Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Dublin Bay Boating News and Information

Displaying items by tag: RORC

Since the pandemic there has been a boost in numbers of people getting afloat - mostly sailors relatively new to the sport - and the RYA and the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) are keen to encourage as many keelboat and cruiser-racer sailors as possible to enjoy racing at their clubs or local regattas. Recognising the need for, and current lack of an entry level rating system, the RYA and RORC have joined forces with the South West Yacht Time Correction Factor (YTC) rating system to develop and roll out a new initiative: the RYA YTC, powered by RORC Rating.

YTC has been developed over recent years by a group of volunteers, initially based in Falmouth, but now more widely spread across the South West, to rate the wide variety of cruiser/racer yachts to be found racing in clubs so that they can race against each other easily, competitively and fairly. YTC is based on the statistical models developed by Linda Wolstenholme of Emsworth Slipper SC, but the system has developed significantly since the early days and, for those clubs who wish to use it, a means to introduce more accurate results-based club handicapping. Under an innovative tripartite agreement, the existing YTC core team, led by RYA SW Regional Chair Chris Davis, will continue to advise and support both the RYA and RORC in order to achieve both a seamless transfer for existing users and development and alignment of the system with IRC. The RORC Rating office will bring their unrivalled operational knowledge of rating systems to managing the new system and overseeing future development.

RYA Racing Director Ian Walker explains: “We recognise the existing RYA National Handicap for Cruisers system (NHC) was not fulfilling clubs’ needs and nobody is keener than my team to see more boats out enjoying racing on the water. Having a good, proven rating system that is portable between clubs and regattas and available nationally, free of charge to anybody wanting to go racing, must be a good thing.”

For the RORC Rating Office this project is part of their ambition to support the growth of the sport. Director of the RORC Rating Office, Jason Smithwick adds: “YTC has proven popular in the South West and has been successful in encouraging more boats into the sport. The system provides an excellent, simple entry-level introduction to racing without the need for personal handicapping, and we are enthusiastic that expansion will help many clubs increase their racing fleets. For those keen to progress further it acts as a simple stepping-stone to IRC racing; the gold standard for rating.”

The aim of the new management team is to move systems across and embed the processes in 2022 before really promoting the system and encouraging more clubs to adopt the system in 2023 and beyond.

SW YTC Chair, Chris Davis added: “This is an exciting time for the YTC system. It is important to us that sailors and clubs that already use this system have a seamless transition to the new management group. All current YTC ratings and certificates for 2022 will remain valid and the process will remain free of charge. I would like to thank all the volunteers that have worked so hard, for over 10 years now, to implement YTC in their clubs and regattas, and of course our sponsors here in the South West. We in the core team are delighted that YTC will be developed further, whilst maintaining the current ethos of the system for the good of anyone wishing to go yacht or keelboat racing at club level.”

Any club wishing to adopt the RYA YTC for their club racing, or any boat owners interested in obtaining an RYA YTC rating can find details here

Published in RYA Northern Ireland
Tagged under

With the wind speed varying from zephyrs to over 20 knots, the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s De Guingand Bowl Race tested the international fleet right through the spectrum of skill sets on Saturday over a 115 mile course.

Seven teams in IRC Two-Handed posted the top positions for IRC overall.

Sun Fast 3300 Atomic, co-skippered by Gareth Edmondson & Hugh BrayshawSun Fast 3300 Atomic, co-skippered by Gareth Edmondson & Hugh Brayshaw Photo: Paul Wyeth

British Sun Fast 3300 Atomic, co-skippered by Gareth Edmondson & Hugh Brayshaw, won overall. Atomic crossed the finish line just one second ahead of Sun Fast 3300 Red Ruby, co-skippered by the American duo of Christina and Justin Wolfe, Ruby Red was second overall after IRC time correction.

Richard Palmer’s British JPK 1010 Jangada, racing with Rupert Holmes, corrected out to third for the race and retain the overall lead for the RORC Season’s Points Championship.


IRC Class winners for the RORC De Guingand Bowl Race

IRC Zero & Monohull Line Honours - RORC Commodore James Neville’s HH42 INO XXX
IRC One - Derek Shakespeare’s J/122 Bulldog
IRC Two & IRC Two-Handed - Atomic
IRC Three - Jangada
IRC Four - Stuart Greenfield’s S&S 34 Morning After
Class40 - Antoine Magre’s Palanad 3
MOCRA & Multihull Line Honours - Multi50 Spirit of Poole sailed by Robert Langford-Wood

Full results here

Published in RORC
Tagged under

A new Grand Prix Zero Class is inviting members to join the IRC-rating based initiarive on the Solent.

Eligible high-performance boats will have an IRC Rating from 1.192 to 1.394 and a DLR max of 105.

The aim of GP Zero is to create a competitive racing series at existing events for high-performance boats racing under IRC.

The inaugural event for the new IRC Racing Class, Grand Prix Zero (GP Zero) will be at the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s Vice Admiral’s Cup 20-22 May. The 2022 GP Zero Series has teams racing at five established regattas in The Solent from May to October.

Future plans include forming GP Zero racing at regattas outside of the Solent including international events.

Grand Prix Zero Class

The class will also actively promote after racing get-togethers. These socials will be a lot of fun but also a great place to air new ideas and plan for future GP Zero events.

2022 GP Zero Circuit

  • 20-22 May RORC Vice Admirals Cup
  • 10-12 June RORC IRC Nationals
  • 30 July-06 August Cowes Week
  • 01-02 October HRSC Autumn Championship
  • 08-09 October HRSC Autumn Championship

“In light of the recent drift in race activity away from IRC keelboats and towards One-Design, many owners of competitive IRC designs, particularly those with higher ratings, have been discussing ways for performance orientated boats to compete against one another in the Solent and beyond,” commented GP Zero Class President, Ian Atkins. “The conclusion is to create a new class dedicated to the group – Grand Prix Zero. With the support of the RORC and several Solent based Yacht Clubs, we propose a rating band from 1.192 to 1.394 and a DLR max of 105. This rating band includes IC37s all the way to TP52’s, this initial consideration can be extended if the majority of GP Zero owners agree.”

