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Johannes Schwarz’s Volvo 70 Green Dragon crossed the finish line of the 7th edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race at 04:53 UTC in an elapsed time of 9 days, 18 hours, 53 mins and 40 secs. Green Dragon wins the IMA Trophy and takes Monohull Line Honours for the RORC Transatlantic Race.

Olivier Magre’s Class40 Palanad 3 was less than five hours behind, completing the 2735-mile race in a phenomenal elapsed time of 10 days, 1 hour, 43 mins and 18 secs. For the moment, Palanad 3 have scored the best corrected time under IRC for the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy.

Green Dragon becomes the seventh boat to win the International Maxi Association’s IMA Trophy. Whilst this year’s race is a different route, Green Dragon is the first monohull to complete the RORC Transatlantic Race in under 10 days. The Secretary-General of the IMA, Andrew McIrvine commented: “Congratulations and best wishes from the IMA to Johannes and the Green Dragon team. We are sorry not to able to greet you, as we would have in more usual times, but we hope you enjoyed the race.”

“It is an honour to win the IMA Trophy, as so many famous boats have done, but to finish the race in such a fast time is incredible. Although we finished in Antigua and not Grenada, the route we took was to the south, so there is not much difference in the miles we have raced,” commented Green Dragon’s Johannes Schwarz.

Celebrations on board Johannes Schwarz’s Volvo 70 Green Dragon after winning the IMA Trophy and Monohull Line Honours in the RORC Transatlantic RaceCelebrations on board Johannes Schwarz’s Volvo 70 Green Dragon after winning the IMA Trophy and Monohull Line Honours in the RORC Transatlantic. Race. Green Dragon crew: Kees Bos, Alexis Duvernoy, Jonathan Florent, Florian Guezennec, Jens Lindner, Angel Lingorski, Jorge Lorenzo Roman, Elena Malakhatka, Peter Marchal, August Ruckman, Johannes Schwarz (Skipper), Anton Tajiev, Ada Westerinen.

“In the early part of the race we didn’t push too hard because we are a mixed pro-am crew and there were strong winds on the reach from Lanzarote to Tenerife,” explained Schwarz. “Later in the race we deployed the big kite and the conditions were just so fantastic. It was really special and very emotional for all the crew - we went faster and faster. I have to say that we are deeply impressed by the performance of the Class40s, they were so incredible! When we arrived in Antigua, it was not possible for the RORC team to meet us due to the curfew, but as if by magic, there was a cooler of cold beer on the dock!”

Green Dragon crew: Kees Bos, Alexis Duvernoy, Jonathan Florent, Florian Guezennec, Jens Lindner, Angel Lingorski, Jorge Lorenzo Roman, Elena Malakhatka, Peter Marchal, August Ruckman, Johannes Schwarz (Skipper), Anton Tajiev, Ada Westerinen.

Published in RORC
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 (1200 UTC Sunday 17 January) Johannes Schwarz’s Volvo 70 Green Dragon is leading the RORC Transatlantic Race for Monohull Line Honours and is approximately 500 miles from Antigua

The race reaches an exciting stage on the ninth day with the leading boats closing in on the finish line in Antigua. Oren Nataf’s Multi50 Trimaran Rayon Vert, skippered by Alex Pella was under 400 miles from the finish and expected to take Multihull Line Honours on Monday 18th January.

Olivier Magre’s Class40 Palanad 3 was just 60 miles behind Green Dragon and is expected to finish the 2,735 nautical mile race in just over 10 days - lightning-quick for a 40-footer. “The boat is going fast!” commented Palanad 3’s Luke Berry. “The only problem we have is the seaweed. We clean the rudder after a gybe, but have also resorted to taking the kite down and trying to sail backwards! All is good, so we mustn’t complain.”

Half of the time, racing in the 2,735-mile RORC Transatlantic Race is conducted at night. Whilst moonlight can guide the way, it becomes much more difficult to see, let alone adapt to a sudden change in conditions. For this race, in messages sent back to the RORC Race Team, competitors have reported significant squall activity, especially at night.

