Offshore race underway

Light winds for Commodores' Cup highest scoring race

Wednesday August 14th 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: United Kingdom
The offshore race of the Rolex Commodores' Cup got underway at 1400 this afternoon from the Squadron line in around 6-7 knots of breeze.

Right out of the starting box the fleet split in two with 13 boats heading for the north side of the Solent with the breeze while the remainder stayed by the island shore to get the first of the ebb tide, until the wind dropped off to nothing.

The leading boats Bear of Britain and Mandrake passed Hurst at 1550. They were following by Natty Vee, Fair Dos, El Gringo, Carphone Warehouse Communicator, Salty Dog, Kerisma, Minnie the Moocher and only then by Team Tonic and Chernikeef. At the time the leaders passed Hurst Chernikeef 2 was making slow work of it still off Lymington on the mainland side of the course.

After passing Hurst Peter Morton's Mandrake were so close to the Shingles that their keel was bumping along the bottom.

The course of the Rolex Commodore's Cup is quite convoluted. 122 miles long the course is:

- Poole no. 1 ­ starboard
- Leave I.O.W ­ port
- Nab Tower ­ Port
- Dean Elbow ­ starboard
- Pullar ­ port inbetween Owers & Nab 50 40.47N/ 00 50.11 W
- Owers ­ starboard
- South pullar ­ starboard 50 38.82N / 00 49.18W
- St. Helens bouy ­ port
- Bembridge ledge ­ starboard
- West Princessar ­ port
- Bembridge ledge ­ port
- Pullar ­ port inbetween Owers & Nab 50 40.47N/ 00 50.11 W
- No Mans Land ­ port
- Horse sands ­ starboard
- Finish Line Bravo

So to Poole, back round the south side of the Island and then round a series of marks to the east of the Isle of Wight. The idea is that should the wind drop off to nothing, as seems likely, RORC can easily shorten course, which would be harder if all the boats were en route to Cherbourg.

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