Charles Dunstone's TP52 wins Queen's Cup on opening day of Cowes Week

Rio, Charles Dunstone’s Judel Vrolijk-designed TP52, has clinched an overall win of the Queen’s Cup, one of the most prestigious trophy events of Cowes Week.

Dunstone wasn’t onboard today but stand-in helmsman David Bedford, and his star-studded team including Ray Davies, Jason Carrington, and Peter Morton to name a few did a good job in the tricky Solent conditions and crossed the finish line nine minutes ahead of Johnny Vincent’s TP 52 -Pace,. The Dutch Kerr 46Tonnerre de Breskens, skippered by Piet Vroon was unable to gain enough time on the faster TP52s and had to settle for third overall.

Although the leading two boats are both TP52s, as a newer boat,Rio, rates slightly higher and therefore has to givePaceapproximately 40 seconds per hour. According to strategist Peter Morton they had a fairly comfortable win, commenting: “The spread of the ratings is quite wide between the fastest boat [Rio] and the slowest boat which is something like 6 minutes per hour.”

Talking about the race and today’s course Morton added: “It was difficult conditions to set a good course because the breeze was very much out the south so, with the Solent being quite narrow, there was a lot of zig-zagging with 15 different marks to go round, so it was a challenging first day for the crew. After the penultimate leg from Lymington out to Needles we enjoyed a fantastic run back to the finish line.

America’s Cup supreme Ray Davies is calling the shots as tactician this week and catching up after the racing it’s clear he is enjoying the challenge of racing on the Solent. “We had a great race today and I’m really looking forward to the rest of the week. We’re starting off the Squadron line again tomorrow which always makes it interesting with the tide roaring out. I really enjoy sailing as a tactician on the Solent because the tidal currents and tricky breeze make it such a challenge. When you get it right it feels great.”

The Queen’s Cup for IRC Class 1 was first presented by the Royal Southampton Yacht Club by Queen Victoria in 1897 – her Diamond Jubilee year and has been hotly contested, give or take a few years, ever since. Apparently shortly after the turn of the century the trophy was mysteriously lost but re-discovered in a second hand shop in Cardiff in 1937.