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10:53 Saturday 5 Aug 2017 Sue Pelling/LCWWhooper wins Black Group overall

Whooper on her way to IRC Class 6 and Black Group overall win photo Paul Wyeth/LCW

She may be 78-years-old but nothing could match the performance of Whooper, Giovanni Belgrano’s beautiful Laurent Giles one-off design this week. She scored consistent results in all conditions to win not only IRC Class 6, but also Lendy Cowes Week Black Group overall.

Built in 1939, this pretty boat has been appearing at the top of the results in IRC Class 6 all week. On the opening Saturday she scored second place to Joe Simmons’ Hunter Impala, Spectrum, but from there on it was a clean sweep of first places including yesterday’s final race. She finished the week an impressive 12pts clear ahead of Simon Cory’s Icom Cool Blue (Cory Yachts 290).

The conditions this week have been ideal for Whooper with lots of reaching, which is where she really comes into her own. Crew work from the seasoned crew has also been tip-top too, which makes all the difference at a hugely competitive regatta like Lendy Cowes Week.

The team has sailed over 50 races this year with some impressive results along the way including winning the IRC nationals. Commenting on his success at Lendy Cowes Week, Belgrano said: “It is something I thought we could never achieve to be honest. When I bought the boat 17 years ago, I thought she would be perfect for pottering around in the Solent. She has an incredibly attractive hull shape and gradually we realised her potential so got into racing more and more. Not for one minute did we think we could beat the kind of fleet here at Lendy Cowes Week.

“We have been enjoying sailing with her and learning more and more every single year and it is incredible how we keep making steps forward. We are pushing her harder and harder but she is certainly giving us a lot of satisfaction and I hope Laurent Giles up there can see what we are doing with her.”

Racing has been exceptionally close within Black Group as always with just over a point separating Whooper from second-placed IRC Class 0 winner, Bernard Langley’s TP52 Gladiator. In third place was Harry Heijst’s Sparkman and Stephens 41, Winsome.

Earlier News Stories

For earlier news stories, as well as results, videos and photographs from previous years, visit our comprehensive Regatta Archive.