What a week! AAM Cowes Week 2012 has yet again provided an amazing week of racing. The 40's have enjoyed big fleets, (only beaten by the XOD's!) everyday, big winds (on most days) and big socials (every day!).
The final three days provided plenty of twists and turns in the fortunes of many of the front runners. In the end, one team proved that consistency pays, counting 3 wins towards their overall score to take the title of Cowes Week 2012 F40 winners.
On Wednesday, the fleet awoke to some big winds and heard the CCC's has cancelled racing for White Group and some of the smaller fleets for Black Group.
The Sunsail F40's were still on for a 12.30 start and 32 F40's ventured out to the Solent for their battle of the elements.
Throughout the race, the fleet encountered 4 seasons worth of weather (for the exception of snow!), with the winds starting out from the SE swinging to the SW, gusts of 40kts, holes in the wind and torrential rain in the squalls, in amongst that, you had to put on sun tan cream as well!!
After leading the fleet round the 14nm course, Aberdeen 1 look set for the second win of the week, but a slight navigational error with one mark to go before the finish, let through several teams. In the end it was close battle to the finish with Cazenove Dynamic taking the gun from Orca Training by just 3 seconds (after 2 and half hours of racing!). Third went to Deloitte 2, a minute behind with Aberdeen 1 eventually finishing 9th.
Thursday and the F40's were racing on their home turf of the Eastern Solent between Ryde and the mainland, even using the infamous Darling Associates Architects as a mark!
Early pacesetters were Alexander Rose and National Grid with good starts, followed by Orca Training. As the fleet zig zagged their way down the Solent as far as Outer Spit and across to Plane Legal, tactics started to play a big part with the wind shifting and starting to drop as the afternoon went on. The two front runners for overall honours, Coast Graphics and Aberdeen 1 started to move their way to the front of the fleet, with Alexander Rose battling them for the lead.
After nearly 4 hours and 24nm of some really close racing, Coast Graphics had built up a lead that they held to the finish, followed by Alexander Rose and Aberdeen 1.
Final Friday, provided another great days racing with Bramblemet showing 12 – 16kts from the SW at the start.
With Coast Graphics having sewn up the week with a race to spare, it was left to Aberdeen 1 and Cazenove Absolute to fight for 2nd and 3rd. Cazanove Absolute had to win and hoped that Aberdeen 1 came in no better than 9th.
As it turned out Aberdeen 1 did everything they needed to do by taking an early lead which they held to the finish followed by Eden Yachting a minute behind and National Grid a further 2 minutes back, having their best result of the week with a podium placed 3rd. However Eden Yachting had the unfortunate pleasure of no sound signal at the finish as they were deemed OCS at the start, promoting National Grid to second and Orca Training to third.
So after a fantastic week of extremely close racing and big smiles from all the crews, Coast Graphics at their first attempt in a Sunsail F40 took the overall honours buy just 1 point from Aberdeen 1, with Cazenove Absolute 3rd overall.
Lets hope 2013 is as good as 2012!
If you are interested in learning more about Sunsail Racing, please contact Terry Hunt at email@example.com
Overall Results: (top five)
1st Coast Graphics, 20pts
2nd Aberdeen 1, 21pts
3rd Cazenove Absolute, 34pts
4th Red Funnel 1, 37pts
5th National Grid, 40pts