Day two of the points series for majority of the Cowes Classics Week classes got underway today in another good breeze. Once again it was down to the four committee boats spread across the north shore of the Solent to the east of Cowes to set windward leeward courses, laying on two races for each class, with the exception of the Daring class which managed to put in three races.
The wind built through the early afternoon and the 6 metres, which feel the wind pressure on their immense sail area sooner than most, declined a third race, opting to head back upwind to the shelter of Cowes. Fenton Burger took home two more wins to keep his vintage 1926 Sioma strongly in the lead in the series so far.
The Darings, on the same race course, enjoyed two “perfect starts” to their windward leeward courses, as described by Race Officer Peter Dickson, and enjoyed some extremely close racing throughout the day with some lively place changes here and there. Magnus Wheatley in Destroyer sprang to form outmanoeuvring his rivals to move to the top of the fleet in both the second and third races. John Corby was equally pleased with his performance today. He rescued his Daring Doublet from a local yard for just £10 before going on to completely restore her. “We have had a really good regatta so far,” he says of his results which include a 3rd and two 5ths. “We only launched the yacht at the beginning of June, and I’m going to keep sailing her for a while!”
A handful of smaller Old Gaffers in the Silver Fleet used the same committee boat race area as the Swallows and Flying Fifteens, the latter whose 1947 design qualifies them as classic yachts along with the rest of the competitors, all of whose yachts were designed before 1970.
David Hopkins’ gaffer Chough, a one-off design built in 1927, won both races of the day in that class, with David Peniston’s Sepia taking two second places. Top Flying Fifteen of the day Freddie Flintoff scored two firsts for her owner David Heritage, while the winning Swallow was Anthony Glover’s Darter.
Meanwhile the larger classic yachts were divided into three fleets, Red, Blue and, for the larger gaffers, White, Today was their third day of racing with points to count towards their series.
Race Officer Derek Hodd started the three fleets downwind for their one race of the day towards the east using Solent marks. In the Classics Red fleet, for the highest rated yachts, a distinguished collection of Nicholson 32s, all built in the early 1960s, had a good day when two of their number scored both first and second, Anne-Marie Coyle’s Responsive and Hugh Crother’s Beltana respectively.
Other cruisers include the immaculate Quailo III, whose distinguished history includes membership of the 1973 Admiral’s Cup team, and the 46ft 1948 ketch Helmi.
Making an appearance at the event are two eyecatching Tofinous, modern sleek yachts incorporating 1930s original design. Caroline Aisher sailed her Tofinou 8 Lennie while Ted Fort OBE helmed his 9.5 Pippa, and is currently lying in 3rd place in the Classic Yacht Red group.
In the 12 strong Classic Blue Fleet Douglas Peniston’s 1964 built Folkboat Finvara still leads the way both on the water and on points with another first in today’s race.
Barry Dunning and Bob Fisher’s 1896 Solent One Design Rosenn, designed and built by White’s, appears to be unbeatable in the Classic White division, whose fleet boasts no boat built later than 1913. “Twenty three Solent One Designs were built,” says Bob, and we know there is one still active in Argentina.” Of the race he said “We just pulled away ahead of the fleet once again today. We knew where we wanted to go and we worked the tide. The wind was a bit fickle in the area of Norris.”
The XOD class had more than its share of the action in the increasingly blustery afternoon winds, with a broken mast for X94 Sirena during the second race ending the week’s efforts for owner Dugald Henderson. The calamity was all the more disappointing as he and his crew had just won the previous race. On X120 Morena, helmsman Neil Clifford was thrown overboard when a wind shadow lurched the boat to windward as the training ship Tenacity cut through the 60-strong fleet. Neil was rescued and taken ashore by motor boat and treated by ambulance but reported no injuries. The XOD, the largest fleet in Cowes Classics Week is currently being led by Paul Woodman after four races.
Racing continues tomorrow (Thursday).
Picture galleries of all the racing here.
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Photo credit; Tim Jeffreys.
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