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Past RORC Commodore, Mile Greville racing his British Ker 39 Erivale III, is the overall winner of the 2016 Morgan Cup Race after IRC time correction. Erivale III put in a superb performance in IRC One, finishing the 108 mile race over an hour ahead of any boat in their class after time correction. This year's race was a light air reach across the English Channel, with patchy breeze and numerous wind shifts, to test the teams.

“This is the first time I have won the Morgan Cup, it is now ticked off the list.” smiled Mike Greville. “We came in with the girls on the Class40, so we knew we had done well but we really made a big gain in the last five miles. After we finished, the breeze seemed to die out for a stack of boats behind us. To get into that position the boys did really well,especially during the night when the breeze was really patchy and shifting up to 50 degrees. The team were changing headsails every 20 minutes or so, we had everything up from the spinnaker, the Code Zero and the jib. There were two big wind shifts and we got on the right side of both, which really worked out for us, as we pulled away from the pack. It all fell into place, as it does sometimes.”

Tony Lawson's MOD70 Concise 10, skippered by Ned Collier Wakefield, took Multihull Line Honours for the Morgan Cup, enjoying light reaching conditions across the English Channel to Dieppe, Completing the race in under ten hours at an average speed of over 10 knots, Concise 10 was travelling at twice the wind speed. Concise 10s next race in the RORC Season's Points Championship will be the Volvo Round Ireland Race, where the British flyer will take on two MOD70s, Lloyd Thornburg's Phaedo3 and Oman Sail's Musandam-Oman Sail.

“We had a very pleasant race across to Dieppe, it was a pity that we were on our own and I have to say I felt very sorry for the boats that we passed on the delivery home, who were struggling to make the finish. We had a few of the younger less experienced members of the team on board, which is a great way to give them miles to build up their abilities. We didn't have any time to call into Dieppe as we have lots to do before the Volvo Round Ireland Race, including getting Concise 10 across the Celtic Sea. The next race will see three MOD70s line up and we are all pretty evenly matched, so it should be a cracking race.”

In the IRC Canting Keel Class, IMOCA 60 Artemis Ocean Racing, skippered by Mikey Ferguson, took Monohull Line Honours for the Morgan Cup in an elapsed time of 18 hours 32 mins 06 seconds. In IRC One, Erivale III was the winner, Steven Anderson's British Corby 40, Cracklin Rosie was second and Michel Peretie's French JND 39 Stamina was third.

In IRC Two, Gilles Fournier's French J/133 continued their impressive form for the season by winning class for a third race in a row and placing third overall for the Morgan Cup Race. Christopher Daniel's British J/122e Juno was second in class, with Ross Applebey's Oyster 48, Scarlet Oyster returning to RORC racing, and the podium for the class with third place.

In IRC Three, Arnaud Delamare and Eric Mordre's JPK 10.80 Dream Pearls was the victor, taking their third class win of the season and placing second overall for the Morgan Cup Race. RORC Commodore Michael Boyd, racing his JPK 10.80, Audrey was second in class, just under half an hour behind Dream Pearls on corrected time. Audrey was also fourth overall, in an unusual tie after time correction, with Noel Racine's French JPK 10.10 Foggy Dew. Noel Racine's Foggy Dew was the class winner for IRC Four, ahead of Rob Nelson's J/105 Bigfoot and Harry Heijst's Dutch S&S 41, Winsome.

In the special classes, nine yachts competed in the IRC Two-Handed Class. Jean-Eudes Renier's French JPK 10.80 Shaitan scored their second class win of the season just ahead of Louis-Marie Dussere's French JPK 10.10 Raging Bee. Ian Hoddle's British Sun Fast 3600 Game On scored their third podium finish of the season, in third place for the class in the Morgan Cup Race. A close battle in the Class40 Division was won by Tony Lawson's Concise 2. The all girls team, skippered by Joy Fitzgerald, won the class from Christophe Coatnoan's Partouche by just over ten minutes.

The RORC Season's Points Championship continues with Volvo Round Ireland Race, which starts on Saturday 18 June. Organised by Wicklow Sailing Club in association with the Royal Ocean Racing Club and the Royal Irish Yacht Club.

Published in RORC

The Royal Ocean Racing Club's Season's Points Championship continues this weekend with the Morgan Cup Race, which will finish in Dieppe for the first time since 2013. The 130-150 mile race marks the half-way stage in the championship. Dieppe is the mostly easterly destination of any of the RORC races starting from Cowes, with stronger tides adding an additional flavour to the strategic mix. Highly changeable weather is forecast for the early part of the race, with a fresh westerly breeze anticipated in the latter. Competitors can expect a warm welcome at the Cercle de la Voile de Dieppe (CVD) and Dieppe is also well known for its superb seafood restaurants and the 17th century Chateau de Dieppe, now a museum with a strong maritime collection.

Racing under the IRC Rating System, a wide variety of yachts will be racing from Great Britain, France and the Netherlands. IMOCA 60, Artemis Ocean Racing, skippered by Mikey Ferguson is the hot favourite for Line Honours. In IRC One, Edward Broadway's Ker 40, Hooligan VII is the fastest yacht on IRC rating. RORC Committee member, Michel Peretie, will be racing his new French JND39, Stamina while RORC Vice Commodore Steven Anderson, racing Corby 40 Cracklin Rosie, is relishing the prospect of resuming the battle with past RORC Commodore Mike Greville, racing his Ker 39 Erivale III.

