phil Hildyard’s Estelle, Ian May’s Charlie Fish and Chris Torrens’ Madcap were among the most pushy boats, already close to the line 60 seconds before the start. Two of these – Madcap and Charlie Fish – along with Paul Woodman’s Ibex, James Markby’s Xpeditious and Dugald Henderson’s Sirena were called OCS at the start. These boats led the fleet away from the line, with Foxglove, James Meaning’s Gleam, Penny Fulford’s Rachel and Simon Russell’s Swallow all also working their way up among the leading group as the fleet short tacked towards the west.

    The original 12.5 mile course was shortened at the fourth mark, Mike Till, named in memory of the late class captain. At the end of their two and three quarter hour race Colin McKinnon, Neil Hart and Guy Partington’s Catherine was first across the line, 22 seconds ahead of Rory, Amanda and Stuart Paton’s XL. Swallow took third place 24 seconds later.

    Black Group

    The mostly engineless White Group boats were able to finish on their scheduled line, with the exception of the XOD and Victory classes. However, many of the Black Group fleets had shortened courses, with nine classes finishing early at South Bramble buoy and a further two at North Ryde Middle.

    Any rain had been light and patchy until 1415, when a heavier spell passed through and the wind simultaneously dropped to less than five knots in the central Solent. While a handful of competitors failed to resist the temptation of retirement, the overwhelming majority waited for the wind to return, making best use of each zephyr they could find as they did so. Equally, the rain failed to dampen the spirits of the many revellers on shore.

    At 1430 the first two boats in the Fast40+ fleet, led by Bas de Voogd’s Carkeek 40 Mark 3 Hitchhiker and Steve Cowie’s modified GP42 Zephyr, passed the Royal Yacht Squadron on their way to their final marks, making respectable progress under their big asymmetric spinnakers. It was a race of snakes and ladders – Peter Morton’s new Carkeek 40 Mk4 Girls on Film had enjoyed a big lead in the later stages of the race. However, he ran out of wind, which allowed the first boats to reach the new wind – Hitchhiker and Zephyr – to overtake.

    As a result the leaders were unusually spread out at the finish, with Hitchhiker enjoying a seven minute advantage and easily saving her time on Zephyr to also win on corrected time. Sir Keith Mills’ Ker 40+ Invictus was third over the line, more than 10 minutes behind Zephyr, and held onto a podium place on corrected time with a 58 second advantage on Steward Whitehead’s Rebellion.

    “Coming from Scotland we are used to this sort of weather!” commented Zephyr’s owner, Steve Cowie. “We got a great start and our speed was much improved. Budgey (Ian Budgen) made some great tactical calls, everything just went right for us today and the team worked really hard. We have been getting some coaching from David Howlett, before Cowes Week, and that has improved our performance – it’s a fantastic start to the week.”

    At the same time that the Fast40+ fleet was passing Cowes, the leader in the J/109 class, Richard Marsden and Rachel Toman’s Judgement Day was on the final approach to the finish and took the first winner's cannon of the week on the Royal Yacht Squadron line at 1439. She was followed two minutes, 50 seconds later by Chris and Victoria Preston’s Jubilee. Christopher Sharples and Richard Acland’s Jukebox took third place, a further six minutes later.

    “It was incredible fun because we were swapping places all the way round,” said Marsden. “We were in the top six most of the time, but it was tactics that won in the end. We made a decision not to carry on in the old wind, but instead head toward the Cowes shore, take the losses and wait for the new breeze to arrive. It was a bit concerning for a while because we sat in a light patch of only two knots for five minutes but, as predicted, a new breeze filled in and we were able to pull away and take the first win of the series, the first time we’ve ever won a race at Cowes Week.”

    The Cruiser classes that race under the simplified Island Sailing Club Rating System have been gaining in popularity over recent years and now muster three separate divisions. Among the bigger boats in Cruiser Division A three boats hit the start line at speed and in clean air to get a useful early advantage – Chris Panting’s Beneteau First 35 No Chance, Richard Strong’s Hanse 445 Solid Air and Liam and Colette Hayes’ Finngulf 33 Finesse. A few minutes after the start, No Chance and Finesse were the first to tack on a wind shift as the breeze started to swing in to the south ahead of the band of rain.

    Although one of the smallest boats in the class, No Chance was first across the line, five minutes ahead of the X-55 Pioneer Lutine. Rob Denning’s Swan 46 Bewick of Hamble finished 52 minutes after Pioneer Lutine. All three held the same positions on corrected time, with No Chance winning by an impressive 47 minute margin.

