“It was a wonderful week with wall to wall sunshine,” summed up the winner of the 1972 Trophy for the overall place at Charles Stanley Cowes Classics Week 2014. Richard Hargreaves, together with his son Kit, scored four 1sts and a 2nd to win the historic cup in his Twister class yacht Sea Urchin, built in 1970, one of six in the Slow Cruiser division.
Despite another day of soft winds and frustrating conditions results came in from all classes in the 150-strong fleet of yachts which were all were designed before 1970, many built in the early 1900s and a handful even built in the century before that.
This last day of the Charles Stanley Cowes Classics Week sealed the deal for Kim Slater and his crew sailing on the immaculate XOD 58 Madeleine. First places had gone to different boats in all six races but Kim’s stealthy consistency and the chance to throw away a discard in today’s final race put him and his crew on the podium to receive the Haines Boatyard Trophy ahead of his 49 rivals.
The light wind conditions gave plenty of challenges not least to the two Cruiser Divisions. This collection of visually aesthetic veteran yachts started their day’s race in virtually flat calm but the tide got them away to the west to their first mark off Gurnard. Enough wind was conjured up to allow them to beat back right close to the shore to return to their finish line at EFG mark, off West Cowes. A neat row of all but one firsts through the week gave the overall position in the Fast Cruisers to the small and pretty but deceptively fast 88 year old keelboat Cockleshell, owned by Jonty Sherwill.
There was no mistaking the Aitken Challenge Cup winner as Martin Jones on Swift swept up a clean row of firsts throughout the regatta in the Swallow Class.
A 1st and a 3rd in today’s two races gave Flying Fish sailed by Bobby Salmond the championship in the Flying Fifteen class but results were incredibly close with Glass Half Full and fforemark only one point behind before discards.
The front runners in the 19-strong Solent Sunbeam class put up a close fight – last year’s Cowes Classics overall winners Joe and Cathy Burnie were edged out of the lead temporarily by Roger Wickens in Danny by last night but their performance today once again secured them as the champions of the very active Itchenor based class, and winner of the Solent Sunbeam trophy for the week, the Cowes Classics Week Cup.
Also 19-strong, the Darings, a class over 50 years old and based at host venue Cowes, enjoyed some very close racing throughout the week. Race Officer Peter Dickson reported a good breeze for race 2 today on the Daring and 8 metre course, despite some more of the large windshifts which have typified the week. But last minute extra wind couldn’t save Magnus Wheatley’s lead yesterday, who, with only three points separating the top three Darings going into today’s race, was pipped by a 1st and a 9th from Malcolm Lofts earning Streak the overall win in class. Meanwhile the beautiful 8 metre Helen took a first and second today to seal her lead for the week.
Despite only getting in one laid mark committee boat course today the Bembridge One Designs, Loch Longs and Gaffers had a good final day’s racing. BOD winner was David Shaw, while the lovely veteran gaffer Chough, built in 1927, won her class. Victory in the Loch Longs, which all travelled from Aldeburgh in Suffolk, belonged to David Trower’s Pamina.
Light winds gave little respite to the hot sun this week, but the competition was second to none on the tight committee boat courses. Next year’s event takes place from 20-24 July 2015.
Thanks go to supporting sponsors Hudson Wight, Harken, Haines Boatyard, Winkworth, Cowes Harbour Commission, nms Adaptive, Kendalls, The Yachting Studio, and Classic Boat Magazine.
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Photo credits; Solent Sunbeams at top Jake Sugden and 8mR 'Erica' below by Tim Jeffreys.
Regatta results can be found here
Media enquiries and image requests:
Charles Stanley Cowes Classics Week Press Officer
Clearline Communications Ltd
Telephone: 07774 623539