Waller's victory points to future

Click to follow
The Independent Online
If ever the Royal Ocean Racing Club needed a clear indication of the direction the competitors want the Admiral's Cup to go they should look no further than Cowes Week, last month's Cork Week and their own Commodores' Cup, writes Stuart Alexander.

In all three it has been a new breed of 41-footers developed in Australia that have been taking the silverware and yesterday's win for Ireland by Jocelyn Waller's Silk 2 in the Britannia Cup, one of the two most coveted trophies, reinforced the point.

After a scary moment the day before, when Silk 2 buried her nose in a trough and lifted half the stern out of the water, the crew came back to enjoy a glorious day which took the yachts west from the Squadron line to West Lepe, on a spinnaker run to the east Solent, back on a short piece of windward work and then downhill again nearly to Portsmouth before returning home to Cowes.

Another example, Glynn Williams' Wolf, winner of the Bathsheba Trophy the day before, was third, the two separated by Chris Little's new bounder, a Farr 45 one design.

As Little is to be joined by Graham Walker with another 45, the RORC has already abandoned its insistence on strict 46s for next year, and a similar proposal from the Royal Yachting Association for middle-sized 40s will be discussed in September.

Also thought to be in favour of a wider range of 40s is Richard Matthews, who will liaise between the RYA and the RORC in the search for a British team.

Also enjoying the conditions yesterday was Mike Lennon, national champion in the Melges 24 class and now leading the pack at Cowes after a finish line gust gave him victory over Russell Peters. David Clark (spinnaker wrapped round rudder), David Bedford (spinnaker ripped) and Paul Brotherton (rudder broken) all struggled with damage.

Cowes results, page 23