Sailing: Carveth cruises through choppy waters to lead

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The Independent Online

The weekend warriors were revelling in sundrenched conditions for the second consecutive day of Cowes Week yesterday, but the pros were being made to work hard for any advantage.

For the spectators lined up ashore to watch the starts and finishes, an eight- building to 14-knot south-easterly breeze filledhundreds of colouredspinnakers to reinforce the chocolate box, picture postcard images. But keeping them filled, especially early on, required both skill and coordination and, because of numerous light patches, coupled with a strongly flooding tide, some courses had to be shortened.

Among them was a class one that had been stooging around waiting for the breeze to develop while their smaller brethren were already racing, not least the 98-strong Laser SB3s, who managed a first-time start without bulging over the line early.

Yesterday's winner was Londoner Dave Cummins but leading overall, with a second to add to his opening day bullet, is 47-year-old Geoff Carveth. Although he is European champion and last year's national champion, winning at Cowes is right up there on the challenge chart.

A gaggle of TP52s could not beat the old Farr 52, Chernikeeff 2, donated by the 2003 America's Cup challenger Peter Harrison to the locally based yacht racing academy and skippered by Luke Bradley.

Sir Peter Ogden's 60-foot Spirit of Jethou, winner of the Queen's Cup for thesecond time on Saturday, was pipped by nearly 90 seconds for the class one Glazebrook ChallengeTrophy. He was not tooworried. The only big trophy he has not won is the Britannia Cup and he will be trying to put that right on Wednesday.

The second biggest class in Cowes is the venerable X One Design, where Richard Jordan beat Chris Trainor into second. Peter Baines, the present holder of the coveted Captain's Cup, awarded to the overall winner, could manage only 18th.

A pair of thirds went to Graham Bailey in the Etchells and wife Julia in the Dragon, while Richard and Rachel Donald took a class nine win in their Folkboat Madelaine, winner of this year's Round the Island race. Doing sterling work for the distaff side were Liz Savage, winner of the J80 class, and Pippa Hildesley, who won a Sunsail 37 class populated largely bypeople who do the week just for the hell of it.

The hell-fire professionals on the Extreme 40 catamarans had plenty of power from what, for others, was only a moderate breeze, but none could challenge the Greenhalgh brothers, Rob and Pete, along with James Grant and Jonathan Taylor, whose Basilica goes to the last event of their European tour, in Amsterdam next month, with a commanding lead.

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