Daring sailor Giles Peckham and seasoned SB3 sailors Craig Burlton and Steve White sailing Gill Race Team - Carjacked, walk away with brand-new car

Daring sailor Giles Peckham with super-charged crew of Craig Burlton and Steve White sailing Gill Race Team – Carjacked, have won the Volkswagen Touareg King of Cowes.

Representing the Daring Class, the super-fast team sailed impressively in the extremely windy conditions on the Solent today recording and a final race win to add to their earlier third and sixth.

They narrowly beat Team Earls Court (Mark Greenaway, Geoff Carveth, Sarah Allen and Catherine Summerhayes) by just one point in the overall scorings, while Graham Bailey, David Brown and Pedro Rebelo de Andrade in I Maximus representing the Etchells class had to settle for third overall.

This event, now in its second year, gives the overall winners of each of the 35 classes from the previous year’s Skandia Cowes Week, the opportunity to race each other on a level playing field and, with a top prize of a brand-new VW Touareg for the overall winning helmsman, and a Laser GXD for the runner up, competition is not surprisingly red hot.

With winds gusting over 30kts from the south-west today, familiarity of the Laser SB3 was a definite advantage. Peckham, Burlton and White made it all look relatively easy while many less familiar with these testing sportsboats struggled to keep upright. Breakages, gear failure fatigue led to at least five retirements, and Ian Southworth’s boat with Richard Talbot at the helm lost its mast in the first race.

Chatting as he stepped ashore, Peckham – the overall winner commented: “It was a fantastic day, a blast, and the guys on the boat just led me through the whole thing. We really needed a good crew today and I think knowing the boat today really was the key. I do own an SB3 as well as my Daring so, yes I’ve had a bit of practice before and that paid dividends. Winning the last race just capped the lot, and winning a new car is a bit of surprise, and I haven’t come to terms with that yet. I’m certainly not going to drive it away until I’ve sobered up!”

Three celebrities also out on the water today including Olympic triple jumper Jonathan Edwards, TV presenter Kirsty Gallacher, and Olympic athlete Colin Jackson, had a bit of a baptism of fire but they all survived and seemed to enjoy the experience. Jackson commented: “It was all a bit traumatic to start with but I survived and I’m back. I have to say, I really enjoyed it and sailing definitely gets the thumbs up from me.”

With a three-race, no discard series it’s all about consistency and there was certainly no room for average results. Take Helly Hansen (John Tremlett, Guy Jackson and Anthony Gullan). They started off with a 19th but followed with a 1,3 but still they were unable to finish higher than second.

Geoff Carveth, owner of the second place Team Earls Court, was obviously disappointed but says today was just a warm up for the rest of the week. “We’re a bit gutted we lost by just one point but our aim now is to win the week. Watch this space!”