Lively conditions make for another exciting day on the water at Skandia Cowes Week 3/8/08

One of the biggest casualties at Skandia Cowes Week today has to be the Quarter Tonner Runaway Bus that was holed during the race. Peter Williams’s beautiful Red 1977, Paul Whiting-designed yacht broached just before the finish and collided with Sgt Pepper in the same class. Fortunately there doesn’t seem to be much damage to Sgt Pepper but Runaway Bus has a foot hole on her starboard side just above the waterline.

Victoria Scott who does bow on Runaway Bus commented: “We going at full speed downwind towards the line and had a bit of a broach. Unfortunately Sgt Pepper was on our windward side and we went straight up into them. There was nothing they could do really. They dragged our pulpit, couldn’t get off and eventually the side of the boat gave way. We got back in by keeping the boat heeled over and we’re very optimistic about getting on the water again tomorrow.”

Elsewhere, Jon Powell and his super-hot team on Betty have made a big impact in the Hunter 707 fleet at Skandia Cowes Week with two straight wins after two races.

Powell from Warsash Sailing Club last sailed the boat in Skandia Cowes Week four years ago and hasn’t it on the water since because he’s been racing his J/24. Powell commenting on his results so far said: “I spent last week scrubbing the moss off and I’m fairly surprised that Betty’s performing so well after such a long break. She’s a great boat and, of course, I have a great crew.”

Julia Bailey and team on Aimee added another win to yesterday’s winning result and now clearly lead the Dragon fleet. Bailey narrowly missed out last year finishing in third overall but she’s got good speed and looks set for good things this week. Meanwhile Julia’s husband Graham, who won the Etchells class and the White group overall last year, is once again notching good scores aboard Arbitrator with a first place to add to yesterday’s third.

The Laser SB3s has a reasonably short race today and were back before the XODs had started. The wind was up in the 20kt range however, so the fleet had an exciting race. The World’s number 1 ranked Match racer Ian Williams, who’s reasonably new to the fleet, had a good start on Pindar and pulled away early on. He eventually finished over a minute ahead of Jerry Hill and team on 3 Sad Old Blokes.

Hill commenting on today’s racing said: “They sailed a great race. Us on the other hand lost out a bit at the start. We started up towards the castle again as we did yesterday when we won but it didn’t pay today. We kind of run out of breeze early on in Osborne Bay when the others to leeward, over to the left picked up some breeze. We had a tight three-sail reach from Peel Bank and we were smoking down there. We managed to roll Jono Shelley which was very satisfying because he’s done very well in Cowes Week over the years.

Niklas Zennstrom’s TP52 Ran notched up another win today in IRC Class Zero beating Robert Lutener and Martin Elwood’s TP 52 Henri Lloyd. Andy Soriano’s Alegre retired after the finish because of a course-reading error. Will Best – navigator – commented: “It was a real shame because we should have had a second today but we realized we’d rounded Berthon the wrong way and had to come clean!”