Sailing: Dynamite dynamic in Wight victory

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The Independent Online
ONE OF the smallest of the 1,382 entries for the Hoya Round the Island Race took the top prize over the weekend as the Gold Roman Bowl headed just eight miles from Cowes to Ventnor, home of retired boat builder John McIntosh.

His 24ft Dynamite beat all around the Isle of Wight when the computer calculated his corrected handicap time and the next two were also in small boats, Crauford McKeon second in Kandoo and the Chichester pair of Mike and June Tong third in Excalibur. After a light airs start, it was an exhilarating end to a race completed in sunshine and a fresh spinnaker run up the eastern Solent.

First over the line at the end of a frustrating 50 miles had been the Welshman Eddie Warden Owen in the 60ft catamaran Hoya St Malo, but his main target had been to beat the multihull record of 3hr 55min set in 1986 by Peter Whipp and Rodney Pattisson in Paragon. Light airs round the back of the Isle of Wight, including a near one-hour period of calm at St Catherine's, meant he was nearly three hours outside that.

St Catherine's also stopped Mike Golding's new Open 60 Group 4 when it snarled its keel on a lobster pot line. That meant all chance of giving chase to Lawrie Smith in his Whitbread 60, Silk Cut, was also lost and neither was going to break the monohull record.

Only mildly impressed was Smith's guest, the former Formula One world champion Damon Hill. He had enjoyed the experience of being given the helm, he said, especially by the feeling of so much power without the scream of an engine. "Almost surreal," he said.