Racing in IRC One, Conor Phelan’s Ker 37, Jump Juice, has won the weekend's Easter's Red Funnel Challenge on the Solent. Anthony O'Leary's Antix, a Ker 39, was second in IRC Zero. In spite of the fact that Christopher Opielok’s Rockall III had a great day at the races on Sunday, scoring three straight bullets against the Irish '37 Crew, the Crosshaven crew prevailed by virtue of some consistent sailing and plus the fact the regatta is a no discard series.
Bright sunshine and decent wind gave the competitors in the RORC Easter Challenge a day to remember. