Volvo get the chair

Ben Ainslie and Robert Condon win Rocking Chair trophy today at Cowes Week

Friday August 9th 2002, Author: Dick Johnson, Location: United Kingdom
Rain? Not a chance. Torrential downpour? Well, okay then, if you insist.

Regatta forecaster Chris Tibbs promised that this might be a day for the gardeners rather than the sailors, with light winds for at least some of the day and rain for most. Uncannily accurate as always, the rain started on cue with the first gun and continued till mid afternoon. Initially the wind was good, with a reasonable Force 3 to get the boats moving on time, but round about lunchtime,just when the Victorys and the X One Designs were getting keyed up to race, the wind deserted the Squadron line, even if it did keep blowing over most of the rest of the Solent.

But don't let's get ahead of ourselves.

The big boats, Classes 0 and 1, were on the committee boat line over by the mainland and were jointly racing for the Island Sailing Club's Rocking Chair Trophy. They also had enough wind to start and got away on a course that took them to the North East Mining Ground buoy right out on the end of Ryde Sands.

On the Squadron line, the first class away was the Etchells and with a virtually slack tide making it an easy matter to keep the right side of the line, it was business as usual for Messrs Woodman, Proudfoot and Ford aboard 'Fuzzy Duck', who started well and got better. 'Diva', (Gareth Jones) and '007', (Mike Sparks) had their usual battle for the front too, but there was no denying the Duck boys who go on to win the class overall too.

As the start sequence went on the tide was getting stronger and while it should have been keeping the boats from the line, its effect was to force the classes closer and closer to the line in order not to fall too far behind in the lightening wind.

Class 5 made sure that they were up to the line by being too close altogether, a general recall was signalled. There was about a twenty minute wait for their restart, but they were obviously impatient, the whole class starting ten minutes too early on an imagined signal. Luckily they all came back in time for their real re-start and finally Class 5 was off and the racing on the Black Group line could return to normality.

They had a slowish race, but eventually 'Software Mistress', (Ian Maclean), came home in the lead on the water and on handicap, followed by the French registered, but Dutch owned 'Yamaha Waverunner', a First 37.7 sailed by Charles Devanneaux from Kudelstaart. These two are also leading the overall placings for the class, with the Adams 10, 'Great Scott II', sailed by Eurof Phillips and Barbara MacKay with a crew of Australians third. 'Software Mistress' is also well placed, seventh, overall for the whole Black Group.

With the wind and tide indicating a start at the inner limit mark of the Black Group line, the Contessa 32s lined up well in advance. 'Gualin', (David and Mary Parson), staked a spot on the buoy, only to be too early and have to battle to stay the right side of the line - a battle that they lost. They were recorded OCS and that might have some effect on the final outcome of the overall results for the class. 'Gualin' had recorded four seconds and a fourth and so discarded their OCS to record 12 points. 'Blanco', (Messrs Rouse, Richards and Anner) notched a third today and scoring a foureenth, two firsts and three thirds snatched the overall win by just one point.

For the record, 'Blue Shark' , (K Mizen' and D Lang) won the day from 'South Haze', (John Holloway and Stuart Paton), with 'Blanco' third.

By the time the Victory class came to the start line the wind was getting fluky, but there was still enough to race. By the time their start gun fired, however, the wind had absented itself almost entirely and the Victorys were being sent backwards on the tide. For a while no Victorys were anywhere near the line, and one boat, 'Z71', (Christina, W. J. Wyatt and J. R. Tully), actually drifted backwards between the main hull and the starboard float of the 60ft trimaran 'Le Neuf', chartered to take 'Gartmore' guests for a sail. The hapless Victory was jammed in by the tide and it took all the boat handling skills of a RIB driver to get a line to her and tow her free and then hand her over to the Cowes Inshore Lifeboat to take her back for a throughout check-up. It looked as though there would be more Victorys and perhaps an X or two that might repeat the performance, so 'Le Neuf' quickly dropped the mooring and skedaddled out into the safer waters of the open Solent.

With the Victorys still - well, some of them - littering the start line, the Race Officers decided to postpone the X One Design start, but the wind decided not to co-operate, dropping almost completely just on the line. There was wind in the Medina, there was wind on the moorings, there was wind out on the Black Group start line, there just wasn't any wind where the X boats ought to be. Eventually, after waiting about an hour there was just nothing more to be done than to abandon the X One Design racing. The tide was too strong for the little keelboats to make ground and there was nothing more to do.

Overall, the class is led by X80, 'Lass', sailed by Simon Russell, better known as 'Fumesy', by a handy twenty one points from Stuart Jardine's 'Lone Star' 'Lass' records three fourths, a seventh and an eighth as his results, showing that consistency is what counts in big fleets. In joint third overall, lie James Froy's 'Phoenix' and Alistair Ashford's 'Relaxation' with forty eight points. With just one more day of racing to come,. It looks as though the Jardine grasp on the overall X One Design trophies might be loosened.

