WHOOPER WINS LONG INSHORE RACE
21 JULY 2016 – The fifth day of Panerai British Classic Week produced some interesting weather, some challenging racing and confirmed of the overall winner in several classes.
The 6 and 8 Metre Classes raced two further round the cans races, whilst Classes 1 to 4 took part in the Classic Boat Long Inshore Race.
Compared with Wednesday’s champagne sailing, today was a much trickier affair.
Although the 6 and 8 Metres were able to start on time for the first of their two races the wind was extremely light and they barely ghosted away from the start.
Add a complex tidal situation to the mix and the tacticians certainly had their work cut out to get the boats around the course.
Just after the Metre boats started, the wind died off almost completely and Classes 1 to 4 had to be postponed for over two hours.
With the Metre boats back from their first race and a light sea breeze starting to build the race committee was able to start a second race for the 6s and 8s as well as the Classic Boat Long Inshore.
Once underway Classes 1 to 4 sailed a shorter than planned course which took them as far west as John Hollamby buoy off Newtown Creek before zigzagging their way back to finish.
With the sea breeze never really building above ten knots until the latter stages of the race and a building ebb tide it was a race where small mistakes could cost a great deal.
However as usual the cream rose to the top and ultimately Giovanni Belgrano’s Whooper claimed the Classic Boat Trophy for the Long Inshore Race by just 46 seconds from Michael Briggs Mikado with John Mulcahy’s Stella Estrella in third place.
Sean McMillan’s Spirit 52 Flight of Ufford took line honours in the Classic Boat Long Inshore and won Class 1 for the Modern Classics.
Tom Hill’s Spirit 46 Dido finished second in the race with Sandy Fielding and Martin Whittle’s Spirit 37 Strega third.
Overall that means that, with the single discard coming into play after tomorrow’s seventh and final race, Flight of Ufford is assured of class victory as her worst result is a second place and she has a seven-point lead over Strega.
Tomorrow’s battle in this class will therefore be between Strega and Dido who are now separated by just three points.
Giovanni Belgrano’s overall race victory in Whooper also translated to victory in Class 2 where she beat Gildas Rostain’s Volonte with David Murrin’s Cetewayo third.
In the Class overall standings Whooper has won six out of six races meaning she has the regatta all sewn up with a twelve-point lead over Cetewayo.
Lawrence Wride’s Sunmaid V remains in third place and will be hoping for a good final race as she is just three points behind Cetewayo.
Michael Brigg’s Mikado has won Class 3 with a day to spare with a set of six straight wins, while Tim Yetman’s Krabat is certain of second overall as her worst score in the regatta to date is a sixth and she has an eight-point lead over her nearest rival.
Andy and Mary Hales’ Freyja is that nearest rival and she will need to ensure she keeps Martin Thomas’ Charm of Rhu at bay tomorrow to secure her third place, as only three points separate the two boats.
Throughout the week some of the closest racing has been in Class 4.
John Mulcahy’s Estrella goes into the final day with a three-point lead over Jonathan and Scilla Dyke’s Cereste, however, the introduction of the discard means that if Cereste can win the race and Estrella is third or worse Cereste could still claim overall victory.
Liz and Mark Rushall’s Ragdoll cannot catch the leaders, but is assured of third place in class thanks to her fifth in today’s race.
For the 6 Metres today’s races were the seventh and eighth of their series.
Once again Robin Richardson’s St Kitts was victorious in both giving her a near perfect record of seven wins out of eight starts and confirming her overall class win.
Andy Short’s Nancy and Tom Richardson’s Thistle are separated by just three so will be fighting over the remaining steps on the 6 Metre podium tomorrow.
Murdoch McKillop’s Saskia faltered a little in the morning race with her worst score of the regatta at fourth, but won the last race to give her a ten-point lead and a guaranteed class win.
The final day showdown in this class will be between David Myatt’s Erica and Avia Wilment’s Siris who are separated by two points in second and third respectively.
Whilst many of the class winners have already been decided it doesn’t mean they will drop out of tomorrow’s final race, which is sponsored by Sandeman Yachts.
Flight of Ufford’s Sean McMillan said,
“I wouldn’t miss it for the world. In fact, I’d like the regatta to go on for another week. It’s been absolutely fantastic to sail in such great company and against such wonderful and historic yachts.”