Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week 2014 - Day two round-up
by Rupert Holmes/CWL on 4 Aug 2014
Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week 2014 - Family Day at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week provided another great day of racing under clear skies with a steady south-westerly breeze of 13-17 knots that built to give gusts of 20 knots by the end of the afternoon.
The Royal Yacht Squadron - Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes 2014 Rick Tomlinson
Black Group yachts starting on the Bramble line saw plenty of action at the favoured committee boat end of the line, with many starts seeing optimistic skippers attempting to barge into a none-existent space amid much shouting, before having to bail out and restart at the back of their fleet.
Most boats in IRC Class 1 were line shy, even though the tide was carrying them away from the line. Malcolm le May’s Mills 37 Thunder ll led the fleet towards the line with a minute to go, while Lime Sailing’s Sydney 40 Lime Loco took position furthest south at the pin end of the line. After the start James Gair’s Mills 39 Local Letterbox Zero ll and Mike Greville’s Ker 39 Erivale lll were first to tack onto port towards the tidal relief on the north shore of the Solent.
Thunder also tacked to port early, but was disadvantaged when she had to tack again for a boat on starboard tack within a couple of minutes, leaving Gair with a five boat length lead a few minutes into the race.
Gair was first across the finish line, but was only five seconds ahead of Belgian Francois Goubau’s lower-rated First 47.7 Moana, which took first place on corrected time. However, LocalLetterbox Zero ll saved her time on Norwegian Aasmund Drolsum’s King 40 Magic, which took third both on the water and on corrected time.
In IRC Class 3, as well as the now familiar jostling at the stern of the committee boat, there was action at the opposite end of the line, with Sailing Logic’s Reflex 38 Puma Logic crossing the line prematurely in an attempt to cross the fleet on port tack at the start. This left David Riley’s Corby 33 No Retreat! and Olivier Legrain’s A35 Amaris 2 looking well placed at the pin end of the line. However, it was Mr and Mrs Peter Morton’s JND35 Salvo that was best placed after the start, leading the pack away towards the mainland shore.
Salvo was first across the finish line three and a half hours after the start, just 11 seconds ahead of the faster-rated Puma Logic, and saved her time on the lower-rated boats in the class to win on corrected time, with Bernard Olesinski’s X-40 Xinska next across the line and taking third on handicap.
In the First 40.7 class, Pete Newlands’ Anticipation started in pole position, at full pace towards the committee boat end of the line, bearing away slightly just before the gun to ensure he remained on the correct side of the line. While this put Anticipation closer to the boat immediately astern, Britannia Lancelot, Newlands was able to maintain an advantaged lee bow position after the start and came out ahead when they both tacked away towards the north shore. Chris Russell’s E-Digital Research had a late start at the committee boat, but tacked immediately onto port, making good speed in clean air, which also saw her well placed a few minutes into the race. However, it was Paul McNamara and Tony Lowe’s Incognito that crossed the finish first, almost two minutes ahead of Anticipation, with Nick Rawbone’s Playing Around third.
Before the start of IRC Class 4 David Franks’ JPK10.10 Strait Dealer made a number of trial runs close to the committee boat. However, at the gun Franks avoided the scramble closest to the boat, starting instead in clean air a little further along the line, from where he was able to make an early tack onto port, leading the fleet away towards the Hampshire shore.
Two Dutch boats, Harry Heijst’s S&S41 Winsome and the Dehler 34 RS Fregat started in clear air near to the pin, with Heijst continuing for some time towards the Island shore. However, it didn’t appear to pay and Winsome finished eighth and Fregat further down the 28-strong fleet. Strait Dealer was first across the finish, but long-time rival in this class – Peter Scholfield’s HOD 35 Zarafa – finished just 73 seconds later to take first place on corrected time. Mike Bridge’s Elan 37 Elaine took third place, both on the water and on corrected time.
White Group action
The dayboats in White Group had a very different challenge to the Black Group Yachts for their starts on the Royal Yacht Squadron line – they were heading east, with the tide threatening to sweep boats over the line prematurely.
In the Sonar class, although the line was clear with 20 seconds to go, the nearest boats were still pointing in the wrong direction to maintain their position on the correct side of the line. Alistair Barter and Ed Suckling’s Bertie, along with Andy Cassell’s Jenny, were in the strongest stream close to the outer limit mark.
At the gun both immediately bore away and hoisted spinnakers, with Jenny getting away cleanly ahead of the fleet. However, Robert Peace’s Hibiscus came from behind with more speed to overtake by half a length. They were quickly joined by others including Lt Col DJ Peerless on Fiscal and Brian Malone on Periscope, with five boats forming a tight bunch as they sailed past the stern of the Trinity House Vessel Galatea. By the finish, Bertie was ahead of Jenny by more than two minutes, with Hibiscus second and The Shoreham Youth Team third.
As with all the other traditional dayboat classes, there are many families that sail Sunbeams, whether in the same crew or in direct competition on other boats. At the start of today’s race Malcolm Glaister’s Emily hit the line at an impressive pace moments after the gun, consolidating his advantage with a neat spinnaker hoist. Roger Wickens’ Danny was next a couple of lengths back, along with the newest boat in the fleet, Humphrey van der Klugt’s six-week old Misty, then Johnny Hornby’s Melody.
Danny was first to gybe away onto port, followed by his daughter Rebecca in Betty, Stewart Reed’s Firefly and Tim Hill’s Query. 'Gybing early definitely paid,' said Roger Wickens, '…allowing for the tide, the course to the first mark was 045 degrees. I got there first, almost at the same time as Fay [Richard Pearson]. After that for an hour it was nip and tuck with Fay, Query and Emily, but we got a 100m lead around the next mark, Wight Vodka.'
It was a tough three and a half hour course in the brisk breeze, with heavy beats in which the new boats in the fleet held a marginal advantage. The finish was close, despite the length of the race, with the first six boats crossing the line in barely more than three and a half minutes, with Danny leading ahead of Misty and Melody.
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