Sparkling sunshine with a good working breeze made for a perfect day on the Solent today for the third day of Cowes Week

Sparkling sunshine with a good working breeze made for a perfect day on the Solent today for the third day of Cowes Week.

One of the closest starts today was, not surprisingly, the highly competitive Laser SB3 class which started from the Royal Yacht Squadron line at 1005.

Geoff Carveth, Mark Richards, Emma Clarke and Katie McGregor sailingPro-vela.comhave today added a first place to the second they scored on the first day of the regatta, which confirms their position at the top end of the fleet.Team Solent/Helly Hansensailed by Guy Jackson and team took second in today’s race, but according to Carveth it was a close run thing.

Commenting after the racing Carveth said: “We were in a nice position at the start and took the inside route when the fleet split round a mark-laying vessel. We led the pack from the windward side but unfortunately for us the wind eased and went aft which meant that instead of the others being fully stretched and struggling with the kite they were nicely powered up coming into the mark. We got to the mark in about sixth but were happy with that because it soon came good and it ended up just being us and the students [Team Solent/Helly Hansen] out front.”

According to Carveth,Team Solent/Helly Hansen(Guy Jackson and team) had a good lead butTeam Pro-Vela.comsplit angles on the last downwind leg, and reeled them in. Carveth continued: “A lot of it was about them having the pressure of knowing we were behind them; I think that was enough to freak them, and sure enough we picked up some wind, and after the gybe we had taken the lead.”

Although Carveth and team led across the finish line it was still a close-run thing at the end withTeam Solent/Helly Hansenjust one minute behind. It was almost a repeat of what happened on the first day however, whenTeam Pro-Vela.comled for the entire race and were pipped at the finish line, this time by the South African team -Spirit of Cape Town. “We couldn’t believe it,” concluded Carveth, “after my appalling start on Saturday we went from 66th to 1st in two hours and then kept first place for another hour and a half with the South Africans on our tail. We continued to cover but coming up to the last mark I just dropped my guard and ended up losing the race by a fraction of second on the finish line.”

The Laser SB3s start from the Squadron line again tomorrow and will be racing for the Elsie and Patrick Eden Plate. The forecast is for more wind as another low-pressure system passes through, so it will be interesting to see if the South AfricanSpirit of Cape Townteam – currently leading overall – can hold off Carveth and hisPro-Vela.comteam, or whether Chris Darling and team inDarling Associatescan match or improve on the impressive second place they scored today.