At the close of the first day's racing at Skandia Cowes Week, excellent conditions and a few surprise results make for a party feel ashore

High spirits are the order of the day as the crews enter Cowes Yacht Haven after a day of exciting conditions and exhilarating racing. Out of 53 classes only five have yet to return a line honours winner, and with the wind beginning to come around into the north-west the remainder of the fleet should have little difficulty returning to the festivities.

Before hitting the shoreside attractions many of the crews are currently relaxing aboard with a beer or three, and that’s how I found John Edwards, skipper of Farr 45Werewolf. Chartered by civil engineering specialists McAlpine,Werewolfsecured a line honours win over Ben Ainslie’sJohn Merricks (Volvo for life), putting her at the top of the table for both the Farr 45 class and IRC Class 1. Not bad for a crew that first sailed together this morning.

Questioned about their achievement, Edwards explained: “Coming back down the Solent we were very close when they lost the spinnaker. Then all the hydraulics failed on our backstay. We had to luff up while we rigged a temporary tackle to put some tension on, but we had lost all adjustment. We weren’t very competitive on the last beat, but we held Ainslie off.”

As peace starts to fall on the Solent it’s only the beginning of a long night for many of the people at Skandia Cowes Week, and with U2 tribute band U2:UK at Cowes Yacht Haven, a Latin salsa band at the Parade Village and several exclusive balls and dinners taking place in other parts of Cowes, the party starts now.