While Victorys were still trying to cross the line - some were almost at Egypt Point - the big boats in Class One came home, led on the water by the massive red spinnaker over the black hull of 'Volvo for Life', the Swan 70 sailed by Ben Ainslie. Not too far behind followed the black hull of Nick Hewson's 'Team Tonic', steered by Jeremy Robinson and with Paul Brotherton as tactician. They won the Farr 52 battle as Peter Harrison's 'Chernikeef 2' was astern, with Chris law at the helm of 'Bear of Britain' in a distant third - perhaps they should have let Mark Campbell-James stay at the helm, he seemed quicker than Law. . .

Initially 'Volvo for Life' corrected out 18 seconds ahead of 'Team Tonic', but we were waiting for the Class one boats to come in to see if they would be able to topple the big black boat.

When Class one did approach, it seemed as though it had been a big boat day, as Tony Mack's 'McFly', the Swan 45 One Design was well in the lead from 'Carphone Warehouse', (Charles Dunstone), followed by the massive Swan 62 RS sailed by the Mesdag family and others. Today was not a day for the smaller boats as the Kerr 11.3s were lagging well behind. For a change it was not 'Kung Fu Fighter', (Rob Greenhalgh), leading this class within a class, but the violently orange and yellow 'Minnie the Moocher', (Anthony Richards).

When 'Kung Fu Fighter' did appear, they were battling with the far larger First 47.7 'Kiribilli', (Douglas and Lynn Flynn). As they both passed to the north of the White Group finish line, the Ker luffed the First and Rob Greenhalgh threatened to unfurl his protest flag. He didn't. However, and when 'Kiribilli' went to change from the spinnaker to a genoa and a gust came along, the little Ker shot past as though the bigger boat was standing still. Good skills kept the boat on her feet as a strong series of gusts threatened to spin the blue-hulled 'Kung Fu Fighter' out of control, and they finally achieved their change to a genoa and beat the bigger white boat over the line for good measure.

Skandia Life's Young Skipper award finally went to Matt Glasgow sailing the Sonata 'Cobweb', after early leader Christian Hamilton sailing the Sonar 'Geronimo' was declared DSQ on Wednesday after a protest for an infringement of the class rules. Apparently one of Geronimo's crew was seen hiking out - something severely frowned upon by the class rules.

With just one more day of Skandia Life Cowes Week left to run, the fireworks coming tonight and a forecast of a capful of wind for Saturday, the week looks highly likely to end with a bang.


Rocking Chair Trophy (Class 0 & 1)
1, Volvo For Life (Ben Ainslie & Robert Condon)
2, Team Tonic (Nick Hewson)
3, Chernikeef 2 (Peter R Harrison)

Class 0 IRC
1, Volvo For Life (Ben Ainslie & Robert Condon)
2, Team Tonic (Nick Hewson)
3, Chernikeef 2 (Peter R Harrison)

Class 0 IRM
1, Team Tonic (Nick Hewson)
2, Chernikeef 2 (Peter R Harrison)
3, Bear Of Britain (Kit Hobday & Tim Louis)

Class 1 IRC
1, McFly (Tony Mack)
2, Carphone Warehouse (Charles Dunstone)
3, Minnie The Moocher (Anthony Richards)

Class 1 IRM
1, Arbitrator (Stephen Bailey)
2, Kung Fu Fighter (Rob Greenhalgh)
3, Farrfalina (Rob Goddard)

Ker 11.3
1, Minnie The Moocher (Anthony Richards)
2, Kung Fu Fighter (Rob Greenhalgh)

Class 2 IRC
1, Danebury Ex 2 (Danebury Vinyards)
2, Weerga (Wessel Liezenga)
3, Firestorm (Jonathan Perry)

Prima 38
1, Firestorm (Jonathan Perry)
2, Closing Time (David Riley & Andrew Yates)
3, Born Slippy (Julian Bates)

Class 3 IRC
1, Pissaro (Mr Barry Polley)
2, Fastwave (St James's Place Partnership)
3, Alvine Xii (Harry Evans)

Beneteau 40.7
1, Pissaro (Mr Barry Polley)
2, Fastwave (St James's Place Partnership)
3, Royalblue Addict (Austin, Fitton & Handley)

Class 4 IRC
1, Dog Tag (Mr J Delacave & Mrs B Butcher)
2, Capitali$M (Tim Harrington)
3, Owl (Peter Bruce)

HOD 35
1, Dog Tag (Mr J Delacave & Mrs B Butcher)
2, Capitali$M (Tim Harrington)
3, Owl (Peter Bruce)

Class 5 IRC
1, Software Mistress (Ian Maclean)
2, Yamaha Waverunner (Charles Devanneaux)
3, Prime Cut (Peter Parker)

Class 6 IRC
1, Spirit Of Defiance (Mark Jephcott)
2, Dick Dastardly (Guy Nicholls and Partners)
3, Charger (Cdr A W Pheby (Rtd))

