Cowes Week Day 1 Results  (Photo by Rick Tomlinson)

Cowes Week Day 1 Results (Photo by Rick Tomlinson)


The opening day of Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week saw competitors challenged by winds that varied from well under 10 knots to more than 20. After a weather front cleared the race area at lunchtime the breeze settled into a brisk south-westerly of 16-20 knots, giving glorious racing conditions and once again bathing Cowes in warm sunlight.

By the time of the first start, for the 15-strong Etchells class, the first band of rain had cleared leaving a southerly breeze of around 10 knots in the middle of the Solent, but rather less on the start line in the lee of the Royal Yacht Squadron. With the fleet heading initially to the west, against an adverse tidal stream, a key question for teams was whether there would be an advantage in hoisting a spinnaker after the start.

Andrew Cooper’s Ice led the fleet into the start line, but at the cannon Rob Goddard’s Stampede was to windward of him and sailing faster, while Jack Wilson’s Idea, a length further back and to windward was already hoisting the spinnaker. It wasn’t long before the rest of the fleet followed suit, starting with the Downer family’s Moonlight, the closest boat to the inner end of the line, although Ice and Stampedewere relatively slow to do so and suffered an initial disadvantage as a result.

It turned into a very close race for the fleet, with the first 10 boats crossing the line in just five minutes. Shaun and Emily Frohlich’sExabyte V was first to finish, followed by Moonlight. Rob Elliot’s Time and Tide was just seven seconds after Moonlight, but accepted a time penalty for a rule infringement, allowing Ice into third place and Nick Stagg’s China White into fourth. However, with MoonlightTime and Tide and Stampede, which finished ninth on the water, all involved in protests the final order may change further.

Starting 10 minutes after the Etchells, the Daring fleet took a less cautious approach, with Edward Grimston’s Division Belle over at the start at the inshore end of the line. Defiant was next closest to the line, further offshore, but Giles Peckham’s Dauntless, starting just half a length astern and to windward was first to hoist her kite, gaining a small early advantage. Dauntless held a commanding lead at the end of the three-hour race, finishing with an advantage of more than four minutes. However, the battle for second place was much closer, with only 12 seconds separating Michael Campbell and Charles Matthews’Damsel and Jeremy Preston, R Laird and P Morton’s Defender.

In the J/80 class Colin Simonds’ Doolalli 4 led the pack into the middle part of the line seconds before the start. However, she was moving relatively slowly, leaving Stu Southan’s Joyeuse, Ben Richards and Andrew Dallas’ Boysterous, and Douglas Struth’s DSP, looking like the best-placed boats and taking an early lead, initially without their asymmetric spinnakers. However, when the breeze inshore went very light it was three boats further offshore, Jon Powell’s BettyDoolalliand Geoff Payne’s Surf and Turf that sailed around the outside of the fleet to take the lead three minutes into the race, despite being in the stronger adverse tide. This order was almost unchanged as the fleet approached the finish, with Betty taking the winning gun, followed 53 seconds later by Doolalli. Jamie Diamond’s Seafire had moved up to third, more than a minute ahead of Surf and Turf, which took fourth.

SALVO, IRC Class 3 Day 1 Rick Tomlinson

SALVO, IRC Class 3 Day 1 Rick Tomlinson

A class act

The Dragon fleet as a whole was closer to the line than earlier classes, but none were over at the start. The Old Bailey, sailed by Rudy Jurg, Michiel Insinger and Sara Antila, initially looked best placed mid line, while further back in the pack Simon Barter’s Bertie was first to hoist a spinnaker. Martin Makey and Mark Lees in Ganador quickly followed suit and it was not long before they were overhauling Jurg, who hoisted just as Makey decided he couldn’t hold his kite any longer and dropped it – a move that saw them pull ahead of the Dutch and Finnish team onThe Old Bailey.

Having seen the gains enjoyed by the northern-most J/80s in the previous start, Graham and Julia Bailey’s Aimee started at the outer end of the line. However this time the advantage transferred to two of the Dragons further inshore, John Mellows’ La Traviata and Eric WIlliams’ Ecstatic, who both picked up a line of breeze to pull ahead into a useful lead five minutes into the race, with neither boat using spinnakers. It wasn’t long before Williams took the lead, holding it almost to the finish. However, on the final leg Gavia Wilkinson-Cox’sJerboa overhauled Williams to finish 11-seconds ahead. The Baileys finished just 29 second later to take third place.

Williams is one of the longest-standing competitors at Cowes Week, having raced at the event since 1959, five years before the formation of Cowes Combined Clubs 50 years ago brought the previous loose collection of daily regattas under a system of coordinated race management. “We had an interesting course today – it was difficult in the sense that there were lots of wind shifts and tidal benefits,” he said. “On the last leg we underestimated how high we needed to sail to reach the finish – Gavia tacked to the line first and we should have followed immediately, but we waited about 10 seconds longer, which was enough for her to get ahead.”

BOLDERIK, IRC Class 3 Day 1 (Photo by Rick Tomlinson)

BOLDERIK, IRC Class 3 Day 1 (Photo by Rick Tomlinson)

The big yachts in IRC Class 0 had an energetic race, with some 15 legs over a 35 mile course. An incident between two of the most competitive boats in the class – Piet Vroon’s Ker 46 Tonnere de Breskens and Michael Bartholomew’s GP42 Tokoloshe ll – saw both retire, leaving Irvine Laidlaw’s Reichel Pugh 52 Cape Fling ll to take line honours by more than 45 minutes. It was a big enough lead for Laidlaw to retain the lead on corrected time by 13 minutes over Richard Rankin’s venerable 12-Metre Italia. Despite accepting a penalty for an infringement of the rules, the de Graaf family’s Ker 40,Baraka GP, took third place on corrected time.

