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16 August 2002, 11:34 am
A Bonanza for the Smaller Boats
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Courrier Nord/© Kos Photography

Rolex Commodores Cup

France Red consolidated its lead in the Rolex Commodores Cup in the long offshore race of the series; the quadruple points counting race saw the France Red team post a second best points score to put them into a massive 45 points lead.
The stars of the show were the Dutch; Hans Houts Salty Dog, an IMX-40, had the best corrected time to win the 122 mile race by almost 12 minutes from Eric Fries Fastwave 3 of the France Red Team. But it was the solid consistency of the Dutch that proved the telling factor; Peter de Ridders BH-41, Checkmate 3 and Hans Horrevoets Grand Soleil 40, Satori, were seventh and eighth. It boosted them to a total of 32 points, some 14 better than France Red.

It was a race in which the lower rated boats were able to sail better to their handicaps than the bigger ones for whom kedging was double jeopardy.

While they were at anchor, the time was still ticking away, but with a bigger penalty than for the smaller boats. As a result, Peter Mortons Mandrake (Ireland Orange) dropped from being the leader with the best corrected time of the 50 footers to 27th and Kit Hobday and Tim Louis Bear of Britain (England Red) was last.

Third best on the day were the modestly sized team from Spain. Their star performer was the smallest, and lowest rated, boat in the event, Peter Scholfields HOD-35, Cabreiroa, which finished sixth on corrected time. She was backed by Alberto Viejos Beneteau 40.7, Estrella Galicia, and her sistership, Chris Browns 1906, who were tenth and twenty-third respectively.

But there was no holding France Red as a team. Their two IMX-40s, Fastwave 3 and Gery Trentesaux Courrier Nord were second and third on corrected time and the X-442, Clin dOeil 6 of Jean-Yves le Goff was eighteenth to make them second for the race and increase their overall lead in the series. Courrier Nord is now easily the best individual performer with 12.5 points to her team-mate, Fastwave 3 with 21.5 and David Scanlans Fandango (England Red) with 24.

Today, two inshore races in the Solent are scheduled to start, the first at 1030, but it would seem likely that the relative absence of wind would cause some delay to proceedings.

Overall Team Points After 5 Races
Team/Total Points/Overall Position

France Red/95.75/1
England Red/171.5/3
Ireland Orange/193.75/6
France Blue/235.5/8
England Blue/243.25/9
Ireland Green/320/11
Kate Maudslay/News Editor
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