COWES WEEKWITH most classes having enjoyed a lively day on the water yesterday (Sunday) with winds gusting up to 30 knots, the atmosphere around town at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week is really starting to buzz.
Tales of heroic downwind sleigh rides and heart-stopping mark rounding moments on the racecourse add to the spirit of the event. Those trying out sailing for the first time at the Try Sail events were equally enthusiastic about their day on the water.
A decent breeze is set to continue today although there should be a lot less, which means all classes including the XODs and Solent Sunbeams, which did not race yesterday, will be resuming battle today.
The wind will start at ten to 14 knots from the west-north-west and build during the afternoon to 15 to 19 knots.
Again there is a risk of showers, especially in the afternoon that will see stronger gusts. A sea breeze is not expected but thermal influences may result in a wind shift to the west-south-west in the mid to late afternoon.
The 145-strong XOD fleet is starting from a committee boat near Mother Bank on the south side of the eastern Solent, from where they will race on a windward/leeward course.
The rest of White Group will start to the west, before returning to finish at the line off East Cowes, while Black Group classes, starting on the Royal Yacht Squadron line, will have downwind start in an easterly direction.
The Black Group committee boat will again be in the western Solent near Elephant buoy.
At the time of writing, the race team is considering whether to route these classes back to the eastern Solent and thence to the RYS line or finish at a deliberately shortened course committee boat at a mark near Beaulieu.
First off from the Royal Yacht Squadron start line this morning at 10.25am is the White Group Laser SB3 class racing for the Bloodhound Trophy, followed, on the outer Squadron line, by the Black Group IRC 0, which will be racing for the Blossom Challenge Cup.
Johnny Vincent’s TP52 — Pace — is currently leading the fleet following a win in yesterday’s breezy conditions so it will be interesting to see the outcome today when the wind starts to pipe up.
The 27-strong Squib fleet is racing for the Hewitt Trophy today so the close racing is set to continue.
Young Fred Warren-Smith, who is just 14 years old and sailing with his father, is once again heading the fleet in his quest to defend his overall winning title from last year. However, the competition is extremely close so he needs to continue to sail consistently to reach his goal.
The social side of Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week is under full sail with seemingly more parties and yacht club balls than ever before.
As part of the class centenary celebrations, the XOD is hosting a reception at the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club this evening, while the Flying 15 class will host its annual event barbecue at the Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club.
In Shepards Wharf Marina crew enclosure, IRC classes 3 and 4 have drinks between 4pm and 7pm and those in dance mood should head to Club Infernos for the Baywatch Beach Party, which starts at 9pm.