Slippery conditions on Day 3 of the SB20 Grand Slam at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week


Shifts and puffs – and a light dousing of rain – were the order of the day for the third day of the SB20 Grand Slam at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week on Monday August 10, 2015. It was a day for tacticians and trimmers to earn some glory, with places changing until the final few seconds of today’s final race as a 15-degree shift reshuffled the pack.

The first race of the day (Race 5 of the Grand Slam) got the 30-boat fleet on their toes with a downwind start sequence off the Shrape line, in a 8-12 knot south-westerly, with a strong tide against. Winning skipper Edward Handasyde Dick of ‘EDigitalResearch’ commented after racing:

“We had a lovely day today. We had a nice star: downwind, a bit of a classic Cowes start – just get on the pin on starboard and gybe away though the big tide. Then, luckily, the crew spotted that we needed to get into low and slow mode at just the right moment. And after that we kind of held onto our lead and got pulled away by some tidal gates, which was lovely.

“The guys did a great job keeping us in phase upwind and again downhill too, that was Alec [Russell], and Claire [Russell] trimming the kite as well, it was really good.”

Second went to Adrian Peach and team on ‘Uber’, who were flying the pink Sportsboat World spinnaker today as they opened Day 3 in the overall lead. Third was Charles Whelan and Richard McAdam on ‘Here Comes Bod’.

“It was probably the first time I’ve ever raced an SB20 off a downwind start today, but it was great fun. The tide was ripping up through there as well which gave a whole other dimension to what we were doing, so there was lots to think about, and the wind had some light patches as well. Race management did a really great job today,”said Adrian Peach after racing.

“There was good, close racing with us and ‘Baloo’, and ‘EDigitalResearch’ nailed the start and just raced superbly clean. Hats off too them – we came back to them towards the finish, but at some stages they just looked untouchable!”

Adrian Peach, the SB20 UK Class Chairman, and his team from Torquay went one better in the second race of the day, extending their overall lead in the Grand Slam series. ‘Uber’ finished first, just three seconds ahead of Tom Clay’s team on ‘Whyaduck’. The ‘Whyaduck’ boat were flying the black Hyde Sails kite today for first Master’s boat, while the ‘Firefly’ team from Abingdon School carried today’s Harken sponsored red kite for the leading Youth team. Third place in Race 6 went to the Dutch visiting team of ‘Buitenhuis Advies’.

Adrian Peach recalls: “Tom Clay and his team were absolutely amazing today, especially in the second race. They were super quick and sailed really well. We literally managed to beat them by about three or four seconds, it was that close.

“We managed some pretty nice tactics on the final beat basically, we were about fourth position at the final bottom mark. The last beat we took some windshifts basically, and the final shift was a 12-15 degree lefty and that lifted us towards the finish line. We were on the left-hand side of it so we positioned ourselves well for it. The wind was flicking quite a lot on that final beat, and you just had to get in tune with it. A couple of the others went a bit too far out right, so it was a gain to us.

“It’s great fun, really, really good. I’ve got a good team, my club racing team are here and we’re sailing really well together – practice makes perfect doesn’t it! All the fleet is having great fun.”

Tomorrow one race is scheduled for the final of the SB20 Grand Slam, with trophies awarded throughout the fleet for the four-day event at a prizegiving after racing at Venture Quays, East Cowes. Around half the fleet is also entered for the SB20 class racing for the duration of Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, which runs until Saturday, August 15.

SB20 Grand Slam Day 3 Results (provisional):
Race 5: 1st ‘Edigitalresearch’ Edward Handasyde Dick, Alec & Clairey Russell & Emily West (3027), 2nd ‘Uber’ Adrian Peach (3720), 3rd ‘Here Comes Bod’ Charles Whelan and Richard McAdam (3021).

Race 6: 1st ‘Uber’ Adrian Peach (3720), 2nd ‘Whyaduck’ Tom Clay (3106), 3rd ‘Buitenhuis Advies’ Martijn Buitenhuis (NED3702).
Full results at

cowes9Image credits: 

Top: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images/Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week
Bottom: Sportsboat World

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