Johnny Vincent and his crew on the TP52 Pace worked some high-speed magic to win the Sorcery Trophy as the second day of Aberdeen Cowes Week served up some beefy breezes to test both the skill and resolve of the nearly 700 boats which opted to race. The coastguard reported 20 incidents but no major problems.
Two of the classes, the centenarian X One Designs and the Solent Sunbeams, made an early decision to stay ashore and save themselves from a pounding, but the rest enjoyed a mixture of exhilaration and personal pain with the odd dismasting and some mangled gear and sails thrown in.
In the Contessa 32 class, which is celebrating its 40th birthday, Saturday’s win became Sunday’s as well with Ray Rouse’s Blanco again leading his rivals home.
The Extreme Sailing series which is running its own regatta off Egypt Point as part of Cowes Week decided that the conditions were too difficult to run all the boats at the same time and so split the fleet into two groups of six.
It still turned into a bit of a demolition derby when the French boat which did so well on the opening day, Gitana, smashed into Artemis, backed by the Swedish America’s Cup challenger. Both had to return to Cowes for major repairs and Artemis skipper Santi Lange needed stitches to a gash.
Earlier, a win in one of his races by Britain’s double world champion on the match racing circuit, Ian Williams, gave the crowds something to cheer and the skipper of Team GAC Pindar added a couple of seconds for good measure.
In Lisbon, Emirates Team New Zealand crewman Winston Mcfarlane was catapulted overboard midway through the only race of the day for the AC45 wing-powered catamarans.
He swam to a support boat but skipper Dean Barker then saw his lead whittled away by the man he succeeded at the helm of New Zealand’s America’s Cup team, Russell Coutts.
Coutts is now boss of the cup holder, the San Francisco-based Oracle Racing, and he came through to win the fleet race for the nine boats and eight teams taking part.
A complaint from Emirates Team New Zealand against Coutts over a rule which prohibits America’s Cup challengers running their own web sites will go to arbitration today (Monday).
In Weymouth, a sixth place in his third race pushed Britain’s Ben Ainslie into second place in the Finn singlehanded class at the official Olympic Games test event. He then recovered from a capsize in the second race to finish fifth and regain the joint lead after four races.
Also scoring a fifth in their first race was the Star pairing of Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson but they failed to finish the second race of the day, dismasted for the third time third year, and that pushed them down to 11th overall. Three firsts and a second for Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada of Brazil into a huge lead over Mateusz Kusnierewicz and Dominik Zycki of Poland.
In the women’s 470, Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark maintain their overall lead.