In IRC Class 2, Adam Gosling’s Corby 36 Yes!, last year’s overall Black Group winner and the second-slowest rated boat in the class, had a cracking start. Despite her low rating, Yes! was third across the finish of the 29-mile race, just two minutes 20 seconds behind line honours winner Jim Macgregor’s Elan 410 Premier Flair and 23 seconds behind Andrew McIrvine’s First 40 La Reponse. Premier Flair retained her win on corrected time, but La Reponse was unable to save her time onYes!, who took second on handicap by a margin of more than three minutes.

Tomorrow the forecast is for a bright and sunny day, with a south-southwesterly wind of around 12-18 knots, which promises sparkling racing conditions for all the 40 classes here at Cowes.


IRC Class 0
1, Cape Fling II (Irvine Laidlaw)
2, Italia (Richard Rankin)
3, Baraka Gp (Family de Graaf)
4, Toe In The Water Too (Toe in the Water)
5, Oystercatcher XXX (Richard Matthews)
6, Werewolf (Bertie Bicket and Chris Little)
7, Rebel (Stewart Whitehead)
8, Aberdeen Am (Ash Holmes)
9, Jolt 2 (Peter Harrison)
10, Team Jolokia (Pierre Meisel)

IRC Class 1
1, Moana (Francois Goubau)
2, Localletterbox Zero II (James Gair – Cowes Race School)
3, Antilope (Willem Wester)
4, Erivale III (Mike Greville)
5, Magic (Aasmund Drolsum)
6, Eh01 (Global Yacht Racing)
7, Madjus (Herman Bergshaven)
8, Cracklin’ Rosie (Jane & Steven Anderson)
9, Palpatine (Doug Innes – Stormforce Coaching)
10, Asiss (Ole Birger Giaever)

IRC Class 2
1, Premier Flair (Jim Macgregor)
2, Yes! (Adam Gosling)
3, La Reponse (Andrew McIrvine)
4, Minx 3 (Jonathan Gardiner)
5, Alegria (Carl Sabbe)
6, Revive (Paul A Farrands)
7, Bella Nove (Nick Maddalena and Nick Jones)
8, T I L T (Alex & Andy Moore)
9, Vixter (Andrew Arthur)
10, Ino (James Neville)

IRC Class 3
1, Grand Slam (Hans Keverling Buisman)
2, Puma Logic (Sailing Logic)
3, Saffier Nitro (Saffier Nitro)
4, Xinska (Bernard Olesinski)
5, Hurricane (Solent Events)
6, Amaris 2 (IBA Sailing Team)
7, Old Mother Gun (P E Farrands)
8, No Retreat! (David Riley)
9, Banshee (Lance Adams)
10, Lightning Reflex (Geoff West)

IRC Class 4
1, Zarafa (Peter Scholfield)
2, Strait Dealer (David Franks)
3, Elaine (Mike Bridges)
4, Winsome (H.J. Heijst)
5, Jos Of Hamble (Roger Williams)
6, King Louie (Fiona & Malcolm Thorpe)
7, Xcitable (Peter Hodgkinson and Sarah Bailey)
8, Extra Djinn (Neville Hodkin)
9, Upstart (Robin Stevenson and Jaap Brommersma)
10, Muskox (Neville)

IRC Class 5
1, Etb Tyres Just Like That (Chaz Ivill)
2, J’Ronimo (Libby & David Greenhalgh)
3, 2Xs (Aindriu McCormack)
4, Induljence (Nick and Adam Munday)
5, Buccaneer (Mike Lilwall and Peter Pearson)
6, Brightwork (Bob and Jon Baker)
7, Black Diamond (Justin Leese and Mark Brown)
8, Wild Blue (Peter Wykeham-Martin)
9, Mogan (Graham Thursfield)
10, Prince De Petarcq (Bert Janssen)

IRC Class 6
1, Whooper (Giovanni Belgrano)
2, Aelana (John Wardle)
3, Icom Cool Blue (Simon Cory)
4, Conteza (David Kirkley)
5, Woof (Jo Richards)
6, Clarionet (Sam Laidlaw)
7, Scallywag (Julian Lord)
8, Two Frank (Olly Love and Sam Flint)
9, Aurora (Richard Perkins)
10, Crakajax (Richard & Ursula Hollis)

IRC Class 7
1, Madelaine (Edward Donald)
2, Jiminy Cricket (Mike Harrison)
3, Mandarin (Paul Dunstan)
4, Meow (Mr Chris Charlesworth)
5, Haggis (Andrew & Rebecca Buchanan)
6, Google-Eye (Pat Stables and Nigel Hunter)
7, Hubble Bubble (Dave Wright)
8, Tudor Rose (Ian Cooke)
9, Eau De Vie (Andrew Bell)
10, Rosaire (Michael Squire and Michael Gormley)

Contessa 32
1, Blanco (Ray Rouse)
2, Drumbeat (Eldred Himsworth)
3, Nimbus (Charles Hill)
4, Gualin (Rob Duke)
5, Mary Rose Tudor (Ed Bell)
6, Blueshark (Don Laing)
7, Connie (Kim and Mark Oliver)
8, Coh Karek (Tim Devlin)

