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International 14 Prince of Wales Cup Week at Royal Cornwall Yacht Club - Day 4

by Dominic van Essen 30 Aug 01:48 PDT 26-30 August 2019

The fourth day of the I14 POW week featured absolutely glamorous sailing in Falmouth bay, with sunshine, moderate waves, and a 12-15 knot breeze against the spectacular backdrop of the Cornish coastline.

With these conditions, racing was exciting throughout the 24-boat fleet, which included competitors from France, Germany, Italy and even Essex. In this report, your authors - sailing in the Italian-Anglo team - will unashamedly focus on the action deep down the fleet, although we gather that there was plenty of action at the front, too.

Race 1 started cleanly, with the combination of wind & wave direction providing a tough and rather wet 'slapping' sensation on starboard tack; a major factor driving the decision of when to tack was thus the need to dry-off onto the slippery and much-faster port tack (as well as other tactical aspects which other boats may have considered). The Germans quickly established a commanding position way up the fleet ahead of the French and Italians, never to be closed. Meanwhile, the Italians suffered from an unforced spinnaker-rigging error, that quickly converted itself into a long capsize, sealing the finishing order within the international competition.

A short game of aquatic musical-chairs was played between races, as various boats returned home early, and were replaced by a similar number of late-starting teams.

Race 2 was a sausage-triangle-sausage course, with the gybe mark set in a tantalizingly easy-to-lay position on the first lap (when it was not yet part of the course). However, by the second lap it seemed (to us at least) to have teleported to a near-impossible-to-lay position, that demanded a significant part of the first downwind leg be two-sailed in 'spray-in-your-face' mode, before daring to hoist the kite within spitting distance of the mark, gybe, and realize that the leg to the leeward gate was even tighter and scarier! Good tight-reaching skills in breeze were paramount, and any competitive hopes that we had nurtured were snuffed by the good sailing of the two Cornish teams in front of us.

More team-switching ensued with boats arriving/returning as well as others retiring before race 3, which began with a noticeably-shorter start line and in still fresher wind. With these frisky conditions, the often-used but little-appreciated pre-start tactic of capsizing seemed appropriate, and - to the probable envy of the fleet - we managed to pull this off with some flair. Once upright and finally across the line, it was next the turn of the French to attempt this manoeuvre, but with the added finesse of a broken trapeze-line, which effectively ended their race. The fleet stayed comparatively tight around the course, with the Italians chasing the almost-Italian Pascali team, to the delight of the Falmouth 'party-ferry' as it motored past them directly through the starboard lay line.

After three intense races, a relaxing sail back to Falmouth was just what all the competitors needed. It wasn't what they got, though. A very gusty wind of zero to 15 knots with 180-degree wind-shifts, combined with heavy ferry & fishing traffic, as well as low-flying helicopters, meant that there was no respite until the boats were ashore and on trolleys, and we could enjoy the beer in the dinghy park and listen to all the chat about the deadly luffing battles and other exploits that allegedly occurred at the front of the fleet.

Results after Day 4:

PosSail NoBoat NameHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1st1553ScrumpetNeal JonesEd FitzGeraldItchenor SC111‑214
2nd1556Helly the PellyDaniel HolmanAlex KnightNetley SC‑5521210
3rd1558Jack HawkinsChris ThomasWPNSA3‑1143414
4th1566DragonAndy FitzGeraldRich DobsonItchenor SC44(OCS)4820
5th1548Beast 2Julian PearsonRichard SheridanNetley SC12‑1336627
6th1544PamelaAndy ShawRob StruckettItchenor SC7‑1098529
7th1557Amazing MaisieKatie NurtonCameron TweedleRoyal Yacht Squadron89(DNC)5729
8th1523Tartan FrauleinKimball MorrisonJeremy FrowkeItchenor SC13‑1667935
9th1561MarilynDouglas PattisonMark TaitItchenor SC26(RET)DNC337
10th2TrinityTobias MerkelJan‑Martin LuhrsFlensborg YC10‑215131139
11th1529Flesh & BloodRobin PascalMartin PascalItchenor SC11‑171091343
12th1527Blue FirePhil McDanellLuke BroughtonItchenor SC17‑197121046
13th1531Eagle 2Andy PenmanChris WatsonItchenor SC14121114(DNC)51
14th1554Magic RoundaboutPete CrockfordTom StacpoleRetronguet SC‑23208151255
15th1534Carbon CatapaultJulian AntierBoris FritschCSL Ufolep / CNBPP19151311(RET)58
16th1565ZogArchie MasseyHarvey HillaryItchenor SC68(DNC)DNCDNC66
17th1503FawkesTristan Walker‑HuttTom ClaytonMarconi SC20714(RET)DNC67
18th1488ElizabethDominic van EssenSimona SaccaniItchenor SC21‑2215171467
19th1517PoppetGeorge YeomanJack YeomanItchenor SC152(RET)DNCDNC69
20th1599Penguin DanceAndy PartingtonTom PartingtonHayling Island SC163(DNC)DNCDNC71
21st1530Smash ItMartin JonesCharlie ElliottItchenor SC(DNC)DNC1210RET74
22nd1568Pat CliftonLiam StacpoleWayne BarnicoatRestronguet SC914(DNC)DNCDNC75
23rd1500Jack Elsby‑HartmanHugo HeleneRoyal Cornwall YC1818(DNC)16DNC78
24th1539FandangoDavid WilliamsIan LodderItchenor SC2223(DNC)DNCDNC97
25th1562AgnesAlasdair CattenachPaul AndersonPrestwick SC(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC104

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