The penultimate day of Skandia Life Cowes week has seen sun, moderate winds and the best the Solent has to offer in the way of strong tides and confused seas
The penultimate day of Skandia Life Cowes week has seen sun, moderate winds and the best the Solent has to offer in the way of strong tides and confused seas.
Class 0 and class 1 boats faced a beat to the Needles against the tide giving spectators a sight that was something for the photo albums, the ex-America’s cup boat Australia II sailing past the Needles and still holding her own in a fleet of modern highly tuned racing yachts. The days top position went to Chernikeef, Peter Harrison’s Farr 52, but Australia II managed a valiant second ahead of the newer Italia, a fellow Americas cup boat.
As the larger boats enjoyed a downwind battle with at least a little tide in their favour, the slower class 1 boats suffered a return leg with the now-turned tide making it a longer run home, but giving a traditional downwind finish combined with the handicap classes off the Squadron lawns.
Changed weather with a light morning north-westerly swinging round to the west as the day progressed and building to 18 knots gave lighter crews a chance to recover some of the lost ground after a week of 25 knots plus. The overall winner of the Mumm 30 fleet Sardonyx VI finished 10th after a week of firsts and seconds leaving the way open for the rest of the class to battle for pole position, but happy in the knowledge that the series was sewn up. A similar picture can be seen in the Hunter 707 fleet won by Emu Excursions proving the fact that the weather really does play a huge part in the success or failure of a Skandia Life Cowes week campaign.
As only a small number of classes finsihed today, for many the final result is still undecided. In Class 0 Spirit of Jethrou a beautiful Swan 60 has only a little work to do to hold the overall lead from Loco one of the newly launched Farr 52’s, but Spirit of Jethrou in particular failed to keep the pace to the needles and back today with a 10th. Class 1 is quite simply all to play for with only a few points separating the top two boats, Team Tonic and Nokia.
Saturday brings another let up in the wind but no let up in the showers that have dogged the event all week. The wind is predicted to be 10-16 knots south westerly possibly reaching 20 knots at times, however the Solent seems intent on pushing all competitors hard so only the new day will show the truth as to the weather.
To view the results click here