GP Zero Class for RORC Vice Admiral’s Cup

Five teams are expected for RORC Vice Admiral’s Cup. Expressions of interest have been received from over a dozen international teams for future regattas.

Ker 43 Baraka GPKer 43 Baraka GP Photo: Paul Wyeth

Ker 43 Baraka GP Harmen Jan de Graaf’s (NED) Baraka GP will be skippered by his son Olivier de Graaf with a crew mainly from the Netherlands and Belgium. Baraka GP has a winning profile offshore including the Round Ireland Race. Inshore Baraka GP was a force to be reckoned with in the FAST40+ Class before rule changes meant the boat could no longer feature. Baraka GP has the longest water-line length in GP Zero for the Vice Admiral’s Cup, but also the highest IRC Rating (1.276)

Carkeek 40+ RánCarkeek 40+ Rán Photo: Paul Wyeth

Carkeek 40+ Rán  Niklas Zennström’s Carkeek 40+ Rán is arguably the most optimised IRC boat ever built. Rán 7 was launched in April 2018 and took the FAST40+ fleet by storm. Rán won class for the 2021 IRC National Championship and Vice Admiral’s Cup. Rán Racing Project manager is Tim Powell and the crew are a mix of top-class professionals and talented young sailors. For the RORC Vice Admiral’s Cup Rán has the second highest rating, the radical design is a rocket ship in medium to heavy breeze but may be weaker in light airs.

Botin 42 Dark 'n' StormyBotin 42 Dark 'n' Stormy Photo: Paul Wyeth

Botin 42 Dark 'n' Stormy President of the GP Zero Class Ian Atkins acquired Dark 'n' Stormy (formally Peter Morton’s Jean Genie) earlier this year. Atkins admired the speed of the boat hooning around the Solent, especially coming second to Rán by a single point in the 2021 IRC Nationals. Ian has always crewed with top sailors with the right attitude and Dark 'n' Stormy is no different. Volvo Ocean Race winning skipper, and double silver Olympic medallist, Ian Walker will be on tactics. Admiral’s Cup winner Mark Chisnell is navigator, and the highly experienced Nick Bonner is on main sheet.

HH42 INO XXX Photo: Paul WyethHH42 INO XXX Photo: Paul Wyeth

HH42 INO XXX RORC Commodore James Neville has been campaigning HH42 INO XXX inshore and offshore since 2016. INO XXX came second overall in the 2021 Rolex Fastnet Race and has made a terrific start to 2022 winning the RORC Cervantes Trophy Race overall. This will be INO XXX second inshore event having competed at the RORC Easter Challenge. With twin-rudders and an innovative sail configuration INO XXX is very different to the GP Zero boats racing at the Vice Admiral’s Cup. James Neville’s crew have been racing together for many years and includes Coriolan Rousselle as navigator, Mike Henning on trim, and the MOD70 Powerplay combo of Martin Watts and John Hunter-Hamilton. Rating ten points lower than Baraka GP, INO XXX has an IRC corrected time advantage of approximately 30 seconds/hour.

IC37(MOD) FargoIC37(MOD) Fargo Photo: Paul Wyeth

IC37(MOD) Fargo Bertie Bicket’s modified IC37 Fargo is from the drawing board of Mark Mills and is the smallest and lowest rated boat in GP Zero for the Vice Admiral’s Cup. Baraka gives Fargo approximately 5 minutes per hour in IRC time correction and all of the GP Zero boats give over 4 minutes in corrected time. While Fargo does not have the same top speed as the competition, all of the GP Zero boats have the ability to get on the plane downwind and also maximize VMG upwind. While Fargo may not have the fire-power on the start line, the boats ahead will be a good indication of the best pressure during the race. Fargo’s crew with Bicket driving includes some of the sharpest young talent in Nick Robins and Dan Budden, both GBR Olympic 49er squad members, and the wily multiple world champion Mark Heeley.

Published in RORC

The fifth race of the RORC Season’s Points Championship is the De Guingand Bowl Race, scheduled to start at 09:30 BST on Saturday 14th May to the west, from the Royal Yacht Squadron Line, Cowes. The course for the overnight race of 110-160nm will be announced prior to the start. 57 teams have entered, racing under IRC, MOCRA and Class40 rules.

Crew come from at least nine different countries including: Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the United States.

Antoine Magre’s French Class40 Palanad 3Antoine Magre’s French Class40 Palanad 3 © Carlo Borlenghi

Four teams can be counted as favourites for Monohull Race Line Honours, the highest rated boat under IRC is Ross Hobson & Adrian Banks’ British Open 50 Pegasus of Northumberland . Antoine Magre’s French Class40 Palanad 3, winner of the 2021 RORC Transatlantic Race, will also be racing. Both teams have entered the 2022 Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race. In contention to be the first monohull to finish the De Guingand Bowl Race is RORC Commodore James Neville with British HH42 INO XXX, which took the gun and the overall win for the 2022 Cervantes Trophy Race. New to RORC Racing will be Michael Møllmann’s all-composite Danish Elliott 35SS Palby Marine, sailed by Sofus Pedersen. Ultimate Sailing’s British Multi50 Spirit of Poole, sailed by Robert Langford-Wood, is currently the sole entry in MOCRA and will be taking part in its first race since undergoing a four-month refit.

Michael O’Donnell's J/121 DarkwoodMichael O’Donnell's J/121 Darkwood Photo: RORC

Thirteen teams are entered for IRC One including Ireland’s Michael O’Donnell racing his J/121 Darkwood, which was second overall for the Cervantes Trophy Race. The class contains a number of charter boats with passionate amateur crew including six First 40s: Skylander skippered by Jordan Billiald, Galahad of Cowes skippered by Ronan Banim, Lancelot II skippered by David Thomson, Arthur skippered by Jim Bennett. Two teams from the London Corinthian Sailing Club, will be starting their 2023 Rolex Fastnet Campaign racing Tango and Jazz. Overseas teams in the class include Benedikt Clauberg’s Swiss Ocean Racing Club with First 47.7 Kai and Laurent Charmy’s French J/111 SL Energies_Groupe Fastwave.