Class 7 IRC
1, Floater (Barrie, Matt & Chris Aston)
2, Tsunami (Roger & Liz Swinney)
3, Dynamite (John Mcintosh)

Class 8 ISC
1, Mikado (Michael Briggs QC)
2, Iona (David Clementi)
3, Second Love (Michael A Palette)

Class 9 ISC
1, Rio (Mike Shepherd)
2, So! (Simon Osgood)
3, Murena (Charles Liddell & Hugh Carter)

Class 10 IRC Bowsprit
1, Waverider (Mike Bennett)
2, Wings Of The Wind (Andrew McIrvine & Steven Thorpe)
3, Jezebel (Philip Swatman & Bruce Isles)

1, Big Wednesday (Roger Mavity)
2, Forza (Jack & Joan Hardie)
3, Jupiter (James Owen)

Contessa 32
1, Blue Shark (Mr K Mizen & Mr D Lang)
2, South Haze (John Holloway & Stuart Paton)
3, Blanco (D Richards, R Rouse & T V Anner)

Mumm 30
1, Tigger (Chris Thorne)
2, Pogo Bogo (David Knight)
3, Highlander III (Gregor Logan)

Sigma 33
1, Summation (Julia Wright)
2, Alexa (Ian Le Maitre)
3, Vela (Helen Woodland & Eddie Smith)

Sigma 38
1, Prophet (Grenville Snowdon)
2, Alliance (J L Brantley)
3, Rapscallion (Pete Diamond)

Sunsail 37
1, 79 Bank Of Scotland (Sunsail)
2, 49 Lloyds Tsb Sailing Club (John Parker)
3, 55 Pinsent Curtis Biddle (Peter Stanley)

1, X-Therapist (Russell Hodgson)
2, Brightwork (Graham Fairhall)
3, Yellow Rose (Marten Jan Ringers)

1, Dreamer (John Ewart & Lavina Perry)
2, Division Belle (C N C Hill, Lt Col B J W Green, M C Sillars & J Reynolds)
3, Decoy (A Norton, D Chaplin, J Goodwin & R Ottaway)

Hunter 707
1, Chiilli Chaser (Ian Southworth)
2, The Sweeney (Charles Whelay)
3, Star-Born 3 (Peter Dickson)

National Sonata
1, So (Neil McLure & Keith Stewart)
2, Missred (Toby Gorman)
3, Pizzicato (Tom White & Simon Townsend)

International Dragon
1, Etc Hell (Graham Bailey)
2, Chaotic (Richard Jordon)
3, Hestia (Frank Jan Beuningen)

International Etchells
1, Fuzzy Duck IV (Woodman, Proudlove & Ford)
2, Diva (Mr Gareth Jones)
3, 007 (Mike Sparks)

International Flying Fifteen
1, Saffina (Roger Palmer)
2, Funny Enuff (John Mander)
3, Cloud 9 (Barry Rolfe)

National Squib
1, Red Admiral (Chris Gear)
2, Yes M'Lady (Stephen & Angie Whittone)
3, Nan (Graham Smyth)

National Swallow
1, Archon (Prof Malcolm Green)
2, Solitude (A J Lunch & A M Reid)
3, Ptarmigan (David Leon)

1, Redstart (Mrs Jonathan Peel)
2, Siskin (Mr T Montagu Douglas Scott & Miss A Montagu Douglass Scott)
3, Lady Laetitia (William F Clegg, William H Clegg & Erik Cole)

1, Team Purple (Philip Wright)
2, Fat Face (Martin Wadhams)
3, Pukka Clothing Company (Phil McDonald and Malcolm Morley)

Seaview Mermaid
1, Bluebell (David Rowley, David Stevens & Anthony Roberts)
2, Naomi (John Sandiford-Haigh)
3, Scuttle 62 (Nick Wakefield)

Solent Sunbeam
1, Daisy (Dr Mike Moss & Mike Law)
2, Danny (Roger & Jacky Wickens)
3, Fay (Kirk Webster & Richard Pearson)

1, Dolphin (Duncan Bates)
2, Mischief (Paul Miller)
3, Sonnet (Steve Sleight)

Sportsboats Rule
1, Flamboyant (Chris Jago)
2, Rattle And Hum (James Ives)
3, Boondoggle (Phillip & Michaela Allen)

Bull 7000
1, Seeing Red (Phil Cornick)
2, Rustler (Robin & Jill Stevenson)
3, Hullabulloo (Martin Forster)

Cork 1720
1, Flamboyant (Chris Jago)
2, Boondoggle (Phillip & Michaela Allen)
3, Hybrid Challenger (Jonny Marshall)

Laser SB3
1, Hyde Sails (Mark Richards & Rob Andrews)
2, Laser Sb3 (Richard Gibson, Nico Honor & Sandy McPhail)
3, Wee Jamarama (Stewart Hawthorn)

1, Zinnia (Jeremy Lear & John Tremlett)
2, Woozle (Nigel P Sefton-Smith)
3, Zig Zag (Jim Hughes & Trish Foster)

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