    Racing continues tomorrow (Sunday) which promises a change to sunny weather and a strong south-westerly breeze of 16-18 knots with gusts to 25 knots or more. It’s the event’s Family Day, which recognises the huge number of families that have several generations competing at Lendy Cowes Week.
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    Day 2 Round up Report at Lendy Cowes Week

    Action on board James Gair's Zero ll, today's winner of IRC Class 1. Photo: Paul Wyeth/CWL

    Today competitors at Lendy Cowes Week enjoyed a bright and sunny day with challenging, but exhilarating, racing in a gusty west south-westerly wind in which the gusts topped 25 knots. Many of the larger Black Group yachts finishing on the Royal Yacht Squadron line experienced multiple broaches and spinnaker wraps, much to the delight of the throngs of spectators lining the shore.





    The blustery conditions also took their toll of boats across the fleet, with most classes seeing multiple retirements, with reasons including rig damage, groundings and collisions.

    In the Fast40+ class, Peter Morton's Girls on Film was leading by two minutes, approaching Baxters buoy located near Gurnard Head when she hit a rock. “We had dropped our spinnaker and we were about to round the mark.” explained Morton. “We were hard on and had to be towed off some time later. We frantically waved at the boats behind to alert them – Invictus and Rebellion were approaching really fast.”

    In the fracas Invictus and Rebellion had a minor coming-together. “It was a just a kiss really.” suggested Stewart Whitehead, owner/driver of Rebellion. “We had our A2 spinnaker up and I think Invictus had their masthead code zero set, so we were coming in at different angles and when we both took evasive action, we touched”. A fourth boat in the fleet suffered damage when the topmast of 42 South broke above the upper spreaders. Despite the various problems there were no injuries among any of the crews in the class.

    Today was also family day at Lendy Cowes Week, in which the event celebrates the many family bonds that sailing helps to foster. While family sailing for some means everyone racing on the same boat, the Squib class also has many family members pitched against each other in different boats.

    “We have a huge number of family connections across the fleet,” says class captain Steve Warren Smith. “…there are hardly any Squibs out there without at least one connection to another family member.” He then rattled off a long list of families in the class that are either sailing either with, or against, each other, with names including Downer, Porteous, White, Russell, Baker, Gibson, Keely and Prime.





    White Group

    Today most of the White Group dayboats starting on the Royal Yacht Squadron line had to contend with a strong adverse tide. In the J/80 class Chris Body’s MockingJay and yesterday’s winner, Jon Powell’s Betty, were closest to the line at the start, with Powell having the benefit of being in weaker tide close inshore. He quickly sealed this advantage with a neatly executed early tack onto port in a favourable wind shift, with Barney Dykes’ Jane following suit just behind.

    For the first couple of minutes of their first half-mile long windward leg to Kingston Marine Services buoy these two boats looked as though they were extending away from the bulk of the fleet further offshore. However Jane stayed on the offshore tack for too long, standing out into the stronger stream offshore and handing second place at this stage back to MockingJay. Betty finished unusually far down the fleet, leaving MockingJay to take first place exactly five minutes ahead of Terence O’Neill’s Aqua J. Felix Trattner’s UKSA 3 took third place.

    There was plenty of action on the first leg of the Dragon’s race. Oliver Morgan’s Christianna was first to pull the trigger in the final few seconds before the start, gaining a small advantage on Graham Bailey’s Aimee. Starting very close inshore under the RYS, yesterday’s winner Donal Small/Martin Payne’s Full Speed was able to tack into a controlling position to windward and inshore of Christianna and Aimee, while Owen Pay’s Furious followed close behind in fourth place.

    Although it’s less than 200 metres off the beach, judging the layline to the first mark in the strong tide was a difficult, yet critical, decision. Much of the fleet overstood, allowing Gavia Wilkinson-Cox’s Jerboa to get around first, followed by Aimee a couple of lengths behind, with Full Speed a similar distance back in third place.

    With Aimee having retired, Jerboa led the fleet at the finish, 77 seconds ahead of Full Speed, while Russian entry Igor Goikhberg’s Zenith took third place. “We had a good start and led at the first mark, but Graham Bailey on Aimee managed to gybe and slip through on the inside track at the second mark,” said Wilkinson-Cox. “We went round that mark in third, but the two boats ahead did a massive bear away for another mark. We were sure we had the right course, carried on and gained a good lead. Having just completed a really windy world championship in Cascais helped us a lot and we were thoroughly tuned up for today’s conditions.”

    The Sportsboat fleet also saw plenty of fast-paced action on the first beat. Alex Locke’s Farr 280 Dirty and Malcolm Robert’s modified 9 metre Ker Sunshine were closest to the line at the gun, with Dirty at the north end, Sunshine close inshore and the boats in the middle hanging well back from the line.

