Morton into lead

Vice Admiral's Cup sees some canny Solent sailing reports Andi Robertson

Monday July 11th 2005, Author: Andi Robertson, Location: United Kingdom
In bright sunshine and warm summer temperatures competition at the Vice Admiral's Regatta heated up another few degrees as a combination of the shifty, unsettled breeze, some unforced errors from the opposition and some slick tactical calls saw Peter Morton's Farr 45 Atomic earn a four points lead in Class 1.

While the rising temperatures through the day meant the wind direction was rarely settled for long, the wind finally faded from the Eastern Solent race track after the second race to curtail racing for the day.

Morton's Atomic won the preferred pin end of the start line and was quickly in a position to protect the favoured side of the course, the series-leading DK 46 of Chris Brown, Fidessa Fastwave, was recalled and was slow responding. Unable to make up any ground they finished in an expensive 12th place.

Atomic was able to extend on the first downwind leg to ease into a relatively safe lead, taking the winning gun from David Wadsworth's Farr 45 Audacious.

After a weighty seventh in the first race Keith Miller's Swan 45 Crackerjack, with Ian Budgen reading the breeze, made the best of the shifts on the first leg of the second race and was never troubled by the chasing pack, their first race win of the series, to retain second place overall.

As the conflict between the SW'ly sea-breeze trying to arrive from the western Solent, the gradient north easterly wind and the sea breeze out to the east at Hayling Island became more intense, Atomic was able to make a strong comeback in the second race, stealing second from Fidessa between the final turning mark and the finish line.

"Yes, we had a pretty good day. The first race it was down to winning the start and getting to the north and that worked for us, and in the second it was just a case of keeping at it and watching what was happening and so we were pleased to get a second. I think we rounded the last windward mark in seventh place." Said Morton, and of the first across the line, level rating racing he remarked: "The good thing as well is that the feedback is good from the fleet is positive and they seem to think this format works and they want to do more of it."

Once again in both fleets the racing was always close. In the first race in Class 1 almost all of the 12 boat fleet were overlapped on the approach to the weather mark and every different type of boat tasted success.

David Murrin's 2XL could not contain the sole Ker 11.3 Highlife today, but their two second places mean they still hold the overall lead in both Class 2 and the B&G Farr 40 UK National Championships. Highlife won both races today and lie four points behind 2XL.

Vice-Admiral's Cup, Royal Corinthian YC, Cowes: Standings after 5 races:
Class 1:
1 Farr 45, Atomic (P Morton) 12pts
2 Swan 45, Crackerjack (K Miller) 16pts
3 DK46, Fidessa Fastwave (C Brown) 21pts

Class 2:
1 Farr 40, 2XL (D Murrin) 11pts
2 Ker 11.3 Highlife (P Rogers/R Duckworth) 15pts
3 Farr 40, Victric (T de Mulder) 17pts.

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