After five races Glynn Williams' WISC takes lead at Swan Gold Cup in Cowes 6/7/07

Despite another strong showing by the American contingent, Glynn Williams’ WISC took the lead in the Swan 45 Gold Cup on a blustery day in the Solent yesterday. After five races, the British entry has a five-point lead and is yet to finish outside the top four.

Williams commented: “We were very relaxed out there today and we saw the benefit of doing a lot of training together earlier this year. We had a ‘glamour’ start for the last race; we won the pin end and made sure that we got our timing right.”

Multiple round the world racer and WISC tactician Tim Powell, added: “It’s always a challenge racing against 21 other Swan 45s in tough conditions, it’s very gusty and very shifty. We just managed to stay in the hunt and claw our way back when we weren’t doing so well.”

Alex Roepers’ Plenty heads the chasing pack of American boats, after another consistent performance. Roepers recorded two fourth places to post 15 points, ahead of William Douglass’ Goombay Smash and Massimo Ferragamo’s Bellicosa.

Racing was equally tight in the Swan European Regatta. With four races completed Sir Peter Ogden’s Spirit of Jethou overall lead in Class A has been cut to three points. The British Swan 601 recovered from a ripped spinnaker in the second race of the day to take third place.

The largest boat in the fleet, Richard Loftus’ Swan 65 Desperado lies in second place after recording a fifth place followed by a victory. Behind her is Graham and Libby Deegan’s Akarana, after the Swan 46 finished runner-up in the second race of the day. Olympic medallist and America’s Cup designer Jo Richards explained how the team created an advantage at the start: “We started 50 yards outside the bunch, on the shore side and aimed for a clear area. We kept our nose pretty clean and sailed well for the rest of the race.”

The most consistent performer of the regatta to date is Richard Balding’s Swan 41 Philippides II, with three victories and a second place in four races. Balding commented:

“It was a tricky call on the first beat of the second race on a headsail decision. We were quite bold and went for our number two when we should probably have gone with the number three, so by the end of the tacking dual we weren’t looking very good. By the second run, things weren’t looking that much better but on the last run we held it together when other boats were broaching and I suspect that’s where we jumped through.”

After the spectacular acrobatics display last night courtesy of Air Partner, tonight sees the Swan 45 Class World Council convene before a dinner for the owners of the one design class. Most of the fleet will be taking the opportunity to rest, with a 7am start tomorrow in the long distance race.

Results (provisional)

Class A

1. SPIRIT OF JETHOU, Swan 601, Sir Peter Ogden GBR 1/1/4/3 – 9 points

2. DESPERADO, Swan 65, Richard Loftus GBR 4/2/5/1 – 12 points

3. AKARANA, Swan xx, Graham & Libby Deegan GBR 2/3/13/2 – 20 points

Class B

1. PHILIPPIDES 2, R Balding, GBR 1/2/2/1/1 – 5 points

2. LE QUATRE JUILLET, Don Wood, IRL 2/1/3/3 – 9 points

3. SELENE, Mark Jephcott, GBR POINTS 3/3/4/2 – 12 points

Swan 45 Gold Cup

1. WISC, Glynn Williams GBR 4/1/2/2/1 – 10 points

2. PLENTY, Alex Roepers USA 2/2/3/4/4 – 15 points

3. GOOMBAY SMASH, William Douglass USA 3/8/5/3/6 – 25 points