Dignity claims Class 0
The wind gods smiled at last on the final day of the 2012 Vice Admirals' Cup in Cowes, where the 73 strong fleet enjoyed two final races in a 12-16 knot NNEerly. An ebb tide kept the sea relatively flat and conditions were near perfect for the final showdown.
Again the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club's Race Committee took their race courses up onto the Hillhead Plateau and with the stronger winds they were able to set longer windward leeward courses using a mix of laid and permanent marks.
In Class 0 the 17 crews competing for places in the GBR Team at the 2012 Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup made the most of their last chance to secure a team slot. An announcement about selections will be made by the RYA on Tuesday evening, but selection committee member Chris Mason reported that they have been very impressed with the standard of racing. After two more intense and extremely close races those now feeling pretty confident of selection must include Dignity, owned by Andrew Williams, who extended their overnight lead to claim the top podium spot with a 6 point advantage, Jonathan Goring's Keronimo who took second place and Andrew Pearces's Magnum II in third.
Class 1 for the 44-45ft series production boats had another cracking day with the British Keelboat Academy's Kolga holding onto her overall lead despite finishing in 5th and 6th places. Having discarded the 6th, her worst score of the series, she secured a 3 point overall lead over Jerry Otter's Werewolf, who took second place by just a single point from Jeff Blue's Espresso Martini.
Class 2 for the J/111s saw plenty of cut and thrust as the boats enjoyed the stronger breeze. James Arnell's Jeez Louise held their lead thanks to a win in the first race followed by a 5th, which they discarded to take the series by 8 points. Duncan McDonald & Phil Thomas pulled up into second overall whilst David & Kirsty Apthorp hit their stride again after yesterday's misstep, jumping back up into third overall.
Steven Tapper's Stalker gave the J/109s of Class 3 a masterclass as this well drilled crew took two further bullets to win the series by 22 points, the biggest margin of all the fleets. Although Stalker had first place sewn up the battle for second and third raged. Steve and Jody Main's J2eau put in a steady day to take second place leaving Inspara, owned by Tor Mclaren, and Jeagerbomb, owned by Paul Griffiths, vying for third. Jaegerbomb put in a sterling effort but at the end of the day both boats were tied on 39 points with Inspara taking third on countback. Post racing Steven Tapper commented: "It all came good for us really, we had our worst race first of all with very flukey winds and we didn't read it very well, but it then got better and better for us as the weekend went on."
Perhaps the closest on the water racing of the weekend has been amongst the Quarter Tonners in Class 4 where closely overlapped finishes were the norm all weekend. Rickard Melander's Alice II put in a bravura performance winning the regatta with a set of seven wins and a discarded second place from the last race. When asked what halted their winning streak in that last race Rick laughed wryly as he answered simply, "We broached!" The fight for second place was so close that George Andreadis's Atalanti IV and Sam Laidlaw's Aguila could only be separated on countback with Atalanti IV claiming second.
Class 5's SB20 racing went right down to the wire with a spectacular dogfight between Oleg Zherebtsov & Rodion Luka's Team Russia and the Llewellyn/Wakefield/Virgus Syndicates' Henri Lloyd/Forelle Estates. Team Russia took the first race with Henri Lloyd/Forelle Estates 2nd giving Team Russia a two-point advantage. In the final race the two boats battled it out all the way round the course with Henri-Llloyd/Forelle Estates taking the lead and doing everything they could to put boats between them and Team Russia. But it was not to be and while Henri-Lloyd/Forelle Estates went on to win the race Team Russia crossed the line second to claim overall victory. Jerry Hill's Sportsboatworld.com took third overall. After racing Oleg Zherebstov, better known to many as the man behind Team Russia in the last Volvo Ocean Race, commented on how much he was enjoying the challenge of sportsboat one design racing: "I like the SB20 - tactics, speed wise, sport wise its a good class. We have two boats - one in St Petersburg and one here - and we keep the boat in the UK as its a very very competitive fleet."
At the prize giving Rear Commodore Sailing Mike Till thanked both the competitors and the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club's race committee, volunteer members and staff for making this record breaking Vice Admiral's Cup such a resounding success. He also paid tribute to the event's sponsors Musto, North Sails, Boat Sales International and Pascall Atkey & Sons for their generous ongoing support. The class winners received Musto vouchers worth £500 and Pascall Atkey & Sons vouchers worth £100 plus glass wear and trophies which were presented by Vice Commodore Amanda Dreyer. Each team attending the prize giving also received a congratulatory bottle of Mountgay Rum courtesy of North Sails.
Full results here