Incidents from today's racing

More crash and burn from the Solent

Wednesday August 8th 2001, Author: James Boyd, Location: United Kingdom
Even if the weather was not as brisk as the Met Men predicted there was still all manner of excitment on the race course today, particularly as gusts caught boats as they ran downwind their crew trying to hold onto their kites.

Crew sailing with Shirley Robertson on board the Skandia Life 1720 today included honorary 'girl' and former windsurfing man at the RYA, Alan Hillman, whose own 1720 Team Unlimited dismasted yesterday when the backstay broke. Shirley stole a march on the rest of the Class 9 sportsboat fleet by cunningly sticking to the mainland side for the first beat up to East Lepe. On the beat a couple of battens flew out of the mainsail. "The whole keel was vibrating because the main was flapping so much," commented main sheet trimmer Jo Grindley.

The Yachts & Yachting 1720 caught up and they had a hard fought battle back to Cowes. "We were trying to stay in the clear air, running inside all the boats by sticking to the island shore. But it kept getting light under the hills and then gusting." The fight with Y&Y was only concluded after both boats wiped out. "They wiped out and then we wiped out, but we got sorted out faster than they did and finished in front of them."

During yesterday's racing there was nearly an incident on the Royal Yacht Squadron platform. Peter Bateson had stepped off his Sadler Starlight 39 Starspray to fulfil his duty as one of yesterday's race officers. He was somewhat puzzled to see his yacht returning to Cowes prematurely. It had been left in the hands of his wife Flavia and during a particularly violent gybe a sheet had become wrapped round the binnacle and ripped the wheel and central console out of the cockpit floor!

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