    Sunshine made an early tack onto port, clearing ahead of the fleet even though she fell into an unlucky lull. She was followed closely by a pair of Farr 280s, Jamie Rankin’s Pandemonium and Peiro Paniccia’s Adriatica, in the early stages of their mile-long first beat to CJ May buoy on the Island shore.

    Sunshine won today’s race in Sportsboat Division 2, ahead of a pair of 1720s, Michael Livingstone’s Rum n Cork and Steph Merry’s Midnight Cowboy. Adriatica took like honours in Sportsboat Division 1 after a close race in which the first four boats were only 93 seconds apart on corrected time. However, she failed to save her time against yesterday’s winner, Malcolm Wootton’s Farr 30 Pegasus Dekmarx, and against David and Kirsty Apthorp’s J/88 J-Dream.

    “Having won the race by 15 minutes yesterday, we were a bit slow off the mark today and took a while to get through,” said Wootton. “At the end of the first run we were still surrounded by boats we should have been ahead of and were lying about seventh. From there on we worked hard on speed upwind and used the tide to our advantage. On the third beat we crossed the tide to Ryde Bank into shallow water and worked the shifts. This I believe was the key to our success today.”




    Black Group

    For the early starters among the Black Group yachts on the Bramble line there was a difference in opinion as to whether to start at the northern end of the line and make an early tack onto port to head for tidal relief on the north shore of the Solent, or start at the southern end of the line, which had a favourable bias in terms of wind direction.

    In IRC Class 0 the smart money appeared to be on the latter, with Bernard Langley’s TP52 Gladiator making a perfectly timed pin end start at full speed. Gladiator was closely followed by Tor McLaren’s MAT 1180 Gallivanter, which in turn had Piet de Vroon’s Ker 51 Tonnerre on her windward hip. The remainder of the fleet, however, were further towards the northern end of the line.

    Which option paid in the end? Gladiator took line honours ahead of Tonnerre. Langley saved his time to win on corrected time, but Igor Yakunin’s Ker 46 Lady Mariposa R and Christian Zugel’s Mat 1180 Tschuss took second and third respectively on corrected time ahead of Tonnerre.

    By the time of the IRC Class 1 start at 1030 the wind was already gusting above 20 knots at it wasn’t long before the gusts in the central Solent were topping 25 knots. The fleet was more spread out along the line than the earlier classes, with boats jockeying more for clear air than a specific end of the line. James Gair’s Mills 39 Zero ll – Cowes Race School made a well-timed approach as the boat closest to the pin end, while Paul and Marco van Driel’s Dutch J/111 Sweeny attempted to cross the fleet on port tack, but failed and had to tack under a group of second-row starters.

    The preference in this fleet was for earlier tacks towards the north shore than the two faster classes that started earlier. It was not long before the fleet was short tacking in the shallow water to the east of Lepe Spit.

    By the time of their finish, just before 1430, the wind had backed further into the southwest and moderated slightly, with the maximum gusts down to 22-23 knots. Nevertheless, the light displacement asymmetric yachts revelled in the conditions, planing at speeds well into double digits as they sped to the finish.

    The top three boats enjoyed a close finish, with Zero ll – Cowes Race School taking line honours 39 seconds ahead of Sam Cox’s lower rated King 40 Nifty. Mike Greville’s Ker 39 Erivale lll took third place on the water 45 seconds behind Nifty, but was not able to save her time on Tony Mack’s J/111 McFly, which took third on corrected time behind Zero ll and Nifty.

    Charity day

    Tomorrow (Monday) is Lendy Cowes Week’s Charity Day, with the spotlight on official charity, the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation. Inspired by ‘Bart’s Bash’, the organisation’s famous global fundraising event held every September, the results of tomorrow’s Lendy Cowes Week racing from all fleets will be pooled to find an overall winner for the day.

    After racing there will be a Big Bash party at Cowes Yacht Haven from 1900, at which there will be special prizes for those wearing the distinctive yellow “Simpson Sunnies”. The winning crew of the “Cowes Bash” will also receive a prize package including free entry to next year’s Lendy Cowes Week.
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    Day 3 Round up Report at Lendy Cowes Week

    Close racing among the smaller yachts of IRC Class 6. Photo: Paul Wyeth/CWL

    Day three of Lendy Cowes Week delivered yet more racing in blazing sun and a perfect south westerly breeze of 12-16 knots that gradually built to a peak of 20 knots by the end of the afternoon. It was a day of intensely close racing for many competitors, with numerous podium places decided by only a handful of seconds after more than three hours of racing.

