Please select your home edition
leaderboard with question mark E6 launch 2021

Contessa 32 National Championship at the Island Sailing Club, Cowes

by Martin Rouse-Collen 9 Oct 2019 10:47 PDT 4-6 October 2019
Contessa 32 Nationals at Cowes © Alex Irwin /

The Contessa 32 fleet gathered in the Solent for the National Championship, the last of the 2019 racing events, over the weekend of the 4th, 5th & 6th of October. This year's nationals were hosted by the Island Sailing Club in Cowes. With the tail end of hurricane Lorenzo giving the Solent a whipping, the PRO Peter Dickson and team had a tall order to get the six races in!

The forecast on Friday was for 20 gusting 30 knots, so the racecourse was set in the lea of the island, just east of Osbourne Bay. A 1.5 mile windward-leeward course was set, with shifting gusts at the windward mark sorting the fleet out. Merak II got ahead of the fleet to finish first, with Mary Rose Tudor (MRT) in 2nd and Blanco in 3rd.

After a quick break the fleet was off again on the same course. This time Blanco pulled out the stops to win with Merak II taking 2nd and the Belgian entry Lecas hot on their heels. One thing was sure from the races so far, this event was going to go down to the wire!

Saturday dawned in the eye of the storm. Not a stitch of breeze was seen in the Solent for the 10.30 start. AP raised and we anchored in Osbourne bay to catch some rays. Again the PRO showed us it pays to be patient. At around 12 the light breeze came in from the east 6 to 7kts and off we went. Merak II were 1st to the windward mark followed by Andaxi, Nimbus, Drumbeat, and MRT all in close combat. Merak II looked like they had it in the bag right up to the last tack, but Drumbeat went hard left and snuck in to get the win, with Merak II 9 seconds behind. The same situation was going on for 3rd place with Andaxi ahead of MRT who had also headed off to the left corner coming in fast only to be pipped by Andaxi by half a boat length.

A second Saturday race was looking likely until a big shift to the South east hit and the PRO called it a day.

The Saturday night dinner was extremely well attended by 90 people and was rounded off with speeches, as is the tradition of the class. It was apparent that by the end of the 2nd day, several boats throughout the fleet were having some very tight battles. A new prize, in the form of a bottle of champagne, was offered to the winner of 4 boats who were separated by just a few points, Connie, Carinossa, Starstreak and Coh Karek.

By Sunday the back end of the storm had arrived with 16-25kts of breeze from the west. The start line was set near Hill Head. Race 4, postponed from Saturday, was added to the schedule, so it was going to be a busy day. A windward leeward course was set for races 4 and 5 and then a short round the cans was set for the final race. Blanco went left up the first beat and picked their way up through the lumpy water to get round the windward mark first, followed by Lecas, Bugler of Hornet and Andaxi close behind. The final results stayed in the same order

Race 5 started at midday in the same short chop. Up the front, the first 3 boats were in a tight battle to the end, Blanco, Drumbeat and Merak II, all finishing within 3 minutes of each other after an hour of racing. 4th and 5th were Bugler and Lecas only 14 seconds apart.

The final race of the event started at 13.45 with a round the cans course set for some navigational work. The breeze was settling slightly and the tide had slackened a little by this point. A nice long beat followed by the rolling down wind leg gave the class a nice finish to the event. Blanco once more showed us how it was done, Drumbeat 2nd, Lecas 3rd with Merak II 4th. Again all finishing within 3 minutes of each other.

The hotly contended bottle of champagne race was close to the very end, Starstreak winning by one point to Coh Karek.

The class has ended its Solent racing on a high, with several people reporting one of the best Nationals for some time.

Thanks must go to the Island Sailing Club for the excellent race management and fine hospitality.

Contessa 32 is a one design and extremely competitive racing fleet. Anytime, anywhere and in just about any conditions you can throw at it!

