Another testing day at Cowes for YW's Jonathon Medway

was one of those days. The wind was all over the place, 16 knots, no knots, and
moving 40 degrees one way or another without the slightest hint of warning.
Having been ashore the day before, I was back aboard ‘Mad Dog’ for another crack at class IRC 3 on the Mini 6.5. We had a great start. After one general
recall, we managed to hit the line for the start proper with no time to spare
and bang on the biased committee boat end.Having originally looked like a
fetch, the first leg quickly became a beat as the wind made the first of an
innumerable number of shifts.

This became the trend of the day as we, and all
those I could see around us, were putting kites up, and then taking them down,
code zeros were unfurled and put away again- it was busy if nothing else. Having started well, we sadly had to endure the familiar sight of 40-foot (and
plus) yachts hunting us down on the upwind legs and then dumping their dirty
air behind. But the fickle wind kept things interesting, and with the wind down
the western Solent very patchy, we found ourselves in mid-fleet half way
through the race as yachts all along the course concertinaed. But that was as good as it got for
us as the wind went very light, to the point that the eXtreme 40s we went past
towards the finish were looking anything but extreme.

Whilst we were bringing
up the rear, the race was won by a Sydney 36, ‘Tan It’, whilst IRC 3 leaders,
‘Fatjax’ (X37) came in fourth. Today, looking out across the Squadron line, the
breeze looks a little more consistent which should be good for all concerned,
including the Open 60s going round the island in the day’s big event– The Artemis Challenge.