IRC Two-Handed is the largest class for the De Guingand Bowl Race with 30 expected to be racing. The two leading teams for the 2022 season will be in action. Richard Palmer will be racing his JPK 1010 Jangada with Rupert Holmes and Sunfast 3200 Cora will be raced by Tim Goodhew & Kelvin Matthews. Twelve Sun Fast 3300s will be racing in IRC Two-Handed, including a RORC debut for Red Ruby sailed by partners Christina & Justin Wolfe from Washington USA. Wayne Palmer will also be racing his J/99 Jam for the first time, racing in IRC Two-Handed with Mark Emons. Stuart Greenfield will be racing his S&S 34 Morning After with Louise Clayton.

Twenty entries have been received by teams racing in IRC 2, the majority of which will be racing in IRC Two-Handed. Fully crewed entries in IRC Two include the well-sailed Sun Fast 3600, the Army Sailing Association’s Fujitsu British Soldier, skippered by Philip Caswell, which was class winner for the Cervantes Trophy Race. Freya Anderson & Adam Leddy will be racing Gavin Howe’s 1987 Julian Everitt designed 35ft sloop Wavetrain.

Harry Heijst’s S&S 41 WinsomeHarry Heijst’s S&S 41 Winsome Photo: RORC

In IRC Three, the Royal Navy Sailing Association’s J/109 Jolly Jack Tar, skippered by Henry Wilson, the Royal Air Force Sailing Association’s J/109 Red Arrow, skippered by Gillian Burgess. Harry Heijst’s S&S 41 Winsome is entered with a majority Dutch crew. French Franck Ribot’s JPK 1010 Whisper returns to RORC racing with an all-French team. In IRC Four, Christophe Declercq will be racing Contessa 32 Lecas with a team from Belgium.

The overall winner of the race after IRC time correction will be presented with the De Guingand Bowl, which was presented to the Royal Ocean Racing Club by E.P. de Guingand, affectionally known as ‘Buster’ (Vice Commodore 1957-1959). The best vantage points of the start will be along Cowes Green and Egypt Esplanade. Competing boats can be tracked using AIS data, when in range, via the YB tracker player here 

RORC Cowes ClubhouseAll competitors, family and friends are welcome to the RORC Cowes Clubhouse. Photo: RORC/Paul Wyeth

The De Guingand Bowl Race is part of the 2022 RORC Season’s Points Championship, the world's largest offshore racing series comprising of 16 testing races. Every race had its own coveted prize for the overall winner and famous trophies for IRC class honours.

Published in RORC

Having previously straddled Europe, visiting other major yachting hubs such as Cowes, Cork Harbour, Marseille and Sanremo, the seventh edition of the prestigious IRC European Championship this year will take place over 25-28 August in the Netherlands, alongside Damen Breskens Sailing Weekend.

This will be first time that the IRC European Championship has been held since 2019 after the pandemic forced the last two editions to be cancelled. In 2019 the championship for the simple, single number rule, operated internationally by the Royal Ocean Racing Club and the Union Nationale pour la Course au Large, was dominated by two Marseille-based boats: the winner Yves Ginoux's Farr 36 Absolutely II and Jean-Pierre Joly's GP42 Confluence Sopra DPMF, finishing ahead of the local boat Gianluigi Dubbini's Italia Yachts 9.98 Fuoriserie Sarchiapone.

Close to the Belgium border, on the south side of the River Scheldt leading to Antwerp, Breskens is well situated as a yacht racing centre, offering direct access to courses both in the estuary or in the North Sea.

Following a day of registration, equipment inspection and measurement on Wednesday, 24 August, racing will take place over the following four days. Nine races are scheduled, including one ‘long coastal’ of up to six hours duration (and carrying a 2x scoring co-efficient) and up to three shorter courses each day on either windward-leeward or coastal courses. One discard will be applied once five or more races have been sailed and two if the full nine-race schedule is completed.

The fleet will be divided in three: IRC One for yachts with a TCC of 1.050+, IRC Two for those with a TCC of 1.000-1.050 and IRC Three for 0.900 to 1.000. To ensure accuracy of the rating and absolute fairness of the competition, entries must have an Endorsed IRC certificate, but to obtain one is straightforward and not costly using local IRC measurers and without the need for any complicated hull measurement or inclination requirements.

In addition to a group of FAST40+ yachts due to enter the event will be Commodore of the Royal Ocean Racing Club, James Neville with his heavily campaigned HH42 INO XXXIn addition to a group of FAST40+ yachts due to enter the event will be Commodore of the Royal Ocean Racing Club, James Neville with his heavily campaigned HH42 INO XXX Photo: Paul Wyeth

Once again the event aims to promote diversity with one extra crew permitted, over and above the number stated on a yacht’s IRC certificate, if that yacht’s crew includes at least two females or two youth of up to 25 years of age.

The 2022 IRC European Championship is expected to attract a highly competitive fleet. Already entered is one the hottest yachts from the area: the Ker 46 Van Uden, skippered by three-time Volvo Ocean Race veteran Gerd-Jan Poortman and with a crew of young, up and coming Dutch sailing talent from the Rotterdam Offshore Sailing Team. Now into its sixth year, the campaign was set up to help prevent youngsters dropping out of sailing once they had finished in dinghies. It is funded by a business club and supported by the marine industry, with her crew carrying out the majority of the maintenance work themselves.

The team is planning on a competing in the Solent early in the season including the IRC Nationals in Cowes over 10-12 June, before returning home for the IRC Europeans.

