Spinnaker SC Team best performing crew on Day 2 of Etchells Invitational Cup in Cowes
Report by Rupert Holmes
Cowes, UK, August 3, 2015 – The second day of the Etchells Invitational Regatta for the Gertrude Cup saw the Spinnaker Sailing Club’s team led by Matt Reid post the day’s best result among the 16 teams from around the world.
It was a day of intense competition, including an incredibly tight finish in the second race that saw the four leading boats cross the line in just three seconds. After a tight contest right round the course, running into the finish three teams – Anthony O’Leary, Robert O’Leary and Julia Bailey’s entry from the Royal Cork Yacht Club, Tom Carruthers of San Diego Yacht Club and Jean-Claude Strong of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron – were very tightly bunched.
Meanwhile Reid, and his crew of Jamie Diamond, Izzy Welch and Graham Sunderland, was a few lengths to leeward and powering towards the line at a higher angle to the wind. All four boats were overlapped at the finish, with Reid holding a two-metre advantage over the Irish boat, while Carruthers and Strong finished just moments later.
“On the first day we were slow to adapt to the boat we had and didn’t have our heads out of the boat enough, but today we were stronger strategically,” Sunderland says. “Our starts were also much better today than yesterday and our manoeuvres were all good,” adds Reid, “including gybe sets that opened up more options at the start of the downwind legs. With the wind more in the south-west it also felt easier to call which side of the course would pay, especially when we could see that other good local sailors were making the same decisions.
“For us the most challenging part today was maintaining our lead in the race we won, as the fleet was split right across the course, which made it really hard to defend our position. Looking ahead, we already have two big scores to discard, so the challenge will be to maintain consistency.” The team is currently in fifth place overall, just three points adrift of third place.
With a discard having kicked in following the completion of six races, Mark Thornburrow’s team from the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club remain overall leaders in this high-scoring series, despite a disastrous first race in which they languished near the back of the fleet. A fourth place and two thirds saw Tom Carruthers’ San Diego Yacht Club team, crewed by double Etchells world champion Andrew “Dog” Palfrey and Chris Busch, leap four places up the leaderboard to take second place overall. Meanwhile Jeanne-Claude Strong of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron slipped one place to third overall, having scored 6, 4, 15.
Many thanks go to the events five main sponsors Zhik, Spinlock, David Heritage Racing Yachts, Shepards Wharf Marina and Edward S Fort, OBE, as well as to the Royal Thames and Royal London Yacht Clubs.
Photography Copyright Notice: Emma Louise Wyn Jones Photography
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