August 4, 2009: COWES, ISLE OF WIGHT, UK - - The 8,500 competitors at this year's Cowes Week enjoyed another day of sun with a southerly wind of 10-15 knots that increased to 15-20 during the afternoon.
The Laser SB3 fleet started first, going east on Line two from the Royal Yacht Squadron. Martin JONES Seamarknunn.com was closest to the line, but just astern and to leeward, Geoff CARVETH'S Pro-Vela.com had hoisted the kite with 15 seconds to go and hit the line at full speed moments after the gun, even so this was not enough to pull clear of Chris DARLING'S Darling Associates who was just to windward of CARVETH. These three, who all started towards the inshore end of the line, led the fleet away, the bulk of boats having opted for the outer end of the line.
The boats collectively made another spectacular sight as the fleet split around both ends of the Trinity House ship Galatea, facing south towards the river Medina. The dozen most windward boats made it round her bow, gaining a clear advantage over the rest of the fleet as they sped towards Fastnet Insurance, the first mark.
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Cowes Week Action - photo courtesy www.celebrityfinancialplanning.co.uk