Please select your home edition
Edition
Fever-Tree 728x90

Coutts Quarter Ton Cup - Spectacularly close racing on Day 1

by Royal Corinthian Yacht Club on 16 Jul 2013
2013 Coutts Quarter Ton Cup - Day one Fiona Brown http://www.fionabrown.com
Once again on the opening day of the 2013 Coutts Quarter Ton Cup, there were more glamorous classes, modern classes, undoubtedly more expensive classes, but you would have to go a long way to find a class that offers more spectacularly close racing and bang for your buck than the Quarter Ton Class. Where the pace was fast and furious and four different boats claimed a race victory.


Daybreak brought hot sun, but not a breath of air and wisely Race Officer Rob Lamb promptly announced a three hour postponement giving the 26 teams time to relax, drink coffee, bimble on their boats and top up their tans. Right on time the breeze filled in and racing got underway at 14.00, as anticipated, in a relatively stable west-south-westerly breeze of 8 to 12 knots.


Louise Morton's Espada drew first blood with an excellent start and first beat to lead the fleet around mark 1. Despite plenty of challengers she sailed a text-book race to win by 51 seconds on corrected time from Willy McNeill and Mike Pascall's Illegal Immigrant with Rickard Melander's Alice II in third. Peter Morton's Bullit, helmed this week by Morty's son-in-law Ashley Curtis as Peter is unable to race due to pressure of work, took fourth, and Ian Southworth's Whiskers fifth.


Race two took three attempts to start with the first being postponed in the closing moments of the sequence due to a wind shift. On the second attempt the fleet misjudged the tide and were recalled so the race officer went to black flag for the third attempt, which kept everyone behind the line. This time it was Rob Gray and his team aboard Blackfun who took an early lead and again successfully defended to the finish. It was a tough battle though with the top nine boats all finishing within a minute of each other on corrected time with Bullit second by just seven seconds, Espada third, Illegal Immigrant fourth and Alice II fifth.


After another recall the black flag came out of its holster once again for race three, but even that wasn't sufficient to hold everyone back and Blackfun, Edward White's Joker, Jan Thirkettle's Olivia Anne VI and Paul Roberts and Jo and Sarah Assael's Bad Toad all found themselves forced to wait it out on the sidelines as the fleet raced away from them. Now it was Whiskers who rose to the top of the heap with Alice II second. Bullit and Pierre Paris' Pinguin Playboy tied for fourth place on corrected time and Diamund Foley's Anchor Challenge took fifth.


Whilst Quarter Ton racing is always incredibly close the quality of the sailing is truly exceptional and it's rare to see significant contact. Unfortunately a relatively short fair tide first beat in race four meant that the bulk of the fleet arrived at the weather mark together and mayhem ensued. Blackfun led in from the port layline while Phoenix, owned by the Welch, Fulford, Manser & Fleming partnership, came in on starboard with Bullit hard on her heels. Blackfun clearly thought they had room to squeeze in, but sadly they misjudged it and, with nowhere to go, Blackfun sailed full tilt into her transom, breaking the carbon spinnaker pole and gouging a hole in the stem. Behind them Bullit luffed hard to avoid ramming Phoenix, but unfortunately the force of the impact had caused Blackfun to spin to weather and Bullit was unable to avoid them too, making the second contact of the day. Initially Blackfun did turns but on realising later that serious damage had occurred they retired from the race.


The bumper cars theme continued at the second mark although fortunately with less serious consequences. Phoenix initially held their lead but without a spinnaker pole it was tricky to hold off the pack and on the second run they dropped back. The fleet was spread across the course on the final run, but it was Alice II, Espada, Whiskers and Illegal Immigrant that got the best of the leg by sticking to the middle of the course. The four boats rounded within seconds of each other for the final short beat to the finish. On corrected time Alice II claimed victory by seven seconds with Whiskers snatching second from Espada by a single second. Illegal Immigrant and Phoenix crossed the line seven seconds apart, correcting out to a dead heat to share fourth place.


In the overall standings Rickard Melander's Alice II, a 1990 Phil Morrison design, now has a three-point lead over Ian Southworth's Whiskers, a 1979 Joubert Nivelt, and Louise Morton's Espada, designed by Bruce Farr in 1980, who both count fourteen points. There is also a tie for fourth place with Ashley Curtis aboard Bullit, a 1979 Faroux design which won the 1979 and 80 Quarter Ton Cups, and Willy McNeil and Mike Pascall's Illegal Immigrant, designed by Ceccarelli in 1991, tied on 18.5 points.

