Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - Unsatisfactory conditions on day 4

GBR White - Hooligan VII, Ker 40.
Day four of the Royal Ocean Racing Club's Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup was one Principal Race Officer Stuart Childerley and his team would prefer to forget.

With the best wind forecast for early morning, the 27 boats in nine teams started an hour early from a line off Peel Bank. The plan was for them to sail north to the North Ryde Middle mark and then east out of the Solent and into Hayling Bay onto a windward-leeward course.

Childerley recounted: 'The boats started reaching out towards the Forts and there were a few big holes there and then six of the boats got to St Helens [mark in Hayling Bay]. Meanwhile the rest of the fleet was being affected badly by big holes in the wind, so we had a situation where probably over half of the fleet wouldn't have finished within the time limit. So we had to abandon that one.'

There followed a long wait for the boats in the Solent to reach the new start area in Hayling Bay before a second attempt at race four of the series could be made - this time a windward-leeward in an offshore northeasterly breeze of 6-7 knots. Unfortunately as the boats were approaching the leeward mark the wind shifted hard right, by more than 90°, into the south. The race committee spotted this quickly enough to lay a new weather mark, but after the top six boats had rounded it the breeze dropped away to nothing and the fleet came to a standstill. This race was abandoned too.

Race four was abandoned after two attempts - 2014 Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup

'It was just pretty unsatisfactory,' said Childerley. 'We have had one race in this series when there was a bit of a shut down. I am trying at all costs to avoid that again.'

Unfortunately conditions for the next two days are not looking much better.

Mike Broughton, meteorologist for the Irish team, current leader in the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup, explains that there is currently an area of high pressure centred over Norway, bringing Mediterranean conditions to the UK, but making conditions difficult for yachting. 'The northeasterly wind has to come all the way across 150 miles of land to get to us and so it is very patchy and shifty. Then you have a sea breeze that is trying to make it in and is fighting it. Today we had a full on fight with no one winning. It is difficult, but it is what it is.'

Broughton says that tomorrow it could be even worse with a trough passing over, bringing rain showers.

Quokka 8 (Ireland) and Eleuthera (France Red) - 2014 Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup

RORC Vice Commodore Michael Boyd, who is the co-charterer with Niall Dowling of the Irish team's Grand Soleil 43 Quokka 8, commented: 'It was an impossibly challenging day for the PRO and I don't envy his job. In retrospect maybe he could have shortened the courses, but that is all 20-20 hindsight.'

Boyd added that he was happy with the position the Irish boats were in when the two attempts at race four were abandoned today. 'We would have advanced a few more points, but the races weren't fair. In the first there were four separate fleets.

'The forecasts we have seen for the next three days is for a declining wind. So I think we just have to sail in what God gives us and be patient. This is a sport and you just have to stay focussed and alert.'

Antix (Ireland) and Eleuthera (France Red) - 2014 Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup

Jean Philippe Cau, sailing on Hervé Borgoltz' Grand Soleil 44R, Eleuthera, in the France Red team, said that in the first attempt at race four they had been very pleased with their performance, matching Anthony O'Leary's Ker 39, Antix. He observed that when that race was abandoned there had been a gap of more than a mile between the front runners and those astern.

'And in the second race we did well also,' Cau continued. 'We were in the match with the first group of boats including Quokka, and at the weather buoy when the wind disappeared it was very difficult to pass the boats. We were not happy with Quokka [overlapped on the outside of them at the second weather mark] so we had a little fight with them! There were red flags going up!'

In addition to sailing, Cau has also been responsible for putting together the giant French four team entry in this year's event. He says he is pleased with his country's performance, particularly France Green, which includes Eric De Turkheim's radical new A13 Teasing Machine and Eric Basset's modified Farr 30, Motivé. 'If the Farr 30 is able to do reasonably well in the next races, which is especially possible in light winds, I think there is really the possibility to do well. My prognostic is that we will have two teams on the podium.'

The crew of Cutting Edge enjoy a quick dip - 2014 Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup

Tomorrow the race management team will once again aim to get racing underway at 10:00 BST. Childerley concludes: 'If we can get at least one in tomorrow, Saturday is looking more promising and, with a couple of jiggles around, we'll get the series in. But most important is that I want to give people really good racing. That is the key.'

Sail No

Bow No

Boat

Type of Boat

Team Name

Handicap

Series Points

Solent Inshore Race 1

Solent Inshore Race 2

Offshore Race
PF2.5

USA1253

26

Catapult

Ker 40

Ireland

1.210

18.5

7

4

7.5

IRL3939

25

Antix

Ker 39

Ireland

1.131

52

1

1

50

GBR2215L

27

Quokka 8

Grand Soleil 43

Ireland

1.100

55.5

23

5

27.5

FRA38757

06

Teasing Machine

A13

France Green

1.174

33.5

4

27

2.5

FRA38749

04

Chenapan3

A35R

France Green

1.042

37

9

13

15

FRA56002

05

Motivé

Farr 30

France Green

1.056

81.5

13

21

47.5

FRA35421

02

Goa

A40

France Blue

1.088

29.5

6

6

17.5

FRA36777

01

Codiam

Grand Soleil 43

France Blue

1.102

63.5

12

19

32.5

FRA35439

03

Inis Mor

Ker 39

France Blue

1.123

79

25

9

45

NED40010

17

Cutting Edge

Ker 40

GBR Red

1.199

23

10

8

5

GBR8888N

16

Cobra

King 40

GBR Red

1.118

46

3

3

40

GBR3700L

18

Fatjax

X 37

GBR Red

1.037

103.5

24

12

67.5

FRA29960

09

Pen Koent

First 40.7

France Red

1.047

52

15

17

20

NED7025

08

Eleuthera

Grand Soleil 44 R

France Red

1.111

67

8

24

35

FRA5040B

07

Beelzebuth 3

Grand Soleil 40

France Red

1.061

78.5

16

20

42.5

GBR7745R

23

Eala Of Rhu

Swan 45

Scotland

1.181

41.5

2

2

37.5

GBR8140C

24

Zephyr

First 40

Scotland

1.092

58.5

17.5

16

25

GBR7737R

22

Aurora

Corby 37

Scotland

1.094

101.5

19

25

57.5

GBR741R

19

Hooligan VII

Ker 40

GBR White

1.192

48

27

11

10

IRL39000

21

Localletterbox Zero II

Mills 39

GBR White

1.117

74.5

5

7

62.5

GBR8601R

20

INO

Corby 36

GBR White

1.081

88

11

22

55

FRA35080

10

Dunkerque Plaisance - Gill Racing Team

A35

France White

1.030

58

17.5

18

22.5

FRA35950

12

Nutmeg Sparkling Charter

J/122

France White

1.077

64.5

26

26

12.5

FRA27691

11

MUSIX

Grand Soleil 37

France White

1.026

94

20

14

60

GBR1242R

15

Yeoman of Wight

J/109

GBR Blue

1.028

54

14

10

30

GBR3213L

14

Dusty P

First 40

GBR Blue

1.079

97.5

22

23

52.5

GBR1466R

13

Diamond Jem

J/109

GBR Blue

1.025

101

21

15

65

 

Team Name

Team Points

Team Place

Ireland

126

1

France Green

152

2

France Blue

172

3

GBR Red

172.5

4

France Red

197.5

5

Scotland

201.5

6

GBR White

210.5

7

France White

216.5

8

GBR Blue

252.5

9

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