Chimaera reclaims the lead

Going into the final day of the Dragon's Edinburgh Cup in Falmouth

Saturday July 11th 2009, Author: Fiona Brown, Location: United Kingdom
Ireland's Andrew Craig, sailing IRL192 Chimaera with Pedro Andrade and Brian Matthews, reclaimed the overall lead on the penultimate day of the Dragon Edinburgh Cup, sponsored by Aberdeen Asset Management, in Falmouth. Although Craig leads, the championship remains wide open going into tomorrow's final race with second placed Bill Hardesty, sailing GBR723 Gorgeous Worgeous with owner Quentin Strauss and Nigel Young, just two points behind him on 14 points.

For yesterday's overall leader Rob Campbell, sailing GBR743 Quicksilver IV with John Torrance and Matt Walker, today was something of a nightmare and having added a 13th to their scorecard, their worst of the series so far, they now find themselves in third overall counting 18 points. Just one point behind them is the winner of today's race, Gavia Wilkinson-Cox, sailing GBR716 Jerboa with Mark Hart and Mark Daly, while Len Jones, sailing GBR708 Rumours with Jamie Lea and Jeremy Jordan, moves down from fourth to fifth on 22 points.

The fifth race of the six race series took place in a light and variable southwesterly and PRO Jonathan Money wisely moved the course inshore and reduced the leg length from 2 to around 1.4 miles to take advantage of what little wind there was. Initially the teams were overeager and it took three general recalls before they finally got away but once underway it was another spectacularly close race with constant place changing.

Speaking after racing winner Gavia Wilkinson-Cox said, "It was an exciting race today. Having had a win yesterday morning and then a disastrous fifteenth yesterday afternoon we'd gone out with a bit of a game plan today and exceeded it by coming first which was fun. We had very good racing, a long delay to start but it was nice that the race officer waited to get it started correctly. It gave us a bit of time to socialise and it was nice to see our sponsors from Aberdeen Asset Management out on a spectator boat watching the racing and clearly very involved with the event. We've had terrific racing here and for us personally to win two races and go into the last race tomorrow in good shape in 3rd is great - although we are definitely ruing our fifteenth place of yesterday!"

Gavia's tactician Mark Hart takes up the story of their race. "There was a lot of tide on the left hand side of the course, which is what we were focused on and the fact that the right hand side under the cliffs was potentially dangerous because it could go very light and shifty in there - we'd seen that earlier in the week.

"We were just trying to get a nice clean start and a clear lane, but everyone was pushing it and we were quite relieved when the first few starts were recalled. On the last start everybody left a lot of room towards the pin end so we thought let's just start where we want to start and go left. We came to the weather mark about sixth behind Bill [Hardesty], Ted [Sawyer, sailing USA310 Clairvoyant with Martin Payne and Will Willett], Andrew [Craig] and the Pages [Clive Page, sailing GBR740 Pageboy X with Graeme and Rory Page] but it was very busy and as we turned onto the run there must have been about a dozen boats spread almost in line across the run. A couple of guys, including Len Jones, gybed out into tide and slowly dropped off.

"Down the run Bill got away a bit, he'd gone right up the beat, got a good shift going into the mark, rounded first and that little bit of space allowed him to gybe set in clear air and slip away, whereas we were in dirty air with everyone else. On the run we stayed on port until the very end of the run, Bill rounded first followed by the Pages then Andrew, and we rounded just behind Ted. The boats in front of us tacked off quite early and we only had Ted in front of us so we decided to go below him and head out left. Half way up that beat we tacked on a bit of a shift and we could see Bill below us and he'd lost pressure.

"At the second weather mark it was incredibly close and we rounded about fifth or six again, but still in contention. Bill gybed early for the leeward mark and went out into tide and let us slide down inside him. At the second leeward mark Ted and Bill took the right hand side, which was slightly closer, with Ted first and Bill right on his heels. We took the left just behind Andrew. The wind veered and we went round on a big lift.

"Luckily for us Andrew left us a boat length of room to get inside and we held that lane all the way up. Ted and Bill were initially abeam of us and whether it was tide advantage or slightly more wind I'm not sure, but slowly we inched out on them until about half way up the beat where they had to tack towards us, but then they tacked right again and straight away they died. Then we got a little bit of a knock and Andrew tacked across to cover Bill, but we felt there was more to be had here and we stood on until we got another knock before we tacked and then gradually got lifted off Andrew to cross the line a couple of boat lengths ahead of them with Ted third, Bill fourth and Len fifth."

Following the leading pack across the line in sixth place was local boy Chris Hunt, sailing GBR741 with Mike Relling and John Wilson. Mike Holmes, sailing GBR684 Hand of Fortune with Alex Burnett and Roy Roberts, saw his fortunes improve today as his seventh place gave him a first top ten result of the series. The all family crew of father Clive, brother Graeme and son Rory Page, who are newcomers to grand prix Dragon sailing, were delighted to finish eighth, their second top ten result of the series.

