Having won the Britannia Cup yesterday, will the man behind GBR Challenge score the classic Cowes Week double whammy by taking the New York Yacht Club Challenge Cup today?
Presented by the New York Yacht Club in 1951, on the 100th anniversary of the yacht, America’s victory, NYYC Challenge Cup celebrates the beginnings of the America’s Cup. Taking both the Britannia Cup and the NYYC Challenge Cup would be an achievement even for Peter Harrison, particularly since his entry took delivery of their Farr 52 less than a month ago.
Very much in the running is last year’s winner, Peter Ogden’s Swan 60, Spirit of Jethou. Having proved her worth with a series of good results in the recent Swan Worlds, she is currently leading Class 0 IRC. Likewise the evenly matched Farr 52s, Loco and Bear of Britain have an equal chance of walking away with the Class 0 and 1 IRC combined win today and the NYYC Challenge Cup. The two to keep an eye on in Class 1 are Team Tonic, a First 47.7 and Nokia, a Corby 41.5. However, the relatively new Ker 11.3s could do well in the lighter winds today, as they did on the first day when On a High slipped past the fleet to take a Class 0 and 1 IRC combined win.
Today is also the 175th anniversary of the first ever Cowes Week race. In recognition, Skandia Life will award the first boat, in whichever class, to cross the finishing line with a prize. The details of which are yet to be confirmed.
Conditions today were forecast to be brighter with a maximum wind strength of 18 knots from the west. Lighter winds make racing that much more tactical, with the tides having a greater effect. Typically the weather hasn’t seen the forecast and is doing its own thing. Currently the wind is WSW, blowing about 25 knots. High water is at 1521, slack water at about 1430 and the tide begins its westward assault at about 1500.