Barring disaster, Somers Kempe had won the IOD A Series at the Bermuda Invitational Week, before the final day’s racing of that series and disaster did almost strike. Luckily the crew examined the rig before the first race and found a frayed shroud that could have broken and dropped the rig in the breezy sailing on Bermuda’s Great Sound. They replaced it in time for the first start of the day.
As it was with south winds gusting up to about 18 knots, Kempe and crew had winch malfunctions and could have switched boats under the IOD class rules, but elected to stay with that boat for the race. They took a tenth place, but with that race as a drop in the A series stayed ahead of Hubert Watlington who had 19 points and Kevin Farrar who came third in that series with 20 points.
The IOD racing is divided into three competitions, the seven-race A series, the six-race B Series and the overall thirteen race Vrengen Gold Cup Series.
In the second two races on the day, Kempe elected to swap boats with the skipper who was third in the standings. He swapped to boat 21, Peppercorn, giving his broken boat, Encore, to Watlington and went on to take a 5-3 in the first two races of the B Series. Kempe has a healthy lead in the thirteen-race Vrengen Gold Cup overall series, but Watlington has asked the jury for redress, for fifteenth and sixteenth finishes sailing without any winches. Photo Talbot Wilson and more here.