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In an effort to absorb the large waiting list for the Rolex Fastnet Race, the Royal Ocean Racing Club have decided to increase the number of places available to IRC yachts by removing the 'professionally' sailed classes from the 300 entry limit. The Volvo Ocean 70s, IMOCA 60s, Class 40s and Multihulls, who will race under their own class rules, will be counted over and above the previous 300 entry limit.

The Rolex Fastnet Race reached its entry limit 10 days after opening and over 130 boats are on the waiting list. "We were staggered at the speed with which people signed up," said RORC Commodore Andrew McIrvine. "We had to do something to satisfy the huge interest, and taking the non IRC yachts out of the total is a fair solution allowing more loyal RORC racers to get their boats into the race."

Removing the non-IRC classes will add about 50 more places to the total. "We are delighted that the Volvo's and IMOCA's want to compete in the race and that the Class 40's are coming en-masse," said RORC Chief Executive, Eddie Warden Owen. "It shows the popularity of the Rolex Fastnet that these professionally sailed boats want to join the race. However without this initiative, they would be taking valuable places away from less experienced offshore racers who view this race as a great personal challenge - their 'Everest' of sailing."

Sutton Harbour increase berthing capacity
To cater for the number of boats arriving in Plymouth, Sutton Harbour Marina has increased the amount of space by making the whole of the berthing area adjacent to West Pier and the Barbican available to the Rolex Fastnet fleet. Sutton Harbour has also become the official berth provider for the race and Chief Executive Nigel Godfroy is pleased to be associated with the race. "Sutton Harbour Marina welcomes the return of this world famous race," said Nigel. "We are very proud of the quality of facilities we have here in Sutton Harbour and being selected as the official berthing provider for the Rolex Fastnet Race. We look forward to welcoming the extra large fleet in August this year."

To accommodate the increased number of entries, space has been booked in Queen Anne's Battery, adjacent to Sutton Harbour and in Plymouth Yacht Haven in the Cattewater, where a water taxi service will be set up to connect competitors with the race office based at Sutton Harbour.

The 2011 Rolex Fastnet Race starts in Cowes, Isle of Wight on Sunday 14 August.

Published in RORC
RORC has confirmed huge interest in its Rolex Fastnet Race this afternoon in a further example of the resurgence of offshore sailing. Entry for one of the world's most popular yacht races opened at midnight on Sunday 9 January and by midday Monday, nearly 100 entries had signed up, with an unprecedented number doing so in the early hours of the morning. The trend continued over the next couple of days when the halfway mark of 150 boats was reached for the race which has a maximum entry of 300 boats. Within a week, 250 boats had entered!

"We expected an initial rush of interest because people were registering the details about their boat on our REMUS on-line entry system over Christmas," commented the RORC Racing Manager Ian Loffhagen. "However nothing had prepared us for this unprecedented amount of interest in the race. We are obviously delighted at how popular the race has become with entries from all over the world."

Officially the first boat to enter was Fred Mundle's X332 Mardy Gras, only 50 seconds after entry opened. Another notable early entry is Ondeck's Farr 65 which will be chartered by the British Limbless Ex Service Men's Association (BLESMA).

Of the high profile race boats entered, the two canting keel 100 footers, ICAP Leopard and Rambler 100 will be the ones battling to take line honours in the Race. Mike Slade's ICAP Leopard and George David's previous Rambler had a huge fight in the 2007 Rolex Fastnet Race, with Leopard taking the silverware. However, this year, George David has chartered the Juan K designed Speedboat, re-named Rambler 100, which will put Mike Slade under a lot of pressure.

"The Rolex Fastnet is an iconic race," said Slade. "We would not miss it for the world and we are pleased to see our American friend George David coming back with a new boat. It will make for a terribly exciting race."

Also entered is the 2009 Rolex Fastnet Race winner, Niklas Zennström's J.V. 72, Rán, hoping to make it two in a row, but he will have strong competition from RORC Caribbean 600 Race winner, Hong Kong's Karl Kwok in his Farr 80, Beau Geste; 2009 Rolex Middle Sea Race winner, Andre Soriano in his Mills 68 Alegre, as well as a group of very competitive 52' grand prix racers.

Leading this 50 footer pack is the 2010 Rolex Middle Sea Race winner, the TP52 Lucky, owned by Breyon Ehrhart from the USA and four boats from Germany who are making a serious attempt to win the race this year: Uwe Leben's RP57, Scho-Ka-Kola; the SKWB's J.V.53 Bank von Bremen and Haspa Hamburg and Norddeutsche Vermögen, both from Hamburgischer Verein Seefahrt.