Poortman has competed at Breskens Sailing Week for the last 20 years and recommends it. “It is a fantastic sailing place. There are tidal waters – it’s right on the North Sea. I love sailing there. You can do nice offshores and windward-leewards. There is a lot of room. It is always well organised with great tents and the Breskens people are always very friendly. Breskens is a small town but I also like small towns because everyone stays close together and you have a lot more fun… It is far away from anywhere in Holland, so everyone stays there. There is a nice little town centre with lots of restaurants and bars.”

The 2022 IRC European Championship is expected to attract a highly competitive fleet when it takes place between 25-28 August in the Netherlands, alongside Damen Breskens Sailing WeekendThe 2022 IRC European Championship is expected to attract a highly competitive fleet when it takes place between 25-28 August in the Netherlands, alongside Damen Breskens Sailing Weekend

In addition to the local boats, a strong fleet of IRC boats is expected to make the relatively short passage to Breskens from the UK and France. In addition to a group of FAST40+ yachts due to enter the event will be Commodore of the Royal Ocean Racing Club, James Neville with his heavily campaigned HH42 INO XXX that will also compete Round Ireland in June.

“I am greatly looking forward to visiting Breskens and seeing a grand gathering of the IRC fleets from across the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany along with a strong turn-out of entries from the UK and France,” said Neville. “It will be a good opportunity to showcase IRC with all the benefits of its simplicity and accuracy in a new venue for this championship.”

Breskens Sailing Weekend is one of the biggest multiclass regattas in the Netherlands. It is organised by Stichting Breskens Sailing, on behalf of Watersportvereniging Breskens, the Royal Yacht Club of Belgium, Koninklijke Roei- & Zeilvereniging ‘De Maas’, Koninklijke Nederlandse Roei- en Zeilvereniging Muiden, Koninklijke Antwerpse Watersportvereniging SRNA and under the authority of the RORC.

The Notice of Race for the 2022 IRC European Championship is downloadable below. 

Published in RORC
Tagged under

Two top UK-based yachts expected to enter June's Round Ireland Race scored significant wins in the UK’s offshore season opener in a race across the English Channel on Saturday.

It's a weekend result that raises the stakes for overall honours in the biennial Irish ocean classic that gets underway in a little over six weeks' time with a quality fleet of more than 40.

The first race of the domestic season for the RORC Season’s Points Championship was a tricky light airs 100-mile dash across the English Channel to Le Havre. RORC Commodore James Neville, racing HH42 INO XXX was the standout performer scoring a hat-trick of wins: The Cervantes Trophy for first overall after IRC time correction, race line honours, and IRC Zero. 

The Cowes boat has declared for June 18s significantly longer 700-mile SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race and with the Cervantes Trophy in the bag, Neville is likely to be very much in contention for the Wicklow race that includes quality ISORA, RORC, Class 40 and Volvo 70 yachts.

Yet to enter the Round Ireland Race but sailing with a strong Irish crew for Saturday's fixture, Michael O'Donnell’s UK-based J/121 Darkwood was second overall and the winner of IRC One.

As Afloat reported previously, Dubliner O'Donnell was joined for the race to France by Irish offshore sailors Kenny Rumball, Michael Boyd, Barry Hurley, and Conor Kinsella.

The Cervantes Trophy Race is part of the 2022 RORC Season’s Points ChampionshipThe Cervantes Trophy Race is part of the 2022 RORC Season’s Points Championship Photo: Rick Tomlinson

The Army Sailing Association’s Sun Fast 3600 Fujitsu British Soldier, skippered by Henry Foster was the winner of IRC Two.

Tim Goodhew & Kelvin Matthews racing Sun Fast 3200 Cora had a superb race, taking third overall, and winning IRC Three and IRC Two-Handed.

The Army Sailing Association’s Sun Fast 3600 Fujitsu British SoldierThe Army Sailing Association’s Sun Fast 3600 Fujitsu British Soldier Photo: Rick Tomlinson

“It was hard work getting out of the Solent in light shifty conditions,” commented James Neville. “Taking a more easterly line offshore worked well for us, staying in better pressure, and making sure we weren’t swept west on the tide. The crew did a great job concentrating in the cold air. The reaching conditions really suited our four-sail set with the Fro, jib, staysail and main all in the air.”

After the finish of the race RORC racing teams arriving at Société des Regatés du Havre, received nothing short of a spectacular welcome with a carnival atmosphere laid on by the oldest yacht club in France, including a dancing girls cabaret and a sumptuous dinner at the renowned restaurant.

The Cervantes Trophy Race is part of the 2022 RORC Season’s Points Championship, the world's largest offshore racing series comprising of 16 testing races. Every race has its own coveted prize for the overall winner and famous trophies for IRC class honours. The fifth race of the championship is the De Guingand Bowl Race, which is scheduled to start on Saturday 14th May from the Royal Yacht Squadron Line with an overnight race in the Solent and adjacent waters.

Additional race report by Louay Habib

Published in RORC
Tagged under

Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) Commodore James Neville has confirmed he will be back in Irish waters again this season and racing his Solent-based HH42 INO XXX in June's SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race.

As Afloat reported earlier, Neville and his crew embark on their first offshore since the 2021 Rolex Middle Sea Race this weekend at the season opener to France for the Cervantes Trophy.

RORC Commodore James Neville Photo: Courtesy RORCRORC Commodore James Neville at the Fastnet Rock Photo: Courtesy RORC

“We are excited to get back racing, it has been a long break, but we have had time to focus on this year,” Neville said. “We will compete in the RORC series including the Round Ireland Race and culminating inshore with the IRC Europeans in Breskens.

The Hudson/Hakes built 42’, a Judel/Vrolijk design, and took line honours and first place in the 2021 Rolex Fastnet Race IRC One Class.

Published in Round Ireland
Tagged under

Offshore racing with the Royal Ocean Racing Club returns to Europe on the 30th of April with the Cervantes Trophy Race, the traditional opening domestic race of the RORC Season’s Points Championship. Starting from the Royal Squadron Line Cowes, boats will race across the English Channel bound for Le Havre.