After racing the exhausted but happy crews enjoyed sundowners, a delicious bar-b-que and a spectacular Solent sunset from the Royal Corinthian's terrace.


Tomorrow's forecast indicates we can expect another sunny morning with little wind until early afternoon when a decent sea breeze if anticipated. Up to four further races may be sailed tomorrow and the regatta continues until Wednesday 17 July. Tomorrow evening the crews will gather for the legendary Coutts Quarter Ton Cup Gala Dinner at which Paul Larsen of Vestas Sailrocket will be the guest speaker.

Top Five After Four Races
1. SWE7744, Alice II, Rickard Melander - 3,5,2,1 = 11 pts
2. GBR902R, Whiskers, Ian Southworth - 5,6,1,2 - 14 pts
3. GBR50R, Espada, Louise Morton - 1,3,7,3 = 14 pts
4. FRA7891, Bullit, Ashley Curtis - 4,2,3.5,9 - 18.5 pts
5. GBR501, Illegal Immigrant, W McNeill & M Pascall - 2,4,8,4.5 = 18.5 pts

Marine Resources BOTTOMNebo 660x82 1North Technology - Southern Spars

Related Articles

26th Annual Verve Cup winners announced
Chicago Yacht Club announces 2018 Verve Cup winners Chicago Yacht Club hosted a multinational fleet of 102 boats competing across three race circles in ten separate divisions for the 26th running of the storied Verve Cup.
Posted today at 1:10 pm
Laser Radial Youth Worlds at Kiel preview
Young Laser sailors from more than 40 nations in Schilksee There might be no other dinghy internationally as wide spread as the Laser class. The 4.23 meter long boat is just as suitable for the young sailors as for the Olympic sailors.
Posted today at 10:22 am
2018 America's Cup Hall of Fame Inductions
Ceremony and dinner to be held at the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes The Herreshoff Marine Museum / America's Cup Hall of Fame will induct John K. Marshall, Doug Peterson, Syd Fischer, and Ken McAlpine into the America's Cup Hall of Fame on August 31, 2018 at the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes, England.
Posted on 14 Aug
420 World Championships day 4
Spanish teams hold four of top nine positions after today's tight racing Very tight racing at the top of all fleets on day four at the 420 World Championships. Heavy rain did not deter the competitors as they have proved they are here to race no matter what the weather.
Posted on 14 Aug
Welsh breathes new fire in Extreme Sailing Series
Team looking to prove themselves as hot competition on home waters Crewed by a mixture of Welsh and English sailing talent, Team Wales boasts an array of racing accolades, from Olympic campaigns to European and World Championships, with many of the team having competed on Extreme Sailing Series circuit in recent years.
Posted on 14 Aug
Team GBR in the 420 Worlds at Sail Newport day 4
Conditions remain challenging for the sailors Conditions remained highly challenging for both days 3 and 4. Day 3 was again sailed outside Newport Harbour, in 80 degrees and breezes varying between 5 and 10 knots which meant very few people managed to keep large numbers off their scorecards.
Posted on 14 Aug
Ida Lewis Distance Race goes big on Friday
51 teams registered to compete in the 2018 edition With 51 teams registered to compete, the 2018 Ida Lewis Distance Race will create quite the spectacle of sail when it starts at 12:30 p.m. on Friday (August 17) between Fort Adams and Rose Island.
Posted on 14 Aug
Plenty captures Farr 40 class in Verve Cup
Great precursor to the Worlds held at Chicago Yacht Club Leif Sigmond called it a "great precursor" to the Farr 40 World Championship, and that assessment seemed spot on.
Posted on 14 Aug
Jo Aleh on the Sailing World Champs
Jo Aleh looks at the just concluded Sailing World Championships at Aarhus, Denmark After Rio, three time Olympian and Gold and Silver Medalist Jo Aleh - decided to make a break with sport and take her chances in the corporate world Here's her take on the just concluded Sailing World Championships at Aarhus, Denmark.
Posted on 14 Aug
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race day 3
Battle in the Celtic Sea The cold front that brought tough conditions to the start of the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race have now passed, with the fleet enjoying bright sunshine yesterday and a relatively calm second night at sea.
Posted on 14 Aug