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Close racing for the Solent Sunbeams at Cowes Classic Week

Very close racing on the first day in 10-15 knots of wind resulted in V70 Minty leading the fleet home in race 1 followed by V12 Argosy winning race 2 after a number of leader changes and some avoiding action needed as a huge ship passed close to the fleet. Day 3 saw the wind increase to 15-20 knots with V26 Danny winning the first race and just losing the lead in the second race to V32 Holly. Afterwards it transpired that V26 Danny had completed the second race with a broken mast which required some swift action early the next day to pick up a spare mast from Itchenor!

V68 Sky took the first win on in the 5th race in 12-17 knots of wind with V70 Minty second and V26 Danny third despite their early start and re-rigging of a new mast. Race 6 started with a three-mile long beat to South Bramble which V18 Polly lead for the first half but was overtaken by V32 Holly and V70 Minty just before the windward mark. Tactics in the strong tides was crucial to the results of this race which saw V32 Holly win ahead of V12 Argosy.

With just one race on the final day, the overall result was still very much in doubt. Strong tides meant some of the fleet overstood the windward mark and the final result was decided by a match race between V26 Danny and V32 Holly with the overall regatta win at stake. A former world champion in the International 14 dinghy class, Martin summed up the week commenting that it been some of the closest and most enjoyable racing that he and Vicky had enjoyed for a long time, which was made even more special by racing in such historic boats.

Such was the closeness of the racing during the week that five different boats won at least one race and the top 6 boats were divided equally between the traditional wooden and newer GRP hulls, although the first two boats were wooden.

Posted on Fri, July 30 2021