Once the championship race was concluded it was time for the skippers to hand over the tiller to their crews for the traditional Edinburgh Crews' Race. With 15 teams racing and the PRO setting an exciting course that included an initial windward leeward followed by a beat back across Falmouth harbour to the club line it was an interesting and very close race. Tom Makey, helming GBR704 Ganador with regular skipper Martin Makey and Rowena Jones as crew, was the victor closely followed by Duncan Grindley, sailing GBR722 Avalanche with Mark and Mandy Wade. Ben McVeigh, sailing GBR717 Nereid with Patrick Gifford and Ed Streeter finished third, closely followed by Ed Clark, sailing GBR653 with British Dragon Association Chairman Owen Pay and Josy Roberts-Pay. The prizes for the Crews' Race will be presented at tonight's Aberdeen Asset Management supported gala dinner, which takes place at Trebah Gardens.

The championship concludes tomorrow with one final race. The forecast is for rain and a building wind but that is unlikely to dampen everyone's enthusiasm as the leaders go head to head to claim the legendary Edinburgh Cup.

Results:

Pos Boat SailNo Helm Crew R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 Tot Net
1 Chimaera IRL 192 Craig, Andrew Pedro Andrade, Brian Matthew 6 1 3 -9 2 21 12
2 Gorgeous Worgeous GBR 723 Hardesty Bill Quentin Strauss, Nigel Young 1 -9 7 2 4 23 14
3 Quicksilver IV GBR 743 Campbell, Rob John Torrance, Matt Walker 5 3 9 1 -13 31 18
4 Jerboa GBR 716 Wilkinson-Cox, Gavia Mark Hart, Mark Daly -15 2 1 15 1 34 19
5 Rumours GBR 708 Jones, Len Jamie Lea, Jeremy Jordan 2 7 8 -10 5 32 22
6 Biff GBR 744 Tavinor, Tim Nicola Wilton, Thomas Wilton 4 -18 2 4 16 44 26
7 Clairvoyant USA 310 Sawyer Edward Martyn Payne, William Willett 9 4 -19 14 3 49 30
8 Ganador GBR 704 Makey, Martin Tom Makey, Rowena Jones -21 5 12 7 11 56 35
9 Cool Runnings GBR 748 Junker, Thorkild Jochem Visser, Tom Whitburn 12 8 11 5 -18 54 36
10 Avalanche GBR 722 Wade, Mark Amanda Wade, Duncan Grindley 7 11 10 -12 9 49 37
11 Fei-Lin's Flirtation GBR 633 James, Ron Julia Walsh, Axel Waltersdorph -18 6 5 16 14 59 41
12 Aimee GBR 720 Bailey, Julia Graham Bailey, David Heritage 3 13 18 8 -20 62 42
13 Pageboy X GBR 740 Page, Clive Graeme Page, Rory Page 14 -22 20 3 8 67 45
14 Hand of Fortune GBR 684 Holmes, Mike Alex Burnett, Roy Roberts 13 14 -23 11 7 68 45
15 Ginkgo FRA 381 Lafon, Etienne Jean Claude Roumaillac, Alain Jacob 11 -21 4 19 12 67 46
16 Nereid GBR 717 Gifford, Patrick Ben McVeigh, Ed Streeter 10 -15 14 13 10 62 47
17 Spindrift GBR 712 Harrison, Gary Tom Harrison, Simon Dayes 8 12 13 -20 15 68 48
18 Njord GBR 653 Pay, Owen Josy Roberts-Pay 17 10 6 18 -24 75 51
19 Flawless GBR 741 Hunt, Christopher John Wilson, Mike Relling 16 19 16 -21 6 78 57
20 Scimitar GBR 730 Sowry, Julian Claire Sowry, Hillary Gallo -22 17 17 6 17 79 57
21 Ducru GBR686 Trebilcock Matt Mark Webster, Mike Cauldry -24 24 15 17 19 99 75
22 Basilisk GBR 515 Hayles, Mike Monique Hayles, Julain Brooke-Houghton 20 16 -25 23 23 107 82
23 Seafire GBR 636 Crabb, David Chris Edwards, Simon Howard 19 20 21 -25 22 107 82
24 ..Magic. GBR 695 Cole Nigel David Andrassy, Katie Cole 23 23 -24 22 21 113 89
25 Cavalier GBR 718 Singer, Tony Jenny Stutley, John Marriott -25 25 22 24 25 121 96
26 Quicksilver GBR 534 Flutter, Peter Robert Hughes, Tom Crockard 26 -27 27 26 26 132 105
27 Tana GBR 498 Bowles, Timothy Harry Martin, Tom Redgrave 27 26 26 27 (29.0 DNF) 135 106

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