WRETCHED weather failed to dampen the enthusiasm of bumper crowds who witnessed Leigh McMillan’s The Wave maintain the lead in the Extreme Sailing Series on the penultimate day at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week.
Strong winds and a powerful tide proved the biggest obstacle as crews attempted to “tame the 40-foot beast” with Luna Rossa struggling in particular to get their Extreme 40 under control.
Star of yesterday’s competition was the former Tornado sailor Pierre Pennec and the crew of Groupe Edmond de Rothschild who won all but one of their four races.
At the close of play The Wave, Muscat continues to lead, however, with a margin of 10 points on Luna Rossa, Alinghi third, with Groupe Edmond de Rothschild fourth, now just six points shy of the podium.
The treacherous conditions meant many sailors chose to stay ashore. No Sonars, Mermaids or Sunbeams were able to compete, and only 15 of the 26 Redwings entered turned up for the start. Likewise only 24 of the 43-strong Laser SB3 fleet started, and seven of those retired before the end of the race.
In front of crowds that massed 10 deep on the waterfront, Andrew Shaw and Alan Roberts’ Phoenix claimed the XOD class Centenary Regatta Race, while in the Mixed Day Boat start Anthony Esse and Charlie Esse’s modified J/80 Wellington College won by almost five minutes.
Premier Cru similarly held the lead in the 1720 class at the finish line, ahead of Livingstone, Brown, Lewis’ Rum n Cork, and Richard Powell and Andrew Sutherland’s Rogan Josh.