    Today was also the event’s Charity Day, supporting the Andrew Simpson Foundation. Inspired by Bart’s Bash, the annual international day of racing for which an overall winner is calculated, the Foundation applied the same process to the 800 competitors racing today, with Sam Cox’s King 40 Nifty from IRC Class 1 provisionally named as winner of the Cowes Bash.




    Black Group

    Most of the early starts for the Black Group yachts starting on the Bramble line favoured the southern end of the line, but a wind shift under a line of cloud just before the start of the Quarter Ton class switched the bias towards the committee boat end.

    This line of cloud, which was streaming off the high ground of Tennyson Down at the western end of the Isle of Wight, had a useful extra few knots of breeze beneath it and at the time was positioned over the more favourable tide in the middle on the last of the west going stream, generating more complex tactical options than the earlier fleets encountered.

    This left Ed White’s immaculately restored Joker more or less alone at the pin, while Louise Morton’s Bullit avoided the pack, starting mid-line. Tony Hayward’s Blackfun won his first race of the series, finishing almost four minutes ahead of Sam Laidlaw’s Aguila. Bullit crossed the line 67 seconds after Aguila to take third place both on the water and on corrected time.

    This class has a reputation for extremely close racing and this year is no exception. While Aguilla now leads the class overall with only six points, Bullit and Blackfun are on 9 and 10 points respectively and the next four boats are separated by only one point.

    The right hand wind shift was still evident for the Contessa 32 start 10 minutes after the Quarter Tonners. Nevertheless, yesterday’s winner, Eldred Himsworth’s Drumbeat, started at the southern end, while most of the remainder of the fleet opted for the northern end, with Donna and Martin Rouse-Collen’s Andaxi and Mark Tyndall’s Persephone both making good starts there.




    With Drumbeat retiring from today’s race, the way was clear for Andaxi to take her first win of the series, 27 seconds ahead of Ray Rouse’s Blanco. Ed Bell’s Mary Rose Tudor took third, just over a minute later.

    This year IRC Class 6 is a large fleet with boats ranging from older 38 footers such as Jonathan Rolls’ Swan 38 Xara and David Kirkley’s Nicholson 39 Conteza, through Impalas to Edmund Gatehouse’s J/24 Jupiter and Kevin Downer’s diminutive Jeanneau Fun 23 Ziggy.

    Today Barnaby Smith, Graham Tullett and Nick Hance’s Impala Imptish made a good start at the northern end of the line, with Giovanni Belgrano’s 38ft classic Whooper on her windward hip. Olly Love and Sam Flint’s Impala Too Frank made a similarly good start mid-line, while the Handley and James families’ Mustang 30 GR8 Banter, Richard and Ursula Hollis’ X95 Crackerjax and Bernard Fyan’s Mustang 30 Erik the Red all looked well placed towards the pin end of the line.

    Whooper took line honours ahead of Simon Cory’s Cory 290 Icom Cool Blue, with both boats saving their time on the rest of the fleet to take first and second places on corrected time as well. Tillman Frank’s Albin Stratus Sagitta was next across the line, getting an RYS canon for third place on the water. However, she failed to save her time against two Impalas, Imptish and Sam Flint and Olly Love’s Too Frank, which took third and fourth places on corrected time respectively.

    “We won today by keeping out of the tide in the shallows – a bit irresponsible really and we promise we won’t do it again,” said Belgrano. “We are feeling bad because we are taking far too many risks with our 78-year-old Laurent Giles design – from now on we are going to give her a bit of a break. The other reason we did so well today, and yesterday, was because the course favoured us. Whooper loves reaching, and there has been lots of reaching over the last two days. Our crew work is tip-top too – we’ve sailed over 50 races so far this season and we all know the boat inside out.”

    The largest boat in IRC Class 7, Piers Fitzwilliams’ Elizabethan 30 Moonshot, was well placed close to the committee boat end of the line at the start, but Dave Wright’s H-Boat Hubble Bubble had more speed at the gun and emerged from leeward in front. Having started further south, Jo Richard’s much modified and renovated 1964 Alacrity 19 Eeyore, the smallest boat in Black Group, tacked quickly onto port, crossing ahead of both Moonshot and Hubble Bubble.

    Paul Dunstan’s International Folkboat Mandarin took line honours, but couldn’t save his time on Eeyore, which won on corrected time by 46 seconds. Hubble Bubble was second to finish, but was beaten into third place on corrected time by John Mulcahy’s Stella Estrella, by only 30 seconds.

