It was business as usual for the competitors and committee on the last day of Skandia Cowes Week 2003; in other words, waiting for the wind...

The last day of Skandia Cowes Week got off to yet another hazy, lazy start; as much a result of last night’s fireworks and ensuing partying as the lack of wind and muggy conditions. But it seemed like it would be business as usual for the competitors and committee; in other words, waiting for the wind.

With the 600 mile Rolex Fastnet Race starting tomorrow and several classes having finished their racing yesterday, numbers were down and there was a distinct ‘last day of the holidays’ feeling hanging over the fleet. Notably absent were some of the bigger boats includingAlfa Romeo, Enigma, Aera and Hugo Boss. The committee made a good decision to get the fleet out on the water early and no postponement was posted, something that initially seemed a little optimistic. However, soon the first stirrings of the promised south-easterly were felt. With this breeze forecast to blow throughout the day, and a strong west-going tide running, a decision was made to set downwind starts, and after a 30 minute delay to re-set the line, racing commenced.

With the wind and tide behind them, skippers were conservative on the line, wanting to avoid a time-consuming recall at all costs. The depleted Class 0 fleet got off to a clean start with no boats over the line on a 17-mile course that would take them first to NE Gurnard. With the Europrix 45Wolflaunching a lone attack from the Island end of the line, Peter Harrison’sChernikeeff 2quickly found her pace amongst the rest of the pack at the mainland end and went on to win the Class today.

Anyone watching NE Gurnard would have been rewarded with some exciting mark rounding action as boats came in with good speed, spinnakers drawing well in the cool, fresh breeze. After a short first leg, most classes were still tightly grouped and boats were hanging onto their kites until the last possible moment. A lot of shouting but no contact accompanied the Class 0 fleet around withChernikeeff 2chased byBear of Britain, the Swan 60Island Flingand Corby 49Flirtleading the fleet on a long starboard tack towards the mainland shore.

Minutes later Class 1 arrived with a lot more shouting, but once again no collisions with yesterday’s second placed yacht, Nick Haigh’s Farr 40Too Steamy, bringing up the rear. Class 2’s rounding was a little more interesting. There was the usual screaming, but all was going relatively smoothly until the arrival of the Humphreys 40Eclipse VII, tight reaching on a port tack. She threw in a well-executed gybe right on the mark and snuck inside William Edwards’ Mumm 30Sardonyx VI. In the mayhem,Sardonyx’sbow connected withEclipseon her starboard quarter.Eclipseresponded with a protest flag. Owner Douglas Hassell was at the wheel, with his son John calling tactics, and he claims thatEclipsehad an obvious overlap and was not given sufficient water at the mark. Hassell despaired, “You put yourself in a position where you can take advantage of the rules, and no one understands them!”

The White Group boats also enjoyed lively off the wind downwind starts but were sent instead on a longer downwind leg close to the Island’s shore, the idea being that by the time they headed back the tide would have turned to assist them on their beat back to the finish.

The XOD’s, starting just after 1300, faced a bunch of 1720s and SB3’s racing back through them. Jonty Sherwill’s SB3Yachting Worldwas again looking good, with a good lead over CC and Mini Summerhayes’Short and Curliesand Colin Simonds’Stress Bunny, locked in a close battle for second.Short and Curlieseventually pippedStress Bunnyto second. There was a good tussle for 1720 supremacy too betweenBack to Basics, Boondongle and Yachts and Yachting.Boondongleeventually took the lead ahead ofYachts and Yachting. In the Sportsboat class, another win by Edward Fishwick’s consistent performer J-80Redshiftmeant he finished the regatta as overall winner of the class.

While the sun struggled throughout the morning to burn off a stubborn haze that hung over most of the Solent, the south-easterly breeze wavered a little and left some classes wondering if they were doomed to another day of stemming the tide with anchors at the ready. By the time Class 3 arrived the wind at NE Gurnard seemed to have dropped off a little and after a less exciting rounding the boats struggled a little to make way against the tide as they held onto a starboard tack taking them towards the mainland shore.

Fortunately the wind decided to give the Skandia Cowes Week fleet an enthusiastic send off and freshened up again giving all classes plenty of time to make the finish.

Class 8 saw young skipper David Miller sail the Bavaria 42Splendidinto second place behind Peter Bainridge’s J-42Sky Hunter. This will certainly help his result for the Young Skipper Trophy, but not enough to displace 24-year old Ed Peel, sailing the RedwingQuail, from top spot. After finishing first in the Redwings today, Ed will receive the trophy from Seb Clover later this evening. Ed won the trophy in 2000 aboardQuail, and from next year he will no longer be eligible for the trophy, so he was determined to win it one more time.

With what may have been the most consistent breeze of Skandia Cowes Week lasting late into the afternoon, the entire fleet was comfortably finished by mid-afternoon, with the last class, the Sigma 33s, crossing the line soon after three. Amongst them was Joanna Briggs’Honey of Bosham. Yet another first for this finely sailed boat leaves her in second place overall in the Black Group. Nigel Theadom’s almost unbeatable (he came second on day 2) X-332Crikey V!is first.

As part of the Skandia Squad program, Tom and Dianne Andrews’ Elan 40Amethyst, renamed Skandia Passion, enjoyed some professional additions to her crew today. Dianne explained: “A wonderful treat! We had not one gold medallist, but two! We had Iain Percy and Steve Mitchell aboard. They were brilliant, helping us to get the best speed out of the boat.” But even with the champions’ help, it was not an easy race. “We found we had a reasonably good start. But it was a battle. We managed to get into the lead, but then a couple of the smaller boats managed to pass us in the run to the finish, but I think we were the first Elan.”

