Day one of the 2011 Coutts Quarter Ton Cup dawned bright and clear but with an almost total lack of wind
With the glassy conditions meaning that there was very little chance of racing getting away at the scheduled 10.30 start time, Principal Race Officer Robert Lamb sensibly held the fleet ashore whilst he and his race team headed off onto the Solent in search of some sort of usable pressure. Having persevered in their quest for some several hours, Lamb and his team were eventually rewarded for their patience at around 14.00, when a pleasant 10 knot south westerly breeze materialised, enabling the eager fleet to finally put to sea for what turned out to be two excellent and closely fought races.
Despite the wide range of sizes and designs making up the 30 boat fleet, the racing could hardly have been closer both on the water and on handicap, with every startline and mark rounding fiercely contested throughout the day. In Race one, Louise Morton’s ‘Espada’, (helmed at this event by Colette Blair standing in for the injured Morton) turned in a line honours performance in the first race, which was good enough to also give ‘Espada’ a corrected time race win by just under a minute. Second in that race was last year’s Quarter Ton Cup winner ‘Cote’ owned by Darren Marston & Ollie Ophaus, who edged Sweden’s Rickard Melander on ‘Alice II’ into third place by just 16 seconds on corrected time. Fourth was Rob Gray’s ‘Aguila’, ahead of Ireland’s Eamonn Rohan on Anchor Challenge.
Race two saw a compelling three-way battle for line honours between ‘Aguila’, ‘Alice II’ and George Kenefick’s Irish entry ‘Tiger’. ‘Aguila’ eventually prevailed to take the gun and a narrow 8 second corrected time victory over ‘Tiger’ in second and ‘Alice II’ in third. ‘Espada’ rounded out a solid day with a fourth place ahead of Ian Southworth’s ‘Whiskers’.
Racing continues today (Tuesday 12 July) with three more races scheduled. The regatta concludes tomorrow.
Coutts Quarter Ton Cup Winners
2005 – Purple Haze (1977 David Thomas design) – Tony Dodd
2006 – Enigma – (1977 Ed Dubois design) – Ed Dubois
2007 – Espada – (1980 Bruce Farr design) – Peter Morton
2008 – Tom Bombadil (1982 Doug Peterson design) – Chris Frost & Kevin George
2009 – Anchor Challenge (1978 Bruce Farr design) – Peter Morton
2010 – Cote (1990 Gonzalez design) – Darren Marston & Olly Ophaus
For more, visit www.quarteronclass.org