Powerplay win Class 0 with a day to spare whilst Foncia smashes the round the island course record

There was good news this morning for Johnny
Vincent’s TP52 Pace. After looking at
the video of yesterday’s New York Yacht Club Trophy Race, the Committee decided
to amend Pace‘s time to give them the win by just one second. Today Peter
Cunningham’s TP52 Powerplay dominated the race by an impressive margin to win
Class 0 with a day to spare.

It is not often you see the combined talents
of Simon Fry, Jules Salter and Adrian Stead carrying a sail to the loft. The
three are probably amongst the most outstanding British keelboat racing sailors
of their generation and all of them call the Solent home. The sail they were
carrying was Powerplay‘s Fractional Code Zero, nicknamed the FRO.

America’s Cup tactician Adrian Stead is a
regular with Team Rán but he’s been calling the shots on Powerplay all week. He
said that the team carries a penalty of maybe five seconds per hour because
they use ‘FRO’, but it’s worth it; the sail has been a big part of their

“The breeze started to die on the first beat
and we went through three sail changes just to keep going. Today was a great
course out to Bembridge Ledge and we had a cracking run back with swell under
us. We put 10-15 seconds on Pace every leg and ended up a fair way in front to
seal the class win, which was really good.

“Some of our boat handling over the last two
days hasn’t been brilliant, especially yesterday when we messed up a tack in
the extreme breeze near the finish line. But all credit to Pace; all week they
have had the hammer down and they won the big ones (Britannia Cup and NYYC
Trophies). There are good sailors on both boats but when we have had reaching
starts the FRO has definitely enabled us to get out in front and control the

America’s Cup tactician Adrian Stead

Stead says it’s the first time he’s sailed
with Peter Cunningham: “He is a lovely guy to sail with, a great driver. He’s
71 but drives the boat really well and is right on the money. He has always
wanted to come and race Cowes Week and he has picked a great boat to come and
do it in.”

“Cowes Week is doing really well in tough
times,” added Stead. “The Americans and Cayman Islanders on the boat are
totally gobsmacked by the shear number of boats racing. Cowes Week is not just
about the big boats; the atmosphere is created by the big fleets in other
classes and I love sailing in the Solent. It is a complex place. To come here
and race around the cans is very refreshing. Extremely well managed racing is
also the big draw; I have been very impressed with that, especially with so
many yachts out on the water.”


Early this morning Michel Desjoyeaux’s Foncia
crew were walking up Cowes High Street with a big bag of croissants but it is
unlikely that the French team will have had too much time to enjoy them.

The Artemis Challenge proved to be a
record-breaking (to be ratified) race around the Island for the MOD70s Foncia
and Musandam-Oman Sail today at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week.

Race management yesterday made a last minute
change to the sailing instructions to allow the MOD70s to race for the record, thanks
to the positive weather forecast. Starting at 10:00 BST it took Foncia only 2
hours, 22 minutes and 53 seconds to round the Isle of Wight, breaking the
maxi-catamaran Playstation‘s record, set in November 2001, by ten minutes. Close
racing between the trimarans meant Musandam-OmanSail finished a mere 1minute
and 28 seconds behind the French competitor.