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Cowes Classics Week News

Magnus Wheatley of Charles Stanley Direct presents the Charles Stanley 1792 Cup to overall winners, Swallow sailor Mike Wigmore and crew of Gwaihir. © Rick TomlinsonThe winner of the 10th Charles Stanley Direct Cowes Classics Week put his success down to a bit of practice and the tightly competitive Swallow fleet which keeps him on his toes year round. Mike Wigmore and his crew, who brought his Swallow Gwaihir across the Solent from Itchenor, explained “It’s great coming to the Classics.  We love the combination of windward leeward sailing and round the cans courses.  I can truly say we’ve never had a better regatta.” Gwaihir won with the lowest points score across the fifteen classes and divisions taking part.

Mike made his comments despite Charles Stanley Direct Cowes Classics Week (CSDCCW) wrapping up with three days of racing out of a potential five when the last two days had to be cancelled due to winds in the Solent pushing toward 30 knots. In typical Cowes fashion the weather presented the 170 entries with every scenario from kedging calm to stay-in-port howlers. Despite this, competitors enjoyed a great mix of sailing conditions and courses.

Luckily, enough races had been completed to fulfil the series for all classes. Winner of the largest class, the X One Designs, was 19-year old Max Crowe. “I always like to keep an eye on where everyone is on the race course,” he said, explaining his winning tactics.  Max has been sailing the boat for four years, honing his skills in Cadets and Oppies. “We had a very good week, very well organised.”

Another well-earned series victory went to Andrew Milliband sailing Fifty Fifty in the Flying Fifteen class. Celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Uffa Fox-designed keelboat, which first appeared in 1947, the occasion attracted sixteen boats including a crew from South Africa, sailing Durban Flyer. “We sail Flying Fifteens regularly in Durban and wanted to come to England to celebrate the anniversary,” said owner Campbell Alexander, whose crew Jeremy Kriek also made the trip. A special race was abandoned on the Monday due to lack of wind, with all yachts eventually retiring despite a promising start. As Durban Flyer was the last to do so she was awarded the anniversary trophy, the Queen Victoria Jubilee Cup.

1922 Seaview Mermaid Cynthia on show on her mooring before being awarded the Concours d'Elegance © Rick TomlinsonPlenty of other winners across the fleets picked up a large collection of historic silverware. Murdoch McKillop’s Saskia was the winning yacht amongst the four majestic 8-metres that competed while John Corby took first place in the Daring Class, also claiming the Metre Regatta Trophy.  Racing on the same circuit were the Solent Sunbeams, won by Martin Jones in Betty. Of the eight Bembridge One Designs, BOD8, sailed by James Rowe emerged victorious.

The mixed fleets of Classic Cruisers saw wins for S&S 43 Firebrand, built in 1964  in ‘Red 1’ class and Lawrence Wride’s 1967-built Sunmaid V in ‘Red 2’. Mike Harrison’s 1965 Contessa 26 Jiminy Cricket won Blue while Richard Hargreaves’ 47 year old Twister Sea Urchin took victory in Green.  Claire Locke, helming her Folkboat, The Otter, was the winner of her class.

A special seamanship award was presented to Doctor Steph Brown, who was crewing on Flying Fifteen Fram Freyr, holding on to second position  in the race, when she witnessed a nearby collision between a Dragon and Flying Fifteen. Giving up her place in the race she went to the aid of a concussed crew who was subsequently taken to hospital and given 24 stitches in his head.

The opening Winkworth Race Day witnessed light airs and shifting winds, presenting a mixture of fortunes across the competing fleets. One of the first to show her winning colours was Andrew Pearson’s wooden 10 metre yacht Bojar, 80 years old this year, in the ‘Classic Yacht Red 1’ class.  Along with three other divisions, Classic Red II, Blue and Green, the cruisers sailed mid-Solent courses from the Royal London’s shore line off the Parade at Cowes.  A gybing duel between the modern Pippa and the 1972 Firebrand, a one off Sparkman & Stevens 43 owned by Ramona-Ann Gale, illustrated the contrasts between the traditional characters of the many yachts at the regatta.  Bojar’s tactician Nick Ryley, summarised the day for the Classic Cruiser divisions, saying “We had everything up and down today including the anchor!”

