The class by class analysis for competitors (excluding Classes 0 to 7) 1/8/06

For the report on classes 0 to 7 click here 
White Group
Back in the White Group, the morning wore on with all classes getting away and only minor individual recalls recorded, mainly as competitors mis-judged the tide and struggled to get to the correct side of the line pre-start. A few classes were notably line shy fearing the dreaded OCS such as the Daring fleet who were led away by Jeremy Preston’s Defender before the class experts of Robin Richardson aboard Doublet and Milo Carver sailing Dauntless seized control of the race. Doublet sailed a consistent race in testing conditions to stretch out into an unassailable lead, crossing the finish line 1 minute 10 seconds ahead of Dauntless although a protest may decide the final outcome between the two. The 1720 crews meanwhile totally revelled in the conditions with their huge asymmetric kites and enjoyed a great blast around the central Solent with Mark Greenaway’s La Licorne scoring his second win of the regatta by a margin of two minutes 32 seconds from arch rival Crescendo of James Flynn OBE. Flynn still tops the overall leader board in the 1720s from Greenaway and it will be fascinating to watch this duel unfold for the rest of the week.

Hunter 707
In the Hunter 707 fleet, Russell Mead’s The Ant Hill Mob continued their winning streak of yesterday with a very close run 12 second victory from overall class leader Peter Dickson in Star Born 3 who had got away to a flying start, setting their spinnaker first for the long run down to the eastern Solent. Out on the offshore Black Group starting line, there were some big class wins recorded in the Sigma 38 and X332 fleets with Andy Budgen’s The Project thumping the Sigmas by a huge 6 minute 37 second margin and Iain Kirkpatrick’s Fatjax walloping the X332s by 8 minutes 40 seconds. Interestingly both these boats respectively have been displaying noticeably better crew work than their closest rivals, alongside attention to detail in boat preparation and sail selection that really shows when the wind is up. Fatjax is now in pole position on the Black Group leader board with a perfect four wins out of four and looks unstoppable for the overall victory.

Sigma 33s
For the Sigma 33s, the story of the day was set from the start as Michael Birmingham’s Oxygen showed a very clean pair of heels off the start line, launching their kite first and sailing away to a commanding lead. By the finish they had extended out on the fleet to record a 3 minute 25 second race win from Jeff Worboys on Workout and shoot up the leader board. In the Contessa 32 fleet again it was the start that made all the difference as Ray Rouse made the best of a very line shy fleet on Blanco to stretch into the lead. Eldred Himsworth led the chasing pack on Drumbeat but by the finish it was Blanco who could relax with a 1 minute 7 seconds winning delta. The Sonar fleet meanwhile had a real ding-dong of a race right from the starting gun with Simon Barter’s Bertie and Barry Byham’s Whatever dicing for the lead throughout their two hour race. At the death it was Barter who got the nod and cemented their place as the overall leaders whilst their closest rivals Asbo and We’re Here fell short of the podium finishing 5th and 4th respectively. Interestingly just nine Sonars finished today as many of the fleet decided to stay shoreside after several scares yesterday.

The multihulls had an interesting afternoon that saw the fleet very line shy with some strugglers desperately mis-judging the tide in the middle of the Solent out on the Black Group line but once again it was the familiar sight of the 2002 built Team Eberspacher of Ben Goodland that brought the fleet home. Last year’s regatta runner-up in the multihulls Carbon Tiger 2 of Brian Haynes was once again the bridesmaid to Team Eberspacher with the Burn, Scrase and Burrows owned Force X making the podium today in third.

It was a very good day for the lady helms ahead of the first ever Skandia Cowes Week Ladies Day on Thursday with not only Julia Bailey and Christina Summerhayes dominating the Etchells and SB3 fleets but also the indomitable J/80 Savage Sailing of Liz Savage recording a hard fought 1 minute 41 seconds victory. Savage Sailing really is the class act in this fleet with Liz’s brother Chris Savage helming but she was enthused with the result saying, “We were hitting 16 knots downwind and it was just a great race, very close with the rest of the J-80’s and although we had problems with a rudder bolt we just managed to hold on to the finish – a really enjoyable day on the water!”

Whilst the J/80s were having a blast, their bigger cousins the J/109’s had a rip-roaring blast around the cans today with Mike Ewart-Smith’s Zelda showing awesome boat-handling ability to destroy the fleet by a massive 6 minutes 27 seconds from Chaz Ivill’s Johnny Blue II and the fast-starting Jahmali of Mike Wallis in third. The J-Sprit class witnessed a tight tussle at the head of the fleet between Robin and Jill Stevenson’s J/92 Mojo and David and Kirsty Apthorp’s J/105 J-Dream with Mojo winning on a corrected time some 17 seconds ahead. However, J-Dream could drown their sorrows safe in the knowledge that they had secured the race win in the J/105 standings ahead of Nick Martin in Diablo-J. For certain, all the J-class boats in the regatta are having a superb series with the long Solent courses and tight reaches really playing to the boat’s strengths – there are an awful lot of very happy J-class customers in Cowes tonight!

A couple of new names on the winners podium in the White Group fleet freshened up the leader boards with Simon Russell sailing a superb race in the XOD fleet aboard Swallow off a committee boat start line at Hill Head relegating Peter Baines’ all conquering Caprice to second today. Jeremy Lear’s run of three race wins record crashed and burnt in the Victory fleet as Hugh Pringle guided Zephyr to a popular race win with Mark Dennington squeezing in Unity just ahead of the previously unstoppable Zinnia. Just 40 seconds separated the top three after over two hours of racing on a terrific course in the eastern Solent. Another result upset saw Mike Tong’s Ciao Bella secure a convincing victory over Buzz Keck’s Eloise in the RS Elites whilst in the Flying Fifteens, John and Rupert Mander’s Men Behaving Badly was humbled into submission by the hard hiking Colin Ward and Mark Winkles aboard Seajay.

Set for Wednesday
So ‘Big Tuesday’ concluded with remarkably few tales of destruction and derring-do from the racecourse and, for a large part, the sensible decisions of the Royal Yacht Squadron Race Officers ensured that, for the 887 boats competing, it was a cracking day of Solent racing. Today’s testing conditions will give way overnight to some much milder winds as a new high pressure system sweeps in from the west and hopes are high for sunshine sailing and sea breezes for the rest of the week. Tonight sees the Kit Hobday Tribute match-race off the Green between the late Hobday’s Bear of Britain and Peter Harrison’s Chernikeef 2 whilst on Wednesday, the Extreme 40s will be tearing up the Green from 16:00 onwards. Cowes is undoubtedly the only place to be right now.