Barrington has to take back seat

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The Independent Online

Colm Barrington was denied his third win of the week, by a margin of almost a minute, when Russell Hodgson again appeared at the top of Class 1 at Skandia Life Cowes Week yesterday.

Colm Barrington was denied his third win of the week, by a margin of almost a minute, when Russell Hodgson again appeared at the top of Class 1 at Skandia Life Cowes Week yesterday.

Barrington also had to give way to Robert Condon's Swan 48 Broadsword on a day when patience was a prime asset and the reward was the Rocking Chair Trophy. In years gone by the winner received a rocking chair to take home, but the original now stays in the Island Sailing Club, the winner receiving a replica.

The breeze was both lighter than forecast and in a more northerly direction. Hasty readjustments were made but the three to six knot winds in the middle of the day made for slow progress.

However, the wind picked up to power the yachts home in the afternoon, well in time for last night's huge fireworks display, to put some in a position when today's final race is little more than a formality. The fierce struggle between Graham Bailey and Mark Downer in the Etchells class again went Bailey's way, but a more precarious worst results discard system means he will have to race today. In the X One Designs, twice postponed and then struggling to make decent speed, Peter Baines almost has a fourth Captain's Cup in his grasp after yesterday's win.

Others close to wrapping things up include the crew of T&G, skippered by Paul Blowers, who have a convincing lead in Class 2. The new Reflex 38, designed by Christian Stimson, had the benefit of the Australian America's Cup winner John Bertrand on the helm in midweek.

Glynn Williams had the expertise of Kevin Sproul, helmsman Mark Heeley and, yesterday, sail trimmer Russell Peters, to make sure that the mixed professional and amateur crew on the Farr 40 Wolf won the first week at which the new handicap system, IRM, made its appearance. Williams may be disappointed at being second on the big day, when the class was racing for the Britannia Cup, but they have put down a marker for next year's trials to find Britain's Admiral's Cup team.

As Pete Goss gears up for a re-launch on 23 September of his restructured catamaran Team Philips following the catastrophic breakage of its port bow section, his American rival Steve Fossett has announced he is to extend PlayStation by nearly 20 per cent to 125 feet in a bid to add stability and speed.

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