Sailing: Prince sets a crash course

FOLLOWING the dismastings and Prince Edward's royal broach aboard Sir Owen Aisher's Sigma 38, Yeoman XXVIII, yesterday's racing at Land Rover Cowes Week caused much cursing among the 800 odd skippers as the race committee decided to start the 24 classes downwind for the second day running.

On board Yeoman it was Prince Edward's turn to tarnish his family's sailing credibility as he collided with an X-99 in Gurnard Bay, despite the X-99 crew calling for water. The Prince's chartered Sigma still managed a creditable ninth in this hotly contested fleet of 46.

Leading youth skipper Matthew Humphries, sailing on this occasion in the Sigma 38 fleet, was rammed while on starboard tack off Lymington by another Sigma on port. His chartered yacht was badly holed and he was forced to retire.

For the rest of the fleet it was a day for navigators to display their prowess. Two oil tankers, which passed each other off Osborne Bay, caused havoc in the International Etchells and J/24 classes. Leaders of both classes were forced into making unwanted extra tacks as they tried to lay the finish line.

Yachts in the CHS and Sigma classes who were approaching the finish line from the west found themselves trying to hedge strong spring tides in a flukey wind. Passing Cowes Green, several of the larger yachts in CHS Class 1 - notably the Beneteau 45F5 Bounder skippered by Chris Little and Richard Matthew's 12 metre, White Crusader - went aground.

ROVER COWES WEEK Day 2 (Royal Thames Yacht Club): Regatta Class 1: 1 R Matthews (Crusader); 2 C Little (Bounder); 3 H Schumann (Rubin XII). Class 2: 1 F Meredith (Maid of Unst II); 2 A Porter (Amandla Kula); 3 J Moody (Sigmagic). Class 3: 1 J Layfield (Trailblazer); 2 R Cameron-Davies (Eye-Eye); 3 T Mitchell (Helios). Class 4: 1 S Lawrence (Nokomis); 2 R Struth (Silver Ghost); 3 P Bruce (Owl). Class 5: 1 R Howells (Woozical Too); 2 D Youngman (Moyna Clare); 3 D Wansbrough (Stargift). Class 6: 1 B Watkin (Throbber); 2 R Adams (Pluto); 3 D Munro-Kerr (Trocar). Class A and B IMS: 1 P Vroon (Magic); 2 J Taylor (Freelance Endeavour); 3 J Dare (Apriori). Sigma 38: 1 S Bailey (Arbitrator); 2 R Manadon (Gauntlett of Plymouth); 3 M Strange (Impudence). Sigma 33: 1 W McNeil (Blaze); 2 D Bonner (Sigmatic II); 3 D Thomas (Circe). Contessa 32: 1 J Gresham (Trader Jo); 2 R Macgregor (Blue Contessa); 3 M Jaffe (Red Apple). Etchell: 1 A Yates (No. 5); 2 R Holbrook (Rupert); 3 R Power (Jessica). Daring: 1 J Sheldon (Damsel); 2 P Porter (Dauntless); 3 R Carrit (Defiant). Dragon: 1 R Morton (Domino); 2 R Davies (Flotation); 3 D Biddle (Sapphire II). Sonata: 1 D Riley (Fruesli); 2 M Owers (An'Metoo); 3 P Sonksen (Impromptu). Redwings: 1 K McAlpine (Snowgoose II); 2 J Peel (Quail); 3 J Cuddigay (Curlew). Sunbeam: 1 M Harting (Melody); 2 M Olszowski (Symphony); 3 S Dolin (Ivy). J24: 1 P Woodman (Fuzzy Duck); 2 H Chezance (Zaphod); 3 R Mitchell (Outrage). Swallow: 1 J Cunnison (Kingfisher); 2 M Upton (Goosander); 3 M Clark (Dart). Mermaid: 1 R Dodds (Zara); 2 R French (Sheen); 3 J Derbyshire (Adastra). Squib: 1 D Hewitt (Satu); 2 P Ramsdean (HeartBeat); 3 H Boyd (Ever Hopeful). Flying Fifteen: 1 P Eglin (North Star); 2 D Rutherford (Forrader); 3 M Dixon (True Colours). Victory: 1 N Benham (Nadia); 2 P Madden (Fenella); 3 N Sefton-Smith (Woozle). XOD: 1 D Bedford (Tantarra); 2 H Nicholas (Gleam); 3 R Fowler (Foxglove). Scod: 1 D Rooke (Tio Pepe); 2 R Harding (Tuonela); 3 T Robinson (Mr Jingle).