Antoine Carpentier’s Class40 Redman looks unlikely to catch their sistership Palanad 3 in the race to the finish. In his recent blog, Carpentier describes the frustration at night on Day 8. “Last night was not good for us (Saturday 16 Jan.). A local cloud formed sucking the wind from 20 knots down to just six knots and shifting 90 degrees. In torrential rain we put in a series of gybes to get out of the position; there was no sleep for the Redman crew. When we looked at the race sched. updates and saw our friends on Palanad 3 had not lost any speed, we were green with envy. How to stay motivated? All our efforts to get the boat to move as quickly as possible will have been in vain if we give up.”

Class40 Redman also reports problems with Sargassum seaweed during the RORC Transatlantic Race © Antoine Carpentier Sailing Sebastien Saulnier’s Sun Fast 3300 Moshimoshi gybed on to starboard on Saturday evening. In the last 48 hours, Moshimoshi has turned a 16-mile deficit into a 40-mile lead on Benedikt Clauberg’s First 47.7 Kali.

Benedikt Clauberg commented via satellite about encountering a squall in darkness, which has dramatically affected their performance: “At night without the moon it is so dark that we don’t see even one boat length in front of us, watching only the compass and wind instruments. If the clouds arrive it becomes more than black and the wind can pick up very quick. After surfing at up to 13kts we got hit hard by a strong gust with rain and ripped our spinnaker. With everyone clipped on we got it down and went into cruising mode for the rest of the night. Today the sun is back but we are now in ‘Schmetterling’ mode as we say in Swiss, or wing-on-wing. Otherwise, all is good on board. The crew had a salty shower and are having fun and we see birds and flying fish. Dinner is a Porcini Risotto with a tomato mozzarella salad caprese. We hope you all are fine and no bad news on the other side.”

News from Tim and Mayumi Knight, racing Pogo 12.50 Kai is that they have been racing conservatively due to a gear problem. However, the latest news from Tim is: “Much of our problem has been sorted out and we are back sailing less cautiously with a target speed of 7-8 knots. Kai was approaching halfway in the race and 1,560 miles from the finish.

Published in RORC
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On the fifth day of the RORC Transatlantic Race, all of the competing yachts are fully offshore in the Atlantic Ocean. Life on board will have found a rhythm to the corkscrew motion of surfing downwind for days on end. Oren Nataf’s Multi50 Trimaran Rayon Vert, skippered by Alex Pella is leading the fleet and they will be celebrating having crossed the halfway mark in the 2,735-mile race from Lanzarote to the Caribbean. Rayon Vert’s skipper Pella is very much at home in the Atlantic. The Spaniard has won both the Route du Rhum and the Transat Jacques Vabre.

Olivier Magre’s Class40 Palanad 3 is the leading monohull, 18 miles ahead of Johannes Schwarz’s Volvo 70 Green Dragon. The leading boats in the RORC Transatlantic Race are hundreds of miles south of the rhumb line. High pressure has pushed the ENE trade winds further south and the front runners have raced the additional miles to hook into the bigger breeze to maximise their velocity made good (VMG).

Third in the monohulls is Antoine Carpentier’s Class40 Redman; currently, 114 miles behind Palanad 3 when they contacted the RORC Race Team: “Everything is going well. We have solved a problem with our starboard rudder and everything is working normally. We spent most of the nights gybing and changing sails. Now the weather is better- it’s a good time to get back in the kitchen.”

Palanad 3’s Olivier Magre commented via satellite link: “All is well onboard and much calmer than the first 48 hours. We did have an issue with the spinnaker when it fell completely into the water, but there is not too much damage and Luke (Berry) has been up the rig to untangle the halyards. The atmosphere on board is very good. We have to be careful of the squalls because the trade winds are quite active.”

The performance cruisers racing in IRC are positioned further north. For these boats the strategy for maximizing VMG has produced a different tactic. Racing further south does not improve their speed enough to warrant the extra miles. Benedikt Clauberg’s First 47.7 Kali and Sebastien Saulnier’s Sun Fast 3300 Moshimoshi maybe over 100 miles apart on the water, but they are both approximately 2,000 miles from the finish.

