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Coutts Quarter Ton Cup - Fast, furious, nail-biting day 1 + Video

by Fiona Brown on 26 Jun 2012
Coutts Quarter Ton Cup 2012 © Paul Wyeth / pwpictures.com http://www.pwpictures.com
Opening action for the 2012 Coutts Quarter Ton Cup in Cowes is best summed up as fast, furious and nail-biting fun! The thirty teams enjoyed three amazing races in near perfect conditions. With only seconds separating many of the finishers, both on the water and on corrected time, the Quarter Tonners once again demonstrated why so many sailors have an enduring love affair with the class and what keeps them coming back time and time again.

From the tiny Love in a Mist, Dragon supremo Eric William's 1974 Waarschip design - the smallest and lowest rated boat in the regatta, up to Diamund Foley's 1980 Bruce Farr designed Anchor Challenge, which rates the highest, every team got a piece of the action at some point during the day.


Overall it was Peter Morton's newly refitted Bullit that put in the most consistent performance winning races 1 and 2 and coming second in race 3 to lead the regatta overall - not bad for a team sailing their boat for the first time! Whilst Bullit now has a relatively comfortable six point lead over their nearest competitor they most certainly didn't have it all their own way on the water and had to work extremely hard for their placing in each race.

Also very consistent throughout the day was Rickard Melander's 1990 Phil Morrison designed Alice who kept nipping away at the heels of the higher rated boats to end the day with a 3, 4, 3 score line putting them second overall, six points behind Bullit.


Aboard Rob Gray's Blackfun, the 1976 Laurie Davidson design he acquired earlier this year and has done considerable work on, the day got off to an average start with a tenth in race 1, but the crew then found their feet in race 2 and proceeded to go from strength to strength, adding a second and first to their card to claim third overall, three points behind Alice II and two points ahead of Sam Laidlaw's Aguila, a 1990 Vrolick design, being helmed today by John Greenwood.

Speaking after racing Alice II's pitman James Hynes paid humorous tribute to their nearest competitors saying, 'Morty's definitely pretty quick upwind, but we reckon he's a bit weak downwind which is nice so we're going to play on that for the next two days! Sid [Howlett] and the boys on Blackfun, Rob Gray's boat, are definitely good all round. They got stuck up in the first race, but in the next two races they were good so I think they're going to be ones to play with as well. And then there are a few other people who are there or there abouts. We've just got to be consistent.'



Throughout the fleet there were constant battles and every mark rounding brought close quarters drama. Remarkably the Quarter Tonners sense of fair play ensured that there were no post racing protests - a situation no doubt aided by the unofficial class rule that protests will only be accepted if lodged with a fee of a case of champagne and that protests hearings will be held from 03.00 daily!

Some of the closest action came in race 2 where Blackfun and Bullit came off the start line neck and neck and took off around the course trading tacks and gybes all the way. They were overlapped for much of the race and on the line Blackfun crossed just six seconds ahead but on corrected time victory went to Bullit by 27 seconds.

Whilst Blackfun had a relatively large 46 second winning margin in race 3 the fight for second was another humdinger in which Bullit eventually finished just one second ahead of Alice II with Tiger, helmed by reigning Coutts Quarter Ton Cup Corinthian Champion and Irish Independent/Afloat Magazine's Young Sailor of the Year George Kenefick, two further seconds back in fourth.


Post sailing Rob Gray confirmed that they are very happy with Blackfun's performance so far but confirmed just how tight the competition is saying 'She [Blackfun] certainly seems to going very well downwind and we're getting the hang of it a little bit upwind too. Morty of course has his new boat in straight out of the box going very, very fast upwind, slower downwind, and starting well, with a great team aboard. But if you look at the results, in some of the races there are seconds, literally ones and twos, between the boats. I think in the last race Morty beat Rickard by one second so it's all very tight and could go anywhere.'

The Irish have sent a strong contingent to this regatta with Tiger now lying sixth overall and several brand new teams racing in their first ever Quarter Ton Cup also putting in great performances. Diamund Foley's Anchor Challenge, which won the 2010 Coutts Quarter Ton Cup under Peter Morton's ownership and is sister ship to reigning champion Espada, was the top performing new team today.

