Aguila and Anchor Challenge fight back
While the weather may have been overcast on day two of the Coutts Quarter Ton Cup the fleet most definitely was not and the 30 teams enjoyed three more stunning races. It was a day of high drama in every sense with constant parry and thrust on the race course and the black flagging of four of the top ten boats in race six. With the discard not coming into play until a seventh race has been sailed the black flags hit the overall results hard. Those affected were Rickard Melander's Alice II, Rob Gray's Blackfun, George Kenefick's Tiger and Louise Morton's Espada, all of whom are ranked in the top ten.
Man of the match today was without doubt George Andreadis sailing Atalanti IV, the only boat in the fleet still in her original ownership. George brought all his years of hard earned knowledge to bear on today's changeable conditions and added 3, 9, 2.5 to his scorecard to move up from eleventh to sixth overall. Aboard Aquila Sam Laidlaw was back at the helm, but proved he was more than capable of building on John Greenwood's solid start of yesterday as he put a pair of 7s and a 5 onto their results sheet and in doing so crept up two places into second overall.
The Irish teams had another great day with Ian Travers & Eamon Rohan's Per Elisa and Diamund Foley's Anchor Challenge, being helmed this week by Paul Gibbons, both putting in solid results. Per Elisa won race 4, stumbled with a 14th in race 5, but came back with a fifth in race six to move up from ninth overall to fifth. Anchor Challenge struggled in the first race finishing twenty-first but then won races five and six which shunts them from fifth to third overall, six points behind Aguila.
Overnight leader Peter Morton aboard Bullit found the lighter conditions far from his liking and after finishing 11th and eighth in races 4 and 5 he must have been a relieved man when so many of his closest competitors were black flagged at the start of race six. Bullit enjoyed the slightly stronger breeze and finished fourth on corrected to retain the overall lead by seven points from Aguila. Despite being among those black flagged in race six, Rickard Melander's Alice still had a very good day with a second and sixth joining the BFD on their card ensuring that they only dropped down the overall ranking by two places and now lie fourth, nine points behind Anchor Challenge. Without the BFD Alice II is the only boat carrying an all top ten score and would be second behind Bullit, so they will be eager to get the seventh race completed tomorrow so they can discard the BFD.
Three final races are scheduled for tomorrow with a final warning signal time of 14.30 and a forecast for around 6-8 knots from the southwest.
Race By Race
Racing was initially slightly delayed as the Race Committee waited for breeze but it wasn't long before the wind had settled at around 6 knots from the southeast and after an initial general recall the fleet got away cleanly in race 4. The lighter airs kept the fleet closely bunched and at every mark there was plenty of drama to keep the spectators and cameramen entertained. Race four went to Per Elisa which beat Alice by 43 seconds. The lighter airs also favoured Atalanti IV who's crew sailed a very confident race to take third by four seconds from Pinguin Playboy, owned by Pierre Paris. Overnight leader Peter Morton's Bullit had a shocker of a race finishing in 11th, three seconds behind wife Louise in Espada.
Race 5 featured two very impressive performances. The first was by Anchor Challenge, formerly owned by Peter Morton, which got a nice start and was looking in good shape by the middle of the first beat. They led the fleet around the course and despite constant attack they managed to win by six seconds from Tiger with Darren Marston's Cote 16 seconds further back in third and Graydon Dawson's Diamond another five seconds adrift in fourth. The second hugely impressive performance came from Espada which was called OCS at the start and had to return back across the line. The fleet had written them off so when they popped up mid-fleet at the weather mark there were plenty of surprised faces. With the bit between their teeth Espada's crew, which includes British Olympian Stuart Childerley calling tactics, clawed their way back through the pack and went onto finish fifth, just two seconds behind Diamond and three seconds ahead of Alice II. Bullit's performance improved a little and they finished in eighth.
As the boats crossed the line in race 5 the wind was dropping and starting to back and Rob Lamb and his Race Committee wisely decided to wait until it settled before attempting to start race six. After a lengthy delay and a move of race course up on to the Bramble Bank the wind filled in from around 245° at 8 knots. It took three attempts to get the eager fleet underway and the Race Committee was eventually forced to dust off the black flag catching out Espada, Blackfun, Alice II and Tiger in the process.
Once underway it soon became clear this was to be the bloodiest battle of the regatta so far with virtually every boat looking capable of making it to the podium at some point. Eventually the top eight boats were separated by less than a minute on corrected time. Anchor Challenge again headed the fleet, no doubt giving Peter Morton cause to wonder why he sold her in the first place! Atalanti IV shone again and Jason and Dominic Losty's Illes Pitiuses made a nice recovery after a lackluster performance in the earlier races. The increase in breeze also suited Bullit and this pack went around the race course constantly trading places. On the line the stopwatches were out as everyone tried to calculate the results, but it was so close that it wasn't until they were back ashore that the crews could confirm that Anchor Challenge had won by two seconds from Atalanti IV and Illes Pitiuses who finished simultaneously on corrected. Bullit was five further seconds back in fourth, four seconds ahead of Aquila, with Per Elisa sixth and Willy McNeil and Mike Pascall's Illegal Immigrant seventh.
