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FAST40+ Fracas – Day Two Lendy Cowes Week


Sir Keith Mills’ British Ker40+ Invictus. (Paul Wyeth/Lendy Cowes Week)

An incident packed second day at Lendy Cowes Week included Girls of Film hitting a rock on approach to a mark, a collision between Invictus and Rebellion at the same mark, plus 42 South snapping their rig, and a navigational error costing a round of drinks at the bar.

Sir Keith Mills’ British Ker40+ Invictus took line honours, and corrected out to win the race. However, after racing, Peter Morton’s British CF40+ Girls on Film, was given redress, and awarded joint first place for the race. The two teams will share the Royal Thames Yacht Club’s 1840 Challenge Cup.

Bas de Voogd’s Dutch Carkeek MkIII Hitchhiker was second, and leads the class for Lendy Cowes Week. Johnny Vincent’s British Ker40+ Pace stayed out of trouble to finish third. Tony Dickin’s Farr designed Jubilee was fourth, just four seconds ahead of the German Felci designed Silva Neo.

A southwesterly breeze of over 20 knots, sunshine and flat water provided spectacular sailing conditions for the 28 nautical mile course in the Central and Western Solent. After a beat to the southwest, the FAST40+ fleet were set a complex course criss-crossing the Western Solent. With a variety of reaching legs, sail changes were numerous, and boat speed was red lining at over 20 knots, right through the fleet.

It was a classic Cowes Week race with a lots of breeze, lots of drama, and lots of lead changes.” commented Sir Keith Mills. “Racing in the FAST40+ fleet is so close, that if you make a mistake you get really punished. We pulled back from fourth, and picked off the boats one by one. We are going really well and the crew did a great job, and that was achieved in a very eventful race. The sailing was fantastic, Invictus was often racing at over 17 knots and we touched 20 knots in some gusty moments. These boats are like big dinghies and a pleasure to race, it is why I love the sport.”

After the first beat, Peter Morton’s CF40+ Girls on Film, was leading by two minutes, approaching Baxters, located near Gurnard Head. “We had dropped our spinnaker and we were about to round the mark when we hit a rock.” explained Peter Morton. “We were hard on and had to be towed off some time later. At the time, we were frantically waving at the boats behind to alert them, and we saw Invictus and Rebellion coming in really fast.”

In the fracas, Invictus and Rebellion had a minor coming-together. “It was a just a kiss really.” suggested Stewart Whitehead, owner Driver of Rebellion. We had our A2 up, and I think Invictus had their Masthead Zero, so we were coming in at different angles. When we both took evasive action, we touched. To cap the day off, Campbell Field took us to the wrong mark in the confusion, which cost us a bit of time. He was a bit sheepish about it, and bought a big round when we got in, but we are still all good friends on board.”

Towards the end of the race, Mark Rijkse’s Reichel Pugh designed 42 South, suffered rig damage when racing downwind. “The reason will only become apparent after technical analysis.” commented Mark. “ We were having a strong showing and we were battling with Pace for third at the time. No one was hurt and the crew showed extraordinary seamanship to get the sails down and rigged secured.”

Racing for the FAST40+ Class continues tomorrow, Monday 31 July, for the Royal London Yacht Club Bloodhound Challenge Trophy.

Follow the FAST40+ Class during Lendy Cowes Week. Live news, pictures and videos will be available on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FAST40UK/.


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