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Rán, Tokoloshe, Zephyr on podium with one day to go

2019 Round 1 FAST40+ Race Circuit – The second Day of the RORC Vice Admiral’s Cup produced three races. Report by Rupert Holmes in Cowes. Niklas Zennstrom’s Rán won the first race of the day, just six seconds ahead of Niall Dowling’s Arabella, while Steve Cowie’s Zephyr in third just 12 seconds later.

Niklas Zennstrom’s Rán won the first race of the day, just six seconds ahead of Niall Dowling’s Arabella, while Steve Cowie’s Zephyr in third just 12 seconds later.

At the start of the second race Rán emerged well at the committee boat end, to windward of Ed Fishwick’s Redshift, while James Neville’s Ino XXX and Peter Morton’s Girls on Film were well placed at the pin. However, Arabella appeared to have the best start, half a length ahead of her competitors mid-line.

Rán, Redshift and Michael Bartholomew’s Tokoloshe ll made an early tack onto port, with Ran soon heading back towards the middle of the track, while the other pair continued to the right. At the windward mark Ran led Tokoloshe by two lengths, with Zephyr third, just one length further back.

By the finish, Rán had pulled away to take an impressive victory by a margin approaching two minutes. Having recovered ground Girls on Film gybed just ahead of Tokoloshe as they closed to finish to take second place on the water by a margin of just five seconds. However, Tokoloshe rates three points lower than Girls on Film and retained second place on corrected time by three seconds.

The third race of the day saw fast-paced action in its closing stages as a light shower swept across the race area. With the wind speed peaking beyond 20 knots the leaders powered to the finish in full planing mode.

Approaching the finish Arabella gybed onto starboard right ahead of Zephyr, who had to take avoiding action, and the on-water jury issued a penalty turn to Arabella. Meanwhile, Tokoloshe took first place three seconds ahead of Zephyr

As the wind rose still further Girls on Film crossed the line, with her spinnaker flogging after a late gybe, alongside Arabella. Rán was closing quickly, but with nowhere to go between Morton and Arabella similarly had to dump her spinnaker sheet to avoid a collision, or missing the finish entirely and had to settle for fifth place.

The final race for the class, held once the wind settled after bright sun returned to the central Solent, was an hour and 15 minutes round the buoys affair. Rán and Girls on Film dominated the fleet, with the former taking victory by just five seconds. Arabella took third almost four minutes later.

With one day to go Rán has a commanding overall lead, eight points ahead of Tokoloshe, with Zephyr third overall, just one point behind.

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