Following the light wind postponement that delayed many classes this morning and the indifferent breezes that followed, the Hunter 707s still managed some very close racing.
Following the light wind postponement that delayed many classes this morning and the indifferent breezes that followed, the Hunter 707s still managed some very close racing. The eventual winner not decided until the last few minutes of the race when Doh!, a member of the Skandia Squad Team and who is known during Cowes Week as Skandia Creativity, lost her race-long battle to Ian Southworth and team sailing Chilli Chaser.
After the light airs, downwind start in the strong tidal stream, the fleet soon split in an effort to establish clean air by playing the shifts down the run. Southworth, who has a history of jumping in to a new class and cleaning up, played true to form today and quickly established his position at the head of the fleet. However, with the likes of Team Skandia Creativity snapping at his heels, Southworth soon realised he was not going to have it all his own way. And after a race-long, place-swapping battle, Chilli Chaser inched ahead during the crucial closing stages and scored her first race win.
“We couldn’t believe it,” commented Tom Davidson, joint owner/skipper of Skandia Creativity. “We had sewn up at 50 yard to the finish line but we fluffed a couple of tacks and not surprisingly, lost the race at the very end.”
Team Skandia Creativity, which is based on the Hamble at the Royal Southern Yacht Club, has spent the last couple of seasons notching up some respectable results at some of the country’s top regattas including a fifth at the last two year’s nationals, a fifth at last year’s Skandia Life Cowes Week and a third at the 2002 Warsash Spring Series. Andrew Aldwinckle, joint owner, believes that the key to the team’s consistent success is teamwork and a great team spirit. “We have a great crew who work well together and most importantly we have fun.”
While the team is obviously aims to explore the less serious aspects of this week, the aim of the game is to win the series. However, Aldwinckle recognises that it’s going to be a tough one, explaining: “There are going to be half a dozen boats that will be consistently in the top 10 unless the wind does something really freaky. But as part of the Skandia Squad, we are fortunate enough to have Iain Percy sailing with us on Tuesday so we’re looking forward to seeing how we perform on that day.”
“Actually,” added Davidson with a laugh, “we’re thinking of putting him on sandwich duty!” Watch this space.