Patrick Cooper keen to resume Race Week title bid
Patrick Cooper will be keen to pick up where he left off and make further inroads in his title bid when the Bermuda International Race Week regatta resumes in the Great Sound today.
The local helmsman and fellow crew Martin Siese, Bill McNiven, Melinda Bessey and Andrew Butterworth top the nine-boat International One-Design fleet, having won the opening two races of the ten-race series on Sunday to lay down an early marker.
However, Cooper and crew’s title charge was brought to a halt yesterday after the race committee cancelled the day’s scheduled races due to lack of wind.
“Obviously the wind was not conducive to the sport, so we decided to cancel racing early to give the visitors enough warning to go out and enjoy the rest that the island has to offer,” Somers Kempe, the race officer, told The Royal Gazette. “There is nothing we can do about the weather. But the rest of the week looks very good for sailing.
“Based on the racing that we had on Sunday and the forecast coming up, we still anticipate that we are going to get a full series of racing in for the week.”
Cooper holds a two-point advantage over Courtney Jenkin, of the United States, with Norway’s Tormond Lie a further three points back in third place.
Kempe, who also has vast experience sailing in the class, is looking forward to some more exciting racing for the remainder of the series.
“The local sailors definitely put down a marker and I think from the United States Courtney Jenkin knows which way to go and to be on top, while Norway [Lie] don’t seem to be any slouches,” Kempe added.
“I expect as the week goes on and we have a little bit of variability in the wind conditions it’s going to be a tight race.”
Three titles are up for grabs as an overall, ‘A’ and ‘B’ Series winner will be determined at the completion of the ten scheduled races.
Hubert Watlington, the remaining local helmsman in the fleet, is fourth a further three points off the lead pace.
The IOD’s is the only class represented in the regatta, which is back from a two-year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“This is the first international event of the year,” Kempe, the past Royal Bermuda Yacht Club commodore, said. “The club has a busy schedule with the Clipper Race and Newport to Bermuda race, both in June, which his going to be big.
“After that, the club is involved organising a return Double Handed Race for double handed division boats that are going to return to the United States.
“It is exciting to have sailors back on the island and enjoying the perfect conditions that Bermuda can provide.”