A total of 27 Hunter 707s will be on the start line at Cowes on Saturday morning

With two days to go there are 27 Hunter 707s entered for 2004 Skandia Cowes Week. Racing in this one-design fleet is famously close, evident from the six different race winners in Cork, but who’s in contention for Cowes?

Charlie Fish, fresh from winning Cork Week and with a couple of wins at other events are strong contenders for the title, but without Pocket Battleship, one of their closest contenders at Cork, doing the whole week, who else will be fighting for the top spots?

Betty, helmed by Jon Powell has been missing from the 707 circuit this season as Powell has been racing a J/24. On past form he’s at the top with a second at Cowes and at the nationals and a first at the Southern Areas in 2003. Can he step straight back into the boat and find that speed again?

Black Sheep with a different crew line up to normal have shown bursts of great speed in 2004 but never quite fulfilled their potential. With a third in this year’s Round the Island Race, East Coast champions and third at the nationals in 2003, will this be their event?

The Anthill Mob have showed their form at Cowes in 2002 when they came third overall, and come fresh from their success in Cork (third overall), where they had more race wins than any other boat.

Doh! another perennial at Cowes with a second and third overall in previous years, have also got a new crew line-up and other regular boats in the top places this year include Giraffe, Sword and Double Trouble. But good placings could come from any number of boats including Censored, Trojan, Swallow and Muttley.

A couple of unknowns could pull some surprises. The Skandia: Larriken II crew, who were selected at Skandia Geelong Week (Australia) to compete at Cowes or Gravity who have a good pedigree but are an unknown quantity in a 707.

Socially, the 707 crowd will be sure to continue their reputation for having a good time. The fleet will meet after racing every day at the marquee on the parade. Sunday is the class cocktail party at The Prospect, Monday the class dinner at the Royal Corinthian, Wednesday at the Folly Inn and Thursday the Charlie Fish Party

With guaranteed close racing and their infamous ability to have a good time, this is certain to be an exceptional week both on and off the water.