With three days and five races held so far in the SB20 Grand Slam at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, the SB20 class is enjoying tough and testing racing at the world’s biggest regatta.
Although just one race was held today, on Monday August 4, 2014, there was no let-up for the 36 teams entered in the four-day Grand Slam with an extra-long course and tactically challenging conditions for Day 3.
Jerry Hill from ‘Sportsboatworld.com’ took the win in today’s round-the-cans course. He said after racing: ‘We had a very, very shifty last beat – you could be first, you could be last. The net result of that was that Rob Gullan in ‘F5 Synthesis’ and we went round the first mark together – Rob was just in front. Then we had a run back down to the start area, where again we came across a ship! Rob and I got across its bow, and I think the rest of the fleet had to take its transom.
“Then it was a long, long beat – Rob got through us and then we got past them, up to the Brambles Bank, where we split. He went right, which paid yesterday, and we went left, and left paid today. And then we got a bit mixed up with the X Boat fleet, which was quite entertaining! So from then on we had quite a comfortable lead, it was just a question of getting the navigation right through to the end.”
Rob Gullan in ‘F5 Synthesis’ took second, with third going to Niall Peelo’s ‘3 Some’. Tich Summers, who skippers ‘Chill Pill’ commented that today’s race had been very long, however team mate Scott Graham, pointed out: “We managed to go from thirtieth to third, so what we really needed was another round of the same again to catch up with Jerry!”
A late shift on the start line caught several competitors out on the start, including ‘Chill Pill’ who were near the tail end of the fleet at the first mark, however managed to work their way up to the top three, eventually finishing in fourth place. “At the first mark, we were approximately 30th – I lost count after 20-something boats were ahead of us!
The team got through the fleet, thanks to, “Sweat, tears, gnashing of teeth and wailing – and a bit of luck! We picked up some good gusts on the run, we banged a few corners, and just sailed our own race – sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.”
Going into the last day there have also been big changes on the overall leaderboard, with Rob Gullan and ‘F5 Synthesis’ having their earlier NOR scores overturned, and now counting two second places from Day 1 of racing. With one discard coming into play they are currently just one point behind ‘Sportsboatworld.com’. ‘Sponge Bob’ are currently in third.
The Grand Slam, sponsored by Harken, Dubarry, Bolle, Selden, Hydes, White Formula, Tony Castro, and TCA Productions, concludes tomorrow.
SB20 Cowes Grand Slam Results:
Race 5: 1st GBR 3722 ‘Sportsboatworld.com’, 2nd GBR3047 ‘F5 Synthesis’, 3rd GBR3029 ‘3-Some’.
Overall (after 5 races and one discard): 1st GBR 3722 ‘Sportsboatworld.com’ 6 points, 2nd GBR3047 ‘F5 Synthesis’ 7 points, 3rd ‘Sponge Bob’ 14 points.
Full results at http://www.aamcowesweek.co.uk
Images courtesy of Rick Tomlinson/Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week