THE first day of Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week delivered lively conditions on The Solent and a carnival atmosphere onshore.
There was Island success across all the leets with Bernard Olesinski’s Xinska winning IRC Class 3, and Fiona and Malcolm Thorpe claiming second place in IRC Class 4.
Jo Richards’ Woof also came second in IRC Class 7, with fellow Islander, Paul Dunstan, in third on Mandarin.Last year’s Daring class winners,Hampshire’s Giles Peckham, Milo Carver and Richard Romer-Lee on Dauntless, picked up where they left off with a bullet on dayone.
But they were pushed all the way by second placed Finesse (David Christie and John Mulcahy), and the 2010 class winners, locals Jeremy Preston and Mark Fear onDauntless, who finished third.
Island-based Bear, whose skipper Chris Brittain is now Bermuda based, was the top Dragon after a close-fought battle with Ecstatic (Eric Williams), while there was further local success in the Etchells class with the Downer family finishing second behind James Howells’ Gelert.
The First 40.7 class saw Island-basedBrendan McMahon and Adam Ridett in Fandango secure second place behind Calvin Reed’s Elandra, while it was also second place for local boat Jolene II (Christopher Sharples and Richard Ackland) in the J/109 class.
With Rupert and John Mander, the most consistent winners at Cowes Week between 2001 and 2012, not competing this year, the door is wide open for a new Cowes Week champion in theFlying 15s.
And first blood went toLeicestershire-based Nick Clarke on Black, with Island boats, FFuraha (Mike Boll and Gil McCutcheon) and Fifty Fifty (Andrew Millband and Tony Hastings), in a close second and third place respectively.
It was an Island one two in the J/122class with Ken Lowes’ Ghost getting the better of David Cule’s Mint Julep, while Cowes sailor, Louise Morton,clinched second place on Espada in the Quarter Tonners, a class she won two years ago.
Meanwhile, Nicholas Fairfax won the Bembridge Redwings on Flycatcher and Isle of Wight sailor, Geoff West, finished third in the Reflex 38s on Lightning Reflex,behind Visit Malta Puma and Jaguar Logic.
Cowes-based Paralympic gold medallist and nine time Cowes Week winner, Andy Cassell, topped the Sonars onJenny, with Simon Barter’s Bertie in second and WillRome’s Discard in third.
Two-time Young Skipper of the Year,Fred Warren-Smith, started his 2012 campaign with a second place in the Squib class on Aquabat behind Malcolm Hutchings and Andy Ramsey’s Lady Penelope.
Shoreside there was plenty going on with live music from the likes of Jimmy’s Big Fish, Lucid andSporting Life on Cowes Parade and Cowes Yacht Haven, while attention turned to the skies for a Lynx helicopter display, courtesy of theRoyal Navy.
Tomorrow is Family Day, with a host of activities taking place around the town, including a flag- making and painting competition at Cowes Yacht Haven, courtesy of Ondeck andCowes Primary School.
Remote controlled model boats will be racing off Cowes Parade in the early evening.
In addition, the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games will be screened on a giant screen at the yacht haven from 7.30pm.