The advice fromAmethyst’screw was simple. “A lot of it is keeping on at people to concentrate,” said Iain. “We had a good day. Everyone learnt a lot. We almost lost our voice giving advice!” Steve agreed, “Yes, it was good fun. We had a chance to sail, myself and Iain, on the same boat which is a bit more natural for us because that’s how we work generally. It was a good day and hopefully the guys learnt a lot. It’s worse when they say ‘Oh, we’d have done better without you on board…’ Sailing’s a fickle sport, you can always pull that one out of the bag!”

The consensus among competitors was that it had been a very enjoyable week’s sailing, if a little light. Today’s racing at least left sailors with a reminder of what it can be like when the wind actually blows, even if it’s just a little.

Results day 8

Class 0 IRC

1Chernikeeff 2 (Peter R Harrison)

2Island Fling (Mr Paul Winkelman)

3Bear Of Britain (Kit Hobday and Tim Louis)

Class 1 IRC

1McFly (Tony Mack)

2Alvine Xiii (Harry Evans)

3Minnie The Moocher (Anthony Richards)

Class 2 IRC

1Holmatro (J J Meijer)

2Yes! Murphy & Nye (Adam Gosling)

3Centurion / Ray Marine (Jimmy Paliun)

Prima 38

1Gusto IV (A Hinton-LeverS Hinton-LeverT Fletcher & M Parkinson)

2Fat Diva (Roger Lee)

Class 3 IRC

1Partnership Challenge (St James’s Place)

2Salvo (Mr and Mrs Peter Morton)

3Fregatvogel (Stan & Marja Tavenier)

Beneteau 40.7

1Partnership Challenge (St James’s Place)

2First Challenger (Matt Jess)

3Royal Blue Addict (Ian HandleyJennie Austin& Andrew Fitton)

Class 4 IRC

1Owl (Peter Bruce)

2Deliverance (Russell Hodgson)

3Capitali$M (Tim Harrington)

HOD 35

1Owl (Peter Bruce)

2Capitali$M (Tim Harrington)

3Malice (Mike Moxley)

Class 5 IRC

1Electra (Michael Tattersall)

2Evelyn R (Jon and Karen Yorke)

3Great Scot II (Eurof Phillips & Barbara Mackay)

Class 7 IRC

1Disko Trooper (Rob GarlickWill Hamilton & Jules Hall)

2Tsunami (Roger & Liz Swinney)

3Mikado (Michael Briggs)

Class 8 ISC

1Sky Hunter (Peter Bainbridge)

2Splendid (LionelJanetDavidEd & Malcolm Miller)

3Hotwatch II (David Clementi)


1Alice Of Five Star (Five Star Sailing)

2Jazolo (Robert Shaw)

3Jahmali (Mike & Sarah Wallis)


1Crikey V! (Nigel Theadom)

2Yellow Rose (Marten Jan Ringers)

3Pittolo Bill (Ian Smyth)


1Boondoggle (Phillip & Michaela Allen)

2Yachts And Yachting (Glenn Bourke)

3Back To Basics (John Shorrock)


1Dauntless (M B Carver & G A Peckham)

2Division Belle (HillGreenSillarsReynoldsRawlinson & Grylls)

3Dionysus (Bruce Huber)

Hunter 707

1Trojan (Mark Barrett)

2Star-Born 3 (Peter Dickson)

3Darkness (Pat Miles)

International Dragon

1Aimee (Julia Bailey)

2Hestia (Frank Van Benningen)

3Apalala (C Caws & J Field)

International Etchells

1El Toro (Messers HaydenWatson & Williamson)

2007 (Mike Sparks)

2Ragtime (Tony Newberry)

International Flying Fifteen

1Dusty IV (Tony Bedingfield & Paul Wills)

2Affore The Week (Nick & Estelle Clarke)

3Fritillary (Mike Boll & Gil McCutcheon)

Laser SB3

1Yachting World (Matthew Sheahan)

2Short And Curlies (CC & Mini SummerhayesBird & Tony)

3Stress Bunny (Colin Simonds)

National Squib

1Artful Dodger (Nick Emery)

2Firestreak (Miss Sarah Everitt)

3Firecracker Too (Andrew Porteous)

National Swallow

1Curlew (Malcolm Green)

2Serenade (Mr & Mrs Hugh Kemlo)

3Solitude (A J Lunch & A M Reid)


1Quail (Edmund Peel & James Wilson)

2Saskia (Harry & Lidy Greenway)

3Skua (Morrison Family)


1Kalamity (Richard Sullivan)

2Fat Face (Paul Rudling)

3Take Two (Jonathan Calascione)

Solent Sunbeam

1Polly (Jonathan Money)

2Danny (Roger & Jacky Wickens)

3Argosy (Dick Batt)


1Dolphin (Andy Cassell)

2Sinful (Steve Sleight & Sara Coombes)

3Puff Pirate (D Bates & P Bowen)


1Redshift (Edward Fishwick)

2Skandia Contribution (John Roberson & Andrew Thorpe)

3Abstension II (Kevin Downer)

Bull 7000

1Hullabulloo (Martin Forster)

2Bimbull (Ron Fry)

3Rampage (Russ Fairman)


1Unity (J R Lear & S Spraggs)

2Steadfast (Dr Roddy Bowerman)

3Ripple (Evans Dolan & Stone)

X One Design

1Lone Star (Stuart Jardine)

2Foxy (Mark & Mary Hall)

3Blue On Blue (Willy McNeil & Andrew Tredrea

Further information at