Three bullets for Enigma
The Quarter Tonners started the day buoyed up by their success in yesterday's JP Morgan Asset Management Round The Island Race where Louise Morton's Super Q, helmed by Liz Rushall, finished fifth overall Laurent Beaurin's 45 South was 7th, Steven Bailey's Arbitrator was 9th and the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club's all Quarter Ton team took the Small Boat IRC Yacht Club Team trophy.
In today's racing Ed Dubois' Enigma was the most impressive performer with three first places closely followed by Peter Morton's Espada with three second places. The success of these two boats is all the more impressive when you realise that had both only finished major refits over the weekend and today was the first time either of them had been sailing. Indeed as I write Peter Morton is down on the dock with the drill finishing off a few jobs he didn't quite have time for before the start! "It was the first time we'd ever put the main up" commented Enigma's helmsman Andy Beadsworth after sailing "so we were very happy with how the day went."
For Ed Dubois today must have brought back some poignant memories as Enigma, designed by him in 1977 and built in a barn in Northern Ireland, proved to be an important turning point in his career when she came to Cowes Week in her first season and caught the eye of several clients to be. After watching 2005's Red Funnel Quarter Ton Cup revival regatta Ed was keen to get back into the class and was delighted when Peter Morton came across Enigma in storage and persuaded him to buy her. Many hours of work later she is clearly back to her former glory.
Third place in the overall standings is Graydon Dawson's Diamond with a 3, 5, 4 scoreline giving them 12 points overall. The Diamond team, who have travelled down from Sunderland to compete, proved themselves more than a match for today's difficult conditions and are on course to equal or better their third place at last year's event. Two Quarter Ton legends - Odd Job, owned by Paul Treliving, and Manzanita, owned by Joxer O'Brien and Neil Kenefick with designer Ron Holland at the helm, share fourth place overall on 15 points whilst Peter Morton's wife Louise and her crew aboard Super Q under helm Liz Rushall are in sixth on 17 points. "It was huge fun but incredibly hard work as there were only seconds between us and the next boat in each of the races." said Louise after sailing.
Reigning Quarter Ton Champion Purple Haze, owned by Tony Dodd, did not have such a good day and currently lies in eighth place on 25 points, 2 points behind Darren Marston's Catch. Purple Haze crew member Derek Morland blamed their lack lustre performance on the early night they had last night and vowed to be the last out of the bar tonight swearing that this would improve their performance. Catch provided the day's big drama when their jib halyard jammed on the first run of race three as they were lying in second place. Bowman John Fisher was forced to climb the rig freehand to clear the problem and they lost several places in the process.
Tonight the crews are enjoying a sausage and mash supper at the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club to prepare themselves for three more races tomorrow. Full results - click on the pdf.