Cork 1720
1, Midnight Cowboy (Steph Merry)
2, Premier Cru (Tom Richardson)
3, Rum N Cork (Livingstone and Lewis)
4, Crescendo (James W Flynn OBE)
5, Rogan Josh (Powell, Sutherland, Hooper and Dean)

Cruiser (Div A)
1, The Packhouse (Alison Hougham)
2, Thunder Squall (Julian James)
3, Brevity (Mark Devereux)
4, Alamara B II (Ole Bettum)
5, Girlsforsail.Com 2 (
6, Sunbow 11 (Andrew Quicke)
7, White Heather (Janet & Lionel Miller)
8, Danny (Dougal Harris)
9, High Flyer (Mike Batcheler)
10, Falkor (Julia Addison, Mike Lee and Anna Nicole Forshew, dan standfo)

Cruiser (Div B)
1, Kalliste (Boissier & Bentley)
2, Magician (Guy O’Beirne)
3, Widgeon (Nick Fletcher)
4, Dabra (Ian Miller)
5, Skai (Andrew Yates and Paul Eaton)
6, If…. (Martin Moore)
7, Reach 4 The Wind (Reach 4 the Wind)
8, Firecracker (Stephen Brookson)
9, Kalima II (Andrew Prynne)
10, Syrakus (Klaus Manthey and Rainer Wagner)

1, Dauntless (Giles Peckham)
2, Damsel (Michael Campbell & Charles Mathews)
3, Defender (J Preston, R Laird, P Morton)
4, Finesse (Diana Christie)
5, Streak (Hamish Janson, George Dibben and Malcolm Lofts)
6, Dolphin (David Gower)
7, Dynamite (Anthony Balme)
8, Decoy (Andrew Norton, Richard Ottaway, David Chaplin, Julian Goodwi)
9, Division Belle (Edward Grimston)
10, Defiant (CAG Perry, PLF French, P Blackwell, P Buckley and ASZ de Fer)

1, Jerboa (Gavia Wilkinson-Cox)
2, Ecstatic (Eric Williams)
3, Aimee (Graham Bailey)
4, Ganador (Martin Makey and Mark Lees)
5, Full Speed (Martin Payne)
6, Corinthian Spirits (Captain Bill Daniels)
7, Bertie (Simon Barter)
8, Furious (Owen Pay)
9, The Old Bailey (Rudy Jurg, Michiel Insinger and Sara Antila)
10, Seafire (David Crabb)

1, Exabyte V (Shaun Frohlich & Emily Frohlich)
2, Moonlight (Downer Family)
3, Ice (Andrew Cooper)
4, China White (Nick Stagg)
5, Esprit (Andrew Baker, Bradley Mclaughlin and Andrew Lis)
6, Ziggy Legend (Kevin Downer and Timothy Eccles)
7, Sumo (Jonty Cook)
8, Darling S (Jack Muldoon)
9, Wake (Wilfried Wagner)
10, Pensive Temptress (Andrew Green)

First 40.7
1, Incognito (Paul McNamara and Tony Lowe)
2, Anticipation (Pete Newlands)
3, Fandango (Brendan McMahon and Adam Ridett)
4, Mitchellson Interceptor (Stuart & James Wilkie)
5, Playing Around (Nick Rawbone)
6, E-Digital Research (Chris Russell)
7, Space Race (Jonathan Blanshard)
8, Addiction (Addiction)
9, Lady V (Solent Events)
10, Britannia Lancelot (Britannia)

Flying 15
1, Men Behaving Badly (John Mander)
2, Four Winds (Gavin Tappenden)
3, Black (Nick Clarke)
4, Hakuna Kutoa Katika (John Hanson)
5, Ffreefire 20 (Sam Chan and Nick Atkinson)
6, Ffuraha (Mike Boll and Gil McCutcheon)
7, Triffs (Richard & Pat Triffitt)
8, Affore The Weak (Alex and Michael Tatlow)
9, Fflipineck (John Corby)

J/70 (Race 1)
1, Fremito D’Arja (Dario Levi)
2, Jugador (Jack Davies)
3, Raf Benevolent Fund (Wg Cdr Simon Ling)
4, Darwin Property (Charlie Esse)
5, Jawbreaker (David Atkinson)
6, Plaj (Wouter Kollmann)
7, Wilson Covers (Ian Wilson)
8, Just 4 Play (Simon Cavey)
9, Diva (Battistella Ferdinando)
10, Juke Box (Brian Moreton)

J/70 (Race 2)
1, Raf Benevolent Fund (Wg Cdr Simon Ling)
2, Wilson Covers (Ian Wilson)
3, Plaj (Wouter Kollmann)
4, Just 4 Play (Simon Cavey)
5, Darwin Property (Charlie Esse)
6, Fremito D’Arja (Dario Levi)
7, Jugador (Jack Davies)
8, Jawbreaker (David Atkinson)
9, Juke Box (Brian Moreton)
10, J’Nickit (Nigel, Jem and Tim)

1, Betty (Jon Powell)
2, Doolalli 4 (Colin Simonds and Family)
3, Seafire (Jamie Diamond)
4, Surf And Turf (Geoff Payne)
5, Jasmine (Douglas Neville-Jones)
6, Boysterous (Ben Richards and Andrew Dallas)
7, Swallow (Junior Deauville Yacht Club Team)
8, Dsp (Douglas Struth)
9, Jane (Barney)
10, Jumblesail (Robert Hunt)

1, Inspara (Tor McLaren)
2, Offbeat (David McLeman)
3, Bonfire (Clementi Stanley Syme Walker Williams)
4, Aspiration (Christopher Sharples and Richard Acland)
5, Jolly Jack Tar (Adrian Wheal)
6, J Taime (Christopher Palmer)
7, Me Julie (Hedley Aylott)
8, Juke Box (Chris Copeland and Paddy Sellers)
9, Jynnan Tonnyx (Owain Franks and Jean Lockett)
10, Jacobi (Ivan Burden)

J/111 (Race 1)
1, Plan J (Stewart Hawthorn)
2, Jelvis (Martin Dent)
3, Sweeny (Kees van Vliet & Hans J.G. Zwijnenburg)
4, Jeez Louise (James Arnell)
5, J-Dream (David & Kirsty Apthorp)
6, McFly (Tony Mack)
7, Jitterbug (Cornel Riklin)
8, Black Dog (Stuart Sawyer – Team Gul)
9, Icarus (Andrew Christie and Chris Body)
10, Toe In The Water (Paul Andersen)

J/111 (Race 2)
1, Jitterbug (Cornel Riklin)
2, Black Dog (Stuart Sawyer – Team Gul)
3, J-Dream (David & Kirsty Apthorp)
4, Plan J (Stewart Hawthorn)
5, Sweeny (Kees van Vliet & Hans J.G. Zwijnenburg)
6, Jelvis (Martin Dent)
7, Journey Maker II (Chris Jones and Louise Makin)
8, Icarus (Andrew Christie and Chris Body)
9, Toe In The Water (Paul Andersen)
10, Munkenbeck (A Munkenbeck and D Cheeseman)

1, Sheen (Anthony Eaton)
2, Dragonfly (John Sandiford Haigh)
3, Miranda (Richard Prest and Ben Few Brown)
4, Mimosa (Guy Mattinson and Jeremy Pocock)
5, Amethyst (Nick Foden-Pattinson and Jonathan Hayes)
6, Cynthia (Andrew, Jo and Alex Neill)
7, Jade (Elizabeth Windridge)
8, Bluebell (Jamie Nimmo)
9, Zara (Fred Few Brown)
10, Sirena (Helen Birchenough)

1, Buzz (Phil Cotton)
2, Humdinger (John Beech)
3, Wandering Glider (Matthew West)

Quarter Ton
1, Bullit (Morty)
2, Blackfun (Tony Hayward)
3, Magnum Evolution (Eric Reynolds)
4, Espada (Louise Morton)
5, Illegal Immigrant (Mark Yeabsley)
6, Whiskers (Catrina Southworth and Lincoln Redding)
7, Phoenix (Welch, Flemming, Fulford and Manser)
8, Spider Pig (Mclean Layfield)
9, Bad Toad (Paul Roberts)
10, Per Elisa (Richard Fleck)

1, Capella II (Hugo Cuddigan)
2, Toucan (Colin & Becky Samuelson and Peter Harvey)
3, Quail (B B Huber, C Blackburn and J Robertson)
4, Harlequin (John Raymond and Matt Alexander)
5, Goose (Lieutenant Colonel Nick Woolgar and Olav Cole Esq)
6, Banzai II (Nick Rowton-Lee, Rory Morrison and Paul Lacy-Smith)
7, Musicus (Nicholas Robertson)
8, Snowgoose 11 (Jonathan Nainby-Luxmoore)
9, Paroquet (James Axtell, Samantha Axtell and Lucy Benham)
10, Siskin (Thomas Montagu Douglass Scott)

RS Elite
1, Aeolus (Jono Brown)
2, Limelite (Chris Preston)
3, Wombat (Jason Proctor)
4, E’Tu (Donald Maclean/Steve Powell)
5, Soak Therapy (Egerton-Warburton Family)
6, Usain Boat (Peter Dudgeon)
7, Freebie Knot (Andrew Archibald)
8, Swan Song (Derek Priestley)

SB20 (Race 1)
1, Sponge Bob (Steve McLean and Matt Waite)
2, F5 Synthesis (Rob Gullan)
3, Sportsboatworld.Com (Jerry Hill)
4, Chill Pill + (Scott Graham and Nick Elder)
5, Darling Associates (Chris Darling)
6, Pp Projects (Phil Plumtree)
7, White Knuckles (Mike Pickering)
8, Sharc (Charlie Sheppard)
9, Edigitalresearch (Charles & Alec Russell and Ed Handasyde Dick)
10, Hyde Sails (Nigel Grogan)

SB20 (Race 2)
1, Sportsboatworld.Com (Jerry Hill)
2, F5 Synthesis (Rob Gullan)
3, Edigitalresearch (Charles & Alec Russell and Ed Handasyde Dick)
4, Hyde Sails (Nigel Grogan)
5, Whyaduck (Tom Clay)
6, Poor Buoy (M Gillett & P Hine)
7, Darling Associates (Chris Darling)
8, Pp Projects (Phil Plumtree)
9, White Knuckles (Mike Pickering)
10, Chill Pill + (Scott Graham and Nick Elder)

Sigma 33
1, Shadowfax (David Rolfe)
2, Prospero Of Hamble (Allan Fraser)
3, Sixes And Sevens (Stuart Whitmore)
4, Workout (Jeff Worboys)
5, Muskoka (Ed Smith)