8-metre Helen carves her way through the Daring Fleet  © Rick TomlinsonPerfect 12-14 knot conditions provided spectacular racing on the second Henri Lloyd Race Day. A dozen each of the Flying Fifteens and Solent Sunbeams raced from committee boat lines along with the 8 metres, Bembridge One Designs and Swallows. The honour of taking home the overall cup for the day, the perpetual Henri Lloyd Trophy went to Martin Jones and his crew on Betty in the fiercely competitive Solent Sunbeam fleet, which took two firsts on the day. “It’s all about the start,” said Martin, who normally sails an International 14. “We were very lucky both times to get off the line and into clean air. Once we had the lead we just seemed to keep hold of it.”

Tuesday was a black day for the XODs whose normally 43 strong fleet was reduced when a quarter were disqualified for being over the line at the start of the second race. Race Office Bob Milner reported “After a first general recall we were forced to black flag the second race… and the third.”   A double winner on Tuesday’s committee boat courses today was John Corby who was back again once again on Doublet, to take two firsts in the 14 strong Daring fleet. John rescued the 45 year old Doublet from a local yard for just £10 before going on to completely restore her two years ago.

Meanwhile, for the four Classic Cruiser classes “it was quite hard work for the crews in the building breeze,” according to Circuit Race Officer Derek Hodd.  The conditions suited Richard Hargreaves’ 1970-built Twister Sea Urchin who beat three fellow Twisters in the ‘Green’ class and taking first in the class overall.  Claire Locke’s Nordic Folkboat The Otter, built in 2001 but designed way back in 1941, remained unbeatable amongst the Nordic and International Folkboats.

Wednesday’s Haines Boatyard Race Day saw close racing amongst the Folkboats, Twisters, SCODs and Contessa 26s. The day was only slightly marred by a collision resulting in broken spreaders for Folkboat Samphire, but undaunted, owner James Hoare was able to replace them before the following day.  Sailing over the same course Twister Sea Urchin took her second win of the series. “She’s a hard boat to beat,” said Peter Mulville of sister-Twister Viveza. “There is intense rivalry amongst our small fleet when we are racing,” he says.  The CSDCCW is the only time of the year that we all come together.  We put everything into getting the best performance out of our boats.”  This is despite the fact that Viveza is 45 years old. “She was built by my father in the garden, and passed from him to me,” adds Peter.  “She’s never had another owner.”

With the next two days of racing cancelled, crews stayed ashore, but a stroll along the docks of Cowes revealed at close quarters several of the one-offs and yachts with stories. Catching the eyes of the spectators when they were racing included the largest boat in the fleet, Mistral, a Hereshoff designed 82 ft schooner, built in 1938.  Christoph Schlotjunker has owned her since 1996 and has put her through two major restorations.  Mistral was a navy vessel, patrolling the coast of the USA during World War II in search of U-Boats.  Later she was the first training ship of the US Navy to sail across the Atlantic under the command of a female captain to participate in the coronation ceremony of Queen Elizabeth II. A wonderful sight at CSDCCW Mistral carried an array of sails including the gollywobbler. According to her crew, she can withstand most conditions, so she would have cut smoothly through the high winds that plagued the last part of the week, which can be so uncomfortable for small keelboats and more delicate vintage yachts.
 
Another competitor which stood out from the crowd was an unusual looking small yacht which was racing amongst Contessa 26s and Old Gaffers. Named Eeyore in honour of the gloomy situation in which she was found “behind a Nottingham power station”, she has been restored to meet the pre-1975 design rule of the CSDCCW.  “She was an Alacrity, built in 1964,” explains owner and restorer Jo Richards. “I took the deck off and put on a different one which I just happened to have lying around, and then refitted the boat.” Eeyore put in a second and a third during the event.
 
There were a number of one day appearances from other pre-war classes. On the Tuesday a nine-strong class of Squibs made a special appearance for one day.  Designed over half a century ago, the Squibs made their annual journey from Fishbourne in the east of the Isle of Wight. A Solent voyage was also undertaken by Wednesday’s special guests, the Victory class, all built in 1934, who sailed to Cowes from Portsmouth. Like the XOD and the Solent Sunbeam the Victory was designed by Alfred Westmacott. Six of them raced three windward leeward courses with top slot on points going to Mark Dennington’s Ziva. The class continues to thrive, with new GRP boats being built in the last few years. 