    White Group

    In the Solent Sunbeam class Richard Smyth’s Betty pulled away ahead of the pack immediately after the start, with Becky Wickens’ and Ollie Gilchrist’s Sky a few lengths further offshore to leeward. At this early stage Roger Wickens’ Danny, which has dominated this class for years, was a few lengths further back and to leeward of Sky.

    When they crossed tacks off the Green seven minutes into the race Sky was just ahead of Betty and tacked to cover. Sky went on to finish more than a minute ahead of Stewart Reed’s Firefly, with Danny taking an uncharacteristic third place 33 seconds later.

    The Swallow class has enjoyed some very close racing over the first couple of days of Lendy Cowes Week, with yesterday’s winner determined by only two seconds. Anthony Lunch and Andrew Reid’s Solitude allowed themselves to be swept down tide away from the line, before starting close to the shore. At the same time one of the class’s two youth teams, Jemima Lawson, James Pinder and Jamie Webb’s Svala, plus Charles Fisher’s Migrant were best placed towards the outer end of the line.

    Solitude quickly tacked onto port after the start, clearing ahead of the entire fleet, with the exception of Migrant, before tacking back onto starboard. However, Sir Malcolm Green’s Archant, the winner of the first two races, was a few lengths offshore in more reliable breeze and passed ahead of both when they first crossed tacks in the patchy wind under the lee of the shore.

    Mike Wigmore’s Gwaihir, who missed the opening race and retired from the second, won today’s race with a 17 second advantage over Green at the finish. Migrant pipped Solitude into third place by a margin of only four seconds.

    “It was a great day on the water and fabulous sailing,” said Wigmore. “Yesterday we had to retire because we had a course-reading error, so we are extra pleased today. It was an interesting race though because we were mid fleet for most of the race, with the leader about a quarter of a mile ahead. Anyway, through good crew work, playing the shifts and positive thinking, we worked our way up and managed to sneak through into the lead at the last mark. The moral of the story today is ‘never give up’.”

    Most of the Redwing fleet was cautious on their approach to the line, with the back markers not clearing the start area until three minutes after the gun. Nick Rowton Lee and Rory Morrison’s Banzai ll and Ed Nainby Luxmore’s Snowgoose ll led the pack into the inshore end of the line, while Nick Wakefield’s Bizarre opted for a port tack approach at the outer end.

    Although Banzai ll pulled into an early lead, after finding a good lane of wind inshore the Greenwood and Tate families’ Rosetta crossed ahead after a couple of minutes, before dropping back a few minutes later. Meanwhile, having found clean air, Dominic Samuelson’s Tarpon pulled up into second place on the water for a few minutes, until a less than perfect tack underneath Banzai ll saw her slip back to third place 10 minutes after the start.

    By the finish Snowgoose ll held a comfortable two and a half minute lead over Rosetta, with Banzai ll finishing third almost two minutes later. The wide spacing of the first three boats, however, belied how close the competition was further down the fleet – after three hours of racing less than 10 minutes separated the 14 boats in places four to seventeen.

    “It was fantastic racing today with a good course for us and the boat was going well and really seemed to power through the waves,” said Nainby-Luxmoore. “As we led off the line we spent the race working hard to keep the others behind, so there were times when we wished the course was a bit shorter. Having said that it was really enjoyable and we are very pleased to have won a race. Last year I was sailing with my dad when we won overall, so this is the first time I have helmed at Cowes, sailing with my friends – all of us under 24.”
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    The Yankee Perspective




    In case you don't know, the tides and currents in the Solent are crazy. The sand bars and other hard and slow points are everywhere. The wind is a trickster - making you trim in and out and pole forward and back like a maniac, gusts and lulls from nowhere. Never mind the ferries, the cargo ships, or the giant American aircraft carrier anchored out with an exclusion zone. So far no submarines, but there's still time... The courses are about 20-26 miles a day (for bigger boats) with about 8-12 marks - that aren't announced until 10 minutes from your start. It's a conspiracy, really, against foreigners. If you don't have local knowledge on your boat, just don't bother.



    Yesterday, the weather was cold, drizzly, and breezy (18-25 knots). We were sent on super long upwind slogs, triangular routes in the middle, and a long downwind adventure, dodging the other fleets along the way. Oh, and there was a last minute course change (we were notified AFTER the mark) due to a drifted mark that made us round an additional mark. You follow? Nevertheless, we did place third in a borrowed boat.

    Today, our starting line was in a different location. We had partly cloudy skies, a more favorable tide at the beginning and less short tacking, but a hella long downwind leg that left the kite/pole trimmers (yours truly) in need of physical therapy. I even had a (Transpac-tanned) Dee Caffari sighting. Sadly, all of the Volvo boats are berthed some where else, such as Portsmouth.