Well over 50 teams are expected with a warm welcome waiting at the oldest yacht club in France, Société des Regatés du Havre, established in 1838.

RORC Commodore James Neville will be racing his HH42 INO XXX RORC Commodore James Neville will be racing his HH42 INO XXX Photo: Rick Tomlinson

RORC Commodore James Neville will be racing his HH42 INO XXX, this will be the first offshore race for Neville’s team, since the 2021 Rolex Middle Sea Race.

“We are excited to get back racing, it has been a long break, but we have had time to focus on this year,” commented James Neville. “We will compete in the RORC series including the Round Ireland Race and culminating inshore with the IRC Europeans in Breskens. The Cervantes is always an interesting race complicated by tide and wind shifts. We would like to have a nice fast reach to stretch our legs, but the long-range forecast is for light winds, so it could become quite tactical.”

Gilles Fournier will skipper French J/133 Pintia © Rick TomlinsonGilles Fournier will skipper French J/133 Pintia Photo: Rick Tomlinson

Gilles Fournier will skipper French J/133 Pintia, which will be racing to their home club, the Société des Regatés du Havre. In 2018, Pintia was the overall winner of the race, an impressive third victory in a row. Pintia’s crew includes the creator of the Louis Vuitton Cup, Bruno Troublé.

“Pintia always tries to win every race that enter,” commented Gilles Fournier. “However, we know that there are a few very good teams still to return to Europe for the season, so perhaps this race will not be indicative of the quality of racing we will experience during the year. Recently the standard of racing with RORC has been really rising, the performance of many teams has been increasing. Britain was a major influence in founding Société des Regatés du Havre, the link with our friends in Cowes is very important to us. As the customary first race across the English Channel, if it is windy, it can be quite cold, but the welcome will be warm! The club house has one of the best restaurants in Le Havre and it is reasonably priced. I strongly recommend making an advanced booking.”

Dee Caffari and Shirley Robertson team up on the new Sun Fast 3300 RockIT Dee Caffari and Shirley Robertson team up on the new Sun Fast 3300 RockIT Photo: Vertigo Films / Tim Butt

At least 25 teams will be racing in IRC Two-Handed, including Richard Palmer’s JPK 1010 Jangada, racing with Jeremy Waitt. Jangada has taken maximum points so far in the 2022 RORC Season’s Points Championship with class wins in the Rolex Middle Sea Race, the RORC Transatlantic Race, and the RORC Caribbean 600. Seven Sun Fast 3300s are entered in IRC Two-handed for the Cervantes Trophy, including a debut race for Dee Caffari and Shirley Robertson racing Rockit. Sun Fast 3200 Cora, raced by Tim Goodhew and Kelvin Matthews, was second in IRC Two-Handed for the 2021 season. Cora will start their 2022 RORC campaign with the Cervantes Trophy Race.

Andrew Tseng's Nicholson 55 Quailo III Andrew Tseng's Nicholson 55 Quailo III Photo: Pat North

Classic yachts racing in the Cervantes Trophy Race include Stuart Greenfield’s S&S 34 Morning After, racing in IRC Two-Handed with Louise Clayton and Janet Hairsine Wilson’s Swan 44 Finnish Line. The Nicholson 55 Quailo III has a long history of racing with the RORC. She was built by Camper & Nicholson in 1971 for Don Parr, a former Commodore and then Admiral of RORC. Part of the 1973 Admiral’s Cup team, she was subsequently renamed British Soldier and Broadsword when part of the Joint Services Adventurous Sail Training Centre. Now back to her original name, Quailo III has been lovingly restored and modified under the ownership of Andrew Tseng.

“Our long-term aim is the 100th anniversary of the Fastnet Race in 2025” commented Quailo III skipper Andrew Tseng. “Clearly if we want a good performance in 2025, we should be doing 2023 and the Cervantes Trophy Race is the start of the whole campaign. Now the rubber hits the road, so to speak, and we are raring to go. The crew are all enthusiasts, a mixed bag of people that I have picked up along the way, it’s a Corinthian team but we have some interest from some well-known sailors from the past. Quailo III has been evolving over the last few seasons, she has a new engine, but most importantly a new fractional carbon rig. What will be really interesting is how well we can sail under IRC. The rule is a great leveller, which lets classics like Quailo III race alongside new designs. The challenge is, can the crew sail the boat to its rating? Boats like Scarlet Oyster and Winsome have managed to achieve that.”

Stuart Greenfield’s S&S 34 Morning After, racing in IRC Two-Handed with Louise Clayton © Rick TomlinsonStuart Greenfield’s S&S 34 Morning After, racing in IRC Two-Handed with Louise Clayton Photo: Rick Tomlinson

The Cervantes Trophy Race is part of the 2022 RORC Season’s Points Championship, the world's largest offshore racing series comprising of 16 testing races. Every race had its own coveted prize for the overall winner and famous trophies for IRC class honours.

Class40 Kite will be sailed by Nicolas Gaumont-Prat for the Cervantes Trophy Race Photo: Rick TomlinsonClass40 Kite will be sailed by Nicolas Gaumont-Prat for the Cervantes Trophy Race © Rick Tomlinson

Published in RORC
Tagged under

For the 2022 Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race, a record 15 teams are planning to take on the marathon IRC Two-Handed. Short-handed racing with the RORC has been booming in recent years with 84 teams competing in the 2021 RORC Season's Points Championship. The 1,800-mile Round Britain & Ireland Race is a hard task for a full-crew, let alone Two-Handed. Since IRC Two-Handed was introduced 12 years ago, 25 teams have started the race; only nine have finished.

Experienced Two-Handed skippers planning to race for 2022 include Richard Palmer's JPK 10.10 Jangada, 2020 RORC Yacht of the Year and overall winner of the RORC Transatlantic Race. 2012 RORC Yacht of the Year skipper Nick Martin will race his Sun Fast 3600 Diablo. The highly experienced Nigel de Quervain Colley will race his Sun Fast 3300 Fastrak XII and Sam White, 4th in IRC Two-Handed for the 2021 Rolex Fastnet, will race his latest boat, the JPK 1080 Mzungu!

