As events draw to a close at Skandia Cowes Week and the final results are revealed, the crews look forward to tonight's prizegiving
The final day’s racing at Skandia Cowes Week is starting to draw to a close, with over 500 of the 833 boats competing today already moored and preparing themselves and their boats for tonight’s prizegiving. Light winds earlier in the day were replaced later in the morning by a healthy south-westerly Force 3 or 4, allowing the race committee to lift the postponement after only an hour to give the fleets an entertaining day’s racing.
The preliminary results are a mixed bag: as expected,Yes! Murphy & Nyehas topped the Black group, taking advantage of her unbroken run of firsts during the week to discard a 49 point penalty awarded today for not racing in a combined IRC Class 5 and Sigma 38 group. Many other boats that have performed well earlier in the week are also using today’s result as their discard to go home early.
Colm Barrington’s Ker 39Flying Glovehas added another first to her already impressive IRC Class 2 portfolio, allowing her to discard a second gained on Tuesday and sneak ahead of Sigma 38The Projectto take second place in the Black group on class weighting. Meanwhile,Bear of Britainhas held on to her position at the top of IRM, discarding Thursday’s ninth to gain a five point lead onChernikeeff II.
In a surprise result for the White group, SonarBillyhas rocketed to the top of the table, using her discard to remove a crippling 23 point penalty from an OCS start on Monday. She now has seven points, identical to former group leader Flying FifteenMen Behaving Badly, but the large number of boats in the Sonar class give her a weighting which beats her rival by 0.9. Third in the group is Hunter 707Charlie Fish.
In the Farr 45 class, consistent form from Ben Ainslie has putVolvo for Lifein first place despite surprise challenges from rivalsRebelandWerewolfearlier in the week, while Cowes’ famous fleet of International Dragons has been topped by local skipper Graham Bailey inAimee, leading Dragon builder and ex-Olympic sailor Poul-Richard Hoj-Jensen by four points after discarding Wednesday’s 30 point OCS penalty.
The atmosphere at Skandia Cowes Week is slightly subdued now, with the natural quietness caused by so many people heading for home accentuated by a slight fatalism now that results are beyond the competitors’ control. But despite changeable weather and a complete day’s racing lost, a great time has been had by all. As a passing IRC Class 5 competitor commented on spottingYes! Murphy & Nyelying quietly alongside in Cowes Yacht Haven, “There’s always next year.”