Harlequin seal a magnificent win in the Black Group

27-strong J/109 fleet can probably be counted as one of the toughest
classes to win at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week. Whilst the
White Group continue racing for points tomorrow the Black Group,
which accounts for several hundred keelboats, looks like it came to a
conclusion today. Although not official, it seems a virtual certainty
that the winner of the Black Group is Jonathan Calascione and Jonny
Goodwin’s J/109 Harlequin.
Goodwin took a ten year sabbatical from yacht racing, returning to
the scene just two years ago. Encouraged by his good friend Sam
Richmond, the Yacht Squadron member decided to get together with
Johnathan Calscione to race at Cowes Week.
decided to call the boat Harlequin because it was the name of the
yacht of one of the original Squadron members. We though was apt as
it’s coming up to the 200th anniversary of the club,” explained
myself and Mike Ewart-Smith are all Squadron members and we have
children and nephews on board; it is a real family driven boat. We
wanted to have a crack crew but also to have a family team and we are
absolutely chuffed to bits to win. It has been very much a team
effort; everybody has played their part. It has been the friendliest
and happiest crew I have sailed with and it has been run like
clockwork. I can not tell you how happy I am!”
Richmond, who was trimming on board, is still in his twenties but is
a prodigious talent having won at grand prix events in a wide variety
of yachts raced by professionals. Richmond is one of the rising stars
at North Sails loft in Fareham and was full of praise for Harlequin‘s
Corinthian tactician Mike Ewart-Smith.
had never sailed with Mike before but I knew he had won three times
in J/109s previously and it has been a real privilege to sail with a
legend. He really knows his way around the Solent, which is
absolutely crucial at Cowes Week. As a team we were happy with our
boat speed and handling but, if we did have a weak area, it was
getting off the line.

focused on our own boat and our own speed and didn’t try and mix it
up with other boats. Our goal at the starts was to try to get into
clear air and that has been vital to our success. After that it is
much easier to call the shots and you’re in control of your own

Harlequin‘s crew

co-skipper, Johnathan Calscione, hails from Malta and is part of the
extremely well respected Calscione-Ripard clan from the Mediterranean
year we had a full Maltese crew and just got pipped to a class win,”
said Calscione. “This year half of the Harlequin crew is from
Malta, including my two daughters Sarah (21) and Hannah (18). I think
I think I have done 23 Cowes Weeks and this is by far the best one I
have ever done… This experience has been very much about the next
generation, which has been wonderful.”
started coming to Cowes Week when I was the same age as my daughters
and I know what this feels like for them. It definitely keeps me
young, unless they take me out partying then I feel a lot older!”

April The Squadron ran a course for young sailors and three of our
crew are graduates from that course. To come along here and win has
been a real vindication of that initiative. It’s worth pointing out
that there are 11 Squadron boats in this fleet and they all have crew
aged between 18-25. These young people all know each other, there is
a lot of friendly rivalry between them on the water and they all
socialise together after racing. It is a fantastic initiative, which
is encouraging the next generation of sailors.”
Goodwin was celebrating his 13th birthday today. There’s no doubt
Archie is one of the youngest sailors at Cowes Week and he could well
become the youngest sailor ever to have been part of a team winning
Cowes Week overall.
haven’t been playing X-Box all week, I don’t even have one here,”
he said. “Cowes Week has been really good fun and a good
opportunity to learn about racing. I have learnt to think about the
tide when we are trying to lay a mark, I noticed that Mike, our
tactician would tack early for a mark if the tide was pushing us on,
I hadn’t really understood that before.”
my birthday, to helm the boat through the line and take the gun for
the last race was something I will never forget,” Goodwin added.

for the White Group concludes tomorrow. It is highly likely that
Jonathan Calascione and Jonny Goodwin’s Harlequin will be declared
overall winner of Cowes Week for both groups later tomorrow.