LIGHT winds were the story of the third day of Cowes Week with a number of races delayed and then abandoned because of poor racing conditions.

However, those races that did go ahead, in the brief window when racing conditions prevailed, provided plenty of excitement.

In IRC Zero, Sir Peter Ogden's Mini Maxi Jethou, the largest boat at the regatta, pulled out a clear lead immediately after the start.

In her wake three 52-footers – the TP52s Pace and Rio, and Sam Laidlaw’s Farr 52 Bob, were neck-and-neck alongside each other.

Rio, owned by Charles Dunstone, was to leeward, but managed to sail through the lee of her rivals a few minutes into the race.

But Jethou continued to extend her lead, taking line honours a clear ten minutes ahead of Johnny Vincent’s Pace, and winning on corrected time.

Bob finished fourth on the water, but beat Rio into third place on handicap by a comfortable 12 minutes.

In IRC 1, veteran Dutch racer Piet Vroon’s Tonnerre de Breskens had a cracking start, quickly pulling five or six lengths ahead of the rest of the fleet.

However, the two 12-Metres quickly caught up with the Dutch boat, with Richard Matthews’ Crusader to leeward of Richard Rankin’s Italia.

As they moved into the shallow water on the north shore the 12-Metres bore away towards the first mark, Salt Mead, hoisting their (symmetric) spinnakers, while Tonnere peeled to a larger asymmetric spinnaker.

David Frank’s J/125 Strait Dealer took a different strategy to many others in the fleet. They recovered from an indifferent start, sailing lower, faster and a shorter distance towards the mark off the Island shore.

Initially this looked like a winning move, but they fell into a hole of very light wind off the Island shore, while the wind held up further north.

&bull: After day three of the Extreme Sailing Series at Cowes, The Wave, Muscat remains at the top of the leaderboard, having stretched her lead to 14 points.

Oman Sail Masirah moved up into second place, with a lead of just one point over Groupe Edmond de Rothschild and Ecover Sailing Team, both of whom are tied on 112 points.

Fifth-placed Red Bull Extreme Sailing is also in contention for a podium finish. They currently have 106 points.