Sigma 38
1, With Alacrity (Chris & Vanessa Choules and Friends)
2, Zanzara (Nick Gale)
3, Sam (Serena Alexander, Peter Hopps and Hilary Cook)
4, Quatro Solutions (Quatro Solutions Panda Nova)
5, Sigmagician (Hardings and Friends)
6, Gambit (Cees Schrauwers)
7, Rho (Equinox Sailing)
8, Vitesse (Jon England)
9, Flying Formula (David McCarthy)
10, Marta (Brian Skeet)

1, Jenny (Andy Cassell)
2, Hibiscus (Robert Peace)
3, Bertie (Alistair Barter and Ed Suckling)
4, Fiscal (Lt Col D J Peerless)
5, Geronimo (Kevin Headon)
6, Periscope (Brian Malone)
7, Miscreant (Rosy Jones)
8, Biscuit (James Holman)
9, Pisces (Ian Marghan)
10, Discard (Penny Carter and Greg Driver)

1, Akarana 3 (Graham Deegan)
2, Fer De Lance (Glyn Locke)
3, Grapefruit Graphics (Nathan Batchelor)
4, Viper (Mike Relling)
5, Zhik (Chris Turner)
6, Abracadabra (Howard Steavenson)
7, Royal 2 (Christopher Hill)
8, Royal 3 (Christopher Jago)
9, Midnight Cowboy (Steph Merry)
10, Premier Cru (Tom Richardson)

1, Lady Penelope (M Hutchings and A Ramsey)
2, Aquabat (Sarah Everitt and Steve Warren-Smith)
3, Rhapsody In Blue (Emma Baker and Sam Prime)
4, Corsair (David Biddle and Mike Brown)
5, Fuggles (Dick Holden)
6, Blood Sweat And Tears (David Lloyd)
7, Squibbo (Ian Keely)
8, Quantum (Simon & Jill Vines)
9, Aldebaran (Jackson and Jones)
10, Festina Lente (Alex and Gina Porteous)

1, Danny (Roger Wickens)
2, Firefly (Stewart Reed)
3, Misty (Humphrey van der Klugt)
4, Emily (Malcolm Glaister)
5, Melody (Johnny Hornby)
6, Fay (Richard Pearson)
7, Betty (Rebecca Wickens)
8, Query (Tim Hill)
9, Bryony (Peter Nicholson)

Sunsail Match F40
1, First Sailing (First Sailing)
2, Simply (Simply)
3, Howden Insurance (Howden Insurance)
4, Aberdeen Sunsail 1 (Aberdeen Sunsail 1)
5, Chaotic (Chaotic)
6, Deloitte Blue (Deloitte Blue)
7, Deloitte Black (Deloitte Black)
8, Deloitte Green (Deloitte Green)
9, Aberdeen Sunsail 2 (Aberdeen Sunsail 2)
10, Cazenove Capital (Cazenove Capital)

1, Skua (Harry Roome, Prue Roome, Will Rainey and Robin Knibb)
2, Solitude (AJ Lunch and AM Reid)
3, Gwaihir (Mike Wigmore and Mark Struckett)
4, Avocet (John Houghton)
5, Spectre (Clive Bush)
6, Kingfisher (Graham Barnes, Tim Wood and Duncan Barnes)
7, Cockersoottie (Lisa McDanell, Arthur Henderson and Hugo Sloper)
8, Curlew (Toby Hodge)

1, Peregrine (Team Pererine)
2, Shearwater (Russell Mead)
3, Zelia (Geoff & Sarah Dixon)
4, Zest (KF and SA Taylor)
5, Ziva (Jim Downing)
6, Variety (Janet Dee and Shaun Hopkins)
7, Zircon (Gareth Penn)
8, Zinnia (John Scammell)
9, Zephyr (Brian Clarke)
10, Pelican (Hugh Pringle)

X One Design
1, Delight (Stuart Haill and Chris Trainer)
2, Lass (John Tremlett, J R Lear, R Bullock and R Jordan)
3, Xpeditious (James Markby)
4, Princess Jalina (David Palmer)
5, Calypso (Tim Harding)
6, Astralita (Michael Martell, Fraser Graham and Tim Copsey)
7, Foxglove (Alastair Ashford)
8, Gleam (J Meaning)
9, Lara (Willy McNeill and Ted Tredrea)
10, Ibex (Paul Woodman and Oliver James)


COM COOL BLUE IRC Class 6 (Photo by Rick Tomlinson)

COM COOL BLUE IRC Class 6 (Photo by Rick Tomlinson)

ANTILOPE GBR 46N Willem Wester (Photo by Rolex / Ingrid Abery)

ANTILOPE GBR 46N Willem Wester (Photo by Rolex / Ingrid Abery)

The three-day International Rolex Regatta kicked off today with “town races” that took sailors from the east end of St. Thomas, where host St. Thomas Yacht Club is located, to Charlotte Amalie, the island’s capital city. Once there, the fleet of 68 boats, split into six classes, turned around and headed back, but only after sharing some colorful action with tourists on the downtown waterfront and on two cruise ships in port as well as fans perched at different vantage points along the route. Gray clouds mingled with white all day, giving tacticians as much cause to look upward to anticipate wind shifts as they did downward to read the play of the sapphire blue Caribbean Sea beneath them.

“Both of the races today were very different from each other,” said Tony Rey (Newport, R.I.), tactician aboard Peter Cunningham’s (George Town, CAY) PowerPlay, which finished 1-2 today to edge out Willem Wester’s (Breskens, Zeeland, NED) Antilope, which posted a 3-1. “We owe 11 ½ minutes to Antilope in an hour of racing, so it’s not easy to beat them, but we love planing, and 8-10 minutes into the first leg of the first race, a storm cloud came and we were off and running. That’s how we got ahead — it was 16-18 knots for a while, and Peter did a fantastic job of driving.”

