Eric Williams helming his Petticrow GBR 682 “Ecstatic” crewed by Chris Dunn and Matt Walker won his 8th Cowes Week title yesterday with a race to spare…. It was a week full of changing fortunes, with race leaders getting caught out with various tidal changes and shifting winds.. But one thing remained constant, Eric Williams. In everyone of the 7 races sailed there was always a deciding factor of which way to go, sometimes it’s easy to judge, as tidal charts are extremely accurate these days,  but split second decision making was often required…. Eric told me after that “Having two Non Solent Crew, meant that they had little or no input as to which way to go, so we never wasted time discussing options”…  “Matt and Chris crewed very well and it was a pleasure to race against some major competition again”.  Eric is a very modest man and a brilliant sailor with an excellent record, his appetite has been refuelled with this win so he will certainly be one to watch out for next year in the Worlds  at Weymouth. Very well done Eric, Chris and Matt….

In 2nd place overall was the former Cowes Week Etchells Champion Graham Bailey GBR 720, who with his wife Julia and local boat builder David Heritage did everything they could to catch Eric, but even after winning the last race there was still a 5pts advantage to Williams. In 3rd place was GBR 761 Gavia Wilkinson-Cox, crewed by Jamie Lea and Phillip Catmur who despite pushing “Jerboa” to the limit had to settle for the final podium spot 2pts behind Bailey..  4th overall was 80 years young Edward Sawyer USA 310, who helmed his beautiful Petticrow Cold Moulded “Clairvoyant” extremely well in tough conditions, putting up with a few heated discussions between Pedro and myself.  🙂  Ted is now looking to sell his lovely boat, so anyone interested should give him a call.  5th was Chris Brittain helming the “Bear” GBR 767 with his wife Gillian and Mark Hart a solent expert and exceptionally talented Dragon crew…

Cowes week is full of glamour and tough racing and with all of the GBR Olympian’s present on Friday with a unique sail past in front of the RYS before the extravagant annual firework display, it once again lived up to it’s own High Standard..  It was also great to see Germany’s  Burkhard Kees racing a bigger yacht in Class 2 and Denmark’ Soren Petersen and his wife Crystal zipping around the solent in their Catamaran.. A great time was had by all and Cowes is well worth a visit if you “armchair” sailors fancy the ultimate test…. in 2013.

Next week many of us are off to Douarnenez for the French National Championships and a “road-test” for the 2013 Gold Cup which takes place at the same time of year next summer…  Late August is the Dutch National’s in Medemeblik and then the prestigious Gold Cup in Kinsale….  (course I can sail)…..  Where will your next event be ??

Higher, Faster, Longer, ……………………………………………  Stavros.  (USA 310)