A win in the big boat class and a third in the small boat fleet puts the Royal Prince Alfred YC five points ahead of Real Club Nautico de Sangenjo

With Bob Oatley’s Wild Oats scoring an emphatic win in the big boat class, and Aftershock owned by Colin O’Neil taking third place in the small boat fleet, Australia have increased their points lead in the Admiral’s Cup, at the end of the fifth heat, the double scoring short offshore race.

Wild Oats finished the 182-nautical mile race around the English Channel at 07:32:24 this morning, and with the tide turning against the chasing pack, it was two and a quarter hours before Spain’s Bribon Telefonica Movistar crossed the line, a gap large enough for the Australian boat to win on handicap by nearly half an hour.

However, the Spanish got their revenge, with a win in the small boat class for Telefonica Movistar, skippered by America’s Cup sailor Pedro Campos, ahead of Britain’s Chernikeeff 4, steered by double Olympic medallist Ben Ainslie, with Aftershock third.

The smaller boats sailed a shorter course of 146 miles, and were closer together at the finish, with the top half of the fleet coming home before the tide turned.

For Pedro Campos, a win in this double scoring race goes some way towards redressing the balance for the disqualification he suffered in race three, which knocked the team from the Real Club Nautico Sangenjo from first to third place.

Bob Oatley is thrilled with the performance of his boat, and the Royal Prince Alfred’s Team, in this his first Admiral’s Cup: “those longer races suit us better, we don’t really get a chance to stretch our legs on the short races.

“I’ve never been here before, but Richo, our principal helmsman, has plenty of experience in the English Channel, and we have a team that is stacked with talent. Guys like Ian Murray, Ian Burns and Peter Shipway have all got plenty of Admiral’s Cup experience. Peter Shipway told me, he thought this was the best race he’d ever done in England.”

The Spanish team, which is led by King Juan Carlos, are now five points behind the Australians, with England’s Sailability Royal Ocean Racing Club team in third place, a further five points back.

While Ben Ainslie and Ian Walker are putting in a strong performance in the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s small boat, Chernikeeff 4, with all top three place results, the team big boat, Chernikeeff 2 is not quite as consistent.

A big boat class third place in this race, for the Royal Southern Yacht Club team’s Volvo for Life Team Tonic, has started them on a move up the leaderboard, steered by Jeremy Robinson, this boat has round the world sailor Neal McDonald calling the shots as tactician.

Though there had been fears that the breeze would die during the night, with the danger that the race could become a lottery, the wind held throughout, at times reaching 20 knots, making for a fast and time, and some good tactical racing.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, the fleet returns to competition within the Solent, with a long inshore race, expected to take between 10 and 12 hours, followed by two short inshore races on Thursday.

The final race of the event, the Wolf Rock race, a long offshore race, of about 48 hours, starts on Saturday.


Race 5 IRC Class 1

Wild Oats (Royal Prince Alfred YC, Australia, Reichel/Pugh 60, Robert Oatley)

2 Bribon Telefonica Movistar (Telefonica Movistar Sailing Team, Real Club Nautico de Sangenjo, Spain, Ker 55, Jose Cusi)

3 Volvo for Life Team Tonic (Team Royal Southern, UK, Farr 52, Nick Hewson)

4 Bear of Britain (Team Bear, Royal Thames Yacht Club, UK, Farr 52, Kit Hobday/Tim Louis)

5 Chernikeeff 2 (Sailability RORC, UK, Farr 52, Peter Harrison)

6 Chernikeeff (Sailability CCYC, UK, Farr 50, Peter Harrison)

7 Groupe Paprec (Team Paprec Recyclage, UNCL, Fra, Jean-Luc Petithuguenin)

8 Estrella Galicia Uno (Estrella Galicia Sailing Team, Real Club Nautico de Vigo, Spain, Sydney 62, Antonio Viejo)

Race 5 IMS Class 1

Telefonica Movistar (Telefonica Movistar Sailing Team, Real Club Nautico de Sangenjo, Spain, Rodman 42, Pedro Campos)

2 Chernikeeff 4 (Sailability RORC, Rodman 42, Peter Harrison)

3 Aftershock (Royal Prince Alfred YC, Australia, Rodman 42, Colin O’Neil)

4 Paprec Recyclage (Team Paprec Recyclage, UNCL, Fra, Sinergia 40, Jean Luc Petithuguenin)

5 Dickies Yacht Sales (Team Royal Southern, UK, Sinergia 40, Nigel Biggs)

6 Estrella Galicia Dos (Estrella Galicia Sailing Team, Real Club Nautica de Vigo, Spain, Sinergia 40, Antonio Viejo)

7 Chernikeeff 3 (Sailability CCYC, UK, Sinergia 40, Peter Harrison)

8 Dancing Bear (Team Bear, Royal Thames Yacht Club, UK, Sinergia 40, David Scanlan)

Overall Teams Results After 5 Races

1 Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club 24pts

2 Real Club Nautico de Sangenjo 29pts

3 RORC 34pts

4 Royal Southern Yacht

Club 57pts

5 UNCL 66pts

6 Royal Thames Yacht Club 70pts

7 Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club 74pts

8 Real Club Nautico de Vigo 80pts