    Somewhere in the middle of the mark roundings, you just stop counting, miss out on the amazing scenery, and focus more on the immediate tasks at hand: trim in/out, port pole, what?, sit on something awkward, swearing, look! there's(TP52) Gladiator, tacking, relay comms, help rerun gear to other side, unzip jacket, look out for the boom, get lines out of water, what?, bang shin on something hard, more swearing, gybe, oh look - the sun!, keep out of way of main trimmer and don't sit on the main winch handle, zip up jacket, grind, clean up snake pit, hike out, bag up, say again?, someone steps on your toe, grind again, no wait- ease, tail, bag down, relay comms again, what do you mean this is the last leg? ...

    There are drinks on the boat after the finish, drinks at the club nearest the boat, drinks in the race village, drinks on the way home, drinks at the crew dinner, and maybe drinks back at the village depending on the time. How people make it to the next days of racing, I just don't know.

    [IMG]http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/79206860830721535262.jpg[/MG]



    Speaking of tradition, regalia, and drinks, we were invited to the Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club for a cocktail party and formal burgee exchange. It was the highlight of my week. I met several members of the Cowes Town Council, Vice Commodore David Ross and his friend James (straight out of your favorite British movie), and some lovely locals. The club also has a great inclusive sailing program.

    Well, off to bed. I'm knackered (as they say here). Tomorrow is another day of sailing, with weather different than any day prior (apparently rain of biblical proportions), and 8 or so new marks we have yet to see. ..

    Peace out my friends,
    ShanaCruz50
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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  8. #8
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Cowes Mid Week Race Report





    Today was one of fast and furious action at Lendy Cowes Week. “On the way out to the start it looked like the Apocalypse was coming, and with a short course, there were a lot of corners coming up really fast,” said John Hamilton, bowman on Stewart Whitehead's Rebellion, which finished third in the Fast40+ class today.

    “We had two short legs when we had to peel from the Code Zero to the spinnaker, so it was very challenging but we love that. On the bow it was like a submarine at times, I was getting soaked to the bone, stinging spray in my face, a proper hosing! The finish was amazing, we gybed for the line side by side with Pace and just hung on – it was a thrill to win that battle.”

    Celebrity action and broken records

    The first starts today were for the 23 big yachts competing in the Sevenstar Triple Crown, making for a spectacular sight. The largest yachts, including the seven entries in the 2017/8 Volvo Ocean Race, were racing around the Isle of Wight, with their navigation data predicting the world record for the course would fall.

    With one reef in the mainsail and staysail set Ludde Ingvall and Sir Michael Hintze’s 100ft foiling supermaxi CQS started powering up 30 seconds before the gun, before speeding away out of sight, on her way around the Isle of Wight, followed by a trail of spectator RIBs.











    On board were celebrity Jodie Kidd and Liam Brooke, co-founder of Cowes Week title sponsor Lendy. “It was amazing, tough conditions and we had some issues, which was a bit of a shame.” said Jodie. “It was an unbelievable experience – we were given quite a rough ride round the back of the Island and I felt I was part of the team on the rail.”

    This was also the first time the seven teams competing in the 2017/8 Volvo Ocean Race lined up against each other. They took a much more aggressive approach to the line, with Spanish entry Mapfre a nose ahead at the gun. She accelerated away to a two-length lead immediately after the start, with Turn the Tide and Brunel in hot pursuit.

    CQS was at the Needles 50 minutes after her start, with the Volvo Ocean Race yachts already eroding her lead on the water. At this time it appeared to observers that the fleet was outside record time at this stage, but at 1110 navigators on board confirmed they were already ahead of projections, despite a brutal sea state thanks to gust of 40 knots in wind against tide conditions.

    Half an hour later they were past Ventnor, with Mapfre now leading the entire fleet and hitting speeds well in excess of 25 knots. They maintained this speed past Bembridge, so the big question then was whether the wind in the Solent, which at this stage was still mostly below 15 knots would build for their final leg to the finish.

    She was still hitting more than 20 knots after passing the forts between Seaview and Portsmouth, followed only a few hundred metres back by Team Brunel, Dongfeng Race Team and Team AzkoNobel. Drawing a little further ahead of her competitors as she blasted through the windward/leeward course of IRC Class 5.

    Off Osborne Bay Mapfre was still maintaining 18 knots with more than 15 minutes left to finish within the record time, so now the only question was how she would fare in Norris Nadgers, the infamous area of gusts and wind holes in the lee of the high ground off East Cowes.













