The final day of Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week dawned with very light airs that necessitated a postponement before a west-south-westerly breeze climbing to 10 knots kicked in. Although shifty at first it continued to build through the day, peaking with gusts of more than 20 knots.
The overall Sportsboat class result was one of those decided today, with Julian Cook and Caroline Aisher’s Viper 640 Oh No leading the fleet on 8 points, followed by Jon Powell’s Hunter 707 Betty on 9 points and Charlie Esse’s modified J/80 Darwin Property on 13 points at the beginning of the final race.
Oh No led away from the line today, with noticeably faster acceleration on powering up immediately before the start gun than her heavier competitors. Betty was also well placed to leeward of Oh No and closer to the shore. Darwin Property was to windward in the leading pack at the gun, but was slow to accelerate and quickly fell back as the fleet short tacked in the narrow band of west-going tidal eddy close to the beach off the Green.
At the finish Oh No was first to cross the line, by an impressive margin of more than 12 minutes. However, she was not able to save her time on Betty, one of the lowest-rated boats in this fleet, who won today’s race by three minutes on corrected time. Oh No’s second place today leaves her tied on 10 points with Betty, with the count back resolved in the latter’s favour thanks to her four race wins this week. Fourth place today for Darwin Property was sufficient for her to comfortably retain third place overall.
Going into the final day the overall result in the Etchells class was still wide open, with Rob and Ashley Goddard’s Stampede on 15 points, just one ahead of Tarra Gill-Taylor’s Darling S. Two boats, Andrew, Donna and Freddie Cooper’s Ice and Shaun Frohlich’s Exabyte V, were tied on 20 points, just four behind Darling S and were also in a position to take the overall class win.
Report by Rupert Holmes/CWL
Photo by Rick Tomlinson/CWL