Sailing: Ogden breezes in for double

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The Independent Online
END OF term means prize givings and, although today sees the final races in Skandia Life Cowes Week, some hashes were just about settled yesterday. The fleet of 900 boats was already depleted by those who were preparing for the Fastnet Race, which begins this evening, but Peter Ogden was in fine form, completing a double win in his Swan 60, Spirit of Jethou.

Yesterday he added the Rocking Chair Trophy to the New York Yacht Club Trophy, Ivan Coryn has just about wrapped up the Flying Fifteens and Stuart Jardine has made sure of the Captain's Cup for X One Designs.

In a tight, equal-points finish, South Africa's Geoff Meek in Rainbow Magic celebrated winning the sixth and penultimate regatta in the Adecco World Championship for Maxi One Designs on a tie-break over Ludde Ingvall's Skandia.

As the 214 entries line up for the start of the Fastnet Race off Cowes this evening expecting a fast run for the 610 miles, there is a clutch of maxis chasing the record of two days 12hr 40min 55sec set by Nirvana in 1985 (over 605 miles). Three Whitbread boats line up, too, and there is a gaggle of 60ft multihulls, most prominent of which is Kingfisher, the steed of Britain's yachtsman of the year and Vendee Globe aspirant, Ellen MacArthur. This time the multis complete the same course, rather than being sent round a mark off France.

This is a new Fastnet with old memories, the 20th anniversary of 1979, when the 303 yachts which started were hit by storm force winds of more than 70mph and 15 lives were lost.

This year, the big boys, such as the CNN tycoon Ted Turner, may steal the limelight, but one of the smaller boats could be handed the overall winner's trophy by Sir Edward Heath, who took part in that '79 race.