France runaway leaders
There was shouting and cursing, crashing and banging, and some incredible manoeuvres by boats which should not have been attempting to muscle in at the limit mark. Protest flags appeared on the backstays of several yachts and one was seen making penalty turns just to leeward of the frantic action. The pack included two of the France Red team that was leading the series prior to the race.
The perfectly timed and placed start of Peter Morton¹s 50 foot Mandrake (Ireland Orange) was a complete contrast to the surrounding chaos, and the white hulled Mark Mills design was soon spearheading the fleet beating its way through the moorings as the usual barrier formed by Snowden buoy was not in operation. This originally came into force after an Admiral's Cup start in 1971 when the Brazilian yacht Saga went through the moorings and clipped a couple of the masts of the day racing boats.
All but four of the fleet chose to beat along the island shore, and those four were placed lowly when they rejoined the majority. The three Farr 52swere led out across Osborne Bay by Mandrake, but the Mills design was inevitably overtaken by all three on the beat to the New Grounds buoy, but not until after Nick Hewson's Team Tonic (Wales) had made a temporary stop on Ryde Sands.
Peter Morton seemed bowed to the inevitable,"we struggled uphill against the 52s," he said and found agreement from helmsman Stuart Childerley, "wewere three tenths [of a knot] off the pace." He added that there was always a chance being offered, "it was as if this were a greyhound race, and the hare kept slowing down to tease us."
Morton was not the only one complaining of a lack of pace, Mark Campbell-James, the skipper of Bear of Britain (England Red), that had led for much of the race but lost her lead to Team Tonic, said, "they have a slight edge on us when the wind goes light." And it did from time to time, dropping almost right away as they began a beat to Outer Nab with Bear on a 30 second lead. "They hit the line of breeze before we did," said Campbell-James, "and there went our lead."
As the big boats stretched away on the 47 mile course around marks in the Eastern Solent and Hayling Bay, it was once again the medium rated boats that provided the challenge to their superiority. The results after finishing will definitely be altered after the myriad of protests are heard and one that may suffer is the provisional winner, Hans Hout's Salty Dog (Netherlands) that was involved in a starting line incident.
The well sailed X-442, Clin d'Oeil of Jean Yves Le Goff (France Red) has been placed second with the IMX-40, Coraya (France Blue) third and the sistership, Courrier Nord of Gery Trentesaux (France Red) fourth. The two teams from France and the one from the Netherlands were packing the to places on corrected time, but Team Tonic dropped only to seventh, the best big boat of the day.
Provisionally, the France Red team leads by 40 points from the Netherlands, which was the best team of the day. England Red is third 34.5 points behind the Dutch and Wales is 12.25 points further back at fourth.
There is just one race left to complete the Rolex Commodores¹ Cup and that is the Line 7 Inshore Race tomorrow, one of around 12 miles in the Solent.
OVERALL TEAM POINTS AFTER 7 RACES
TEAM/TOTAL POINTS/OVERALL POSITION
1. France Red/166.25
3. England Red/240.7
5. Ireland Orange/263
8. France Blue/350.5
9. England Blue/373.25
11. Ireland Green/482.5
TEAM/BOAT NAME/OWNER-SKIPPER/TYPE/RACE 1 POSITION/RACE 2 POSITION/POINTS OVERALL/TEAM PLACE
France Red/Courrier Nord/Gery Trentesaux/X442/2/5/4/2/3/11/18/3/4/166.25/1
France Red/Clin D¹Oriel/Jean-Yves Le Goff/IMX 40/20/8/22/1/18/20/29/2/166.25/1
France Red/Fastwave 3/Eric Fries/IMX 40/8/11/8/8/2/13/14/12/166.25/1
Netherlands/Salty Dog/Hans Hout/IMX 40/16/12/15/4/1/16/12/1/206.25/2
Netherlands/Checkmate 3/Peter de Ridder/BH 41/6/9-ZFG/16/22/7/21/3/5/206.25/2
Netherlands/Satori/Hans Horrevoets/Grand Soleil 40/26/20-ZFG/30/28/8/27/24/8/206.25/2
England Red/Bear of Britain/Kit Hobday & Tim Louis/Farr 52/22/3/3/14/32/1/4/11/240.75/3
England Red/Fandango/David Scanlan/First 40.7/1/7/19/5/4/15/16/9/240.75/3
England Red/Kerisma/Chris Bull/Ker 11.3/15/22/12/20/14/9/9/22/240.75/3
Wales/Team Tonic/Nick Hewson/Farr 52/17/4/1/3/28/7/8/7/253/4
Wales/I-Site/Robbie Cameron-Davies/Kerr 11.3/9/18-ZFG/21/27/17/6/13/18/253/4
Wales/Minnie the Moocher/Anthony Richards/Ker 11.3/11/27/5/7/11/5/15/10/253/4
Ireland Orange/Mandrake/Peter Morton/Mills 50/14/1/6/9/27/3/6/15/263/5
Ireland Orange/Gloves Off/Colm Barrington/Corby 41.5/10/12/26/10/9/10/10/14/263/5
Irleand Orange/Carphone Warehouse Communicator/Corby 41.5/4/19-ZFG/9/15/25/12/7/16/263/5
Commonwealth/Chernikeef 2/Peter Harrison/Farr 52/3/2/7/6/29/8/5/20/272/6
Commonwealth/Natti Vee/Nick Harrison & Robert Greenhalgh/Ker 11.3/5/6/2/13/20/1/1/26/272/6
Commonwealth/Blue Belle/Tony Clarke/Ker 11.3/13/28/17/25/15/3/2/24/272/6
Spain/1906/Chris Brown/First 40.7/7/15/28/12/23/26/26/21/343.75/7
Spain/Estrella Galicia/Alberto Viejo/Alberto Viejo/First 40.7/25/21/20/26/10/23/25/17/343.75/7
Spain/Cabreiroa/Peter Schofiled/HOD 35/27/24/24/15/6/29/DNF/13/343.75/7
France Blue/Meta-Baron/Jean-Philippe Chomette/IMX 40/12/14/14/33/5/24/21/6/350.5/8
France Blue/Coraya/Marc de Saint Denis/IMX 40/23/23-ZFG/10/11/13/22/19/350.5/8
France Blue/Ster Wenn 5/Guy Sallenave/X 442/30/33/33/32/31/31/31/27/350.5/8
England Blue/El Gringo/Nick Hartshorn/Ker 11.3/18/16/18/30/16/17/20/25/373.25/9
England Blue/Fair Do¹s V/John Shepherd/Ker 11.3/19/17/25/28/19/14/22-ZFG/19/373.25/9
England Blue/Too Steamy/Nick & Anne Haigh/24/29-ZFG/11/18/22/25/11/28/373.25/9
Belgium/Oxygen/Axel de Cock/IMX 40/29/25/31/21/DNF/23/31/466.5/10
Belgium/Moana/Francois Goubau/First 47.7/28/31/23/30/32/27/32/466.5/10
Belgium/Cohiba/Yves Delacollete/First 40.7/32/32/19/12/19/30/29/466.5/10
Ireland Green/Crackli' Rosie/Roy Dickson/Corby 40/20/9/27/21/24/18/17/23/482.5/11
Ireland Green/White Knuckles II/Simon Brown & Deidre Horneck/31/26/32/17/26/30/32/33/482.5/11
Ireland Green/Cheiftain/Ger O¹Rourke/First 40.7/33/30-ZFG/29/24/DNC/28/28/30/482.5/11