Another vintage Solent class, the Bembridge One Design, competed in all the races. A class whose owners all periodically vote to collectively make major upgrades to keep their boats identical, the BOD fleet was built between 1933 and 1935, and all have since been restored and then re-decked in 1989. Jos Coad, sailing the simply-named BOD 12, who was Class Captain for 20 years, said, “The BODs have been coming to CSDCCW since 2009. The courses are ideal for our fleet.”
 
Classic yacht racing continues to grow in popularity with stories of the rescue and restoration of forgotten relics continuing to emerge. The CSDCCW was the ultimate goal for Cynthia, one lovingly restored and gleaming Seaview Mermaid, a Westmacott design built in 1922. Cynthia just managed to make the start line this week after an eight year project by her owners. The efforts of Mike Randall, John Turner and Jamie Nimmo were recognised when they collected the regatta’s Classic Boat Magazine Concours d’Elegance. Not yet quite measuring as a Seaview Mermaid, Cynthia raced in the ‘Classic Dayboats’ class alongside Swallows, a Dragon and a Tempest. The opening race was her very first outing.   

Another clutch of historic yachts emerging in mint condition are the Vintage Dragons. Tim Street, who has been instrumental in promoting and encouraging restorations, says “We are still finding Dragons to restore, including one recently found in a barn in the New Forest.” His two sons and grandson continue the Dragon sailing tradition - son Rupert raced Tschuss to second place at the CSDCCW although he was edged from first place by Matthew Lingley’s Kestrel.
 
Through the week the Royal London’s race management was supported by the Royal Ocean Racing Club, Royal Victoria Yacht Club, Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club and Island Sailing Club. 

Charles Stanley Direct Cowes Classics Week is grateful to supporting sponsors Haines Boatyard, Winkworth, Harken, Red Funnel, Cowes Harbour Commission, Kendalls Fine Art and Classic Boat magazine, and for the first time Henri Lloyd.
 
There is already a buzz amongst competitors looking forward to the next Cowes Classics Week, which returns again from 23 - 27 July 2018. More first time yachts are already indicating their intention to come along, including Bloodhound, the 1936 Camper & Nicholson design which has confirmed her intention to enter next year.  The elegant classic 12 metre ocean cruiser/racer was built in 1936 and was owned by the Duke of Edinburgh between 1962 and 1969.

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Photo credits; Rick Tomlinson.

Media enquiries and image requests:

Marina Johnson
Charles Stanley Direct Cowes Classics Week Press Officer
Clearline Communications Ltd
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Telephone: 07774 623 539

MistralThe blustery wind strengths and sea state caused by wind over tide that greeted sailors as they made their way to their boats for the fourth day of racing at the 10th Charles Stanley Direct Cowes Classics Week, reluctantly have forced the race committee to cancel racing for today.

PRO Gill Smith made the announcement, saying “The decision to cancel all racing today was taken after extensive consideration of all information available and in the light of wind strength forecasts for the afternoon. Having consulted a range of forecasts, all indications are for a minimum wind strength of some 20 knots with gusts well above that. In addition, professional forecasts are showing a building situation through the afternoon, including potential gusts in excess of 40 knots .

Three race committees had to put to sea and monitored conditions for a period of well over one hour; they reported unacceptable and unsafe sea conditions which were considered unlikely to abate until well into the afternoon, even with the turn of the tide.

As a result it was decided that there was no alternative than to cancel the racing for the day.“

Today's racing was sponsored by Harken who have kindly agreed to make a donation to the Charles Stanley Direct Cowes Classics Week official charity the Cowes Sea Cadets.

Chairman of the event Sir Richard Ottaway comments “A further and final day of racing is planned for tomorrow (Friday) if conditions permit. We look forward to welcoming all classes back on the water.”