Rey explained that in the second race the wind laid down. It was then that Antilope, the heavier displacement boat, had the advantage. Bill Alcott’s (St. Clair Shores, Mich.) 65-footer Equation took line honors in both races and corrected out to third overall. Equation’s navigator Chris Clark (Detroit) was happy with the outcome, saying that the crew had been sailing together a long time but not on this particular boat, which Alcott only recently bought. “We are gaining confidence,” said Clark, “but the hard thing really is the boat draws 16 ½ feet, which is a lot.  Today around one of the islands, we were about 500 feet away from it; even in Charlotte Amalie Harbour we had to be careful — it’s hard to find the sweet spot for us on the course.”

A disappointment to all in this class was the dismasting of Lord Irvine Laidlaw of Rothiemay’s (MON) IRC 52 Highland Fling XII after a port spreader apparently failed. “It happened about five miles into the race after the first turning mark,” said Michael Giles (SA), the boat’s trimmer. “We had made some modifications after racing in Key West, and we were very happy because we knew they were the right changes. We were 100% sure we were winning, so it was unfortunate that it did come down.” With no way to repair the rig before the end of the regatta, the boat is out for the count.

“It’s absolutely a shame for a lot of reasons,” said PowerPlay’s Rey. “We were having a great race with them at the time when we heard a loud bang. She was a benchmark for us, and we were keen to see how we compared.”

CSA racing boats (three classes), one-design IC 24s, and Beach Cats also joined in today’s town races, with the IC 24s adding a third race afterwards.

“We actually had to take our spinnaker down in the first race,” said Latitude 38’s 18-year-old Nikki Barnes, who, with one of her all-girl crewmembers here (Augustina Barbuto, age 16) won a bronze medal for the Virgin Islands at last summer’s ISAF Youth Championships (in international 420s). “There were a lot of boats broaching in our (IC 24) class.” Though currently in 12th, Barnes says her experience in dinghy racing will serve her well over the next two days of racing, when the class will sail up to 14 more races. “We made so many mistakes in the long races; we are well practiced in short-course racing, and we will be so much better at that.” Currently leading the IC 24s is Carlos Sierra’s (Guaynabo, PR) Banana Boat/Fuataka.

Another young team of West Indian high school and sailing students is competing in CSA non-spinnaker class and currently sitting in second overall. They are led by Central High School (St. Croix) teacher Stan Jones aboard Tony Sanpere’s (St. Croix) J/36 Cayennita Grande, which has won this class several times.  Jack Desmond’s (Marion, Mass.) Swan 48 Affinity posted a 1-2 today to Cayennita Grande’s 3-1 to take the lead in the seven-boat class.

Jorge Ramos’s Hobie 16 Universal leads the Beach Cats, while Andrea Scarabelli’s (Cole Bay, St. Maarten) Melges 24 Budget Marine/GILL and Jaime Torres’s (San Juan, PR) Beneteau First 40 Smile and Wave are leading CSA 1 and CSA 2, respectively.

Racing continues tomorrow with all classes but the IC 24s racing within viewing distance of St. John’s south shore.

WILD T'ING  ISV 888 Owner Lawrence Aqui (Photo by Rolex / Ingrid Abery)

WILD T'ING ISV 888 Owner Lawrence Aqui (Photo by Rolex / Ingrid Abery)

Place, Yacht Name, Type, Owner/Skipper, Hometown, Results, Total Points

IC 24 (One Design – 14 Boats)
1. Banana Boat/Fuataka, IC 24, Carlos R. Sierra , Guaynabo, PR, USA – 3, 1, 5, ; 9
2. Orion, IC 24, Fraito Lugo , Ponce, PR, USA – 1, 4, 4, ; 9
3. Cachondo, IC 24, Marco Teixidor , San Juan, PUR – 5, 2, 2, ; 9

CSA 1 (CSA – 9 Boats)
1. Budget Marine/GILL , Melges 24, Andrea Scarabelli , Cole Bay, St. Maarten, AHO – 1, 1, ; 2
2. Fire Water, Melges 24, Henry Leonnig , Nanny Cay, Tortola, BVI – 2, 3, ; 5
3. Magnitude 400, Farr 400, Doug Baker , Long Beach, CA, USA – 5, 2, ; 7

CSA 2 (CSA – 13 Boats)
1. Smile and Wave, Beneteau First 40, Jaime Torres , San Juan, PR, USA – 2, 1, ; 3
2. Lazy Dog, J 122, Sergio Sagramoso , San Juan, PR, USA – 3, 2, ; 5
3. Dark Star, J 105, Jonathan Lipuscek , San Juan, Puerto Rico, USA – 1, 6, ; 7

CSA Non-Spinnaker (CSA – 7 Boats)
1. Affinity, Swan 48, Jack Desmond , Marion, MA, USA – 1, 2, ; 3
2. Cayennita Grande, J 36, Antonio Sanpere , Christiansted, VI, USA – 3, 1, ; 4
3. Hotel California too, Cruising SC70, Stephen Schmidt , St Thomas, USVI, USA – 2, 5, ; 7