“When the sun comes up on Saturday morning, I hope that Erivale will be in sight!” enthused Steven Anderson. “We are just a fraction of a point ahead of Mike and his team for the championship and we have enjoyed the friendly rivalry over several seasons. Unfortunately through illness, we have had a late start to the season and whilst winning the championship maybe beyond our capabilities, we will focus on winning against boats around us. Cracklin Rosie and Erivale are very well matched. The highlight of the season for Cracklin Rosie will definitely be the 400-mile Île d'Ouessant Race. It is a fantastic race course that we have not done before.”

In IRC Two, three of the top four yachts are in action. The Army Sailing Association's J/111 British Soldier has a slender lead for the class from Sailing Logic's First 40, Rocket Dog II. Gilles Fournier's French J/133 Pintia is also competing and will be hoping to follow up on their overall victories in last month's Cervantes Trophy Race and Myth of Malham Race.

In IRC Three, Delamare & Mordret's French JPK 10.80 leads the class by less than a point from Louis-Marie Dussere's Raging Bee. RORC Rear Commodore Nick Martin, racing British J/105 Diablo-J is third for the season and Jean-Eudes Renier's French JPK 10.80, Shaitan is fourth. This group of boats have been enjoying a tremendous battle in the first half of the season, as Eric Modret from Dream Pearls explains.

“We are enjoying some great racing as we have always done with the RORC, Dream Pearls is based in Hamble because the championship is the best racing for us by far. The competition with the other boats in our class is very tough and sometimes the weather can be as well. For the Myth of Malham Race, we were leading the class at Eddystone and then we lost the breeze and watched as so many boats went past us. It is a little too early to look at the weather for the Morgan Cup but it could be another light race. However, the weather is changing a lot this weekend, so who knows, we might just get the first windy race of the season. After the Morgan Cup, Dream Pearls will sail to Wicklow for the Round Ireland Race and then onto Cork Week for the IRC European Championship.”

In IRC Four, nine teams will be competing, including second overall for the RORC Season's Points Championship, Rob Nelson's British J/105, Bigfoot and third overall, Noel Racine's French JPK 10.10 Foggy Dew. RORC Committee member, Stuart Greenfield's Half Tonner Silver Shamrock will be hoping to make it two class wins in a row, after last month's victory in the Myth of Malham. Ten yachts racing in IRC 3 & IRC 4 will be racing Two-Handed.

Published in RORC

Two MOD70 trimarans that compete in next month's Round Ireland Race will be locking horns for the 250–mile race around the Eddystone Lighthouse this weekend as the the Royal Ocean Racing Club's Season's Points Championship continues this UK Bank Holiday Weekend with the Myth of Malham Race. 

Tony Lawson's Concise 10, skippered by Ned Collier Wakefield, will be taking on Oman Sail's Musandam-Oman Sail, skippered by Frenchman, Sidney Gavignet. Two of the world's fastest offshore racing teams could finish the 250 nautical mile race in under 24 hours.

Musandam-Oman Sail left L'Orient on Wednesday 25th May to sail the MOD70 to the start, skipper Sidney Gavignet explains the importance of the Myth of Malham Race in the build up to their season.

“It is an English classic so we are looking forward to it and would love to win it. We will be up against Team Concise which is the main reason why we are doing it but it will be a challenge because they have done a lot of sailing over the last few months and I think they are favourites for this race. The Quebec-St. Malo is a big adventure, but we are sailing against Spindrift, which is much bigger and faster than us. For the Myth of Malham and the Round Ireland, we will be racing against other MOD70s. So we will have a real race against equal competition.”

Gavignet confirmed that there will be a total crew of six on board Musandam-Oman Sail for the Myth of Malham. Damian Foxall, Jean-Luc Nélias, Fahad Alhasni, Sami Al Shukaili and Yasir Al Rahbi. Five of the crew were on board for the record breaking 2014 Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race. Jean-Luc Nélias was navigator for Groupama for the 2012 Volvo Ocean Race win and for Team Mapfre in the 2015 Volvo Ocean Race.

Ned Collier Wakefield, skipper of Concise 10, is relishing the prospect of taking on Musandam-Oman Sail. The British MOD 70 will be returning to RORC racing after a spectacular duel with Phaedo3 in the RORC Transatlantic Race and the RORC Caribbean 600.

“Oman Sail has been the scratch boat for the MOD70s for a long time and it will be interesting to line up against them” commented Ned Collier Wakefield. “ We have huge respect for them, in what they have achieved. We found over the winter, the more we lined up against Phaedo, the more we learnt and the more we achieved. By the end of the winter, I think it was fair to say, the level between us was quite well balanced. So it will be interesting to see where that has got us to, when we take on Oman Sail.”

Ned Collier Wakefield confirmed a total of seven regular crew for Concise 10. Joining Collier Wakefield will be; Tom Dawson, Paul Larsen, Jonny Malbon, Jeff Mearing, Jackson Boutelle and race-rookie John Hamilton.

Over 50 yachts are expected on the start line this Saturday for the 250 mile race along the southwest coast of England. As with the start of the Rolex Fastnet, managing the tides along the headlands is an additional component to staying in favourable wind conditions. Weather forecast produce a complex picture for the weekend with a week low pressure system from the east disintegrating with a northeasterly gradient breeze developing along the course.