In the all amateur Corinthian Division defending champion Tiger and her young crew led by George Kenefick (ably assisted by the not so young Mike Budd), leads the fleet with five first places and a black flag. The battle for second is tied between Paul Kelsey's Runaway Bus and Richard and Anna Thomas's Sergeant Pepper, both stalwarts of the Coutts Quarter Ton Cup, who each count eleven points, putting them six points behind Tiger. Eric William's delightful little Love In A Mist, the smallest boat in the fleet is fourth with Ken Lawless & Sybil McCormack's Supernova fifth, Paul Colton's Cri-Cri sixth and Lucy Wood and Tara Stone's Rum Bleu seventh.
Coutts Quarter Ton Cup Gala Dinner
This evening the crews will enjoy the traditional Coutts Quarter Ton Cup Gala Dinner at which the after dinner speaker will be multiple record breaking offshore sailor Brian Thompson. Competitors will be joined by friends and fellow Quarter Ton enthusiasts including double Olympic Gold Medallist Shirley Robertson.
|1||FRA 7891||Bullit||Peter Morton||0.903||1||1||2||11||8||4||27|
|2||GBR 8414R||Aguila||Sam Laidlaw||0.902||2||3||10||7||7||5||34|
|3||IRL 3087||Anchor Challenge||Diamund Foley||0.913||6||5||6||21||1||1||40|
|4||SWE 7744||Alice II||Rickard Melander||0.906||3||4||3||2||6||31/BFD||49|
|5||IRL 12296||Per Elisa||Ian Travers & Eamon Rohan||0.905||5||12||13||1||14||6||51|
|6||GRE 49||Atalanti IV||George Andreadis||0.912||13||9||15||3||9||2.5||51.5|
|7||ESP 3090||Cote||Darren Marston & Olly Ophaus||0.906||7||6||8||23||3||10||57|
|8||IRL 999999||Tiger||George & Neil Kenefick||0.907||9||8||4||9||2||31/BFD||63|
|9||NZL 3311||Blackfun||Rob Gray||0.912||10||2||1||5||15||31/BFD||64|
|10||GBR 50R||Espada||Louise Morton||0.903||4||14||7||10||5||31/BFD||71|
|11||GBR 6498||Diamond||Graydon Dawson||0.898||15||16||17||8||4||13||73|
|12||IRL 1392||Illes Pitiuses||Jason & Dominic Losty||0.903||16||10||5||24.5||21||2.5||79|
|13||GBR 5414R||Great Bear IV||Graham & Victoria Hetherington||0.905||22||18||9||6||17||8||80|
|14||FRA 9371||Menace||D Morland, T Rees & J Morland||0.89||8||19||19||20||13||9||88|
|15||GBR 8700R||Phoenix||Welch, Fulford, Manser & Fleming||0.905||12||15||18||18||10||16||89|
|16||GBR 902R||Whiskers||I Southworth & L Pritchard||0.902||20||7||16||14||23||11||91|
|17||GBR 7055||Runaway Bus||Paul Kelsey||0.893||18||20||21||12.5||12||12||95.5|
|18||GBR 501||Illegal Immigrant||Willy McNeill & Mike Pascall||0.903||11||21||20||19||18||7||96|
|19||GBR 6084||Sergeant Pepper||Richard & Anna Thomas||0.887||17||17||22||16||11||15||98|
|20||FRA 12130||Pinguin Playboy||Pierre Paris||0.901||23||24||13||4||21||14||99|
|21||GBR 7063||Love in a Mist||Eric & Philip Williams||0.851||21||13||11||12.5||24||18||99.5|
|22||GBR 1479R||Flashheart||Rich Thoroughgood||0.888||14||11||13||22||21||19||100|
|23||IRL 7500||Supernova||Ken Lawless & Sybil McCormack||0.871||19||22||23||17||16||17||114|
|24||GBR 7557||Innuendo||Barry Byham||0.911||24||23||24||15||19||31/DNS||136|
|25||GBR 502||Catch Me||Olivia Chenevix-Trench||0.909||25||25||25||24.5||25||20||144.5|
|26||I 8709||Cri-Cri||Paul Colton||0.909||26||31/DNF||31/DNC||26||26||21||161|
|27||GBR 7300||Qtpi||Matt Greenfield||0.872||27||26||31/DNF||27||27||24||162|
|28||GBR 2736R||Joker||E White, J Byrne & J White||0.893||29||28||26||30||28||22||163|
|29||GBR 6262||Rum Bleu||Lucy Wood & Tara Stone||0.86||28||27||27||29||29||25||165|
|30||NED 2969||Freres-sur-mer||Theo Bakker & Andre Bakker||0.876||31/BFD||31/DNS||31/DNS||28||30||23||174|