Mistral is a Hereshoff designed 82 ft schooner, built in 1938, which is taking part in Charles Stanley Direct Cowes Classics Week. She has been owned by Christoph Schlotjunker since 1996 who has put her through two major restorations, and she is now looking immaculate. The yacht was a navy vessel and during the Second World War patrolled the coast of the USA in search of U-Boats. Later she was the first training ship of the US Navy to sail across the Atlantic under the command of a female captain to participate in the coronation ceremony of Queen Elizabeth II. A wonderful sight at the Charles Stanley Direct Cowes Classics Week, Mistral carries an array of sails including the gollywobbler. With her current owner she has crossed the Atlantlic a number of times to race with schooners in Nova Scotia and according to her crew she can withstand most conditions. Today's high winds would have been no problem for her but sadly racing has been cancelled.

Charles Stanley Direct Cowes Classics Week is grateful to supporting sponsors Haines Boatyard, Winkworth, Harken, Red Funnel, Cowes Harbour Commission, Kendalls Fine Art and Classic Boat magazine, and for the first time Henri Lloyd.

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Photo credits; Rick Tomlinson.

Media enquiries and image requests:

Marina Johnson
Charles Stanley Direct Cowes Classics Week Press Officer
Clearline Communications Ltd
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Telephone: 07774 623 539

AP over AThe decision to cancel all racing today was taken after extensive consideration of all information available and in the light of wind strength forecasts for the afternoon. Having consulted a range of forecasts, all indications are for a minimum wind strength of some 20 kts with gusts well above that.

In addition, professional forecasts are showing a building situation through the afternoon, including potential gusts in excess of 40 kts.

Three race committees had put to sea and monitored conditions for a period of well over one hour; they reported unacceptable and unsafe sea conditions which were considered unlikely to abate until well into the afternoon, even with the turn of the tide.

As a result it was decided that there was no alternative than to cancel racing for today

. ……………………………………….

Gill Smith
Principal Race Officer

Thursday 20 July 2017

Victory CCW 17RT1305The Victory class sailed across the Solent today from their very own Portsmouth-based Victory Class Sailing Club which was established in 1934, the same year that the first yachts were built, to make a first ever one-day guest appearance at the Haines Boatyard Race Day of the 2017 Charles Stanley Direct Cowes Classics Week (CSDCCW).

Designed by Alfred Westmacott, six Victories enjoyed three windward leeward courses with wins going one each to three boats Ziva, Zarena and Zelia but top slot on points went to Mark Dennington’s Ziva. The Victory class continues to thrive, with new GRP boats being built in the last few years. Zoe Whittaker of Zelia reported “The class came over to CSDCCW for the first time to see what it was all about. Racing was very close and we had to play a lot of shifts upwind into the south close to the island shore.” Zelia helm Geoff Dixon added “The Victories are a very tight class, with only seconds of separation.” The Victory is similar in looks to the X One Design, which has a fleet at the regatta, and like the XOD, is designed for the conditions in the Solent.

BOD CCW 17RT1327On the same circuit, close to the Island shore the Bembridge One Designs, another Solent class, also raced tight courses. All the owners in the class periodically vote to collectively make major upgrades to keep their boats identical. The BODs were built between 1933 and 1935, and have since been restored and then re-decked in 1989. Jos Coad, sailing the simply-named BOD 12, who was Class Captain for 20 years, said, “The BODs have been coming to CSDCCW since 2009. The courses are ideal for our fleet – we aim for two 90 minute races each day.” They had good racing despite being slightly underpowered due to making a whole-class choice to carry storm mainsails, the smaller of two mains from which the class makes a selection each day. A F5 wind which was anticipated didn’t materialise on their sheltered race course. James Rowe in BOD 8 holds onto first place after five races with a first and third today.

Cruisers CCW 17RT1561The Classic cruisers sailed one race today on a course which largely followed the windward leeward format but over a larger stretch of the Solent. A beat westwards toward Newtown on the Island shore was followed by runs back along the middle of the Solent. The fleet split to the north and south but there was still some tight racing especially amongst the Folkboats, Twisters, SCODs and Contessa 26s. A collision resulted in broken spreaders for Folkboat Samphire, but undaunted, owner James Hoare went to the mainland to locate replacements so that he and his crew can be back in contention tomorrow (Thursday). After a win today Ado Jardine sailing Nordic Folkboat Tak holds onto second place overall in the Folkboat class after three days of racing, behind Claire Locke and her crew in The Otter.