IMOCA 60, Artemis Ocean Racing, skippered by Mikey Ferguson, will be the scratch boat for the monohulls but as the British team found out in the last race Avenarius & Gondesen's German Ker 46, Shakti is capable of taking line honours and Piet Vroon's Ker 51, Tonnerre 4 is likely to pose an even greater threat. The flying Dutchman returns to RORC Racing after competing in the RORC Caribbean 600 and is defending their IRC Zero win in the Myth Malham from last year.

In IRC One, Nick Jones' First 44.7 leads the class for the championship and will be looking to score better than Robert Nelson's J/105 Bigfoot, which currently leads the RORC Season's Points Championship overall, as well as IRC Two Handed and IRC Four. RORC Vice Commodore, Steven Anderson will be racing his Corby 40, Cracklin' Rosie and hoping to win the class, having been runner up in the 2015 Myth of Malham.

In IRC Two, The Army Sailing Association's J/111 British Soldier and Sailing Logic's First 40 Rocket Dog II will both be competing this weekend and either team could take the class lead for the season with a good result in the Myth of Malham Race.

In IRC Three, two French Two-Handed teams have the opportunity of taking the lead in IRC Three ; Jean-Eudes Renier's JPK 10.80 Shaitan and Louis-Marie Dussere JPK 10.10 Raging Bee are both racing whilst Delamare & Mordret's JPK 10.80, Dream Pearls is not on the entry list. In IRC Four Noel Racine's JPK 10.10, Foggy Dew will be hoping to retain the class title for the Myth of Malham.

The RORC Myth of Malham Race will start from the Royal Yacht Squadron Line from 1000 BST (GMT+1) on Saturday 28th May.

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The third and final day of the Vice Admiral's Cup organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club produced a dramatic finale in two classes. A light northerly breeze succumbed to a solid southwersterly air flow which built during the afternoon, as did the tension, especially in the 10-strong Fast40+ Class and the 12-strong Quarter Tonner Class. Race Officers, Stuart Childereley and Rob Lamb organised two races for their respective fleets, completing the eight race series for all six classes.

Fast40+ Class

Bill Coates' Texan Ker 43, Otra Vez was kicking himself after racing today, having been called back in both races for crossing the line too early. “I told you if you make a mistake, this fleet punishes you and they did, two 'over earlies' today meant we threw away the class win but this has been fantastic racing and we will be back for more.” Peter Morton's British Carkeek40 Girls On Film scored a win and a second place to snatch the title on the last race. Mike Bartholomew's South African GP42, Tokoloshe was third by less than a point.

“This event has been going since 2005 and it is great to see it is in good shape and in good hands.” commented Peter Morton, who was one of the founders of the event. “My congratulations to all of the winning teams and also to the Race Officers and their teams who did a fantastic job. The Fast40+ class is some of the best racing we have had in the Solent for years and we hope that it is going to get bigger and better.

HP30 Class

Thorkild Juncker's Danish, Open 7.50 Cool Runnings revelled in the conditions today to win both races by a healthy margin but Lloyd Thornburg's Farr 280, FOMO scored two second places to win the class by three points; Malcolm Wooton's Farr 30, Pegasus was third.

“That is the first time I have got in a machine like that since my college days” smiled Lloyd Thornburg. “It was great , very challenging but surprisingly fun and very powered up. She goes off the wind. This is something of a laugh and primarily to race in Cowes Week but I have to say we have done more starts this weekend then I have done with the MOD70 all year.”

SB20 Class

In the SB20 Class, Forelle Estates, helmed by Joe Llewellyn kept up their perfect score line with two more bullets to win the class with a perfect score. Charles Sheppard racing Sharc and McAdam & Whelan racing Here come Bod, had a tremendous battle for second place, which was won by Charlie Sheppard.

J/111 Class

The intense competition in the J/111 Class continued right until the last race with virtually every one of the eight race series being decided by seconds. Overnight leader Stuart Sawyer's Black Dog could only manage a sixth place in the last race but just hung on to win the class on countback from Cornel Riklin's Jitterbug. The young team on Martin Dent's JElvis scored a second place in the last race to come third in class, just a point ahead of Tony Mack's McFly.

“Fantastic, close racing, which is just what we need” smiled Stuart Sawyer. “This is a big year for the J/111 UK fleet, we have the J-Cup, The National and the World Championships to look forward to and the Vice Admiral's Cup has been a great event to start our season and we have done better than I expected.”

J/109 Class

Robert Stiles' Diamond Jem had another great day, posting two wins to win the class by a big margin. David Richards' Jumping Jellyfish was second and Simon Perry's Jiraffe finished the regatta in third place.

Quarter Tonner Class

Sam Laidlaw's Aguila retained their class win from last year. In a highly completive class, Aguila won the very last race to take the series by a half point. Aguila designed by Ralph Vrolick in 1990 was helmed by Sam Laidlaw; all of his crew, from the Isle of Wight, were not born when the boat was built. Louise Morton's Bullit had led the regatta from the first day and agonisingly lost the title by just half a point.

“Very tough close racing” summed up Sam Laidlaw. “ I felt that we were capable of beating them in both races but if it hadn't been for Magnum Evolution getting between us, we would have lost by half a point, so we were very fortunate in that respect. This fleet produces really close racing, which is also good fun and bodes well for the Quarter Ton Cup.”

