24 Oct 75th Prince of Wales Cup Report
The 75th Prince of Wales Cup Race, sponsored by Oceanair, was held in typically tricky Solent winds yesterday, after 2 days of watching high winds and breaking seas from the shore. The early briefing and 10am start was promising a shifty northerly, gradually decreasing during the day. The race area of Hill Head chosen for long legs running the length of the bank, with a committee boat finish, rather than reliving the original 1927 POW Race, won with cannon at the Royal Yacht Squadron. The looming power boat championship preventing us from approaching the Cowes shore with any surety of a clear line.
The anticipation of our “One Race National Championship” were showing, with plenty of noise and aggression off the line, with few noticing the postponement flag rising a few seconds before the sequence completed!
The start finally got away in a rapidly decreasing and shifting breeze; those with adjustable rigs and confident settings working their rig through the ranges. At the first windward mark the “father-son” teams of Martin/Neale Jones and Andy/Tom Partington were leading in 1st and 2nd, with Rob/Peter Greenhalgh in third.
As the race built, Paul Galvez in his US visiting boat, previously sailed by Howie Hamlin to a World Championship victory, worked some steady confident beats to break through to lead the race, until rolled by Rob/Peter Greenhalgh on a tight 3-sail reach; at this time Alistair Richardson, crewed by Dan Johnson had also crept up the fleet to join the leading pack.
By the penultimate beat, the wind dropped further and a shift after the leaders had rounded the mark opened the door for Ian Pinnell, crewed by Ian Mitchell and Mike Lennon, crewed by Mike Warren. They took the lift and worked the shifts to break into the top 6. With the big shift in, the race started to look like a procession, with a one sided 5th lap run. But as always, nothing is ever over in POW until the gun has gone!
Lap 6, final triangle more light, fickle winds, with the top 6 order juggling as some chose “hard right”, others taking small shifts up the middle. Rob/Peter losing some ground, but never quite in danger, maintained a 200m lead at the top mark. Never kind, the wind gradually decreased along the final 2 reaching legs to the finish, behind Rob/Peter. So they took the gun of the 75th Anniversary race.
The battle for 2nd was not over. Ian Pinnell had worked all the shifts up the beat to be in a commanding second place by the final gybe mark. However this wasn’t enough. The wind shut off and 2 boats, Andy Partington, Paul Galvez drove through either side on a puff to push Ian into 4th place with less than a leg to go. With the wind finally shutting down for all, there was a gentle sail around the leeward mark to the finish.
- Rob and Peter Greenhalgh, Nomex B5, Proctor mast, RMW sails, Greenhalgh/RMW foils
- Andy and Tom Partington, RMW12, CST 14 mast, Hyde sails, Composite Craft T-foil, Partington-modified RMW dagger board
- Paul Galvez and Simon Marks, Nomex B5, Bieker rev 3 mast, Glazer sails, Bieker dagger board, Larry Tuttle Waterat T-foil
- Ian Pinnell and Ian Mitchell, Jason King B5, CST 14 mast, P&B sails, Bieker foils
- Alistair Richardson and Dan Johnson, RMW12, CST 14 mast, RMW sails, RMW foils
- Mike Lennon and Mike Warren, Composite Craft, Nomex B5, Proctor mast, Hyde sails, Composite Craft foils