    As she came within sight of race officials on the Royal Yacht Squadron’s platform it was clear that she would be within the record time. What was not apparent at that time, however, was that the next three boats would also finish inside the time set in 2013 by Mike Slade’s 100ft ICAP Leopard.

    Mapfre completed the 50-mile course around the Isle of Wight in 3 hours, 13 minutes and 11 seconds, setting a new outright Around Isle of Wight world record by a monohull yacht, beating Slade’s time by 6 minutes 58 seconds. Unlike the Volvo Ocean 65s, ICAP Leopard has powered winches. Mapfre therefore also beat the previous world record for a monohull without power assistance by an impressive margin of more than 36 minutes. Both records are subject to ratification by the World Speed Sailing Record Council.

    “We did a very good start and the manoeuvres were all very good – it’s one of our strongest points we have as a crew,” said skipper Xabi Fernandez. A lot of us have sailed together already and the new people are all good, very switched on, and things are coming together nicely.

    “We had a good start, were able to control the fleet a bit, and then we were always in the lead. It was a very close race with the other boats, there were some very fast moments, and it was great fun.”











    White Group

    Today the White Group dayboat classes had their first starts heading east from the Royal Yacht Squadron line, on a white sail reaching course in the southerly wind. Even though they had an adverse tide many started prematurely. A band of rain came through just before the Etchells start at 1025, making for a tricky start, balancing less adverse tide inshore against the big wind holes close in under the lee of the Royal Yacht Squadron.

    Phoebe Connellan’s youth team on Mano, and Murray Chapples’ Silver Lining led the fleet towards the line with a minute to go, encouraging the rest of the fleet to close the line and pull the trigger to accelerate too early. Four boats started prematurely, but only Mano returned, leaving another youth team, Oli Aldridge’s Sumo, along with Charles Glanville’s Palaver and Tom Abrey’s Jolly Roger to be scored OCS.

    Rob Tyrwhitt-Drake’s Desperate led the fleet from a windward position as they crossed the mouth of the River Medina, with Shaun and Emily Frohlich’s Exabyte a couple of lengths back and to leeward.

    At the end of their nine-mile predominately windward/leeward course Rob Elliot’s Bon Vivant took his third win of the week, 27 seconds ahead of Exabyte. Silver Lining and Desperate had the closest of tussles for third place, with the former clinching it by just one second.

    Starting at 1035, the Daring fleet was tightly bunched on the line but got away with a clean start. 30 seconds before the gun the series leader, John Corby’s Doublet, started accelerating through the fleet, hoping to overtake the Snagge, Sichel, Pegna and Gatehouse team on Darling to leeward but failed to get into clear air.

    David Gower, Jamie Clark and Peter Haworth’s Dolphin made a well timed approach, half a length ahead of the pack and in clean air when the smoke from the starting cannon cleared. Starting inshore, Andrew Norton’s Decoy picked up a useful gust and was first into the stronger breeze at the mouth of the Medina.

    Doublet took her fourth win of the week today, ahead of Dolphin and Decoy. “Overall we are looking strong but it’s definitely not over yet,” said Corby. “Over the last three years the standard of fleet has really improved – it’s definitely not easy to score a top result.

    “Today there was a navigation question over which side to pass the moorings just east of the start, so we decided to sail north of them all to be sure. It was tough out there today and a tricky helming job but Andy McLellend did a superb job of weaving through Norris Nadgers, the most difficult part. It was really fluky and it was there where I think we gained the most.

    “It was windy, that’s for sure with gusts close to 30 knots, so once we’d taken the lead we slotted into boat preservation mode because it was really on the edge. To be honest, in those conditions we would have been happy with a second.”

    At the start of the day race officials had feared they might need to cancel racing for some of the later starting fleets among the White Group dayboats, but as the morning progressed it became clear that the strongest gusts were at that stage staying to the south and west of the race area, enabling racing to be run for all classes, with the exception of the Sunbeam and Swallow fleets whose classes opted to stay ashore.

    Black Group

    The smaller boats racing closest to the central Solent were spared the worst of the strong winds until the early afternoon, when the gusts suddenly started spiking over 35 knots. However, the strong winds reached the larger boats racing in the eastern and western Solent at an earlier stage. Along with the other Black Group classes that started on the Bramble line, the Sigma 33 class therefore had their course shortened.

    Jeff Worboys’ Workout had been dominating this class, with three wins and one second place in the first four races. However, after a close race in testing conditions, Allan Fraser’s Prospero of Hamble took the winner’s gun by a margin on just eight seconds today. Toby Gorman’s Stan the Boat finished third, less than two minutes after Workout.