RORC Commodore, Michael Boyd officiated at the Prize Giving at the Royal Ocean Racing Club's Cowes Clubhouse. He thanked all of the competitors for coming and showed appreciation for the RORC Race Team, especially the number of volunteers who give up their free time. Racing with the Royal Ocean Racing Club continues with the Myth of Malham offshore race, on Saturday 28 May.

Published in RORC

Pulsating action is anticipated this weekend for the 12 edition of the Vice Admiral's Cup, organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club. A full range of weather conditions is forecast for one of the best fleets of racing yachts seen at the event since its conception in 2005. With planing conditions forecast for the entire weekend, there will be a flurry of action on tight Solent courses. Two separate racing areas will be in operation with up to three races per day for the three-day regatta. Eight races are scheduled with the discard rule coming into play when six or more races have been completed.

Top of the bill will be the Fast 40+ Class and this year's event will also feature the first regatta for the HP 30 Class. The Quarter Tonner Class will join the Fast 40+ and HP 30 Class rated under IRC and there are three one-design classes, level rating; J/111, J/109 and SB20 Sportsboats.

Ten yachts are expected for the Fast 40+ Class, including RORC Easter Challenge winner, Texan Bill Coates with Ker 43, Otra Vez. Sir Keith Mills' British Ker 40+ Invictus and Peter Morton's Cowes-based Carkeek 40, Girls On Film, are both racing, and will be looking to take their first regatta victory of the season.

Six pocket rockets are expected to contest the first ever HP 30 Class, including Lloyd Thornburg's FOMO. The RORC Caribbean 600 multihull record holder will be joined by Brian Thompson, along with several MOD70 crew from Phaedo3. Thorkild Juncker's Open 7.50 Cool Runnings will also be racing with 'speed doctor' Jochem Visser as part of the crew.

The J/111 Class looks to be very competitive with proven winners right through the one design fleet. Stuart Sawyer's Cornishmen racing Black Dog are always a potent force and came second last year. 2014 European Champion, Cornel Riklin's Jitterbug will be racing, as will last year's Vice Admiral's Cup winner, Tony Mack's McFly. The J-Boat fleet at the regatta will be complimented by a fleet of J/109s level racing under their class rules.

In the SB20 Class, Joe Llewellyn's Forelle Estates is back to defend their emphatic win last year. 2011 UK SB20 Inland Champions Richard McAdam & Charlie Whelan will offer top competition. 12 Quarter Tonners will be racing including the top four teams from last year. Sam Laidlaw's Aguila will be defending last year's final race win and last year's runner up, Rickard Melander's Alice II, is back. Tony Hayward's Blackfun and Louise Morton's Bullit are both racing, and were third and fourth respectively last year.

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The 2016 Royal Ocean Racing Club's De Guingand Bowl Race was held in the Solent and South Coast of England in highly changeable conditions. During the course of the race the wind direction swung to every point on the compass and the wind strength varied from zephyrs to 16 knots. Keeping your head out of the boat for the changes and pre-empting and correctly adapting to them was the key to success. RORC racing manager, Nick Elliott, chose a longer course of 123 nautical miles for the faster yachts and a shorter course of 105 nautical miles for the smaller and slower boats, with the overall result being decided on average speed.

Christoph Avenarius & Gorm Gondesen's German Ker 46, Shakti had a fantastic race, taking Line Honours, Class IRC Zero and the overall win for the best corrected time under IRC for the fleet. It is a great start to the season for Shakti. The key regatta for the German team is the RORC IRC National Championship in late June, where Shakti will be competing with about a dozen Fast 40+. Second overall and winner of IRC Three was Arnaud Delamare & Eric Mordret's JPK 10.80 Dream Pearls. Hugo Tardivel's A31 Columbus Circle was third overall and first in IRC 4. However the results in IRC 4 are subject to a pending protest.

In IRC 1, Nick Jones' British First 44.7 Lisa was the winner. Michel Peretie's French prototype Stamina was second with Seb & Michael Blair's King 40 Cobra third. Nick Jones' First 44.7, Lisa leads the class for the season and is second overall for the Season's Points Championship.

"It was an extremely tiring race, a great win and we had a bit of everything." commented Nick. "We did get becalmed a couple of times between The Solent and Owers Buoy, which was frustrating and there were lots of apparent losses and gains during the race; we all had our moments. The big race for Lisa this season is the Round Ireland and although Lisa's co-skipper, RORC Commodore, Michael Boyd was sailing his new boat for this race, we did have six of the crew on board and it was good to jell together. Lisa is a production boat and cannot point anywhere near as high as the race boats but you can manage that. For example in this race, we could see on the AIS that there were boats stuck with no wind under The Needles, so we put in a half mile tack offshore as we passed St.Catherine's Point, so that we could lay past The Needles. We would have been history if we had got stuck there and by having a better angle, we could also foot-off. Lisa is a heavy boat and in light airs, upwind, we tend to sail five to ten degrees off the wind to keep her going."

In IRC 2, Roderick Stuart & Bill Ram's Corby 37, Aurora was the winner. RORC Admiral, Andrew McIrvine racing First 40, La Réponse was second with the Army Sailing Association's J/111, British Soldier in third. Whilst in IRC 3, Arnaud Delamare & Eric Mordret's class win, racing JPK 10.80 Dream Pearls, was enough to put the French team into the class lead for the season. Thomas Kneen's JPK 10.80 Sunrise was second in IRC 3 for the race and James Chalmers' Weymouth team racing J/35 Bengal Tiger was third.

