Tony Langley still on top
The second day of racing at the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club's 2013 Musto Vice Admiral's Cup brought a mixed bag of weather. Morning saw very light airs and weak sunshine forcing the race committee to postpone. After an hour's delay racing began under steely skies in a shifty and patchy breeze of circa five knots from the west-south-west. As the day wore on the wind built slowly, maxing out at around ten to twelve knots by mid afternoon, and the sun eventually put in a most welcome late appearance.
With the Solent jam packed with dozens of events and classes, Bob Milner elected to take the big boats west for clear air and set up shop off the entrance to Beaulieu River. Meanwhile Robert Lamb managed to find a nice corridor for the small boat fleet up and down the Bramble Bank. Both fleets completed three races today.
Class 0 may comprise just three TP52s but that's no bar to great competition with the three boats rounding every mark within seconds. Although Sir Keith Mills' 5°West took first blood in race five followed by a pair of seconds, it was Tony Langley's Weapon of Choice that claimed boat of the day for the second day running, winning races six and seven and finishing second in race five, giving them a two point overall margin on 5°West. Johnny Vincent's Pace was hard on the leading pairs heels all day but simply couldn't break through so goes into the final day five points adrift in third overall.
In Class 1, for the three Farr 45s, overnight leader Espresso Martini, helmed by Jeff Blue, could not match yesterday's form adding a second and a pair of thirds to their score card and dropping down into second overall. Espresso Martini's loss was Kolga's gain as James French and his team put in a bravura performance to win all three races and jump into a four point overall lead. Rebel, helmed by Stewart Whitehead scored a third and two seconds and now sits just one point behind Espresso Martini.
James Arnell's Jeez Louise hung onto the overall lead in Class 2, the J/111s, by the skin of his teeth. He went into the day with a single point lead and added a pair of seconds and a bullet to his score so now counts 10 points overall. Top performer of the day was Duncan McDonald and Phil Thomas's Shmokin' Joe with a pair of first followed by a second, which jumps them up for third overall into second on count back sharing equal points with Jeez Louise. David and Kirsty Apthorp's J-Dream had a mixed day with a third and fourth followed by a did not finish and they drop down from second overall to third, six points behind the leaders.
David Richards' Jumping Jellyfish put in another very conservative day with a four, two, four score and continues to lead the J/109s in Class 3 with a seven point margin. Paul James's Jigsaw turned the tables after yesterday's mediocre performance and jumped from ninth overall to second with the help of a pair of wins and a sixth place. Tony Dickin, helming Jubilee, moved up from fourth to third and is now tied on equal points with Jigsaw. Last night's second placed Shadowfax, owned by Andy Johns and David Rolfe, struggled in the light airs finishing ninth and tenth before recovering with a second in the windier last race. As a result they drop down from third to fourth overall, but are only one point behind Jigsaw and Jubilee. Top J/109 performer today was Fardonyx, helmed by William Edwards, with a pair of thirds and a first, however they were unable to sail yesterday so currently lie ninth overall.
It was all change amongst the Quarter Tonners of Class 4 where the pace was fast and furious. The ever-wily Peter Morton and his team aboard Bullit were in flying form. They struggled a little in the light and shifty race four and finished in fourth as a result, but as the breeze built they found their form and went on to win races five and six. This jumps them up on the leader board from third to first with a two-point margin. Overnight leader Sam Laidlaw aboard Aquila had a very mixed day with a fifth and a second followed by a seventh, their worst result of the series. This dropped them out of the overall lead and they now sit two points behind Bullit. Also on top form was Rickard Melander's Alice II who claimed the opening race and followed up with a third and a second to move up from seventh to third overall, pushing Ian Southworth's Whiskers down to fourth.
The 16-strong SB20 fleet of Class 5 enjoyed another day of close combat with the Llewellyn/Wakefield/Vigus partnership's Henri-Lloyd/Forelle Estates winning two races and Jerry Hill's Sportsboatworld.com one. Henri-Lloyd/Forelle Estates also added a third place to their card to retain the overall lead and extend their delta to six points. Scott Graham's Chill Pill+ and Craig Burlton's Gill Race Team both added 12 points to their scores today and once the discard was allocated Chill Pill+ retains second place and Gill Race Team third with the margin between them now narrowed to two points. Sportsboatworld.com's win in race five helped pull them up into fourth and going into the final day they are just two points off a podium position.
In the two-boat Class 6 Andrew Pearce's Magnum II won all three races and now leads Mark Lloyd's Chaos by five points.
With so much to play for in each of the classes tomorrow's final races will be crucial and we can look forward to some thrilling deciders. The forecast is for grey skies and rain with a variable six to eight knots from the northeast, which will back to northwest around lunchtime. Although the Notice of Race allows for up to twelve races in total there is a final start cut off time of 14.30 so in reality only two more races are likely.