Sebastian from Moshimoshi reports that life is good on board and that racing across the Atlantic has magical moments, such as visits from tropical birds who are also making their migration!

As previously reported, the IRC56 Black Pearl retired on January 10th. Black Pearl’s bowsprit had broken just west of the Canary Islands. The crew sailed back to Lanzarote unassisted, arriving on January 12th. The team are disappointed, but safely ashore and received a warm welcome from Marina Puerto Calero.

Published in RORC

The IRC56 Black Pearl, sailed by Stefan Jentzsch, contacted the RORC Race Management Team at 11:30 UTC on 10th January to report that Black Pearl is retiring from the race and heading back to Lanzarote. All are well on board. Black Pearl was approximately 20 miles west of the island of El Hierro, some 250 miles from Lanzarote. The RORC Race Team and Marina Puerto Calero will be standing by should Black Pearl require any assistance.

At 1200 UTC on the second day of the RORC Transatlantic Race, the leading boats had left the Canary Islands behind and were at full pace, blasting into the open seas of the Atlantic Ocean. It will be many days before the sailors see land once more.

Oren Nataf’s Multi50 Trimaran Rayon Vert, skippered by Alex Pella is leading the fleet, having raced 350nm in the first 24 hours. Johannes Schwarz’s Volvo 70 Green Dragon is second on the water, sailing close to the rhumb line, placing the Austrian Volvo 70 just five miles behind the multihull.

Sebastien Saulnier’s Sun Fast 3300 Moshimoshi Photo: James Mitchell/RORCSebastien Saulnier’s Sun Fast 3300 Moshimoshi Photo: James Mitchell/RORC

Olivier Magre’s Class40 Palanad 3 has fully lit the blue touch paper, revelling in the ideal conditions and wind angle for a Class40. A ballistic 340 nautical miles in 24 hours has put the French team 30 miles ahead of Antoine Carpentier’s Class40 Redman. “We have seen between 20-30 knots of wind with waves up to three metres. It is a wet and bumpy ride with the sea state on the nose!” commented Luke Berry on board Palanad 3.

Antoine Carpentier’s Redman was counting the cost of falling into a wind hole last night. “We were less than a mile behind Palanad when that friendly cloud gave us a big hug,” commented Carpentier. “It was more than an hour before the cloud stopped the embrace. It was horrible to watch our AIS and see Palanad disappear.”

Racing under IRC, two Corinthian teams have been reporting big conditions on the first night. Tim Knight racing Two-handed aboard his Pogo 12.50 Kai with his wife Mayumi, reported "horrible seas of Tenerife." There has been a culinary disaster for Sebastien Saulnier racing Two-Handed on Sun Fast 3300 Moshimoshi with Christophe Affolter. “The boat has so much mess,” commented Sebastien. “We have been airborne so much, there was minestrone soup everywhere – but otherwise it’s ok!"

Published in RORC
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The 2021 RORC Transatlantic Race started in glorious conditions outside Marina Puerto Calero on Saturday 9th January. With the RORC Racing Management Team operating remotely, the race start was officiated by Manuel Torres, Sporting Director, Real Club Náutico de Arrecife. With a highly experienced team from the Royal Yacht Club, the RORC fleet got away to a spectacular reaching start for the 7th edition of the race.

An hour into the race, all of the competing boats had rounded Punta de Papagayo on the southern tip of Lanzarote. The IRC56 Black Pearl, sailed by Stefan Jentzsch, was leading on the water, followed by Johannes Schwarz’s Volvo 70 Green Dragon. Oren Nataf’s Multi50 Trimaran Rayon Vert, skippered by Alex Pella had a conservative start but was soon scorching along at close to 20 knots of boat speed.

In the Class40 duel, Antoine Carpentier’s Redman got away well at the Committee Boat end and was a mile ahead of Olivier Magre’s Class40 Palanad 3, passing Punta de Papagayo. However, Palanad 3 has taken a more northerly route and is posting a higher boat speed than their immediate competition. What is more, over the next 100 miles or so, Redman will need to point higher than Palanad 3 to pass north of Tenerife.