Dee Caffari MBE and Shirley Robertson OBE will be racing together on a brand-new Sun Fast 3300 RockIT (GBR), which is due for launch in April. Shirley's strength is sailing the boat hard, keeping up the intensity of speed. Dee's strength is her knowledge and confidence of the course, possessing all the ingredients towards making the right decisions.

Bellino - Deb Fish & Rob Craigie. For the 2022 Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race, Rob Craigie & Deb Fish will be racing Sun Fast 3600 Bellino (GBR), which will be among the favourites for IRC Two-Handed. Between them Rob and Deb have competed in 20 Fastnets and have been racing together for seven years, winning IRC Two-Handed for the RORC Season’s Points Championship in 2017, 2019 and 2021. This will be their first Two-Handed Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland RaceBellino - Deb Fish & Rob Craigie. For the 2022 Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race, Rob Craigie & Deb Fish will be racing Sun Fast 3600 Bellino (GBR), which will be among the favourites for IRC Two-Handed. Between them Rob and Deb have competed in 20 Fastnets and have been racing together for seven years, winning IRC Two-Handed for the RORC Season’s Points Championship in 2017, 2019 and 2021. This will be their first Two-Handed Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race

Dee Caffari has sailed around the world six times and was the first woman to sail single-handed and non-stop around the world in both directions. Dee has an equally impressive record in the Round Britain & Ireland Race, setting the Women's Monohull Course Record as skipper of IMOCA Aviva (2009), and then breaking her own record as part of Sam Davies's crew on VO65 Team SCA (2014 - 4 days 21 hours 00 mins 39 secs). Dee has completed the race four times.

Nick Martin's Sun Fast 3600 Diablo Photo: Paul WyethNick Martin's Sun Fast 3600 Diablo Photo: Paul Wyeth

Shirley Robertson made history becoming the first British woman to win an Olympic gold medal at consecutive games. In the last two years, Shirley has raced Two-Handed with Henry Bomby on Sun Fast 3300 Swell. Shirley and Henry took Line Honours in the 2021 Rolex Fastnet Race for IRC Two-Handed and were second overall in a fleet of 56 boats, after time correction. Shirley has accumulated expert knowledge racing the Sun Fast 3300, but this will be her first Round Britain & Ireland Race.

IRC Two-Handed was first introduced in the race 2010 but the only entrant, Luca Zoccoli’s Ostar 35 In Direzione Ostinata E Contraria (ITA), retired 100 miles from the Shetlands. In 2014, Ian Hoddle’s Figaro II Rare (GBR), racing with Conrad Manning became the first team to complete the race in IRC Two-Handed. Liam Coyne's First 36.7 Lula Belle (IRL), racing with Brian Flahive was the second, winning the class after IRC time correction. In 2018, Benjamin Schwartz & Chen Jin Hao (FRA) won IRC Two-Handed in the fastest time for the class (10 days, 17 hours 01 mins 42 secs). Since 2010, 25 teams have started the race in IRC Two-Handed, only nine have finished

Published in Rd Britain & Ireland

Classic Solent conditions prevailed for the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s first inshore regatta of the 2022 season. After eight thrilling races, IRC class winners for the RORC Easter Challenge were: Ian Atkins’ GP42 Dark N Stormy (IRC 1), The Army Sailing Association’s Sun Fast 3600 Fujitsu British Soldier, skippered by Henry Foster (IRC 2), and Lena Having’s Corby 33 Mrs Freckles (IRC 3).

At the final Prize Giving held at the RORC Cowes Clubhouse, Regatta Race Manager Steve Cole introduced RORC Commodore James Neville who had been racing INO XXX at the Easter Challenge.

James awarded glassware to the IRC class winners and the customary Easter Egg frenzy was well received by a big turnout!

The Army Sailing Association’s Sun Fast 3600 Fujitsu British Soldier, skippered by Henry Foster won IRC Two, with J/112 Happy Daize - raced by Team Knight Build - in a gallant second place in the three-day RORC Easter ChallengeThe Army Sailing Association’s Sun Fast 3600 Fujitsu British Soldier, skippered by Henry Foster won IRC Two, with J/112 Happy Daize - raced by Team Knight Build - in a gallant second place in the three-day RORC Easter Challenge Photo: Paul Wyeth 

“A fantastic regatta and it has been great to see so many teams competing in fine weather and looking forward to a busy season of racing with the Royal Ocean Racing Club,” commented James Neville. “A big ‘Thank You’ to Steve Cole and his race team, as well as the coaches led by Dog Palfrey, who have done an absolutely cracking job. I know I speak for so many teams when I say that the North Sails debriefs and help out on the water has been really appreciated.”

Full Results link here

The Solent delivered magnificent weather every day of the RORC Easter Challenge, but Mother Nature saved the best until last. Easter Sunday was blessed with a solid south-easterly, building during the day along with the tide. With outside assistance allowed during the regatta, a RORC coaching team supported by North Sails, was led by Andrew ‘Dog’ Palfrey. All competitors were offered coaching during racing, plus the daily video debriefs and online content provided an opportunity to take-in the lessons learnt. At the Saturday debrief, one of Dog Palfrey’s main points was the start routine and the final day’s racing proved that the teams were listening. Two races were held for all IRC classes with close to blanket starts achieved by the competitors.

Rob Cotterill’s J/109 Mojo Risin’ benefits from on-the-water coaching from North Sails and RORC Photo: Paul Wyeth Rob Cotterill’s J/109 Mojo Risin’ benefits from on-the-water coaching from North Sails and RORC Photo: Paul Wyeth 

IRC One

Ian Atkins’ GP42 Dark N Stormy won the last two races in the big boat class to tally-up seven wins from eight starts. The youth team racing Dutch Ker 46 Van Uden, skippered by Gerd-Jan Poortman, was second. Van Uden was just two points ahead of Harmen Jan de Graaf’s Dutch Ker 43 Baraka Gp.

