Ogden excels onday of mayhem

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The Independent Online

As over 70 X One Design yachts approached the start line for their sixth race in Skandia Life Cowes Week yesterday there was tension on the platform of the Royal Yacht Squadron. The class is known for pouring over early, requiring a general recall. But they lined up perfectly.

As over 70 X One Design yachts approached the start line for their sixth race in Skandia Life Cowes Week yesterday there was tension on the platform of the Royal Yacht Squadron. The class is known for pouring over early, requiring a general recall. But they lined up perfectly.

The class had come through something of an ordeal of fire the day before, when one had sunk and three had been dismasted, among them the defending holder of the Captain's Cup, Stuart Jardine.

Unusually, he has a spare mast and so was back in the fray yesterday. Normally, he could have been pleased with a fourth, but the overall leader and former holder of the cup, Peter Baines in Red Coral, was two places ahead of him. With two races to go, Baines is on a roll.

There was a series of 14 to 20-knot squalls, causing mayhem as yachts jostled with each other and wrestled with changing sails at the turning marks. And late on, thundery rain dampened some of the celebrations.

But not in Class 1. The long upwind legs against the flooding tide at the start suited Don Wood's 12-Metre Italia II, which competed in their final America's Cup years of 1986/87. But he was denied day's big prize, the New York Yacht Club Challenge Cup, as the defending yacht, Peter Ogden's Swan 60, Spirit of Jethou, made it two in a row. A two per cent penalty for a collision at the start put Italia II down to sixth.

Also making it two in a row were Victric V. The Farr 40s, standard bearers of the new IRM handicap rule here, are setting the pace and Victric V's owner, Tony de Mulder, has already thrown his cap into the selection ring for the British team in next year's Admiral's Cup. Yesterday he followed his Britannia Cup win with another defeat for Glynn Williams, who was second in Wolf.

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