Sailing over the same course Twister Sea Urchin took her second win of the series. “She’s a hard boat to beat,” said Peter Mulville of sister Twister Viveza. “There is intense rivalry amongst our small fleet when we are racing,” he says. The CSDCCW is the only time of the year that we all come together. We put everything into getting the best performance out of our boats.” This is despite the fact that Viveza is 45 years old. “She was built by my father in the garden, and passed from him to me,” adds Peter. “She’s never had another owner.”

Eeyore CCW 17RT1507With a rating similar to the 25’ 2” Nordic Folkboat but measuring only 18’ 6”, an unusual looking yacht stands out in the small ‘Blue’ Fleet. She is Eeyore and she is competing against, amongst others, Contessa 26s and Old Gaffers like the pretty Winifrid, based on an 1894 Hereshoff design. Named in honour of the gloomy situation in which she was found “behind a Nottingham power station” by current owner Jo Richards, Eeyore has been restored to meet the pre-1975 design rule of the CSDCCW. “She was an Alacrity, built in 1964,” explains Jo. “I took the deck off and put on a different one which I just happened to have lying around, and then refitted the boat.” Eeyore isn’t yet up with the winners, having only sailed two of three races but a second and third is making her a threat to leader Mike Harrison on Jiminy Cricket, a Contessa 26.

The 10 metre Bojar and S&S 43 Firebrand enjoyed some very close racing just inches apart, only briefly interrupted by Bojar’s bowman being knocked overboard but quickly recovered from the water. Bojar’s delay gave first place away to Firebrand by just 10 seconds on corrected time.

Racing continues tomorrow until Friday for all classes including Darings, XODs, 8 metres, Swallows, Solent Sunbeams and Vintage Dragons.

The organising club, the Royal London Yacht Club, is supported by the Royal Ocean Racing Club, Royal Victoria Yacht Club, Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club and Island Sailing Club. The event is famous for its apres-race social programme including the daily RLYC tea parties for competitors.

Charles Stanley Direct Cowes Classics Week is grateful to supporting sponsors Haines Boatyard, Winkworth, Harken, Red Funnel, Cowes Harbour Commission, Kendalls Fine Art and Classic Boat magazine, and for the first time Henri Lloyd.

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Photo credits; Rick Tomlinson.

Media enquiries and image requests:

Marina Johnson
Charles Stanley Direct Cowes Classics Week Press Officer
Clearline Communications Ltd
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Telephone: 07774 623 539

Sunbeam Betty CCW 17RT0801Perfect conditions provided a recipe for spectacular racing on the second day of the 10th Charles Stanley Direct Cowes Classics Week.  12 to 14 knots of breeze blowing steadily from the east were the ingredients for the starts of today’s Henri Lloyd Race Day, on the four committee boat courses in the mid-Solent. 

The heat was on to take home the overall cup for the day, the perpetual Henri Lloyd Trophy donated by Henri Strezlecki, the late founder of the clothing company, 20 years ago.  The honour went to Martin Jones and his crew on Betty in the fiercely competitive Solent Sunbeam fleet, who took two firsts in the day’s racing. “It’s all about the start,” said Martin, who normally sails an International 14 and was making a guest appearance on Betty.  “We were very lucky both times to get off the line and into clean air.  Once we had the lead we just seemed to keep hold of it.”

XOD CCW 17RT0666The day was not without its dramas, especially on the X One Design start line which, by the time racing was finally underway in race 2, had lost a quarter of its fleet, 10 boats, to black flag disqualifications.  The first race was won cleanly by Penelope Fulford’s Rachel, which led throughout the race in what was a very tight fleet – but then the tide turned and fun began.  Race Office Bob Milner reported “After a first general recall we were forced to black flag the second race … and the third.  Like Betty, also attributing their success to winning the start was Ibex, which won the second raceOliver James, who was on the Ibex team mused “It was a day of many starts,” adding “Conditions were great for the XODs.  We got a clean start with a lot less boats in the way and managed to extend our lead around the course.” 

Another double winner on the committee boat courses today was John Corby who was back again once again on Doublet, to take two firsts in the 14 strong Daring fleet. John rescued the 45 year old Doublet from a local yard for just £10 before going on to completely restore her two years ago. “Credit has to go to the crew,” he says “including my helmsman Andrew McLelland. We had great conditions although the wind built to the top end of the Daring range towards the finish, so that we were almost surfing downwind.”