Two hours into the race, all of the fleet were experiencing exhilarating reaching conditions with double digit boat speed, blasting towards the sun as it sets to the west. Tonight will be the first awe-inspiring sunset of many to come. Two teams racing in IRC Two-Handed are side-by-side north of Fuerteventura. Sebastien Saulnier’s Sun Fast 3300 Moshimoshi and Tim Knight’s Pogo 12.50 Kai seem equally matched for speed. Benedikt Clauberg’s First 47.7 Kali has taken the most northerly line of the fleet and is going well.

José Juan Calero, Managing Director for Calero Marinas, affectionately known as ‘JJ’, watched the start from a spectator boat and commented: “It has been fantastic, probably the best start of all; sunshine with 16-22 knots and gusts of 25 from the NNW. It was a really competitive start with all the boats pushing hard. It’s amazing when you see teams really going for it right from the gun for a 2,735-mile race. It was great fun to see them race away. We have been involved in many regattas over the years, it is our passion. We started our relationship with the RORC in 2014 and the RORC Transatlantic Race has been increasing in popularity. The decision to move the start to January has been a good one. We have a fantastic relationship with RORC which has gone from strength to strength in the last seven years. We are particularly proud this year, with all of the issues and problems that everyone has had and we have to congratulate RORC for organising this race.”

“We are ever thankful that we can get a race away and a special thanks must go to JJ and all the staff at Calero Marinas. We could not have put on this race without their tremendous support,” commented RORC Race Manager Chris Stone. “As with all RORC races, we will be monitoring the progress of the fleet and we wish every competitor fair winds to Antigua and that they enjoy their time in the Caribbean.”

The course for the RORC Transatlantic Race sets the fleet north of the Canary Islands for the first 150 miles. Conditions are expected to be lively with the wind forecast from the NNW at 20-25 knots with a sea sate in excess of 2 metres.

Race Tracker here

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The new Jeanneau Sunfast 3300 launched in Ireland last Spring will be among the marques competing in this weekend's RORC Transatlantic Race from Lanzarote.

As regular readers will know, its Irish debut at the Royal Irish Yacht Club by Irish distributors MGM Boats included a run-through of the boat's performance by its French design team at Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

The design has been shortlisted for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games Regatta as the proposed new mixed two-handed keelboat class.

Sunfast 3300 Cinnamon Girl

The new 33-footer, named Cinnamon Girl, then went on to have a great high-speed first season on the south coast from her homeport of Kinsale under skipper Cian McCarthy, including runner-up in the inaugural Fastnet 450 Race

Cian McCarthy's Kinsale-based 'Cinnamon Girl' at the start of August's Fastnet 450 RaceCian McCarthy's Kinsale-based 'Cinnamon Girl' at the start of August's Fastnet 450 Race

Sunfast 3300 Moshimoshi

Now, a French amateur team, Sebastien Saulnier and Christophe Affolter,  have sailed a Sun Fast 3300 from St Malo, Brittany to the Canary Islands in order to race across the Atlantic. RORC race reporter Louay Habib spoke on Skype to Sebastien Saulnier who was on board his boat Moshimoshi in Calero Marinas Puerto Calero in Lanzarote ahead of Saturday's start.

“The dream started about three years ago,” explained Saulnier. “It was wonderful to sail across the Atlantic with friends and family, but I wanted to do it in a race. Two years ago, I met Christophe who has done a lot of RORC racing. We felt good together from the first moment and this is the first race that we can do and it was not easy to get to Lanzarote.

Due to government restrictions, we could only sail from L’Orient on the 12th December and we saw 48 knots of wind in the Golfe de Gascogne.

We did make it past La Coruna, but the weather was so bad we had to turn back. We waited six days for the storm to pass and then it was a better sail to Lanzarote.” 

