Exactly at the scheduled time, the RORC’s race committee fired the gun for the fifth series of the Fast Lines Half Ton Cup in Cowes. The weather conditions remained undefined, with light winds and thunderstorm threats. And quite some current to deal with.
In the last minute before the start of the first leg, a group fighting at the pin end: Halfajet, Checkmate XV, Secrets, Harmony, General Tapioca and Ballerine.
The group would not relinquish the lead, with a few shifts. For example, Ballerine rounds the leeward buoy first, but the newly assembled team loses places afterwards because the of experimental routine. However, in leg six they did finish seventh, thanks to another headsail that make her steer closer to the wind.
In search for that inch more
For the second series, the track is shifted by almost thirty degrees. At the first start, Swuzzlebubble starts first, by shooting under the starting boat Ocean One at the right time. But it is clearly a general recall, the current pushes the fleet over the line too much. However, they had been warned.
At the second start the fleet stays much further away, Swuzzlebubble gets caught up in the group that wants to stay under the starting boat and can only sail itself free after the start, clearly to the wrong side of the track.
Once again, Halfajet and Harmony move to the lead, hot on the heels of Secrets (team Christopher Agar GBR5395) and Quokka 9 (team Peter Rutter GBR8185).
In the rear, the Half Moon of the Norwegian Martin Kamperhaug team sails with full dedication to keep up with the gang. The too small team has received some reinforcement but struggles with an unknown boat.
And then, the sky went purplish, the wind shifted, and a curtain of rain descended on the fleet.
The radar showed an awkward variety of colors. Time to return to Cowes.
The Half Ton Class honours the winner of day races. Plural.
Yesterday, in the fifth and sixth heats (W/L), both the IRL1484 Harmony (team John Swan -right on photo) and the FRA8444 Halfajet (team Ronan Treussart –left on photo-) seemed to have found their pace. The conditions were mostly light, with little wave action. Both sailed first and second. So, they share the day prize.
Harmony leads the general ranking with one point less than Halfajet. IRL809 King One (team Patrick Boardman) is third.