Cayman Islands Sailing Club sailor in winning form

The team of Peter Cunningham, Andy Beadsworth, a world champion and Olympic sailor, and Charles Nankin an America’s Cup sailor, are hit by a 30+ knot gust during the King Juan Carlos 1 regatta last month.

Peter Cunningham, representing the Cayman Islands Sailing Club, and his teammates are getting ready to take part in the Régates Royales race in Cannes, France, this week.

They will be among 40 teams participating in the event, scheduled for 21-25 Sept.

In recent weeks, Cunningham has taken part in regattas in the UK, Portugal and France, with his teams winning two and coming third in two others.

They won the Isle of Wight Round the Island race on 1 Aug. in the MOD70 category against 140 other boats. The MOD70 is a 70-foot-long and 55-foot-wide ocean-racing trimaran built in France.

The MOD70 PowerPlay, skippered by Ned Collier Wakefield, with Peter Cunningham on the tiller, won the Isle of Wight Round the Island race on 1 Aug.

“The weather was breezy and we did it in about 3½ hours (6 hours on corrected time), several hours ahead of the second boat to finish,” said Cunningham in an email to the Cayman Compass last week.

“The race around the Isle of Wight on Saturday, 1 August, marked the return to competitive racing at the Royal Ocean Racing Club, the first since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added.

The team’s MOD70 PowerPlay vessel, skippered by Ned Collier Wakefield, with Cunningham on the tiller, did the double, taking Multihull Line Honours and the win after Multihull Offshore Cruising and Racing Association time correction.

The race of approximately 50 nautical miles started from the Royal Yacht Squadron Line with a course anti-clockwise around the Isle of Wight.

“After beating to the Needles, we turned downwind into adverse current. Staying close to the island shore worked for many successful teams but we stayed further out for the breeze. As the breeze clocked a little to the south, there was little in the way of wind shadow to the east of the island and a fresh breeze in the Eastern Solent made for a fast beat to the finish,” Cunningham said.

The team recently has also taken part in three Dragon races in Europe.

The first two regattas were at the Royal North Sea Yacht Club in Ostende, Belgium, in early August. The team won the first regatta, the International Cup, just beating a Dutch boat, and then finished third in the Belgian Dragon Nationals.

Two weeks later, they were in Cascais, Portugal, for the King Juan Carlos 1 regatta.

“We won two races but ended up third behind Portugal and France,” Cunningham said. “Everything was in the balance on the last beat of the last race on the last day when any of the three of us could have won the race and the regatta. Unfortunately, we made a tactical error that cost us the race. But it was great racing against some top teams.”

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