Hear more in Louay's interview below

Published in MGM Boats
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Ireland's former Round the World race Green Dragon will start as favourite in this weekend's 2021 RORC Transatlantic Race. Run in association with the International Maxi Association, the race is scheduled to start from Puerto Calero, Lanzarote on January 9th, 2021. Ten teams have sailed from European destinations to take part in the 2,735-mile race across the Atlantic Ocean. Due to travel restrictions from the UK, the Royal Ocean Racing Club is operating remotely, relying on the expert abilities of the Calero Marinas’ team and the race officers of Real Club Náutico de Arrecife in Lanzarote.

As regular Afloat readers will know, Ireland's Volvo 70 finished fifth out of seven entries in the 2009 Volvo Ocean Race. Attempts to sell her Green Dragon for two million euros in 2009 after the race did not materialise. She then spent some time in dry dock in Galway, rendered obsolete because her hull was heavier and keel lighter than her rivals.

In spite of the disappointing performance, the boat was welcomed into Galway after the 2009 Transatlantic leg by a huge crowd and a week-long celebration that subsequently set the bar for all other stopover ports in subsequent races. 

RORC Transatlantic Race

The RORC Transatlantic Race is a World Sailing Category 1 offshore event with RORC Prescriptions. All competing boats will undergo compliance checks and, in addition, all crew will be required to produce a negative test result for COVID-19 prior to departure.

The monohull line honours favourite is Johannes Schwarz’s Volvo 70 Green Dragon, whilst the multihull line honours will be contested by just one entry, Oren Nataf’s Multi50 Rayon Vert, skippered by Alex Pella. The overall victory under IRC for the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy is difficult to predict. However, Stefan Jentzsch’s new Botin 56 Black Pearl, skippered by Marc Lagesse, will be difficult to beat. Three teams will contest the IMA Trophy for Maxi Yacht line honours: Green Dragon, Richard Tolkien’s IMOCA 60 Rosalba and Open60 Somewhere London, skippered by Gunther de Ceulaerde. An exciting duel is expected between two of the latest Class 40s from the design board of Sam Manuard; Antoine Carpentier’s Redman and Olivier Magré’s Palanad 3.

Corinthian teams racing under IRC include Benedikt Clauberg’s First 47.7 Kali, which will be talking part in their third RORC Transatlantic Race. Two other teams will be taking on the race Two-handed: Tim & Mayumi Knight’s Pogo 12.50 Kai and Sébastien Saulnier & Christophe Affolter’s Sun Fast 3300 Moshimoshi.

After lengthy consultation with Camper and Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, Grenada Tourism and the competing teams, it was agreed that the safest option was to move the 2021 RORC Transatlantic Race finish to Antigua. It remains the intention of the RORC to finish the 2022 edition in Grenada, as it has done since the first race in 2014.

Published in RORC
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The 2020 RORC Yacht of the Year, winning the Somerset Memorial Trophy is the British JPK 10.10 Jangada, owned by Richard Palmer. Racing with Jeremy Waitt as crew, Jangada was the overall winner of the RORC Transatlantic Race and winner of the Two-Handed Class for the RORC Caribbean 600.

Only two other Two-Handed teams have won the award before; Shaun Murphy with Slingshot in 2006 and Nick Martin with Diablo-J in 2012.

For the first time in the history of the club, the RORC Season's Points Championship had to be cancelled. Health restrictions made it impossible to run overnight races for all IRC classes. Whilst Richard Palmer was recovering from a knee operation, Jangada was raced Two-Handed by Jeremy Waitt and Shirley Robertson, winning the newly organised Two-Handed Autumn Series.

Since 1965, the Somerset Memorial Trophy has been awarded for outstanding racing achievement by a RORC Member. Despite most of the 2020 season being cancelled, the RORC Committee thought it appropriate to continue with the history of the trophy in highlighting the outstanding racing achievement of Jangada in 2020.

Jangada is planning to come back racing next year in the 2021 RORC Season's Points Championship, including the Rolex Fastnet Race.

