The Hunter 707 team have just topped their class after taking a first today. Sue Pelling asked them about their role as one of five Skandia-sponsored yachts here at Cowes Week.

The Doh! Hunter 707 team from the Hamble have just topped their class at Cowes Week after taking a first today. Headed by joint owners Tom Davidson and Andrew Aldwinckle, they were chosen as one of five Skandia Squad boats from hundreds of applications for their creative crew training ideas which the selection committee believed fitted the role perfectly.

Davidson commented: “We didn’t know too much about the Squad until Howard Morris, the class chairman, decided that, because we’d been travelling a lot recently, we’d be ideal material for the role.”

Because the team is totally committed to its racing, they decided to go for the Creativity role and sent in the application explaining why they should be chosen. “We have a lot of creative, training ideas,” added Davidson, “and do a lot of crew training. At Cork, where we spent hours waiting for the wind, we decided to make the most of the time and fly the spinnaker out the back of the boat and see how the boat performed going in reverse: a bit crazy I suppose but that sort of thing helps up work as a team. We also sacrificed short-term results in the Warsash Spring Series by rotating crew roles for the whole event.”

Having sent in the application, it was a great surprise when they returned from Cork Week to find they had been selected. “It couldn’t have happened at a better time,” added Davidson, “because we’d had a disastrous last day at Cork where we lost an overall fifth place and ended up well down the fleet. The news that we’d been selected for the Squad was a real encouragement.”

As with all members of the Skandia Squad, Creativity received within its prize package, Henri-Lloyd clothing and Timberland deck shoes for the entire crew, a day with Iain Percy on board the boat, their Cowes Week entry fee and free ferry tickets courtesy of WightLink.