Vice Admiral's Cup 2009

Fleets in place for end of May regatta

Tuesday May 26th 2009, Author: Louise Morton, Location: United Kingdom
With just a few days left to go until the start of the fifth Vice Admiral's Cup, to be hosted by the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, Cowes, from Friday 29 to Sunday 31 May, there's already a big buzz about this year's regatta.

Class 0 (50-52 feet) is to be a battle for supremacy among the IRC optimised TP52s with John Vincent's Pace Panthera currently squaring up against Warsash Spring Series Big Boat winners Robert Lutener & Martin Elwood in Cutting Edge. Additional entries are expected in this class, however, if they don't materialise look out for some truly spectacular match racing!

Class 1 (44-46 feet) has an interesting line-up and as always we can expect some very tight racing here. Fresh from their recent victory in the 45ft class at Warsash Spring Series Jerry Otter and his crew aboard Farr 45 Werewolf will be hoping to reprise their 2007 Vice Admiral's Cup victory, but with the likes of Agne V Nilsson's Fortis Excel, Stewart Whitehead's Rebel and Jeffrey Blue's Expresso Martini determined not to let them have it all their own way we look forward to some outstanding competition from this very strong class.

Class 3 (J109 Class) is currently set to be the largest class competing with thirteen entries already confirmed at the time of writing. David & Kirsty Apthorp's J-Dream looks like the bookie's favourite, but with the Gill Ross and Richard Sainsbury's Jambhala, Guy Knight's Beth, David Jobson's Audajious and several other very strong teams also racing it could be anyone's regatta.

Class 4 will, as always, feature the fabulous Quarter Tonners and with several new boats joining the familiar faces it's clear that the revival of these historic little boats continues apace. Already 11 Quarter Tonners have confirmed their entries and several more are expected to join the fray. One of those not yet formally entered and still hard at work in the boat shed is Rob Gray who retrieved a boat from Spain in need of much TLC just two months ago. With a little bit of help from some fellow Quarter Ton sailors Rob hopes to have the boat launched, rated and ready to race in time.

Quarter Ton Class Chairman Peter Morton has also been labouring enthusiastically to refit Anchor Challenge, the sister ship to his 2007 Coutts Quarter Ton Cup winner Espada. Anchor Challenge arrived in the UK last summer and Peter determinedly competed in the 2008 Coutts Quarter Ton Cup with the boat in her 'original' state but after the rig broke on stepping followed by three days spent catching fittings as they flew off and sweeping delaminated sail cloth off the deck his crew mutinied and refused to sail again until a refit had been completed. Naturally Peter's wife Louise, who now owns and helms Espada, will be hoping that Anchor Challenge's refit hasn't added too much speed to the boat and that she and her all girl crew will still have the upper hand in their ongoing husband versus wife/boys versus girls battle.

Another newly refitted Quarter Tonner to look out for will be Menace, formerly Junior, which was brought back from France and refitted over the winter by Derek and James Morland and Tim Rees and will be making her debut this weekend.

The compensate for the performance difference between the older and newer boats the 50-52 ft class will race under IRC this year. The Quarter Tonners will also compete under IRC as the class incorporates boats built to all three very different iterations of the Quarter Ton Rule. The 44-45 ft class and the J/109s will level race. Racing will take place in the central Solent with the 50-52 and 44-46 foot classes on one course and the J/109s and Quarter Tonners on another. Each evening competitors will be able to enjoy an informal après sailing supper at the Royal Corinthian's beautiful harbour side club house and there will be a formal prize giving after racing on the final day of the regatta.

For the fourth consecutive year the organisers are delighted to be working with event sponsors North Sails, Musto, and Boat Sales International who will each sponsor a day of racing. The support of these sponsors plays a vital role in ensuring the success of the Vice Admiral's Cup and the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club is very pleased to be partnering with them again for 2009.

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