With more than 1,000 boats on the water, there's bound to be the odd incident, however as gales sweep the Solent, Skandia Life Cowes Week could be mistaken for a demolition derby...
Competitors returning to Cowes this afternoon are reporting the conditions in the Solent as ‘wild’. Racing on the edge, gear failure is rife and has put an end to racing for the day for more than a few unfortunate crews, while some are still repairing yesterday’s damage toll.
Despite the conditions, most of the fleet made it to the start line this morning. Courses for all classes were set in the eastern Solent in an effort to restrict racing to within the lee of the Island and out of the worst of the swell.
All classes participated in racing today, including the smaller boat classes such as Sunbeams, XODs and Sonatas which sat-out yesterday’s competition. Early reports indicate that two Redwings were dismasted along with one Flying Fifteen. One XOD sank, as well as a Sonar, a class which has suffered more casualties than any other this week. Fortunately Rick Tomlinson was nearby and rescued all four crew from the water, camera in-hand! One Contessa 32 was disabled after suffering steering problems, and was subsequently towed back to Cowes.
Tomorrow the Young Skipper Trophy will be awarded to the skipper under 25 years old with the best results so far. Currently in the running is Michael Henning from Gurnsey, skipper of White Rabbit, a Melges 24, last year’s winner from the IOW on Quail, a Redwing and Inge Leask from Southsea, sailing a Melges 24 named Racketeer.
We’ll let you know more about today’s racing as and when the results are available.