IRC 1 (IRC – 9 Boats)
1. PowerPlay, TP 52, Peter Cunningham , George Town, CAY – 1, 2, ; 3
2. Antilope, Grand Soleil 46, Willem Wester , Breskens, Zeeland, NED – 3, 1, ; 4
3. Equation, STP 65, W.Alcott / E.Palm / T.Anderson , St Clair Shores, MI, USA – 2, 3, ; 5

Beach Cats (Portsmouth – 10 Boats)
1. Universal, Hobie 16, Jorge Ramos , San Juan, PR, USA – 2, 1, ; 3
2. Time Out, Hobie 16, John Holmberg , St. Thomas, VI, USA – 1, 2, ; 3
3. Zhik, Nacra 20, Trey Brown , Taylors, SC, USA – 4, 3, ; 7

U.S. and Caribbean Media Contact

ARETHUSA USA 4216  Phil Lotz  (Photo by Rolex / Ingrid Abery)

ARETHUSA USA 4216 Phil Lotz (Photo by Rolex / Ingrid Abery)


Overcast skies and light showers cooled things down today at St. Thomas Yacht Club in the USVI where hundreds of sailors on 68 teams are preparing for the 39th International Rolex Regatta.  The conditions, however, came with plenty of wind for practicing and did nothing to dampen the excitement building for the next three days of racing.

Right out of the box will be Stephen Murray, Jr.’s Carkeek 40 Decision, which has been designed to the newly developed HPR (High Performance Rule) and will headline in one of two CSA classes here that has no less than six other 40-footers “raring to compare.”

“There is no rating rule promoting the light (displacement) grand prix racing boats as a continuum between 30 and 70 feet,” said Sean Carkeek, the South African designer who has been working for a year on the rule as part of a technical committee developed specifically to fill this void.  According to Carkeek, the HPR will change all that when regattas eventually adopt dual scoring under the widely used IRC rule and HPR in classes where it needs to apply.  At the International Rolex Regatta, the likes of Michael Shlens’ (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.,) Blade and Doug Baker’s (Long Beach, Calif.) Magnitude 400, both Farr 400s,  are sure to spice up the competition among the 40 footers.  In addition, two Class 40 boats, which typically are outfitted for short-handed offshore sailing, are competing with accomplished skippers aboard.  Andrew Fisher (Greenwich, Conn.) will take the helm of Icarus, while Berry Lewis (Mill Valley, Calif.) will steer 40 Degrees.

In IRC, it will be a trio of 52 footers– Lord Irvine Laidlaw of Rothiemay’s (MON) Highland Fling XII, Ashley Wolfe’s (Calgary, AB, CAN) Mayhem, and Peter Cunningham’s (Georgetown, Cay) PowerPlay — and a Cookson 50, Ron O’Hanley’s (Newport, R.I.) Privateer, that are likely to stand out, while the reborn 65-foot Rosebud, now called Equation, will be out for a first showing since bought by Bill Alcott (St. Clair Shores, Mich.).  Among the power names onboard these boats are America’s Cup notables Peter Holmberg, Mike Toppa, Tony Rey, and George Skuodas.  As well, Great Britain’s Brian Thompson, who layed to waste previous around-the-world speed records with his recent circumnavigation aboard the 130-foot trimaran Banque Populaire V, will be skippering the Safe Passage company’s Andrews 72 Safara, which is the largest boat competing here.

Willem Wester (Zeeland, The Netherlands), with Volvo Ocean Race veteran Boewe Bekking (NED) calling tactics, will attempt to repeat his IRC class victory from last year, sailing the Grand Soleil 46 Antilope.  With tomorrow’s winds expected to be between 15 and 20 knots, Bekking says this may be hard to recreate, however.  “When it’s windy the lighter displacement boats in our class this time should be going better,” said Bekking, “but if it’s light we can have a pretty fair race.”


For the USA’s Olympic medalist Charlie McKee (Seattle, Wash.),  who is serving as tactician aboard Mayhem, it is mostly about the experience of being here for the first time that has him “expecting crazy, wild, mixed up racing that’s super fun!”

The International Rolex Regatta is a cornerstone of the spring Caribbean racing schedule, and as such attracts top programs from around the world for its mix of buoy and point-to-point races. It also distinguishes itself by having multiple races a day for all classes.  “It’s all part of a unique mix of island-style fun and hard-core IRC, CSA and one design racing,” said Regatta Co-chair Bill Canfield, pointing out a massive, specially-constructed stage rising out of the water on the St. Thomas Yacht Club’s own beach. It is where a band will play on Friday and Saturday nights and where the Rolex Awards will wrap up the event on Sunday, when winners in select classes win coveted Rolex watches.

Spectators will get a treat tomorrow when all classes sail to Charlotte Amalie Harbor for their first race, then return to St. Thomas Yacht Club for their second (and some classes may have a third race).  On Saturday, spectators can watch IC 24s and Beach Cats sail as many as eight buoy races in Great Bay, while other classes sail longer courses on the south side of St. John. On Sunday, while the IC 24s sail up to six races in Jersey Bay, all other classes will sail two “Pillsbury Sound” races.