In IRC 4, RORC committee member, Stuart Greenfield racing Silver Shamrock was second to Hugo Tardivel's A31, Columbus Circle, with Noel Racine's JPK 10.10, Foggy Dew third. Robert Nelson's J/105, Bigfoot was fourth in IRC 4, which was enough to put the Two-handed team in first place overall for the RORC Season's Points Championship.

Stuart Greenfield found Silver Shamrock by chance on a trip to Falmouth Cornwall last year and bought the half tonner on the spot. "Silver Shamrock was built for Harold Cudmore by Killian Bushe in Cork and won the 1976 Half Ton Cup. Harold painted her in the colours of his credit card because that's how he paid the builder. After winning the cup the boat disappeared and I found her by luck in Falmouth and sailed her back to Cowes on my own. Silver Shamrock has been refitted and converted to asymmetric sails. My big race of the season is the SORC Round the Rock race this summer, a single handed race to the Fastnet Rock, so over the winter I refitted her to Category 2 standard and took eight coats of anti-fouling off her hull amongst other things."
It was a fantastic feeling to do so well in the De Guingand Bowl Race, when we were becalmed on the first night and the fleet just left us, we never gave up and just kept the boat moving. After coming around the Nab Tower, we must have put in 25 tacks to keep the boat moving. We stayed up all night and managed to get a zephyr and sailed the boat right in under Culver Down, which kept us going. As dawn was breaking, we went right in at St. Catherine's Point to take advantage of the tide, as it turned. We also got into good pressure and according to the tracker we went from a poor ranking position to second in class in those last few hours - never give up."

The Royal Ocean Club's Season's Points Championship continues on Saturday 28th May, over the May Bank Holiday with the Myth of Malham Race. The 256 nautical mile Cowes - Round Eddystone - Cowes course is weighted 1.2 for the championship and a highly competitive fleet is expected to be racing.

Published in RORC

James Dadd, Director of the Rating Office in Lymington UK which is the technical hub of the Royal Ocean Racing Club, will be travelling to the other side of the world this month to meet with boat owners and race organisers in New Zealand, Australia and South East Asia and talk about the International IRC rating rule.

IRC is expanding with new territories in India and Taiwan, growth in Japan and China and very encouraging numbers for the start of the year from many Northern European countries but there appears to be an ongoing battle between rival handicap systems ORC and IRC for the hearts and minds of cruiser racer sailors around the world. 

For example, RORC reacted strongly to an article following an ORC presentation at the ICRA Conference in Limerick, in March. In a statement at the time, RORC Commodore Michael Boyd said in response to the Irish article he felt 'very strongly' that information put forward by Dobbs Davis, Chairman of ORC’s Promotion and Development Committee, 'needs correcting'. 

RORC says IRC Owners’ Forums will be hosted by Yachting New Zealand, Yachting Australia and IRC South-East Asia, giving sailors the chance to join in discussion and question/answer sessions about IRC racing.

James Dadd is looking forward to meeting owners as well as race organisers and measurers during his trip. “I’m keen to meet up again with those involved in IRC racing in the Antipodes and South East Asia which are both important regions to us,” says Dadd. “It will be good to have the opportunity to hear new ideas and address any questions people may have about IRC racing both locally and internationally.”

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RORC's North Sea race from Harwich UK across the North Sea to Scheveningen Netherlands, was blessed with summer-like conditions. After a beat to South Galloper Buoy, the fleet turned north for a long starboard tack reach to Smith's Knoll Buoy, followed by a port tach reach to the Netherland's coast and a beat to finish at Scheveningen.

Volvo 70, Sanya Ocean Racing, sailed by Dutchman Harm Prins, took Line Honours in an elapsed time of 22 hours and 57 seconds but the high pressure produced a light airs race that suited the smaller yachts. The overall winner, after IRC time correction, was Sigma 33, Woozle Hunter, skippered by Ian Ivermee and crewed by members of the Marconi Sailing Club, Blackwater, Essex. Ian & Laura Ivermee raced with their 2015 Rolex Fastnet Crew.

“The conditions were just perfect for us” commented Ian Ivermee. “We are quick in the light and the tide and our handicap did the rest. It was all about keeping the crew concentrating and that was easily done, when I told them we were winning the race. We had a moment on Saturday night when the wind died and we knew most of the fleet had finished but we were not becalmed for long and got going again. It is a great win for us and now we have to keep up this standard for our ambitions to win the EAORA (East Anglian Offshore Racing Association) Offshore series.”

The North Sea Race featured ten teams racing Two-Handed and five of the short handed crews made the top ten overall.

In IRC 1, Astrid De Vin's Grand Soleil 43, Il Corvo, racing Two-handed, was the class winner. Also racing Two-Handed, Bart Desaunois' J/133, Batfish in second. Third in IRC 1 and racing fully crewed, First 44.7, Lisa co-skippered by Nick Jones and RORC Commodore, Michael Boyd.

In IRC 2, the top three yachts were all racing Two-Handed. Chris Revelman & Pascal Bakker's J/122 Junique Raymarine Sailing Team was the winner. Robin Verhoef's J/122 Ajeto! Was second and Chris Schram's J/120 Maverick was third.

