Charity boat Toe in the Water, skippered by ambassador Dee Caffari MBE, earned an impressive third place
A steady southwesterly breeze kicked in just before the scheduled start of racing on the second day of Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week. Festooned with spinnakers, the Central Solent was a magnificent sight.
In Class Zero, Powerplay won the duel of the TP52s by just 24 seconds on corrected time but the real story of the day in the big boat division was a magnificent podium place for Toe in the Water, who came third today. The official event charity of Cowes Week works to re-inspire, re-engage and re-integrate servicemen and women who have been injured. Yachting World was invited on board the Farr 52 to join the crew of injured servicemen and women and skipper Dee Caffari MBE. You can watch a video of the action on yachtingworld.com tomorrow.
Lloyd Hamilton, Toe in the Water‘s racing director and a serving Royal Engineer was on board. “This is the first time I have been out with the team racing and I have to say I was astounded with the improvement they have made. Team spirit and support is deeply rooted in every serviceman and woman and the crew work today was just phenomenal. It would be a massive ask to overcome the professional TP52s in any race but when I see the quality of the competition that Toe in the Water beat today, it just shows how far this team has come.”
In the Quarter Ton Class, Lincoln Redding, Led Pritchard and John Santy raced on Whiskers. Pritchard said the team have been friends for years and meet up to sail together at Cowes Week.
“Today we had a great battle with Espada and Cote, virtually overlapped the whole way around the course. The breeze was up and down a bit today but in the big breeze on the first day it was the boat that was up and down, so that has to be a good thing!”
In the Sigma 38 Class, Pavlova‘s navigator Jamie Wilkinson (pictured above) could be described as a gamekeeper turned poacher. The Principle Race Officer for the RORC Commodores’ Cup has been racing in the class at Cowes Week for years.
“We had a better day than yesterday but that isn’t saying much,” Wilkinson said. “Yesterday, I just had a bit of a moment and sent us to the wrong mark. Of course we retired and I had to buy the crew a round when we got in, perhaps taking them to the pub rather than the Pimms Tent was my best tactical call of the day. However we faired much better, we are currently placed third with the potential to move up to second after a protest was lodged, we will have to wait and see.”
Tomorrow’s weather forecast suggests that a stiffer southerly breeze will prevail, if this gradient breeze is enhanced by a sea breeze, competitors could see wind speeds in the high teens or possibly even more later in the day.
Photo of Toe in the Water by Rick Tomlinson.