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Day Five at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week

12th August 2015
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Day Five at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week

#cowesweek – Cowes Week today was a beautifully warm day with a stable east-north-easterly air flow over the Solent area that mostly averaged 9-11 knots, with a few stronger gusts, making for excellent racing conditions.

The day saw the first racing for the five 60-72ft yachts in the IRC Big Boat Class, which had a downwind start from the Royal Yacht Squadron line. They were competing, along with IRC Class 0, for one of the event's most prestigious trophies, the Britannia Cup, with the winner determined by average speed around the course on corrected time.

The three 72ft Mini Maxis - Hap Fauth's Bella Mente, Sir Peter Ogden's Jethou and Dieter Schoen's Momo - made a spectacular sight as they approached the downwind start. With 15 seconds to go all three had been pointing away from the line to avoid the strong west going tide sweeping them over the start. The trio then bore away almost in unison - despite their size these yachts are amazingly manoeuvrable - and hit the line with speed moments before the starting cannon.

Another 15 seconds later they each had their asymmetric spinnakers hoisted and filling, with Bella Mente enjoying a marginal advantage to windward that also gave her clean air. By the end of their 23.6 mile course, she had a 15-minute lead on Momo, while Jethou had been forced to retire.

As the boat with the fastest average speed on corrected time, Bella Mente was declared winner of the Britannia Cup, with Momo second and Sorcha third.

Wednesday was International Youth Day at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week. This year there are 37 crews, all of whom are under 25, competing for the Aberdeen Asset Management Under 25 trophy.

At the end of day five Hugo Sloper's Swallow Marengo is provisionally the leading boat in contention for the trophy, a large margin ahead of Ben Palmer's Etchells Ziggy Legend. Jack Davies' J/70 Jugador is currently lies third in the rankings.

Tomorrow will see the return of the Artemis Challenge at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, which will see a record fleet of 16 large yachts with celebrity crews competing in a charity dash around the Isle of Wight.

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