Overall Results:
If you finished in the top ten at the Contessa 32 nationals then enter your Gear Guide information here

PosSail NoBoat NameHelmR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1CO 682BLANCORay Rouse31‑71117
2CO 401MERAK 11Nick Bradley122‑63412
3CO 651DRUMBEATEldred Himsworth441‑72213
4BEL 629LECASChristophe Declercq‑53525318
5CO 671MARY ROSE TUDOREd & Kate Bell2545‑7622
6GBR 8874YBUGLER OF HORNETDarren Ballard66‑934524
7CO 701ANDAXIDonna & Martin Rouse‑Collen‑77346727
8CO 776NIMBUSDan Shurman89698(DNS)40
9GBR 5500MUSCADET DE HAVELETPeter Sanderson981089(DNS)44
10GBR 3286MINSTREL BOYMartin Carter‑101081010846
11CO 753STARSTREAKRoger Shinton‑13121312111058
1270RCOH KAREKTim Devlin(DNS)DNS121112959
13GBR 6541CONNIEMark Oliver1113111414(DNS)63
14CO 718CARINOSAJo & Keith Sammons1211141313(DNS)63

Related Articles

Entries open for Cowes Week 2023
In this iconic regatta two of the most competitive classes are worlds apart At 197 years young, Cowes Week remains one of the pre-eminent regattas in the world, and this year the team expect to welcome more than 500 boats racing in 37 different classes. Posted on 17 Jan
Jeremy Rogers MBE: 1937 - 2022
One of Britain's most successful yachtsmen passes away Jeremy Rogers, one of Britain's most successful yachtsmen, made a life out of sailing from an early age, from making model boats as a small child before making his mark in yacht racing. He was as skilled with his hands as he was at the helm of a boat. Posted on 18 Oct 2022
Cowes Week 2022 overall
A spectacularly busy finish line at the Royal Yacht Squadron The last day of Cowes Week featured short, action-packed races in a solid north-westerly gradient wind, culminating in a spectacularly busy finish line at the Royal Yacht Squadron. Posted on 6 Aug 2022
Cowes Week day 6
Khumbu wins the New York Yacht Club Challenge Cup A thrilling finish for the Grand Prix yachts competing for the New York Yacht Club Challenge Cup, one of sailing's most coveted prizes, saw Christian Zugel's GP42 Tschuss lead three boats across the Royal Yacht Squadron line just 30 seconds apart. Posted on 4 Aug 2022
Cowes Week day 5
Ian Atkins' Dark 'n' Stormy wins the Britannia Cup Lighter winds this morning increased to give competitors another great day on the water, predominately in breezes of 10-18 knots. Posted on 3 Aug 2022
Cowes Week day 4
Women's Day sees a great ratio of female helms More brisk winds and warm weather provided a further day of excitement for the fourth day of Cowes Week. Sir Ben Ainslie, the most successful Olympic sailor ever, was racing today, demonstrating just how seriously the top teams take their racing. Posted on 2 Aug 2022
Cowes Week day 3
One highlight: more than 20 XODs crossed the finish line overlapped After a relaxed morning waiting for wind, Cowes Week competitors enjoyed a third successive day of glorious sailing and close racing in ideal conditions. Posted on 1 Aug 2022
Cowes Week day 2
Lashings of excitement, thrills, spills and adrenaline Warm weather, combined with winds gusting above 25 knots, provided lashings of excitement, thrills, spills and adrenaline for competitors at Cowes Week today. Long downwind legs for many classes ensured competitors came ashore with big grins. Posted on 31 Jul 2022
Cowes Week day 1
Sun and a west-south-westerly breeze that built from 10 to 15 knots The Solent delivered a sparkling and action-packed day for the start of Cowes Week, with plenty of sun and west-south-westerly breeze that built from 10 to 15 knots to give maximum gusts in the low 20s by early afternoon. Posted on 30 Jul 2022
Cowes Week Regatta Update - 17 days to go!
There is still time to enter the world's largest regatta Cowes Week is only three weeks away, so if your boat is ready and you have your crew sorted, there is still time to enter the world's largest regatta. Posted on 12 Jul 2022
ASB23-SW-1456x180-Banner-Bottom-REV-03Upffront 2020 Foredeck Club SW FOOTERHella Dual Colour Floodlights - 728 x 90px - 004 gif Bottom