Charles Stanley Direct Cowes Classics Week 2017-Final Day
Sadly the last two days of this five day event were cancelled due to the weather.
However enough races were completed in order for Magnus Wheatley, managing director of Charles Stanley Direct, to be able to present the prizes.
Itchenor’s Mike Wigmore was overall winner in his Swallow Gwaihir.
“It’s great coming to the Classics. We love the combination of windward leeward sailing and round the cans courses. I can truly say we’ve never had a better regatta,” he said.
Magnus Wheatley of Charles Stanley Direct presents the Charles Stanley 1792 Cup to overall winners, Swallow sailor Mike Wignore and crew of Gwaihir. © Rick Tomlinson
Luckily enough races had been completed to fulfil the series across all the classes.
Winner of the largest class, the X One Designs, was 19-year old Max Crowe. “I always like to keep an eye on where everyone is on the race course,” he said, explaining his winning tactics. Max has been sailing the boat for four years, honing his skills in Cadets and Oppies. “We had a very good week, very well organised.”
Another well-earned victory went to Andrew Milliband in Flying Fifteen Fifty Fifty. This year is the 70thanniversary of the fleet and the occasion attracted sixteen of the boats including one crew from South Africa sailing Durban Flyer.
Cowes Classics Week 2017-Final Day
Classic yacht racing continues to grow in popularity with stories of the rescue and restoration of forgotten relics continuing to emerge.
Cynthia, a 1922 Sea Mermaid was awarded the regatta Classic Boat Magazine Concours d’Elegance after an eight year restoration having been originally built in 1922.
1922 Seaview Mermaid Cynthia on show on her mooring before being awarded the Concours d’Elegance
© Rick Tomlinson
Tim Street was presented with a special Lifetime Achievement Award for his long history with the Dragon class.
“We are still finding Dragons to restore, including one recently found in a barn in the New Forest,” said Tim. Tim first helmed a Salcombe Pram dinghy in 1946 and went on the win countless Dragon titles.
8-metre Helen carves her way through the Daring Fleet © Rick Tomlinson
Murdoch McKillop’s Saskia was the winning yacht amongst the four majestic 8-metres that competed while John Corby took first place in the Daring Class, also claiming the Metre Regatta Trophy. Racing on the same circuit were the Solent Sunbeams, won by Martin Jones in Betty. Of the eight Bembridge One Designs, BOD8, sailed by James Rowe emerged victorious.
The mixed fleets of Classic Cruisers saw wins for S&S 43 Firebrand, built in 1964 in ‘Red 1’ class and Lawrence Wride’s 1967-built Sunmaid V in ‘Red 2’.
Mike Harrison’s 1965 Contessa 26 Jiminy Cricket won Blue while Richard Hargreaves’ 47 year old Twister Sea Urchin took victory in Green. Claire Locke, helming her Folkboat The Otter, was the winner of her class.
Firebrand chases Bojar on the ‘Red 1’ course © Rick Tomlinson
A special seamanship award was presented to Doctor Steph Brown, who was crewing on Flying Fifteen Fram Freyr, holding on to second position in the race, when she witnessed a nearby collision between a Dragon and Flying Fifteen. Giving up her place in the race she went to the aid of a concussed crew who was subsequently taken to hospital and given 24 stitches in his head.
Charles Stanley Direct Cowes Classics Week is grateful to supporting sponsors Haines Boatyard, Winkworth, Harken, Red Funnel, Cowes Harbour Commission, Kendalls Fine Art and Classic Boat magazine, and for the first time Henri Lloyd.
Next year’s Cowes Classics Week will be held from 23-27 July 2018.