There's still plenty to fight for as Skandia Cowes Week approaches the final stages

As the penultimate day of Skandia Cowes Week gets underway with kite-flying downwind starts, all eyes are turning towards the results lists. The Royal Yacht Squadron trophies will be awarded at a dinner this evening, leaving most of the other cups to be presented at tomorrow’s prizegiving. The Squadron prizes include the prestigious Britannia Cup, Queen’s Cup and New York Yacht Club Challenge Cup, won this year in a clean sweep by Eamon Conneely’s TP52Patches.

Among the other honours still to be fiercely contested over the next two days are the lead positions in the Black and White groups. Heading the Black group at present are Sigma 38The ProjectandYes! Murphy & Nye, racing in IRC Class 5. Both have five points, but a weighting factor calculated to give larger classes a slight edge givesYes! Murphy & Nyea narrow lead of 0.24 in the best five statistics.

Favourite to win the White Group is Flying FifteenMen Behaving Badly, leading Hunter 707Charlie Fishby three points. With an unbroken run of firsts in class, owners Rupert and John Mander are set to top the one-design fleet for the second year running, and if they stay on form should add the White group to the hat trick.

In the IRM fleet Kit Hobday’sBear of Britaincurrently leads rival Farr 52Chernikeefe IIby three points in a reversal of the 2004 positions. Only one point stands betweenChernikeefe IIand Farr 40Victricin the battle for second and third place in the table, promising some entertaining scraps in the final races.

Despite losing a day’s racing to light winds on Monday, the race committee have opted to retain a discard result for the classes and will choose the best six results from seven races, provided tomorrow’s competition runs as scheduled. With some boats’ results suffering from a result far removed from their form for the rest of the week, the final results tomorrow could show some interesting reversals of fortune.