Sadly Diamund isn't able to compete personally so Paul Gibbons is helming with former Irish Star Olympian Mark Mansfield calling the shots. A 6, 5, 6 score line puts them into fifth place overall just two points behind Aquila and four points ahead of Tiger. Also putting in impressive first timer performances were Ian Travers and Eamon Rohan's Per Eilsa and Jason and Dominic Losty's Illes Pitiuses who round out the top ten nicely in ninth and tenth respectively behind Coutts Quarter Ton Cup old timers Louise Morton aboard Espada in eighth and Darren Marston and Olly Ophaus's Cote in seventh.

Three further races are planned for tomorrow with racing concluding on Wednesday 27June. Up to nine races are scheduled with a discard coming into play once seven races have been completed.








Quarter Tonners Royal Corinthian YC website
upffront 660x82Naiad/Oracle SupplierSouthern Spars - 100

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Day 1  Overall Results

Provisional Results

Rank

Sail No

Name

Helm

Hcap

Race_1

Race_2

Race_3

Nt Pts

1

FRA 7891

Bullit

Peter Morton

0.903

1

1

2

4

2

SWE 7744

Alice II

Rickard Melander

0.906

3

4

3

10

3

NZL 3311

Black Fun

Rob Gray

0.912

10

2

1

13

4

GBR 8414R

Aguila

Sam Laidlaw

0.902

2

3

10

15

5

IRL 3087

Anchor Challenge

Diamund Foley

0.913

6

5

6

17

6

IRL 999999

Tiger

George & Neil Kenefick

0.907

9

8

4

21

7

ESP 3090

Cote

Darren Marston & Olly Ophaus

0.906

7

6

8

21

8

GBR 50R

Espada

Louise Morton

0.903

4

14

7

25

9

IRL 12296

Per Elisa

Ian Travers & Eamon Rohan

0.905

5

12

13

30

10

IRL 1392

Illes Pitiuses

Jason & Dominic Losty

0.903

16

10

5

31

11

GRE 49

Atalanti IV

George Andreadis

0.912

13

9

15

37

12

GBR 1479R

Flashheart

Rich Thoroughgood

0.888

14

11

13

38

13

GBR 902R

Whiskers

I Southworth & L Pritchard

0.902

20

7

16

43

14

GBR 7063

Love in a Mist

Eric & Philip Williams 

0.851

21

13

11

45

15

GBR 8700R

Phoenix

Welch, Fulford, Manser & Fleming

0.905

12

15

18

45

16

FRA 9371

Menace

D Morland, T Rees & J Morland

0.890

8

19

19

46

17

GBR 6498

Diamond

Graydon Dawson

0.898

15

16

17

48

18

GBR 5414R

Great Bear IV

Graham & Victoria Hetherington

0.905

22

18

9

49

19

GBR 501

Illegal Immigrant

Willy McNeill & Mike Pascall

0.903

11

21

20

52

20

GBR 6084

Sergeant Pepper

Richard & Anna Thomas

0.887

17

17

22

56

21

GBR 7055

Runaway Bus

Paul Kelsey

0.893

18

20

21

59

22

FRA 12130

Pinguin Playboy

Pierre Paris

0.901

23

24

13

60

23

IRL 7500

Supernova

Ken Lawless & Sybil McCormack

0.871

19

22

23

64

24

GBR 7557

Innuendo

Barry Byham

0.911

24

23

24

71

25

GBR 502

Catch Me

Olivia Chenevix-Trench

0.909

25

25

25

75

26

GBR 6262

Rum Bleu

Lucy Wood & Tara Stone

0.860

28

27

27

82

27

GBR 2736R

Joker

E White, J Byrne & J White

0.893

29

28

26

83

28

GBR 7300

Qtpi

Matt Greenfield

0.872

27

26

31/DNF

84

29

I 8709

Cri-Cri

Paul Colton

0.909

26

31/DNF

31/DNC

88

30

NED 2969

Freres-sur-mer

Theo Bakker & Andre Bakker

0.876

31/BFD

31/DNS

31/DNS

93