Sailing: Nicorette romps home in the maxis

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The Independent Online
The big boys were sent well away from the main action to play a version of the 1851 course around the Isle of Wight won so famously by the Americans. The maxis, led again by the Grand Mistral 80 Nicorette, romped the 55 miles in the opposite direction to the annual Round the Island race on a second glorious day of racing in Skandia Life Cowes Week.

Without Harold Cudmore taking a day off from his crew line-up, skipper Ludde Ingvall managed to take Nicorette through the finish line 36 minutes ahead of Mike Slade's 84ft Longabarda, the boat which recently broke the conventional race record.

But she was more than four minutes outside the record of 5hr 12min and 3sec set by Slade on 29 June going anti-clockwise. Yesterday's south-easterly breeze, which again varied between 17 and 22 knots, was not the ideal direction and the yachts were hard on the wind on the final leg up from the Needles to the finish, but it provided fine sport for the day racing boats.

Mike Lennon, the national class champion, scored a second consecutive victory in the Melges 24s, despite having to go back and restart, having been already over the line when the gun at the Squadron sounded. The 32 yachts were sent up to the mainland shore to do a series for beats and runs along the shore between Lee-on-Solent and the entrance to Southampton water.

"That was some recovery," said David Bedford, still leading in Glenfiddich 1 after being fourth yesterday. "He was blisteringly fast downwind, really special." While in the Sportsboat class a crew member of the Beneteau First Class 8 DV8, skippered by Gary Sims, was taken to hospital with rib damage after the boat was in a collision with a motor yacht in Osborne Bay. He was later discharged.

Another man went overboard when the Sigma 33, Ephesian 111, broached violently. He was picked up by Charlie Mills' Shoot The Bar and put back on board his own boat by the inshore rescue.

Once again it was the Australian-designed 41-footers that were fighting for the silverware in Class 1, Graham Bailey taking his turn to drive Stephen Bailey's Arbitrator to victory and the Sir Walter Preston Challenge Cup, pipping the winner of the day before, Jocelyn Waller's Silk 2. Third was Glyn Williams' Wolf.

And it was a pair of Bashford-Howison 36s that took the two top places in Class 2 when Keith Lawrence's Playback, with Stuart Childerly on board again following their first in class at the Rover Series in Scotland earlier this year, beat Christopher Jago's Thunder, with a Corby 36, Jamie McWilliam's Mustang Sally, taking third.