Champagne sailing at Day 2 of SB20 Cowes Grand Slam

It was a perfect day on the water for the 36 competitors on Day 2 of the SB20 Grand Slam at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, on Sunday August 3, 2014.

A shifty south-westerly had increased to 15 knots by the fleet’s first start of the day at 11.20am, building slightly throughout the afternoon with sparkling sunshine across the Solent. With two races, including a second race of over two hours duration, there were plenty of tired but happy SB20 sailors at this evening’s class cocktails at the Royal Yacht Squadron.

The first race of the day, and third of the series, went to Jerry Hill and the ‘Sportsboatworld.com’ team. They were followed home by yesterday’s first race victors ‘Sponge Bob’, and Chris Darling and crew on ‘Darling Associates’, scoring their first podium position of the event so far. ‘F5 Synthesis’ put in a good showing on the water but were scored OCS.

There are two races each day for the Cowes Grand Slam event, and winners of today’s second were Rob Gullan on ‘F5 Synthesis’, with ‘Sponge Bob’ taking another second and ‘Sportsboatworld.com’ again on the podium with third.

Marshall King of ‘Sponge Bob’ said today was: ‘Brilliant, glam, fantastic! It was classic Solent conditions, strong winds, shifty, bit of tide thrown in, great. So our day was one of comebacks, we had bad starts and fought our way back. We were just a little bit shy of the line both times, not so quick out of it. The lines were very starboard biased, and everyone knows where they want to be – so it’s a question of do I want to go for a really good one and risk all sorts of chaos, or be conservative! So we’ve been conservative.

“Then in the second race we again had a little bit of a slow start and were probably in the top 6 or 7 by the first mark, then we had a really good second beat where we seemed to get out in the right current, and I think we were second to the second weather mark and had a good old ding-dong with Jerry Hill and Rob Gullan. We came round the last mark second and Jerry was leading, fought tooth and nail up the beat, and actually Rob won – poor old Jerry led all the way round.

“But they were nice long races today, a good hour and a bit, which is nice – it’s not often you get that these days.”

Jerry Hill of ‘Sportsboatworld.com’ added: ‘It was nice conditions all day today, 12-15 knots, but very shifty, so the beats were very challenging and there were big puffs downwind you needed to get into.”

Also in a change from yesterdays results ‘F5 Synthesis’ failed to declare. This leaves ‘Sportsboatworld.com’ leading overall on 7 points, ‘Poor Buoy’ currently in second on 23 points, and ‘Edigitalresearch’ on 33 points, with no discard currently in play.

The Grand Slam, sponsored by Harken, Dubarry, Bolle, Selden, Hydes, White Formula, Tony Castro, and TCA Productions, continues tomorrow with two races per day until Tuesday August 5, 2014

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IMAGE: RICK TOMLINSON/ABERDEEN ASSET MANAGEMENT COWES WEEK