SCOD Adelie CCW 17RT1237Meanwhile, the four classes for larger Classic Cruisers raced round the cans taking a first beat westwards and a number of legs to the east of Cowes.  “It was quite hard work for the crews in the building breeze,” said Circuit Race Officer Derek Hodd.  “We gave three upwind legs to the larger two classes and two to the smaller ones.”  The conditions suited Richard Hargreaves’ 1970-built Twister Sea Urchin who beat three fellow Twisters in the ‘Green’ class and taking first in the class overall.  Fighting it out in Green too were the South Coast One Designs (SCOD), the 25ft 11in long-keeled cruiser/racer designed in 1955.  Jake Tari’s Stirling had a strong 14 minute lead at the finish over second placed Adelie (Barry Corke).

Also in Green, Nordic Folkboat The Otter, built in 2001 but designed way back in 1941, remained unbeatable amongst the Nordic and International Folkboats after two days of racing. Owner Claire Locke was able to see off Ado Jardine in Tak who had to settle for second place.

Today a nine-strong class of Squibs made a special appearance for one day only to race from a committee boat line set further to the east. The Squib class, designed over half a century ago, made its annual journey from Fishbourne in the east of the Isle of Wight for a superb day of racing, especially for winner M Harrison in Hussar.

Durban Flyer ff CCW 17RT0788Racing continues tomorrow until Friday for all classes including Bembridge One Designs, 8 metres and Vintage Dragons.

The organising club, the Royal London Yacht Club, is supported by the Royal Ocean Racing Club, Royal Victoria Yacht Club, Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club and Island Sailing Club.  The event is famous for its apres-race social programme including the daily RLYC tea parties for competitors.
 
Charles Stanley Direct Cowes Classics Week is grateful to supporting sponsors Haines Boatyard, Winkworth, Harken, Red Funnel, Cowes Harbour Commission, Kendalls Fine Art and Classic Boat magazine, and for the first time Henri Lloyd.

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Photo credits; Rick Tomlinson.

Media enquiries and image requests:

Marina Johnson
Charles Stanley Direct Cowes Classics Week Press Officer
Clearline Communications Ltd
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Telephone: 07774 623 539

Bojar CCW 17RT0315The opening Winkworth Race Day of the 10th Charles Stanley Direct Cowes Classics Week witnessed a huge mixture of fortunes in today’s (Monday) light airs which saw winds constantly shifting, presenting a mixture of fortunes across the competing fleets.

Andrew Pearson’s wooden 10 metre yacht Bojar, which is 80 years old this year, was today’s winner of  ‘Classic Yacht Red 1’ class which sailed a mid-Solent course, starting out, as did the other three Classic Cruiser classes, on the east going tide from the Royal  London Yacht  Club’s shore line off the Parade at Cowes.  After rounding the first couple of marks the yachts were faced with a long run against the tide back to Gurnard where the race was eventually shortened.  A gybing duel between Ted Fort’s modern classic Tofinou 9.5 Pippa and Firebrand a one off Sparkman & Stevens 43 owned by Ramona-Ann Gale, was taking place behind Bojar (pictured right) but as the trio crossed Cowes Roads the latter’s heavy displacement meant it was prudent to briefly kedge to prevent her drifting backwards and the lighter modern design of Pippa enabled her to ghost past, as did Firebrand.  But Bojar’s delay didn’t dent her performance on corrected time although her win didn’t come easily.  “We had everything up and down today including the anchor” reported her tactician Nick Ryley, summarising many of the experiences of the Classic Cruiser division.

Wins in the other cruiser classes went to SCOD Adelie in the ‘Green’ class, Nordic Folkboat The Otter, in the Folkboat class, Contessa 26 Jiminy Cricket in the ‘Blue’ class and Sunmaid V in the ‘Red II’ class.

