Champagne Sailing for the last day of Cowes Classics Week
Day 5 of Cowes Classics Week saw West South West to South South Westerly winds of up to 20 knots and lots of sunshine providing exciting champagne sailing.
All classes had one race only, windward/leeward laid marks for the dayboats, while the classic yachts had a cracking beat to the west along the Green to East Lepe and Cowes Yacht Haven against the flood tide, which must have provided some great spectator viewing, and then to the east to finish off a great week.
The XODs were relegated to Osborne Bay due to all the other racing activity going on in the Central Solent, and in the lee of the island suffered a major wind shift after the start which resulted in an abandonment whilst on the first beat. As always, the highly competitive XOD fleet were pushy on the line and further attempts to get racing underway eventually resulted in a black flag start over an hour later. The final result for the week was Swallow, Ben McGrane first, Astralita, John Tremlett second and Lone Star, Paul Woodman third.
The Daring result rested on this last day so they also had a very competitive start but got away first time with Doublet, Graham Wilkinson winning the week by one point from Dauntless, Gilles Peckham with Streak, Malcolm Lofts third.
The Swallows were won overall by Gwaihir, Mike Wigmore followed by Skua, Harry Roome and Swift Andy Fitzgerald. Gwaihir also won the Overall Trophy for the week, the 1792 Cup, as the most successful class winner, making her the only boat to win for a second time in the history of the event. Mike thanked the race committee for their hard work getting in five days racing and complemented the Royal London Yacht Club on a great regatta as always.
The 1922 Classic Mermaids were won by Zara, Richard Hill and Willian Garnett also gaining the RLYC Anniversary Bowl by one point from Cynthia, Mike Randall.
In the Classic Yachts, Division 1 was won overall by Bojar, Mark Dowie, the Spirit of Tradition class by Chameleon of Cowes, Chris Savage, Division 2 by Binkie II, Colin Wetherall, and Division 3 by Warrior Richard Hollis, who also won the New Helm Trophy. Top of the Old Gaffers was Alberta, Richard Haines, who also won the Travellers Trophy for sailing his Oyster Smack down from Mersea on the East Coast.
The Seamanship Trophy was awarded to XOD Estelle, David Howlett, who when racing over on the New Forest shore on Tuesday broke his boom in over 20 knots of wind, yet then managed to sail back upwind to Cowes under jib only.
Finally, the David Gower Bowl was presented for the youngest average age crew in the event at 21 years and 4 months to Henry Rochford, Harriet Watkins and Harriet Askew from the Division 3 Alacrity 19 Ipyu-Aya.
The Royal London Yacht Club are most grateful to the sponsors of the event and to the eighty volunteers who ran it afloat and ashore.
The four race circuits were sponsored by marine insurers GJW Direct with committee vessels and competing boats displaying the sponsors flags.
Fawley Waterside sponsored a champagne reception at the Royal Yacht Squadron on Thursday with day prizes being presented by CEO Aldwyn Drummond.
Evelyn Partners sponsored tea and cake during the week and also a Sussex fizz prize giving reception and high tea yesterday, with the vast array of 22 silver RLYC trophies being presented by their representative Alex Valvassura.
The regatta dates for next year are 8 to 14 July 2023.
Photos: Top of page shows the final Daring start, below shows the 8mR Sioma and champagne sailing, then Evelyn Partners Alex Valvassura awarding Mike Wigmore the ‘1792 Cup’ as the overall winner in Swallow ‘Gwaihir'.