18:46 Monday 4 Aug 2008
Kate Laven - CWL
The third day of Skandia Cowes Week belonged to the cannonball crews as
perfect sailing conditions propelled the fleet round their courses at
breakneck speed.credit: onEdition
Espada, the class Quarter Ton boat, setting off for a race on day 2 of this year's Skandia Cowes Week.
In the TP52 class, crews reported sustained runs in excess of 22 knots as a
consistent Force 5 south westerly pushed the boats to their limits and gave
them an exhilarating surf through the Solent.
A tantalising battle is developing between the front runners of IRC Class
Zero, though Niklas Zennstrom posted his third win of the week in Ran with
Charles Dunstone's Rio, finishing just 27 secs behind having registered a
fourth and a fifth at the weekend
"I think we got lucky," said Charles Dunstone, Rio's owner who is driving
the boat himself.
"The guys on Ran sail the boat very well. Yesterday we trawled our kite and
the day before we got something round the rudder but today we were luckier.
"We will be doing our best to win this week. We are good in the wind and the
forecast is for more wind but it is still a big hill to climb."onEdition
Aviva skipper Dee Caffari with Dean Macy, Olympic Decathlete, grind the winches during the Artemis Challenge at Skandia Cowes Week.
Victorious Louise Morton faces new threat
Dunstone's navigator Peter Morton was keeping a close eye on the Quarter
Tonner class, where his wife Louise was putting in a blinder of a
performance on her 1980 Bruce Farr designed Espada.
For the past two days, she has been runner up to Howard Sellar's Bullet but
today she stormed past the Faroux boat, winning by almost four minutes.
Next year, Louise will have another mighty contender to fend off. Her
husband, who won the 2007 Coutts Quarter Ton Cup Championships on Espada has
himself bought a Quarter Tonner and as part of the classes' glorious
revival, plans to restore her this winter and campaign her next summer.
Tuffers takes a spin in Juno
Phil Tufnell, the former England cricketer and King of the Jungle, was
aboard the Farr 65 Spirit of Juno watching the racing in the new Ondeck
65/68 class, which in its inaugural year has attracted a field of 15
contenders, including five Farr 65s and ten Clipper 68 boats.
These boats, which are extremely user friendly for even the most novice of
crews, have been made available for folk who want to Orock up and race' at
Skandia Cowes Week and enjoy a taste of what this event is all about.
Only seven were competing yesterday and it was Spirit of Isis with two
professional crew and ten clients who completed their course first, crossing
the line 90 secs ahead of sister ship Spirit of Diana.
Debutant West heads up the fleet
Bill West, the former marketing director at Skandia Life, now Skandia, and
the man who famously introduced the company to the Cowes Week Regatta, is
competing at Cowes for the first time in his life.
His J/109 Jo Jo Gunne, which he sails out of Lymington has produced a range
of results since the first race on Saturday when he came eighth. Yesterday
he posted a 22nd but today he was back in the mix with a 12th and the bit
between his teeth.
Also moving up through the fleet is Matt Boyle whose results in his J/109
Shiva have steadily improved culminating in today's win by more than three
minutes with Jambo - one of four from the Royal Yacht Squadron boats
focussing on training for crews under 25 - in second, and Brian Morton's
Juke Box in third.
Royal honours for Hunter 707 crew
HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh was on the RYS platform this morning
and played his part in setting the course for the Hunter 707s using the new
software that has replaced the string and pin system of old.
The 13.19nm course - RYS, Fastnet Insurance, RYA Yachtmaster, Williams
Shipping, Burges Salmon, Gales HSB, RYS was presented to him for examination
and was personally signed off by him before it was sent out via SMS to the
His race was won again by Betty, which has been superbly campaigned by Jon
Powell and his girlfriend Sarah Norbury, editor of Practical Boat Owner.
Their winning margins, this one by more than four minutes over The Ant Hill
Mob and Paul Curtis' Sparkle have been emphatic.
Daisy, the 85 year old Solent Sunbeam that competed in its first regatta at
Cowes continues to impress, missing out by an agonising six secs on a class
win to back-up his victory yesterday. She was beaten again by Roger
Wickens's Danny but the 85th anniversary skirmish is shaping up to be a
Alinghi take title
There was more drama in the iShares Cup at Skandia Cowes Week when JP Morgan
Asset Management capsized. Her skipper Shirley Robertson, who is due to fly
out to Beijing to commentate on the Olympics tonight had surrendered the
helm to the talented Paul Campbell-James but his bid for honours resulted in
a broken rig and a second to last place in the series.
Alinghi finished second in the final double points race today, which was
enough to secure them victory ahead of Team Origin, who in the end trailed
the leaders by five points.
But Rob Greenhalgh and crew retain the Overall iShares Cup Extreme 40 Series
title at the halfway point of the European series. Holmatro sailed well to
hang on to third place but it was Alinghi skipper Ed Baird who received the
garland at the prize-giving.
Skandia team up with the EMT for a OVoyage of Discovery'
Skandia have today announced where some of their attention will be turned
when the association with Cowes Week comes to an end after this year's
regatta. Ellen MacArthur and young people from The Ellen MacArthur Trust onboard Scarlet Oyster enjoy Solent waters.
Skandia have teamed up with the Ellen MacArthur Trust to sponsor a special
Round Britain OVoyage of Discovery' for children recovering from cancer.
Starting in Cowes in May 2009, the Scarlett Oyster the charity's dedicated
yacht, will visit 20 ports around the UK and finish up back in Cowes in
Around 100 children in all will take part in the voyage and they will be
joined on some of the legs by Dame Ellen MacArthur herself and also by