FlyingFifteen CCW 17RT0071The day did not turn out quite as planned for the much anticipated celebration of the Flying Fifteens’ 70th anniversary race.  The Uffa Fox designed keelboat, which first appeared in 1947, was the first off the start line this morning, but as Race Officer Derek Hodd explained “The wind that was forecast didn’t arrive until later in the day moving between easterly and northerly, finally settling back into the east.”  Although the wind did kick in eventually it was too late for the 28-strong Flying Fifteen class, which suffered from the morning’s light winds - even a delay caused by a general recall of their first start did nothing to improve their chances of a better breeze.  The first leg was full of promise for Justin Waples’ Sparks and Bubbles Take Two which accelerated fast away from the start to lead to the first mark, followed closely by Richard Triffitt’s Triffs , but the decreasing wind left the fleet struggling on the long downwind leg against the tide.  One by one decisions were made to retire, with the last to give in being Campbell Alexander’s Durban Flyer.  The day still needed to be celebrated so the anniversary trophy, the Queen Victoria Jubilee Cup, was awarded, with unanimous approval, to Durban Flyer’s South African crew.   Like all the other classes the Flying Fifteens have four more days of racing to look forward to so a chance to put in some results.

Fortune smiled more kindly on the rest of the classes which took part in an all-comers Pursuit Race today.  Not part of the four day series for these classes which starts tomorrow, the one-off race was postponed for a short while but got underway in the early afternoon in a more promising breeze.  A few minutes separated the competing classes, which included the XODs, Swallows, Solent Sunbeams and Darings along entries from the Tempest and Vintage Dragon class and two of the competing 8 metres.  “The planned 90 minutes race was just right,” said David Priscott, competing on XOD Thora.  “It was incredibly close right from the half way point – after the front runners got away, the rest of the fleet was very tight.  Those of us in the fleet who spotted some wind right up on the shore on the first beat really helped us to get ahead.”  Gaining and maintaining a lead for much of the race,  XOD 64 Michael O’Donnell’s Lightwood held on but was finally pipped just a couple of yards from the finish by Solent Sunbeam Jabberwocky which had worked hard at Lightwood’s heels to gain victory.

With today’s racing complete the Classic Cruiser classes already have a race under their belts but for the rest of the fleets tomorrow is the start of the four day series.  The X One Design, 43 strong will dominate the skyline in the mid Solent tomorrow (Tuesday) while more than a dozen each of the Flying Fifteens and Solent Sunbeams  will race from committee boat lines as well as the 8 metres, Bembridge One Designs and Swallows.  The Vintage Dragon numbers have grown to seven this year as more are being restored and the class is likely to grow further.  The Seaview Mermaids and National Squibs will be appearing for one day each too.

The organising club, the Royal London Yacht Club, is supported by the Royal Ocean Racing Club, Royal Victoria Yacht Club, Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club and Island Sailing Club.  The famous RLYC tea parties are once again being held every afternoon and there’s a full programme of evening events. 
 
Charles Stanley Direct Cowes Classics Week is grateful to supporting sponsors Haines Boatyard, Winkworth, Harken, Red Funnel, Cowes Harbour Commission, Kendalls Fine Art and Classic Boat magazine. The organisers are delighted to welcomes Henri Lloyd for the first time, who has brought along a ‘pop up shop’ of clothing for sale to competitors.

- ends –

Photo credits; Rick Tomlinson.

Media enquiries and image requests:

Marina Johnson
Charles Stanley Direct Cowes Classics Week Press Officer
Clearline Communications Ltd
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Telephone: 07774 623 539

Henri LLoyd SV 1Henri Llloyd are the Official Technical Partner to the Charles Stanley Direct Cowes Classics Week in July and they recently interviewed Sir Richard Ottaway, the Chairman of this iconic classic yacht regatta.

To qualify for Cowes Classics week your boat must have been designed more than 50 years ago. We would expect to get 160 – 180 entries. They will be boats of all sizes which would mean we will have 400 – 500 crew members participating in the regatta. The highest number of boats racing was 186 in 2016.

The regatta has an enormously local entry list. What makes the regatta so special that your owners and crew come back year after year?

The boats come back every year. It really is a fun event. As a competitor said last year, it’s how Cowes Week used to be. We have a party every night and long lasting friendships are formed over a drink or one of the many social events put on by the other Cowes Clubs.

Each year you have a plethora of impressive Classics on your start line… to date which entry has brought the most historic?

