Crunch time for Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup triallists
The teams competing in the 2012 Vice Admiral's Cup were delighted when day two brought sunshine and wind, albeit a shifty 6-10 knots from the west, enabling all six fleets to complete three more races - races 4-6 of the series. With more tricky wind and tide conditions to contend with and the discard in play there have been plenty of place changes on the leader boards and there's all to play for going into tomorrow's final day.
Race Officers Robert Lamb and Bob Milner took their fleets up onto the Hillhead Plateau with the race area for Classes 0 to 2 set to the south-west of that for Classes 3 to 5. The big boat fleets were able to get underway on time at 10.30, but the smaller boats, which were closer in to the mainland shore, had a postponement whilst they waited for the lighter and shiftier inshore wind to settle.
Overall Class 0, the GBR Team triallists for the 2012 Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup, continues to be led by Jonathan Goring's Keronimo. In Class 1, for the 40-45 foot series production boats, the British Keelboat Academy's Kolga extended her lead. It was all change in Class 2, for the J/111s where James Arnell's Jeez Louise now has top spot, while in Class 3's J/109 fleet Steven Tapper's Stalker has extended her lead with another impressive day. Boat of the series is currently Rick Melander's Alice II in Class 4 for the Quarter Tonners whose run of six straight bullets puts him in firm control. The battle for supremacy in the SB20 fleet of Class 5 continues to be fierce with Russia's Oleg Zherrebtsov and Rodion Luka aboard Team Russia just hanging onto their overnight lead by a single point.
It was all change in Class 0 as the 17 teams continued to vie for their places in the GBR Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup Team. Overnight leader Keronimo, owned by Jonathan Goring, got the day off to a good start with a win in race four and a 4th in race five, but a disappointing 8th in race six saw them drop down the standings into second overall. Meanwhile their closest rival Dignity, owned by Andrew Williams, was impressively consistent adding 2, 1, 1 to their card and, with the discard now in play allowing them to drop an 8th place from yesterday, they lead the regatta by 7 points going into the final day. Andrew Pearce's Magnum III has moved up into third place, 5 points behind Keronimo, thanks to a pair of 3rds and a 4th, Nicolas Gaumont-Prat's Philosophie IV retains fourth place overall while Mike West's Eaujet, who had been lying third overall overnight, dropped into fifth place.
The British Keelboat Academy's Kolga tightened her hold on Class 1 with two more 1st places and a 4th in race five. They now lead the regatta by 9 points from Jerry Otter's Werewolf who scored 2, 3, 4 and count 15 points. Jeff Blue's Espresso Martini jumped up the standings from 5th to 3rd thanks to two 2nd places and a 5th, which they now discard so they sit 1 point behind Werewolf.
There were big changes for the J/111s where the normally ultra reliable David & Kirsty Apthorp's J Dream had a shocker of a day finishing last in races four and five before recovering slight to take 4th in race six. As a result they drop from first to fourth in the overall standings. James Arnell's Jeez Louise has moved up into the lead from second thanks to a 4, 3, 1 score. Ricardo Tavoncelli's Manic finally found form winning races four and five but dropped back into last in the last race although it was enough to move them up into second overall on equal point with Duncan McDonald and Phil Thomas's Shmokin' Joe. Manic currently holds second on count back.
Steven Tapper's Stalker has a firm grip on the 16 strong J/109 fleet thanks to two further wins and a second place. They count 6 points and have an 11 point lead over nearest rival J2eau, owned by Steve and Jody Maine, who managed to hang onto second overall by adding 3, 8, 7 to their card. Six points behind them is Tor McLaren's Inspara, who moved up from fifth, and fourth places is now held by Paul Griffiths' Jagerbomb. Stalker's run of luck almost came to an end in the fifth race when their jib sheet snapped as the tacked onto the starboard layline for the first mark. Fortunately the crew's quick thinking saved the day and within a few seconds three of the team had hold of the flapping sheet tail and clew and they were able to sheet in effectively enough to allow them to continue towards the mark at almost full speed as their team mates rigged up a replacement sheet.
Rick Melander's Alice II is not only dominating the 11 strong Quarter Ton Class, but is also top performing boat in the regatta. Their perfect score of six straight wins puts them into pole position for class victory tomorrow. The big battle in the Quarter Tonners will be for second place with George Andreadis's Atalanti IV and Sam Laidlaw's Aguila counting 17 points apiece and both currently discarding a 6th. Also still in contention for a spot on the podium are Diamund Foley's Anchor Challenge with 21 points and Louise Morton's Espada with 30 points.
Russia's Oleg Zherebtsov and Rodion Luka aboard Team Russia are hanging onto the lead in the SB20 fleet (Class 5) by a single point over Henri-Lloyd/Forelle Estates, owned by the Llewellyn/Wakefield/Virgus syndicate. Henri-Lloyd/Forelle Estates actually had the better day today with two 1sts and a 2nd, but Team Russia finished immediately behind them in each race and just managed to keep them at bay overall. Jerry Hill's Sportsboatworld.com is nipping hard at their heels thanks to two 3rds and a win in race five and is now just two points behind in third overall.
The forecast for tomorrow's final day promises more wind with around 10-15 knots from the North East so we look forward to a great final showdown for this record breaking Vice Admiral's Cup.
Once again the Vice Admiral's Cup is supported by long standing sponsors North Sails, Musto and Boat Sales International, and for 2012 we are delighted to welcome new sponsor Pascall Atkey The generous support of these sponsors is vital to the ongoing success of the event.