    IRC Class 4 has been particularly closely fought this year. After their first four races only one point separated the top three boats – Peter and Sarah Hodgkinson’s X362 Sport Xcitable, David Franks’ JPK 10.10 Strait Dealer, and Oliver Legrain’s Archambault 35 IBA Sailing Team.

    Today’s race saw Strait Dealer take her second win of the series, 28 seconds ahead of IBA Sailing Team, while Xcitable took third almost three minutes later. This leaves Strait Dealer now leading the fleet on 11 points, with Xcitable and IBA Sailing Team tied on 13 points. All three are well ahead of Mike Moxley’s HOD 35 Malice, in fourth place overall with 29 points.

    By contrast, there’s a clear leader in IRC Class 5, with Harry Heijst’s Sparkman and Stephens 41 Winsome eight points clear of Nick Munday’s J/97 Induljence. In turn, he had a 3.5 point cushion on another J/97, Bob and John Baker’s Jaywalker in third overall.

    Another clear win for Winsome today cements her class lead. Jean-Francois Nouel’s Sunfast 3200 SNSP Hakuna Matata took second place for the second day running, while Mike Sellers and Chris Miles’ J/97 Jet was third.

    A closely fought match for fourth place today saw four boats separated by only 50 seconds. They were led by another J/97, James and John Owen’s Jet, while Induljence suffered her worst result so far in sixth place.

    Youth Day

    Lendy Cowes Week actively supports and encourages the next generation of sailors, as do many of the classes that actively encourage, support and coach young sailors, including J/70s, Swallows, Etchells, Squibs and Redwings. Today was the regatta’s Youth Day, which highlights the success of the many young sailors at the event.

    This year there are 29 teams in which the entire crew is under 25. In the rankings for the Under 25 trophy Freddie Peters’ RS Elite Riff Raff tops the leaderboard, ahead of Hugo Mills’ Mermaid Sheen. Ollie Smyth’s Sonata Joey is third, just ahead of last year’s winner, Jack Davies’ J/70 Yeti.

    Today the regatta’s official charity, the Andrew Simpson Foundation appointed seven experienced dinghy sailors – Drew Gibson, Abi Clarke, Cameron Tweedle, Callum Dixon, Catherine Hunt, Edward Higson and Anthony Pinke – as youth ambassadors. All were selected for their understanding of how much of a positive impact sailing can have on young people's lives and for showing an interest in helping to promote sailing to a wider audience. The Foundation also organized a Careers Cafe at the Shepards Wharf Sugar Store, highlighting the opportunities available to young people in the marine industry.

    RESULTS

    http://www.lendycowesweek.co.uk
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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  9. #9
    WOW!!!

    A race week that actually lasts a week!

    What a concept!

  10. #10
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Team Jua Kali Report




    For Cowes: Week

    Team America/ Australia/ Mexico (Nick Mason, Karen Taves, Margot Mason, Gina Seres, Linda Venn, Ritchie Venn, Hawkeye King, Caitlin Gutekunst, Mark Howe, Vivienne Fagrell, Alex Farell, and Shana Bagley,) of Jua Kali (IRC 2) have yet to see the "local" report of "blazing sun." It must be a culturally different description of weather ...

    Despite efforts to properly dry our always wet sailing kit, our shoes and gloves have taken on an offensive odor. Without a cure, they have been hung out the window at QuokkaHouse. Other than losing them over the side, we are now accepting all ideas for reducing the stink factor.




    Wednesday's racing was like mud in your eye (or horizontal rain). We had gusty winds in the 30s and another dizzying multi-mark course. Our helmsman Nick Mason did have some serious wicked smiles with the big boat speed. Despite our tired main, we placed 4th. Last night's Montego-based band at the RORC party was off the hook. There was even a marching band playing down High Street at night in the dumping rain. Truly, this place is like no other (even if it is only for a week).


    (The real HawkGuy)

    It all made this morning's "it's blowing a hooley" race cancellation notice a bit more bearable. We so wanted a another bite at that podium apple.







    No worries. We made the best of our breezy lay day and ventured out to some
    cultural sites and jaw- dropping countryside that we had only sailed passed in prior days - such as the Osbourne House, the Needles, hiking near St Catherine's Lighthouse, and a pub made of stone. I'm sure the Island pubs and shops made a bit more coin today (hint to race marketing: its harder to spend money on your island when in the middle of the Solent).




    Not sure what happened offshore, but during today's exciting wind, maxi CQS seemed parked on a sand bar near Portsmouth.


    Jua Kali Details
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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