Racing division suffers another casualty while performance cruiser division steals the limelight

Monday has been another belter of a day’s sailing, with the fleet facing some slightly gustier conditions – enough to force a few retirements. The high profile drop out was Windemere III the Simonis 56, who had been monopolising the photographs (if not their class) with a glamorous crew decked out in pink shirts, until they were forced to abandon due to a cracked bulkhead. Following Leopard 3’s early exit this leaves Racing 1 looking sorry with just two boats left? Or as results man Paul Miller so beautifully put it: ‘so when Andy Beadsworth (calling tactics aboard Yeoman) said at the beginning of the week that they could come second, he wasn’t lying!’ With a sharp crew aboard, the green-hulled Rogers 46 is turning in some credible performances however finishing under a minute behind the faultlessly professional Team Origin crew aboard TP52 Rio, who recorded their third straight bullet.
Elsewhere accidents aboard the A40 hip hop and the Beneteau Cyclades 50 (bareboat) Sequoyah forced both to retire.

With such a diminished racing fleet, focus turned to the performance cruisers where it seems the winners keep winning. In both Performance Cruiser 2 and 3 classes, two Swans have been romping home. Crescendo (pictured), a Swan 44 chartered by Nick Burns and his crew from Hong Kong, recorded her third successive victory. According to bowman Mark Woodmansey, many of the crew race Etchells and represented Hong Kong in the Commodore’s Cup so are well-tuned. Equalling their achievements in PC3 is Richard Burbridge’s S&S designed Swan 43 Pavlova II, which has also been faultless, notching their third win. And with Grand Soleil 50 Mad IV spearheading the 19 boats in PC1 with two wins and a second, the performance cruising classes are stealing the Antiguan thunder this week.
Photo: Tim Wright