Smooth sailing as Woof is a class apart

Action from the Daring class at Cowes Week. Picture: Rick Tomlinson
Action from the Daring class at Cowes Week. Picture: Rick Tomlinson
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Woof enjoyed a successful day three at Cowes Week with victory in the IRC Class 7.

Jo Richards’ H-Boat was in dominant form to take the victory as they delivered a classy performance.

There was a good breeze out there, up to 17kts but it was fairly shifty

Peter Morton

‘We came off the startline in front of everyone else,’ said Richards.

‘Because we are the biggest boat in the fleet it is pretty simple once we’re in front.

‘We were consistently pulling out on every leg and it was a relatively straightforward race.

‘There were some quite big shifts on the beat from Beaulieu to Newtown.

‘It was shifting through 20-30 degrees but it was possible to sail up the middle of the beat and take the shifts when they arrived rather than having to commit to anything.

‘Other than that it was down to good crew work.’

In class three, it was a super Salvo success.

Skipper Peter Morton masterminded a fine recovery for the Joubert Nivelt designed Salvo.

He said: ‘We actually didn’t have a terribly good start because we got caught out on a windshift on the line but we worked hard and had a good first beat to Solent Banks from the Squadron line.

‘We managed to keep enough ahead of Incognito and Space Race and pulled out a decent lead.

‘A good run home from Caldwell along the island shore helped us too.

‘We basically had to stay ahead of the others to win and thankfully, with some good crew work, we were able to retain our position at the front.

‘There was a good breeze out there, up to 17kts but it was fairly shifty.’

Success in the Contessa 32 went to Eldred Himsworth’s Drumbeat, with focus the key to success.

Himsworth said: ‘It was extremely hard going out there.

‘Although the wind was a bit up and down it wasn’t out of the ordinary. Doing well was all about concentration and boatspeed.

‘We didn’t actually take the lead until the final five-mile run home and it was here the crew really excelled.

‘Naturally we are all looking forward to getting back on the water again tomorrow.’

Meanwhile on day two, the 27-strong fleet in White Group, the J/70 class made a clean start in their first race, which proved to be a closely-fought battle in which the first eight boats finished within 69 seconds.

David McLeman’s Offbeat took the winner’s gun 10 seconds ahead of Charlie Esse’s Darwin Property Investment.

Third place went to Ben Gratton’s team of youth sailors on Royal Thames 1.

The J/70s’ second race was started from a committee boat line.

This time Esse pulled out a three-minute lead on the fleet to take a convincing win ahead of Simon Ling’s Team RAF Benevolent Fund.

Young sailor Jack Davies on Jugador took third.

In the Daring class, Christopher Hill and Justin Reynold’s Division Belle, Andrew Norton’s Decoy and John Hackman’s Double Knot looked well placed at the outer end of the line.

A few minutes after the start, once the fleet had settled on the offshore port tack, it was Decoy and Charles Perry’s Defiant that appeared to be enjoying an advantage, with a large favourable wind shift.

However, it was Saturday’s winner, Giles Peckham’s Dauntless, who won ahead of Decoy.