The elegant 21ft clinker one-designs of the Victory Class provide a welcome contrast from the mass of modern hardware found aroundCowes Week's courses.

The Victory Class’s first race for the Blackbird Trophy was delayed as a result of light winds.  Once underway the early pace was with Frank Worley onboard Zulu (Z59) but by the leeward mark, Janet Dee sailing Variety (Z57) had taken the lead, closely followed by Sean Hopkins’ Zephrus (Z23). It must have been a bit of a strange feeling for Janet as Zephrus is her former boat.

On the next turning mark light winds and a very strong tide caused difficulty and a number of the boats had to make two or even three attemtps to round the mark.

At this stage Variety had gained a bit of water from her nearest rival but the beat back to the finish changed the running order with the majority of the fleet choosing the mainland shore to beat back to the line, a bad call as it turned out. Class Vice Captain, Roddy Bowerman, in Steadfast (Z17) opted for the Island shore.  When the fleet converged off the finishing line it was only to watch Steadfast claim first place, closely followed by Zephrus and then last year’s White Group winner Zinnia (Z69) with John Tremlett and Jeremy Lear onboard.

The Victory Class was founded way back in 1934 and these elegant 21ft clinker one-designs provide a welcome contrast from the mass of modern hardware found around Skandia Life Cowes Week’s courses.