IMG_7976The second day of the 2014 Dragon Edinburgh Cup supported by Aberdeen Asset Management and hosted by the Royal Lymington Yacht Club provided champagne sailing in bright sun and 10-15 knots of breeze. Today’s was a closer race than yesterday’s, with the lead changing on every leg and new faces appearing at the front of the 24-strong fleet.

Lawrie Smith’s Tigger emerged ahead of the pack on the final beat, to take victory in the Open division, 24 seconds ahead of Graham and Julia Bailey’s Aimee, with Mark Dicker’s Rackham finishing third. With Aimee again the first boat in the Corinthian Division, Jono, David and Lynette Brown’s Storm took second place and Mark and Amanda Wade’s Avalanche third.

With two races completed Lawrie Smith shares equal points with Graham and Julia Bailey but claims the overall lead on count back. Quentin Strauss sailing Rumours, finished fifth today, moving up to third overall. The Baileys continue to lead the Corinthian Division with a four-point margin over second placed Jono Brown, with Eric Williams three points adrift in third.

In today’s race the fleet split after the start, with the main pack going up the middle of the course, while smaller a group of 10 boats went well to the right. Simon Barter’s Bertie, a boat he bought from Lawrie Smith last year, started nearest the pin and was first to find a vein of increased pressure on the mid-left hand side of the course. Near him was Smith, yesterday’s Open and Corinthian division winners, Graham and Julia Bailey, Eric Williams’ Ecstatic and Mark Dicker’s Rackham.

All were well positioned as they approached the end of the first beat, but it was Barter that reached the top mark first, followed just four seconds later by Smith, then Williams after a 30 second gap, and Dicker a further five seconds later. At this stage the Baileys were in fifth place, very close behind Dicker.

Two thirds of the way down the first run, the Baileys gybed onto port and pulled away from the boats nearby, but Barter and Smith were still clear ahead and almost overlapped. Smith took the slightly advantaged right hand side of the gate, while Barter went left, five seconds behind. 12 seconds later the Baileys followed Smith round the right hand mark.

By the time they were approaching the top mark at the end of the second beat, the order had changed again, with the Baileys having gained 40 seconds on Smith during the leg. They rounded first, 15 seconds ahead of Dicker, with Smith in third place eight seconds later.

The Baileys continued to extend their lead on the final run, again taking the right-hand side of the gate at the end. The entire top half of the fleet followed suit, with the exception of Smith who took the left hand mark, rounding 40 seconds after the Baileys. Although it looked to observers as though he might have planned to split from the fleet, he tacked back after a couple of minutes. There followed an intense battle, with Smith eventually tacking ahead and to weather of the Baileys, forcing them to tack off.
By this time the fleet was split right across the racetrack, with the leading trio of boats towards the far left. At the finish Smith was 24 seconds ahead of the Baileys, with Dicker taking third and the first of the boats coming from the right hand side of the course, Grant Gordon’s Louise, fourth.

The first race for the Chairman’s Decanter was also held today, with Mike Holmes’ Hands Off crossing the line first, ahead of Eric Williams’ Ecstatic and Selina Dicker, who was helming Rackham. Final results for the race depend on the application of a handicap, when these are available they will be posted here.

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