In IRC 3, Kees Mijs' J/109 Arethusa was the winner. Willem Schopman's Bashford 36 Intention was second, just ahead of Robert Jockin's Dehler 39, Griel.

In IRC 4, Woozle Hunter was the winner. In second place and winning a tough IRC Two-Handed Class was Yvonne Beusker & Eric Van Vuuren racing J/105, Panther. Third in IRC 4 and also racing Two-Handed was Erik Mayer-Martenson's Sunfast 3200, Blizzard Of Uz.

“My usual sailing partner for Team Panther is Edith Voskamp but she has had shoulder surgery, so Eric was my partner for the race. He is our team coach and we did some of the Global Ocean Race together in a Class40. Two-Handed racing has become very popular in the Netherlands and the North Sea Race is part of our National Championship. I believe our win was down to keeping each other sharp. It is difficult to stay alert in light winds but we made a big point of keeping each other focused, even after 30 hours with little sleep.”

The North Sea Race is one of seven weighted races for the RORC Season's Points Championship, carrying a points factor of 1.2.The championship continues with the De Guingand Bowl Race, which starts on Saturday 14th May from Cowes. The course will be around marks with a Solent finish, with a length of 120 - 150 miles. Full results for the North Sea Race are online at:

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After a stunning performance over the Bank Holiday weekend, local Le Havre boat Pintia is the overall winner of the 2016 RORC Cervantes Trophy Race. The French J/133, racing in IRC Two, was skippered by Gilles Fournier and crewed by the creator of the Louis Vuitton Cup, Bruno Trouble and past Commodore of the Société des Régates du Havre, Corraine Migraine. Pintia's big win was set up right from the start when the French team chose the north shore of the Solent and led overall into the English Channel. Squally conditions prevailed south of the Isle of Wight with several yachts damaging sails in the 30 knot gusts, accounting for the retirement of last year's class winner, Harry Heijst's Winsome and Brian Wilkinson's Rigit On Wild Child. Lighter conditions prevailed for the majority of the fleet as they crossed the English Channel but Pintia managed to stay in good breeze to claim overall victory. Pintia was second overall last year and Gilles Fournier was delighted with the win.

"Corraine Migraine is my daughter and Bruno Trouble is my very old friend, we sailed 505s in the 60's, Quarter Tonners in the 70s and Admiral's Cups in the 80s, so we have a good understanding in the team. At the start, we had the current with us and although we had to sail more miles, we were first overall at No Man's Land Fort, to the south the current was against the boats that went that way, so that was very good for us, very valuable. When we left the Solent we did not have much wind, which was expected but then the wind picked up again after Bembridge Ledge and we tacked very close to the shore up to St. Catherine's Point. We had a big squall and tacked at the right moment. For the Channel crossing and finish at Le Havre, we managed to stay in 10 knots of wind all the way, while the wind died behind us. We will be celebrating in the yacht club today, we are very happy to win in our home port."

IMOCA 60, Artemis Ocean Racing, skippered by Mikey Ferguson, took line honours and the class win in IRC Canting Keel. Mikey Ferguson's team are all talented young sailors with high aspirations for the future; Irish Figaro sailor Dave Kenefick, British Two Handed Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland sailor Conrad Manning, American Mini-Transat sailor Jesse Naimark-rowse and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing Volvo Ocean Race rookie, James O'Mahony.

"We are looking to compete in the majority of the RORC programme and during the season we will bring in some of the Artemis Academy sailors, this year we also have Dee Caffari sailing with us as coach for the young Brits who are aiming to comepte in the 2020 Vendee Globe. We are out to retain our trophies from last year. We have a very young crew but also a very experienced team and after two individual wins and two second overalls last year, we would like to win a race outright!"

In IRC One, James Neville's HH42, Ino XXX was the winner and placed second overall. The British team's performance will be noted by the RYA Selection panel, as the Cervantes Trophy Race is a qualifier for the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup, a main objective for 2016 for Ino XXX. Nicholas Jones' First 47.7, Lisa, co-skippered by RORC Commodore, Michael Boyd was second in class and third overall. Alan Hannon's RP45, Katsu was third in class and fourth overall.

In IRC Two, Pintia was the class winner, in second place was Maxime de Mareuil's X-41, Orange Mecanix and third was Sailing Logic's First 40, Rocket Dog II, skippered by Richard Oswald.

In IRC Three, Arnaud Delamare and Eric Mordret's JPK 10.80, Dream Pearls was the class winner. Dream Pearls home port is St.Malo and the team have been racing together for about 12 years with tremendous success including second overall in the 2015 Rolex Fastnet Race. "We are coming back this year with the same spirit, to enjoy good sailing and we have the philosophy of " GO hard or GO home"!!! We are very fond of RORC races, which are full of nice and well suited boats, with good competitors and a nice organization. Our first objective this year will be the European IRC championship taking place at Cork this July. We will do our best for a good result in the RORC Season's Points Championship. It will be very tough with so many dangerous competitors... we love that!"

In IRC Three, second and third were both Two Handed teams. Jean-Eudes Renier's JPK 10.80, Shaitan was second in IRC Three but first in the IRC Two Handed Class. Shaitan had a terrific battle with the reigning Two-Handed champion, Louis-Marie Dussere's JPK 10.10, Raging Bee. Shaitan won the Two Handed class by just one minute and 37 seconds after 28 hours of racing. British pair, Ian Hoddle & Nigel Colley racing Sunfast 3600, Game On was third in IRC Two-Handed.

