Spectacle on Day 3 of Classic Yacht Club Regatta

The weather in Cowes was more akin to the Mediterranean than the south coast of England as the classic fleet left the Cowes Yacht Haven under crystal clear blue skies on day three of the 2008 British Classic Yacht Club Regatta. In the full expectation of the arrival of a thermal breeze, Class Zero were dispatched on a long course to take in Lymington Bank, Prince Consort and Skandia. Mariquita, Kelpie, The Lady Anne, Tuiga, Mariette and Sceptre made for a magnificent spectacle as they manoeuvred against each other for prime position on the Royal Yacht Squadron start line.

At the gun Mariette was the first to show and immediately deployed her huge balloon spinnaker to ease her away from the pack. Despite flying the maximum possible sail area the 138′ Herreshoff design could only just eke out progress against the strong Solent tide. As the race progressed the thermal breeze conspicuously failed to materialise and it became clear that the big boats were in for a long day on the water. When they eventually reached the Lymington Bank turning mark the crew aboard Mariette, who really need much more breeze to be competitive, were pleased to round the mark at least still in touch with the rest of the fleet.

Many hours later at around 1615 it was the vintage 12 Metre Wings with Guy Ribadeau Dumas at the helm that managed to edge her way over the finish line between Prince Consort and the RCYC flagpole. Their lead on the fleet was extensive and it was just short of an hour later that the Mariquita drifted home behind her. On corrected time Wings took a well deserved win by over an hour from the Yacht Club De Monaco’s Tuiga in second and The Lady Anne in third.

The boats over in the eastern Solent had much better conditions for their first race, with up to twelve knots of breeze. In Class Two David Murrin’s Cetewayo continued her winning ways, beating Marc Busschots Ilderim into second. The real battle in this class appeared to be for line honours between the two 8 Metre boats Ilderim and The Earl of Cork and Orrery & D Glasgow’s Athena.

More info: RCYC website