Sailing: Aera overcomes winds for third win in a row

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Hazy at times, crazy at times, but the fourth day of Skandia Cowes Week racing on the Solent was no place for the lazy. The strongest winds of the week so far - the easterly was gusting around 25 knots - had crews working flat out to make sure that long runs under big spinnakers remained in control. Not all managed it, but all survived, not least Jez Fanstone and crew on the 55-foot Aera.

Nick Lykiardopulo's new Jason Ker design has been the yacht to beat this season - as Bribon, it won seven out of nine Admiral's Cup races for King Juan Carlos - and, since finishing second on the opening day, the yacht has won all three of its subsequent races.

"It's a boat that has had a pile of effort put into it, but it's also being sailed very well," Fanstone told an evening session sailing model boats on the pond at Sea View. "At the moment we are getting things right, but we are also learning and improving. We have Eddie Warden Owen sailing with us and he is putting us in very good lanes and getting us round the corners nicely."

Just behind Aera, the daily battle between the three Farr 52s recommenced. This time it was the turn of Nick Hewson's Team Tonic, with Jeremy Robinson on the helm, to pip both Kit Hobday's Bear of Britain and Peter Harrison's Chernikeeff 2.

The last two then had another go at each other in the evening in the first of three matches for a wager of £5,000 to be paid to a cancer charity.

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