In IRC Four Noel Racine's JPK 10.10, Foggy Dew went one better than last year, winning the class. Noel was relieved to have scraped into Le Havre just before the tide really started to build and the wind shut down; leaving the rest of IRC 4 struggling to make any progress towards the finishing line.

In the Class40 division, Christophe Coatnoan's Partouche was the winner, ahead of Tony Lawson's all girls team racing Concise 2, skippered by Joy Fitzgerald.

The RORC Season's Points Championship continues with the North Sea Race, which is weighted at 1.2 for the championship. The North Sea Race is scheduled to start on Friday May 6th from Harwich bound for Scheveningen, approximate race length is 180 nautical miles across the North Sea.

Published in RORC

The World Sailing Show March edition is out now and viewable below on The show provides a monthly view of the racing world.  From non-stop around the world racers, to Olympic campaigns; from seasoned professionals, to grass roots sailors, the joint initiative between TV producers Sunset+Vine and the sport’s governing body World Sailing covers a wide range of racing activity around the world.

The March show synopsis

The America’s Cup World Series kicks off in Oman
We find out what happened at the opening event of the season. We also talk to one of the Cup world’s leading technical experts on how teams are combining the need to do well in these intense two day regattas, while also developing the advanced machines that will take them to the America’s Cup itself next year.

Bumper fleet for Royal Ocean Racing Club’s Caribbean 600
Fast becoming one of the must do events in the offshore racing calendar the promise of warm, steady trade winds and spectacular scenery has led many to imagine that this 600 mile offshore race is a walk in the park in T-shirts and shorts. Is it? We find out what happened this year and discover why the event is becoming increasingly popular and take a look at some of the impressive machines that took part. We also join experienced charter yacht skipper Andy Schell as he provides a video blog of his team’s trip around the course.

World domination – The unstoppable Kiwi combination
New Zealand sailors Peter Burling and Blair Tuke continue their run of world domination in the Olympic 49er class after winning their fourth consecutive world title. We find out what makes them tick and how they have managed to; remain unbeaten for four years, win a Moth world championships and engage in an America’s Cup campaign and lead the racing here too.

Sail Arabia The Tour
Now in its sixth year, can anybody stop offshore rock star Sidney Gavignet from scoring a hat-trick in this inshore/offshore regatta? Several believed they could.

Published in World Sailing
Page 5 of 12

Ireland's Offshore Renewable Energy

Because of Ireland's location at the Atlantic edge of the EU, it has more offshore energy potential than most other countries in Europe. The conditions are suitable for the development of the full range of current offshore renewable energy technologies.

Offshore Renewable Energy FAQs

Offshore renewable energy draws on the natural energy provided by wind, wave and tide to convert it into electricity for industry and domestic consumption.

Offshore wind is the most advanced technology, using fixed wind turbines in coastal areas, while floating wind is a developing technology more suited to deeper water. In 2018, offshore wind provided a tiny fraction of global electricity supply, but it is set to expand strongly in the coming decades into a USD 1 trillion business, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). It says that turbines are growing in size and in power capacity, which in turn is "delivering major performance and cost improvements for offshore wind farms".

The global offshore wind market grew nearly 30% per year between 2010 and 2018, according to the IEA, due to rapid technology improvements, It calculated that about 150 new offshore wind projects are in active development around the world. Europe in particular has fostered the technology's development, led by Britain, Germany and Denmark, but China added more capacity than any other country in 2018.

A report for the Irish Wind Energy Assocation (IWEA) by the Carbon Trust – a British government-backed limited company established to accelerate Britain's move to a low carbon economy - says there are currently 14 fixed-bottom wind energy projects, four floating wind projects and one project that has yet to choose a technology at some stage of development in Irish waters. Some of these projects are aiming to build before 2030 to contribute to the 5GW target set by the Irish government, and others are expected to build after 2030. These projects have to secure planning permission, obtain a grid connection and also be successful in a competitive auction in the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS).

The electricity generated by each turbine is collected by an offshore electricity substation located within the wind farm. Seabed cables connect the offshore substation to an onshore substation on the coast. These cables transport the electricity to land from where it will be used to power homes, farms and businesses around Ireland. The offshore developer works with EirGrid, which operates the national grid, to identify how best to do this and where exactly on the grid the project should connect.

The new Marine Planning and Development Management Bill will create a new streamlined system for planning permission for activity or infrastructure in Irish waters or on the seabed, including offshore wind farms. It is due to be published before the end of 2020 and enacted in 2021.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE. Is there scope for community involvement in offshore wind? The IWEA says that from the early stages of a project, the wind farm developer "should be engaging with the local community to inform them about the project, answer their questions and listen to their concerns". It says this provides the community with "the opportunity to work with the developer to help shape the final layout and design of the project". Listening to fishing industry concerns, and how fishermen may be affected by survey works, construction and eventual operation of a project is "of particular concern to developers", the IWEA says. It says there will also be a community benefit fund put in place for each project. It says the final details of this will be addressed in the design of the RESS (see below) for offshore wind but it has the potential to be "tens of millions of euro over the 15 years of the RESS contract". The Government is also considering the possibility that communities will be enabled to invest in offshore wind farms though there is "no clarity yet on how this would work", the IWEA says.