“More of the same please,” commented Dark N Stormy’s Ian Atkins. “I don’t think I have ever done this regatta when it has felt like we are sailing in summer, with sea breeze and temperature in the high teens. We just had a blast. I wish it would go on for a few more days. Dark N Stormy has a hardcore of my previous team and if the rest of the season is like this, we are going to have a lot of fun!”

Ian Atkins has identified a big group of IRC boats of a similar ilk in the Solent. “These boats are fantastic fun to sail, high performance re-defined and we think there are 12-15 boats that are like Dark N Stormy. We would love them to come and compete in a series using existing events. We have five events in mind, mainly with the RORC and also Cowes Week, and a dedicated event later in the year, with a big party at the end. We know those boats are out there and we have sent invitations to boats ranging from TP52s to IC37S.”

Ian Walker, double Olympic Medallist and Volvo Ocean Race winning skipper was tactician for Dark N Stormy and commented: “The coaching team were really helpful, we got lots of good input and the race team did a great job with the course. There was no hanging around; I can’t fault any of it. The thing I noticed the most was that for us it was getting harder and harder to do well in the races; you could see the standard going up in the fleet, which was the aim of the regatta. Helped by the weather, you couldn’t have had a better weekend of racing.”

Ian Atkins’ GP42 Dark N Stormy scored seven wins in the RORC Easter Challenge and took victory in IRC One Photo: Paul Wyeth Ian Atkins’ GP42 Dark N Stormy scored seven wins in the RORC Easter Challenge and took victory in IRC One Photo: Paul Wyeth 

Ian Atkins team on Dark N Stormy: "We just had a blast. I wish it would go on for a few more days...." - Easter Eggs and prizes for the IRC One winners in the RORC Easter Challenge after three competitive days of racing Photo: Paul Wyeth Ian Atkins team on Dark N Stormy: "We just had a blast. I wish it would go on for a few more days...." - Easter Eggs and prizes for the IRC One winners in the RORC Easter Challenge after three competitive days of racing Photo: Paul Wyeth 

The youth team racing Dutch Ker 46 Van Uden, skippered by Gerd-Jan Poortman took second place in IRC OneThe youth team racing Dutch Ker 46 Van Uden, skippered by Gerd-Jan Poortman took second place in IRC One Photo: Paul Wyeth 

A close third place in IRC One for Harmen Jan de Graaf's Dutch Ker 43 One-off Baraka Gp Photo: Paul Wyeth A close third place in IRC One for Harmen Jan de Graaf's Dutch Ker 43 One-off Baraka Gp Photo: Paul Wyeth 

IRC Two

The Army Sailing Association’s Sun Fast 3600 Fujitsu British Soldier, skippered by Henry Foster won the class in the very last race of the regatta. J/112 Happy Daize raced by Team Knight Build, was a gallant second. VME Racing’s Mills 39 Zero II, skippered by James Gair finished the regatta in style, taking a second and first place in the final two races to snatch the last podium position. The intensity in the class was exemplified by two race ties after time correction between Andrew McIrvine’s Ker 39 La Réponse and Happy Daize.

Happy Daize skipper James Chalmers commented: “I have not been at the Easter Challenge for many years and we are really glad that we have competed this year. The competition on the water, especially with British Soldier and La Réponse, has been excellent. Right up to the last race we were crossing each other and that sort of competition increases performance. A big ‘Thank You’ to the RORC and the coaching team for organising a superb regatta. Our big regatta this year will be Cork Week in July and we have made a huge amount of progress for that event at the RORC Easter Challenge.”

All smiles - and chocolate eggs for the IRC Two winners on the Army Sailing Association’s Sun Fast 3600 Fujitsu British Soldier, skippered by Henry Foster Photo: Paul Wyeth All smiles - and chocolate eggs for the IRC Two winners on the Army Sailing Association’s Sun Fast 3600 Fujitsu British Soldier, skippered by Henry Foster Photo: Paul Wyeth 

Team Knight Build on J/112 Happy Daize took second in IRC Two Photo: Paul Wyeth Team Knight took second in IRC Two Photo: Paul Wyeth 

A third place on the podium for VME Racing’s Mills 39 Zero II, skippered by James Gair Photo: Paul Wyeth A third place on the podium for VME Racing’s Mills 39 Zero II, skippered by James Gair Photo: Paul Wyeth 

IRC Two start on the final day of the RORC Easter Challenge Photo: Paul Wyeth IRC Two start on the final day of the RORC Easter Challenge Photo: Paul Wyeth 

IRC Three

Lena Having’s Corby 33 Mrs Freckles scored a 1-2 on the last day to win the class. Lena and her partner Eivind come from Gothenburg, Sweden and Mrs Freckles was sailing with a majority female crew, including two from the Magenta Project: “Although I have raced in the Solent before, I think the biggest area we need to improve on is learning about the strong tides, which we do not have in Gothenburg,” commented Having. “This year we plan to compete at a number of events in the Solent, both double-handed with Elvind and also with a full crew. A Swedish all-women’s team will be coming out for the Women’s Open Keelboat Championship this summer. While we love to sail in Sweden, you really have to come to the Solent for really competitive racing.”

Mrs Freckles crew included the National Yacht Club's Saoirse Reynolds on board. Reynold's is an Aurelia crew member and part of that J122's DBSC/ISORA/Round Ireland team. 
The Dublin Bay sailor adds the Easter win to her Caribbean 600 exploits on an RP37, a  sister ship to the new Royal Irish yacht Wow!  

Harry J. Heijst’s S&S 41 Winsome finished the regatta in style, taking the race win in the very last race to finish second, by a single point in IRC Three. Winsome was also awarded the Prix D'Elegance Award. Quarter Tonner Bullit, skippered by Julian Metherell was unable to race on the final day. Having led the regatta from the very first race, Bullit still placed third on countback from Rob Cotterill’s J/109 Mojo Risin’.