St Thomas (Photo by Rolex / Ingrid Abery)

St Thomas (Photo by Rolex / Ingrid Abery)


Ran and Shockwave Copyright 2012 Tim Wilkes

Ran and Shockwave Copyright 2012 Tim Wilkes


With three races conducted in strong winds, there was opportunity for boats to make a significant move in the standings on the second day of Quantum Key West 2012. Or in some cases it was a chance to further increase leads taken on Day 1. Pisces fit into the former category, moving into the overall lead in Melges 32 class by winning two of three races on Tuesday. Skipper Benjamin Schwartz and company showed superb boat speed and made some sound tactical decisions and now lead the 19-boat fleet by tiebreaker over John Kilroy and the Samba Pa Ti team. “We are a new program so it is a tremendous feeling to be doing well in a big-time regatta like Key West. Hopefully, we can keep it going,” said Schwartz, who joined the class last summer and promptly placed fourth at U.S. Nationals. Schwartz has America’s Cup veteran Ed Baird calling tactics and Quantum professional Scott Nixon trimming the jib and spinnaker. “You have to give Ed and Scott a lot of credit for getting our boat up to speed,” he said. “I’m fortunate to have a great crew. Today was very challenging because the wind velocity was up and down and the sea state was not very forgiving, but the guys never stopped working and we were able to change gears pretty well.” Race committees on all three courses completed three races in 8-14 knot easterly winds.

With five races in the bag, organizers with Premiere Racing are already halfway to the stated goal of holding 10 races during the five-day regatta. There was a lead change in the Farr 40 class as well with Charisma (Nico Poons, Monaco) and Struntje Light (Wolfgang Schaefer, Germany) overtaking Groovederci (John Demourkas, Santa Barbara, Cal.). Struntje Light has posted a pair of seconds and finished no lower than fourth in the seven-boat fleet, but Charisma holds the overall lead via tiebreaker by virtue of winning Race 5. “We had a very good day on the water and are happy with where we stand at the moment,” Schaefer said. “We have nice boat speed upwind and our crew work has been excellent. We have a very good tactician and he’s made some fantastic calls that have kept me in phase.” Renowned Italian professional and America’s Cup veteran Vasco Vascotta is calling tactics aboard Struntje Light, which has competed in Farr 40 class at Key West ever since 2002 with a top finish of third. “Wolfgang is doing a good job of driving and is getting better every day. The guys onboard have a great attitude and are ready to fight to the end. The good news is that we can still improve our performance.” PowerPlay lived up to its name by making a strong move in IRC 2 class with a strong line of 1-3-4 on Tuesday. Owner Peter Cunningham, a resident of Georgetown in the Cayman Islands, has a nice mix of amateur and professional crew with tactician Tony Rey, trimmer Dave Scott and bowman Geordie Shaver among the superstars aboard. “We’ve only had the boat for six months and we’ve made a lot of modifications during that time,” Cunningham said. “We’re pretty happy with our performance so far. We’re sailing fairly well and having a lot of fun.” Quantum Racing, skippered by Doug DeVos, continues to set the pace in the 52-foot class and leads PowerPlay by six points. Terry Hutchinson, helmsman for the Swedish syndicate Artemis Racing that is Challenge of Record for the America’s Cup, has made strong tactical calls in leading Quantum to victory in three races and second in the two others. “Today was far from straightforward. The wind was very shifty and there are some tricky current patches to deal with,” Hutchinson said. In other classes, the three-race day merely served as an opportunity for the early leaders to extend on the competition.

Red  (Copyright 2012 Ingrid Abery)

Red (Copyright 2012 Ingrid Abery)

Ran, a Judel-Vrolijk 72-footer, continues to sail impressively in the Mini Maxi class (IRC 1), winning all five races so far. Red, skippered by Joe Woods of Great Britain with Paul Goodison aboard as tactician, has accomplished the same feat in the inaugural Farr 400 class. “I guess we’ve just figured the boat out a little faster than the other teams,” said Woods, who has previously sailed a Melges 32 at Key West. “We’re winning, but not by much. The racing has been awfully close.” West Marine Rigging/New England Ropes has posted straight bullets in Melges 24 class and built a commanding 10-point lead over Alan Field and the WTF team. Detroit resident Bora Gulari is steering and getting tactical advice from Australian native and North Sails pro Jeremy Wilmot as West Marine Rigging/New England Ropes seeks to follow up on its 2011 national championship. Groovederci, skippered by Deneen Demourkas of Santa Barbara, Cal., has won all five races in Farr 30 class. Teamwork, a J/122 owned by Robin Team of Lexington, N.C., has posted two bullets and a pair of seconds in grabbing a narrow one-point lead over the 1D35 Tres Hombres in PHRF 1. “We’re having a great time because the conditions have been terrific and the competition has been spectacular,” said Team, who has his brother and two sons in the crew. “We’ve been mixing it up with Tres Hombres and finished overlapped with them in the first two races today. Rush is also tough so I think it will be a dogfight the whole way.” Rush, a J/109 skippered by Bill Sweetser of Annapolis, was named Lewmar / Navtec Boat of the Day after posting a superb score line of 3-2-1. Tom Babel is calling tactics while Quantum pro Tad Hutchins is calling tactics on Rush, which is currently third in PHRF 1 and second in the J/Boats Subclass. “The conditions were very good for us today. When the wind is 14 knots or less we can fly our big jib, which is kind of like our secret weapon,” Sweetser said. “We pay for that jib in our rating so it’s good whenever we can use it.” It’s been close but no cigar for Rush at Key West as Sweetser’s boat has finished first or second in class several times, but never come away as overall winner at week’s end. “One of these years we’re going to finally break through and it’s going to be wonderful,” he said. Regatta dates are January 15 – 20, 2012.

Melges 32 Copyright 2012 Tim Wilkes

Melges 32 Copyright 2012 Tim Wilkes


For more Key West Race Week photos by  Tim Wilkes check out Tim Wilkes Photography