There are 15 Class 40's entered so far and the next biggest classes are the Sigma 38 and First 40.7s, with 14 boats each and so far, 14 different countries will be represented in the 2011 Rolex Fastnet Race which starts in Cowes, Isle of Wight on Sunday 14 August.

Race website: HERE

Published in Fastnet
Tagged under

Last weekend's The Irish Team Racing Association National Team Racing Championships attracted it's largest entry for many years, with 21 teams registered.

The event was hosted by the Fastnet Marine and Outdoor Education Centre in Schull, West Cork.

Four teams travelled over from the UK, and 6 under 19 teams, all from County Cork, competed. They joined the keenest of the post-college teams and the leading university teams to constitute the largest Championships that Ireland has seen for many years. Schull, the venue for next year's World Championship, was a major attraction, but the change of date, from March to November, has made it easier for college students and school pupils to attend.

team_race

Weekend Team Racing action from Schull. More photos HERE. Photos: Brian Carlin

The weather forecasts had been predicting storms, floods and general mayhem for days if not weeks beforehand. But Saturday dawned to reveal Schull Harbour in an unusual state – the wind had disappeared! Racing started 3 hours later than planned. However, by the end of the day the first round had been completed. This was a seeded round robin, with each of the four League made up of a UK team, a leading Irish team, a leading college team and two others, including the youth teams.
The results of the first round determined entry into the second round – all the UK teams won all four leagues, with the George Knights, the George Gladiators, Supertroopers and UCD finishing second. These teams were joined in the Gold Leagues of the second round by the winners of play-offs between third place teams. The Bumsby Babes, a youth team from Royal Cork YC, had done well to win 2 races to qualify for a play-off against University of Limerick and they were in a strong position when equipment failure meant that one of their boats retired . In the subsequent re-sail UL managed to win the race and qualify.

On Sunday morning Schull was looking it's best in bright but cold sunshine. Unfortunately, the beauties of the West Cork landscape were exactly mirrored in the unruffled water of the harbour! Competitors, who had made a remarkable effort to arrive on time for an 0900 start, barely recovered from the reception organised the previous evening by the World Championship Committee, waited. When racing eventually got underway, in a fitful breeze, it quickly became obvious that there was no possibility of finishing the second round. Plan B was implemented, a knockout round between the four winners of Round One to determine the outright winner, another between the 4 Irish team placed second in the Round One Leagues to determine the ISA medal places and a Youth round.

GP14 World Champion Ian Dobson in Schull

Spinnaker came through the semis and final to win overall first place. The two Royal St George teams qualified for the final. Last year's winners, the Gladiators won the first race only after finishing places were confirmed by a redress hearing. However, the more experienced Knights went on to win the next to races to reclaim the trophy they had "lent" to the Gladiators last year. The third place play-off, which saw some of the noisiest races of the weekend, resulted in a win by Supertroopers over UCD.

In the Youth event Schull A beat Schull B to win the opportunity to take on, and eventually defeat the Bumsby Babes.

Next year's Championship will be sailed out of the Royal St. George on 12-13 November. However the next challenge for Irish team racers will be qualification for the World Championship, with selection trials planned for both the Youth and Open categories early in 2011.

The event was also the first opportunity to try the new TR3.6 which will be used for the Team Racing Worlds. Video below of the new TR3.6 and voice over from Team Racing World organiser David Harte in Schull. Stills by Brian Carlin HERE.

 

Published in Team Racing
9th November 2010

Team Racers Head for Schull

This season's Irish Team Racing Association's (ITRA) National Team Racing Championships will be sailed in Schull on 13th - 14th November. As excitement mounts for next year's ISAF Team Racing Worlds, entries for this year's event have hit a record 21. With 4 teams travelling from the UK, 6 Youth teams, all from Munster, the two Royal St George teams, quarter finalists in this years UK Open (better known as the Wilson Trophy), plus the top college teams the competition should be intense.

To ensure that the competition is fair and sailed to the rules the umpire team includes 4 International Umpires, and includes umpires from the USA, the UK and even Dublin. Race organisation by the Fastnet Marine and Outdoor Education Centre will provide a full dress rehearsal for next year's event. A presentation of plans for the Worlds will be held on Saturday evening, but for competitors the major attraction will be the opportunity to sail the prototype of the specially designed boat that will be used next year.

Following this event the top Irish team racers will be invited to put themselves forward for selection for the teams to represent Ireland in both the Open and under 19 categories at the Worlds. ITRA will invite selected teams to a trial event to be held early in 2011.

For further information please contact: Gordon DAVIES, Secretary, Irish Team Racing Association. Ph; 086 150 1220

Published in Team Racing
Page 11 of 11

The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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