RORC Commodore James Neville presents the happy team on Mrs Freckles with the winners decanter and Easter Eggs after taking pole position in IRC Three in the RORC Easter Challenge Photo: Paul Wyeth RORC Commodore James Neville presents the happy team on Mrs Freckles (that includes the NYC's Saoirse Reynolds) with the winners decanter and Easter Eggs after taking pole position in IRC Three in the RORC Easter Challenge Photo: Paul Wyeth 

Lena Having’s Corby 33 Mrs Freckles scored a 1-2 on the last day to win IRC Three Photo: Paul Wyeth Lena Having’s Corby 33 Mrs Freckles scored a 1-2 on the last day to win IRC Three Photo: Paul Wyeth 

Second place in IRC Three for Harry Heijst's S&S 41 Winsome Photo: Paul Wyeth Second place in IRC Three for Harry Heijst's S&S 41 Winsome Photo: Paul Wyeth 

Quarter Tonner Bullit, skippered by Julian Metherell was placed third, despite not racing on the final day Photo: Paul Wyeth Quarter Tonner Bullit, skippered by Julian Metherell was placed third, despite not racing on the final day Photo: Paul Wyeth 

Racing with the Royal Ocean Racing Club continues with the first European-based offshore race of the 2022 RORC Season’s Points Championship. The Cervantes Trophy Race will be a cross-Channel dash to Le Havre, starting from the Royal Yacht Squadron Line, Cowes on Saturday 30th April.

The next inshore regatta for the RORC will be the Vice Admiral’s Cup, with racing in the Solent for primarily one-design classes from Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd May.

Results here

Published in RORC
Tagged under
Page 1 of 47

Dublin Bay

Dublin Bay on the east coast of Ireland stretches over seven kilometres, from Howth Head on its northern tip to Dalkey Island in the south. It's a place most Dubliners simply take for granted, and one of the capital's least visited places. But there's more going on out there than you'd imagine.

The biggest boating centre is at Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the Bay's south shore that is home to over 1,500 pleasure craft, four waterfront yacht clubs and Ireland's largest marina.

The bay is rather shallow with many sandbanks and rocky outcrops, and was notorious in the past for shipwrecks, especially when the wind was from the east. Until modern times, many ships and their passengers were lost along the treacherous coastline from Howth to Dun Laoghaire, less than a kilometre from shore.

The Bay is a C-shaped inlet of the Irish Sea and is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and 7 km in length to its apex at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south. North Bull Island is situated in the northwest part of the bay, where one of two major inshore sandbanks lie, and features a 5 km long sandy beach, Dollymount Strand, fronting an internationally recognised wildfowl reserve. Many of the rivers of Dublin reach the Irish Sea at Dublin Bay: the River Liffey, with the River Dodder flow received less than 1 km inland, River Tolka, and various smaller rivers and streams.

Dublin Bay FAQs

There are approximately ten beaches and bathing spots around Dublin Bay: Dollymount Strand; Forty Foot Bathing Place; Half Moon bathing spot; Merrion Strand; Bull Wall; Sandycove Beach; Sandymount Strand; Seapoint; Shelley Banks; Sutton, Burrow Beach

There are slipways on the north side of Dublin Bay at Clontarf, Sutton and on the southside at Dun Laoghaire Harbour, and in Dalkey at Coliemore and Bulloch Harbours.

Dublin Bay is administered by a number of Government Departments, three local authorities and several statutory agencies. Dublin Port Company is in charge of navigation on the Bay.

Dublin Bay is approximately 70 sq kilometres or 7,000 hectares. The Bay is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and seven km in length east-west to its peak at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the southside of the Bay has an East and West Pier, each one kilometre long; this is one of the largest human-made harbours in the world. There also piers or walls at the entrance to the River Liffey at Dublin city known as the Great North and South Walls. Other harbours on the Bay include Bulloch Harbour and Coliemore Harbours both at Dalkey.

There are two marinas on Dublin Bay. Ireland's largest marina with over 800 berths is on the southern shore at Dun Laoghaire Harbour. The other is at Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club on the River Liffey close to Dublin City.

Car and passenger Ferries operate from Dublin Port to the UK, Isle of Man and France. A passenger ferry operates from Dun Laoghaire Harbour to Howth as well as providing tourist voyages around the bay.

Dublin Bay has two Islands. Bull Island at Clontarf and Dalkey Island on the southern shore of the Bay.

The River Liffey flows through Dublin city and into the Bay. Its tributaries include the River Dodder, the River Poddle and the River Camac.

Dollymount, Burrow and Seapoint beaches

Approximately 1,500 boats from small dinghies to motorboats to ocean-going yachts. The vast majority, over 1,000, are moored at Dun Laoghaire Harbour which is Ireland's boating capital.

In 1981, UNESCO recognised the importance of Dublin Bay by designating North Bull Island as a Biosphere because of its rare and internationally important habitats and species of wildlife. To support sustainable development, UNESCO’s concept of a Biosphere has evolved to include not just areas of ecological value but also the areas around them and the communities that live and work within these areas. There have since been additional international and national designations, covering much of Dublin Bay, to ensure the protection of its water quality and biodiversity. To fulfil these broader management aims for the ecosystem, the Biosphere was expanded in 2015. The Biosphere now covers Dublin Bay, reflecting its significant environmental, economic, cultural and tourism importance, and extends to over 300km² to include the bay, the shore and nearby residential areas.

On the Southside at Dun Laoghaire, there is the National Yacht Club, Royal St. George Yacht Club, Royal Irish Yacht Club and Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club as well as Dublin Bay Sailing Club. In the city centre, there is Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club. On the Northside of Dublin, there is Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club and Sutton Dinghy Club. While not on Dublin Bay, Howth Yacht Club is the major north Dublin Sailing centre.

© Afloat 2020