Many historic yachts have raced in the regatta. Last year saw the great Fife classic Mariquita taking part. Built in 1911 she is one of the most beautiful yachts racing today. She raced in the 19 Metre class before WW1 and then headed to Norway when war broke out. Much later she was used as a house boat until she was restored in the 90’s. She is now a regular competitor on the Classics circuit. An entry this year is Crusade one of the UK’s great Classic Yachts. She is a past winner of the Sydney Hobart race and 2nd place in the Fastnet.

If you are not competing in race, where are the best viewing platforms on the island or main land?

If you’re not a competitor the best place to watch the racing is the promenade at Cowes. All the action will unfold before you. The one design classes will be racing over at Hillhead, if possible try and get out on the water to watch some of the best racing you’ll find anywhere.

 

Rick Tomlinson TileRick Tomlinson is the official photographer for Charles Stanley Direct Cowes Classics Week, offering competitors a 25% discount on all Cowes Classics Week photographs.

Rick will be on the water each day and there will be a slide show after racing in the Royal London Yacht Club.

Visit the Rick Tomlinson Gallery on Marina Walk, close to Tiffins.

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www.rick-tomlinson.com

07785 317198

Alex Thomson Header 2Join us at the Royal London Yacht Club on Friday 14th July for a very special evening with Alex Thomson, the fastest Brit to sail singlehanded non-stop around the world.

Get your Cowes Classics Week regatta off to a very special start with a rare opportunity to hear first-hand from Alex about his incredible Vendee Globe achievement. All you need do is arrive in Cowes a little early and book your supper for just £25 per person.

Darings Racing TJP4009With little more than a month to go before the start of the 10th Charles Stanley Direct Cowes Classics Week entries are rolling in fast. The numbers in the classic keelboat fleets and cruiser classes are already looking to equal last year’s total.

The X One Design class is already the largest entry and set to grow further. In the Daring class defending champion John Corby will have his work cut out against second placed Doug Harckham, with both back to try again to claim victory, while Roger Wickens with Solent Sunbeam Danny will also be looking for a repeat win against an expected dozen or more in the fleet. The regular participants in the Swallows and Bembridge One Designs are all rallying their fleets, and the Flying Fifteens have already got a good showing with more expected.

Charn of Rhu 20160715classics102Cowes Classics Week is back with a new sponsor Charles Stanley Direct who will be sponsoring the event for the first time. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Charles Stanley Direct Cowes Classics Week 17-21 July is expecting up to 180 yachts to attend the event for some spectacular Solent racing.

The 2017 Notice of Race is available on this website with the early bird booking discount available until 30 June 2017.

“It contains all the spectacle of a major international event, with friendly but serious competition on dedicated race courses, first class race management, as well as excellent socials.” Said Doug Harckham from the Daring Class.

Henri LLoyd SV 1Premium British marine and lifestyle clothing brand, Henri Lloyd, are delighted to announce their partnership with the Charles Stanley Direct Cowes Classics Week.

Henri Lloyd will join the family of day sponsors and also become the Official Technical Clothing Partner to this prestigious event.

As part of the sponsorship, Henri Lloyd will be working alongside the regatta organisers to provide a bespoke crew kit package of Henri Lloyd’s latest inshore race apparel to all entrants. In addition crews will benefit from a Henri Lloyd ‘pop up’ shop which will be located daily within the Royal London Yacht Club where a bespoke personalisation service will be on offer.

Darings TJP4016Cowes Classics Week is back once again in July 2017 with a newly branded sponsor title, courtesy of Charles Stanley Direct, a new division of Charles Stanley, which will be sponsoring the event for the first time.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Charles Stanley Direct Cowes Classics Week is expecting up to 180 yachts to attend the event for some spectacular Solent racing. The Royal London Yacht Club will be welcoming the many classic classes, some of which have competed since 2008 and others which have joined in along the way as the first decade has seen the event grow into one of the most iconic on the yachting calendar.

COWES CLASSICS WEEK SPONSORS

It is only with the generous support of Charles Stanley Direct as lead sponsor that we can offer such a high standard of racing. We are also deeply grateful to our other loyal sponsors for their generous commitments.

Classic Boat Magazine
Haines Boatyard
Harken
Red Funnel Ferries
Winkworth Estate Agency
Kendalls Fine Art Gallery
Charles Stanley Direct
Cowes Harbour Commission
Henri Lloyd Clothing
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