RORC Yacht of the Year 2009-2020 winners - Somerset Memorial Trophy

  • 2020 - Jangada, JPK 10.10, Richard Palmer
  • 2019 - Wizard, Volvo 70, Peter and David Askew
  • 2018 - Ichi Ban, TP52, Matt Allen
  • 2017 - Lisa, First 44.7, Nick & Suzi Jones (skippered by Michael Boyd)
  • 2016 - Teasing Machine, A13, Eric de Turckheim
  • 2015 - Azzam, Volvo Ocean 65, skippered by Ian Walker (Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing team)
  • 2014 - Antix, Ker 39, Anthony O'Leary
  • 2013 - Courrier Vintage, MC34 Patton, Sam Marsaudon & Gery Trentesaux
  • 2012 - Diablo-J, J/105, Nick Martin
  • 2011 - RAN, JV 72, Niklas Zennstrom
  • 2010 - Tonnerre de Breskens 3, Ker 46, Piet Vroon
  • 2009 - Puma Logic, Reflex 38, (skippered by Philippe Falle)
Published in RORC
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IRC specialist and Olympic helmsman Mark Mansfield analyses the rating rule changes agreed for next season.

Following the IRC Congress earlier this month, chaired by Ireland's Michael Boyd, changes were agreed for the 2021 season. The two main areas of change deal with Spinnaker Pole/Sprit lengths and Flying Jibs. 

Bowsprit/Spinnaker Pole IRC changes for 2021

Whisker poles

In late 2019 IRC came up with a new method of dealing with Whisker poles which were becoming more common, especially on larger Offshore boats, where the offwind sails like Code 0s and Flying Jibs could be sheeted further outboard on the whisker pole outriggers.

Some confusion arose around the 2020 revalidation form and options that were offered to owners who did not have a whisker pole but did have both a sprit and also used a spinnaker pole for Symmetrical Spinnakers. It appears some of these boats may have been over-penalised in 2020.

For 2021, a new definition of what is a whisker pole has been agreed by World Sailing and an individual question will now be asked in the 2021 revalidation to determine if a boat is carrying one.

It means the options for owners who have both a bowsprit and also use a spinnaker pole become simpler.

Pole/Sprit sizing

Up to now, it appears that your STL (from front of the mast to end of Sprit or end of pole) was the only figure that was taken to cover both your pole length and how far your Sprit extended. So if you added a sprit to your bow and this came out further than your pole, then it cost nothing in rating to extend your pole to that same length. However, many owners did not go to the bother or expense of splitting their pole and extending it. 

For 2021, it now appears that if your pole is not as long as your Sprit, you may, in some circumstances, get a better rating for having the shorter pole. Both the sprit length (STL) and the pole length (SPL) can and should now be provided in your 2021 revalidation. This may also mean that owners adding a sprit might opt for a longer sprit compared to the very stubby Sprit we have seen recently, and not incur the same penal penalty. Trial certs should be looked at to confirm this.

The text from the IRC rating office is below:

To fully benefit from the changes owners are asked to confirm the pole configuration of their boat, and SPL as well as STL if applicable when applying for a certificate. For revalidation, SPL should be supplied if it is different from the previous rated STL. If SPL is not supplied then STL will automatically be used for spinnaker pole length if applicable, which may result in a higher TCC. Boats may see a change in their TCC for 2021 and the rating effect will depend on the specific configuration of the boat.

Flying Jibs—IRC Changes

The way IRC handles Flying Jibs is changing as is their definition.

History—Flying Jibs

Flying Jibs became popular due to a change in the IRC rules back in 2017 when it became legal for a headsail to be tacked forward of the forestay onto a sprit. This allowed a Headsail to be designed with a high clew which was the same size as the boats Jib, and so no extra rating penalty as only the largest is rated. These Flying Jibs could then be used with another jib or staysail inside them. Effectively it was a small flat code 0, normally on a furler, which was very efficient when power reaching in more wind than a code 0 could take. Code 0's were rated as spinnakers and so had to be designed wide in the middle to meet the 75% mid girth IRC requirement. However, the flying jib had no such restriction and could be designed to be quite flat.

Not too many of these sails have turned up in Ireland so far, but internationally you could see them become popular especially on larger offshore boats that often set 2 or 3 headsails forward of the mast.

