The weather in Cowes was more akin to the Mediterranean than the south coast of England as the classic fleet left the Cowes Yacht Haven under crystal clear blue skies on day three of the 2008 British Classic Yacht Club Regatta. In the full expectation of the arrival of a thermal breeze, Class Zero were dispatched on a long course to take in Lymington Bank, Prince Consort and Skandia.
Mariquita, Kelpie, The Lady Anne, Tuiga, Mariette and Sceptre made for a magnificent spectacle as they manoeuvred against each other for prime position on the Royal Yacht Squadron start line. At the gun Mariette was the first to show and immediately deployed her huge balloon spinnaker to ease her away from the pack.
Despite flying the maximum possible sail area the 138’ Herreshoff design could only just eke out progress against the strong Solent tide. As the race progressed the thermal breeze conspicuously failed to materialise and it became clear that the big boats were in for a long day on the water. When they eventually reached the Lymington Bank turning mark the crew aboard Mariette, who really need much more breeze to be competitive, were pleased to round the mark at least still in touch with the rest of the fleet.
Many hours later at around 1615 it was the vintage 12 Metre Wings with Guy Ribadeau Dumas at the helm that managed to edge her way over the finish line between Prince Consort and the RCYC flagpole. Their lead on the fleet was extensive and it was just short of an hour later that the Mariquita drifted home behind her. On corrected time Wings took a well deserved win by over an hour from the Yacht Club De Monaco’s Tuiga in second and The Lady Anne in third.
The boats over in the eastern Solent had much better conditions for their first race, with up to twelve knots of breeze. In Class Two David Murrin’s Cetewayo continued her winning ways, beating Marc Busschots Ilderim into second. The real battle in this class appeared to be for line honours between the two 8 Metre boats Ilderim and The Earl of Cork and Orrery & D Glasgow’s Athena.
As the owners of Athena told us later we love our head to head battles with the team on Ilderim. There is a rating difference but we don’t worry about IRC, we just want to beat them on the water. When the two boats tied up close together after racing and were being packed away the banter between the two crews was friendly but pointed as both teams gently lampooned the other’s race mistakes. Beer and wine was broken out and the conversations about their personal match race got more and more animated. It is hard to believe that there are two teams having more fun at this regatta.
In Class Three Brian & Yvonne Turner’s Clarion of Wight finished second on the water in the first race behind Tim Blackman’s Infanta but took the race win on corrected time. One of the smallest boats in the fleet, the 1936 built 5 Metre Class Sensa owned by C van Rijckevorsel, split Infanta and Clarion of Wight and claimed second place.
In Class Four Barry & Lorraine Bristow’s Foglio won the race on the water but had to settle for third place on corrected behind Bill Hogg’s Zaleda in second and the ever consistent Roger Dann aboard Leonie in first. Despite being relegated to third Barry Bristow told us that he had enjoyed his day of racing. ‘The sun was shining and we were going well thanks to our tactician Henry Bagnall who was only here because he was standing in for his mum who normally sails with us. He was great and helped us with the tides today.’ Provisional Results for Day Two:
3rd The Lady Anne
2nd Quiver V
1st Clarion of Wight
2nd Charm of Rhu
1st Sinbad of Abersoch
2nd A Day at the Races
As results, press releases and photographs become available during the regatta they will be posted on the RCYC website at www.rcyc.co.uk
> . Video from the start of the Class Zero boats on Monday and other images captured at the regatta can be found on the Offshore Rules website at www.offshorerules.com