A report on the Black Groups: excluding classes 0 to 3

The Black Groups (excluding Class 0 to 3)
The blustery conditions today certainly favoured the outstanding performer of Class 4 IRC, the Harry Evans chartered Alvine Jacobite who pulled into the lead straight after the start and led Jim Macgregor’s Flair IV down to the first mark off the Hill Head shoreline. Alvine Jacobite used her 48 foot overall length to great effect around a course just shy of 18 miles and recorded her fifth straight win of the regatta and looks certain for the overall class crown.

However at the top of the Black Group standings going into the final two days of racing is the Class 5 IRC leader Winsome of Harry Heijst who again scored a victory today to take his tally for the regatta to five race wins. Heijst has been the class act of the fleet as he warms up for next week’s RORC Round Britain and Ireland Race and has brought this well-prepared Sparkman & Stephens designed one-off to the regatta in tip-top condition with a superb crew. Pushing Winsome hard as we enter the final phase of this classic Skandia Cowes Week is the Class 1 IRC leader Fair Do’s VII of Professor John Shepherd who again won on corrected time by some 5 minutes 44 seconds. Fair Do’s VII also shares the same record of Winsome in Class 5 IRC of five race wins and a second place but owing to an increased number of entries the scoring weights the advantage to the class with the biggest fleet and if Winsome can keep winning she will secure the top overall spot. Another team that have proven just too good for their fleet is the MG346 Dean & Dyball Enigma of Ian Braham in Class 6 IRC who timed a perfect run into the start line today to lead the fleet away. Eventually Enigma was chased down by the X99 Electra of Mike Tattersall who crossed the finish line ahead by some 56 seconds but it was not enough on corrected time as Braham took his fourth win of the regatta.

It was business as usual in the multihull fleet who shot around their course in a little over three hours with the familiar face of Ben Goodland’s Team Eberspacher racing to his fourth win of the regatta by a convincing margin just shy of ten minutes. Bringing up the rear was George Burn’s Dragonfly 920 Extreme, Force X with Phil Cotton’s Seacart 30 Buzz in third spot. Staying on a sporting theme, the Sportsboats and 1720’s had a real flyer today with the Dubai registered Loon of Jeroen Leenen taking his first regatta race win from Wolf Waschkuhn’s Pumper Nickel. Loon is an awesome looking machine that literally tears up the racetrack and their winning margin on the water of some 16 minutes shows just how potent this V1 Lutra 30 design is.

At the other end of the speed scale, the Darings are proving that consistency is the key to securing their overall title as Milo Carver’s Dauntless, despite their fifth place on the water today, are leading by a considerable margin going into their last two days of racing. Taking the winners gun today was the Norton, Ottaway, Chaplin, Goodwin and Holland owned Decoy who secured a 2 minute victory over Defiant with runner-up overall Dynamite in third place. The last start in the White Group and the cut-off point for the rest of the inshore fleets was the Hunter 707’s who saw Martin Gray’s Trojan secure a very close run race by just 26 seconds from Peter Dickson’s Star Born 3. Russell Mead pushed hard onboard The Ant Hill Mob but had to be content with third, allowing overnight leader Gray to extend his lead at the top of the standings. Another boat cementing their place at the top of the class standings was the quarter-tonner Espada Wanchai Belle of Jamie McWilliam in Class 7 IRC who led fellow quarter-tonner Odd Job of Peter Treliving home by nearly 2 minutes on corrected time. Class 8 ISC again saw Tony Wyeth sailing the schooner Ocean Venture to their fifth win of the regatta whilst James Flynn OBE got the nod in the 1720’s aboard Crescendo, relegating Mark Greenaway’s La Licorne to second but still in contention for the Skandia Young Skipper’s Trophy.