Hamilton takes cover after racing into Atomic collision

Britain's middle order racing sailors will have to be at their best this week if they are to see the union flag fluttering proudly in the Rolex Commodores' Cup off Cowes this week. With conditions indicating near-perfect racing, any errors will be severely punished.

The French are the current holders, doing a demolition job last time in 2006, their two teams scoring first and third, and they are back with four three-boat teams in determined mood. Splitting them was an Irish team and they are seen as the main threat again. Britain's best last time was fourth and they also line up with four teams. They will also face a threat from the Netherlands, Spain and Hong Kong.

The schedule is busy, including five inshore races, a 24- to 36-hour offshore, a round the island – clockwise not anti, as the 1,875 entries were set for Saturday's annual jamboree when Mike Slade's Leopard set a new record of 3hr 53min 05sec, then a double points final inshore dash.

There were incidents even before the start as first Leopard collided with the 49-foot Pace, narrowly missing helmsman Nick Griffiths and sending the damaged yacht back to the yard for repairs.

Ten minutes later, Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton, having been put aboard Alex Thomson's Open 60 Hugo Boss, had to take cover as the shiny black round the world racer took out the stay holding up the mast of the 45-foot Atomic. Boss's bowsprit snapped and developed terminal droop, the mast on Atomic crashed down and Thomson beetled off down the Solent to win his class and then be thrown out by an international jury. The Commodores' Cup is likely to be just as competitive.

This is the first public showcase for the new chief executive of the organising Royal Ocean Racing Club, Eddie Warden Owen. Previously coach to the Spanish America's Cup team, Owen, from Trearddur Bay, Anglesey said: "It has been an interesting challenge coming in just five months ago and seeing everything from the other side," he said. "We try to keep this event as Corinthian as possible though the sprinkling of professionals help the whole team.

"We think the event is popular, the handicap rule is being adopted by more and more countries, so I think we can only see it grow. It will definitely stay based at Cowes."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links