A Flying Jib used with headsail. This will still be allowed in 2021 but the Flying jib like this will continue as a headsailA Flying Jib used with headsail. This will still be allowed in 2021 but the Flying jib like this will continue as a headsail

Changes for 2021—Flying Jibs

The new 2021 rule now has come up with a new definition of what exactly is a flying jib and requires any boat carrying one or more of these to report them on their 2021 revalidation and they will be included in their new Cert, and a likely penalty will be incurred.
A headsail design that is the same size or smaller than a boats max size headsail can still be set on a boats sprit, so what was referred to as a flying jib over the last few years continues, per IRC, now defined as a headsail. These sails do not need to be reported as a Flying jib.

Effectively the new Flying jibs are a flat, perhaps slightly smaller Code 0. From the graph below, you will see that they can be quite costly on rating so a prolonged period of use in their perfect conditions would be needed to justify this rating increase.

Owners declaring a Flying Headsail within the IRC definition will see a change in rating for 2021. Some representative examples are shown below; these are for guidance only as the rating effect will depend upon the rig configuration and many other boat factors.Owners declaring a Flying Headsail within the IRC definition will see a change in rating for 2021. Some representative examples are shown above these are for guidance only as the rating effect will depend upon the rig configuration and many other boat factors. Source IRC

The J/99 Juggerknot at the start of Fastnet 450 race with flying jib and headsail set Photo: AfloatThe J/99 Juggerknot at the start of Fastnet 450 race on Dublin Bay with flying jib and headsail set Photo: Afloat

The definition of what is a Flying Jib is twofold.

  1. It must have a mid-girth of at least 62.5% of its foot. This will force sail designers to design these sails much fuller than they would normally want to do. This is to stop these sails effectively been used upwind as large jibs.
  2. IRC has put a minimum foot length of these sails to stop very small Flying Jibs being designed. There is a formula for this.

The full details and formulas can be found here

The Rating Office has provided the above graph of what penalties will likely be incurred by boats that use certain sized Flying jibs going forward. These are based on sail sizes that might be efficient to design. It is unlikely that the penalty will prove attractive to take for IRC boats that do not do long offshore races. 

Other IRC changes

There have been some other clarifications mainly around wording, age dates, series dates and the use of foils. These are all covered in the IRC changes link given above.

Published in ICRA
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The Offshore Racing Congress (ORC), the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) and the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS) are pleased to announce the next biennial ORC/IRC World Championship will be held in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy. Dates for the event are to be 18-26 June 2022.

The event will be the second World Championship held using both of these two World Sailing-recognised international rating systems since this year’s event planned to be in the USA at New York Yacht Club had to be cancelled due to pandemic restrictions. The first combined ORC/IRC Worlds was held in 2018 in The Hague, Netherlands and attracted 85 yachts from 15 nations.

The choice of YCCS has been accepted and approved by the ORC Offshore Classes and Events Committee and the IRC Board, so now the planning of details may begin on the format, scoring and other topics once a Working Party is formed from members representing ORC, IRC, and YCCS.

As in previous planning for the combined Worlds, three full-crew classes segregated by size and speed will be competing for three World Champion titles. A Notice of Race is expected to be issued in mid-2021, about one year in advance of the start of racing.

Michael Illbruck, Commodore of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, said “We are extremely pleased and honoured to have been appointed to organize the 2022 ORC/IRC World Championship. We will use the two years at our disposal to work on all the details of the event, on both the sporting and social fronts. Watching this impressive and varied fleet competing on the waters of Sardinia will be thrilling!”

“We are looking forward to bringing a World Championship to the Mediterranean region after a 3-year absence,” said ORC Chairman Bruno Finzi. “We expect this to be a very popular regatta, with many participating teams not only from this region but also from around the world because Porto Cervo is widely recognized as being one of the world’s greatest sailing venues.”

“The RORC and our partners in IRC, Union Nationale pour la Course au Large (UNCL), are delighted that the second joint ORC/IRC World Championship is being held in the Mediterranean and being run by the YCCS,” said RORC Commodore Steven Anderson. “The YCCS has an excellent reputation for its management of yachting events and this championship will attract a world-class fleet of boats.”

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