Based on current plans, it would amount to around 12 GW of offshore wind energy. However, the IWEA points out that is unlikely that all of the projects planned will be completed. The industry says there is even more significant potential for floating offshore wind off Ireland's west coast and the Programme for Government contains a commitment to develop a long-term plan for at least 30 GW of floating offshore wind in our deeper waters.

There are many different models of turbines. The larger a turbine, the more efficient it is in producing electricity at a good price. In choosing a turbine model the developer will be conscious of this ,but also has to be aware the impact of the turbine on the environment, marine life, biodiversity and visual impact. As a broad rule an offshore wind turbine will have a tip-height of between 165m and 215m tall. However, turbine technology is evolving at a rapid rate with larger more efficient turbines anticipated on the market in the coming years.


The Renewable Electricity Support Scheme is designed to support the development of renewable energy projects in Ireland. Under the scheme wind farms and solar farms compete against each other in an auction with the projects which offer power at the lowest price awarded contracts. These contracts provide them with a guaranteed price for their power for 15 years. If they obtain a better price for their electricity on the wholesale market they must return the difference to the consumer.

Yes. The first auction for offshore renewable energy projects is expected to take place in late 2021.

Cost is one difference, and technology is another. Floating wind farm technology is relatively new, but allows use of deeper water. Ireland's 50-metre contour line is the limit for traditional bottom-fixed wind farms, and it is also very close to population centres, which makes visibility of large turbines an issue - hence the attraction of floating structures Do offshore wind farms pose a navigational hazard to shipping? Inshore fishermen do have valid concerns. One of the first steps in identifying a site as a potential location for an offshore wind farm is to identify and assess the level of existing marine activity in the area and this particularly includes shipping. The National Marine Planning Framework aims to create, for the first time, a plan to balance the various kinds of offshore activity with the protection of the Irish marine environment. This is expected to be published before the end of 2020, and will set out clearly where is suitable for offshore renewable energy development and where it is not - due, for example, to shipping movements and safe navigation.

YEnvironmental organisations are concerned about the impact of turbines on bird populations, particularly migrating birds. A Danish scientific study published in 2019 found evidence that larger birds were tending to avoid turbine blades, but said it didn't have sufficient evidence for smaller birds – and cautioned that the cumulative effect of farms could still have an impact on bird movements. A full environmental impact assessment has to be carried out before a developer can apply for planning permission to develop an offshore wind farm. This would include desk-based studies as well as extensive surveys of the population and movements of birds and marine mammals, as well as fish and seabed habitats. If a potential environmental impact is identified the developer must, as part of the planning application, show how the project will be designed in such a way as to avoid the impact or to mitigate against it.

A typical 500 MW offshore wind farm would require an operations and maintenance base which would be on the nearby coast. Such a project would generally create between 80-100 fulltime jobs, according to the IWEA. There would also be a substantial increase to in-direct employment and associated socio-economic benefit to the surrounding area where the operation and maintenance hub is located.

The recent Carbon Trust report for the IWEA, entitled Harnessing our potential, identified significant skills shortages for offshore wind in Ireland across the areas of engineering financial services and logistics. The IWEA says that as Ireland is a relatively new entrant to the offshore wind market, there are "opportunities to develop and implement strategies to address the skills shortages for delivering offshore wind and for Ireland to be a net exporter of human capital and skills to the highly competitive global offshore wind supply chain". Offshore wind requires a diverse workforce with jobs in both transferable (for example from the oil and gas sector) and specialist disciplines across apprenticeships and higher education. IWEA have a training network called the Green Tech Skillnet that facilitates training and networking opportunities in the renewable energy sector.

It is expected that developing the 3.5 GW of offshore wind energy identified in the Government's Climate Action Plan would create around 2,500 jobs in construction and development and around 700 permanent operations and maintenance jobs. The Programme for Government published in 2020 has an enhanced target of 5 GW of offshore wind which would create even more employment. The industry says that in the initial stages, the development of offshore wind energy would create employment in conducting environmental surveys, community engagement and development applications for planning. As a site moves to construction, people with backgrounds in various types of engineering, marine construction and marine transport would be recruited. Once the site is up and running , a project requires a team of turbine technicians, engineers and administrators to ensure the wind farm is fully and properly maintained, as well as crew for the crew transfer vessels transporting workers from shore to the turbines.

The IEA says that today's offshore wind market "doesn't even come close to tapping the full potential – with high-quality resources available in most major markets". It estimates that offshore wind has the potential to generate more than 420 000 Terawatt hours per year (TWh/yr) worldwide – as in more than 18 times the current global electricity demand. One Terawatt is 114 megawatts, and to put it in context, Scotland it has a population a little over 5 million and requires 25 TWh/yr of electrical energy.

Not as advanced as wind, with anchoring a big challenge – given that the most effective wave energy has to be in the most energetic locations, such as the Irish west coast. Britain, Ireland and Portugal are regarded as most advanced in developing wave energy technology. The prize is significant, the industry says, as there are forecasts that varying between 4000TWh/yr to 29500TWh/yr. Europe consumes around 3000TWh/year.

The industry has two main umbrella organisations – the Irish Wind Energy Association, which represents both onshore and offshore wind, and the Marine Renewables Industry Association, which focuses on all types of renewable in the marine environment.

©Afloat 2020

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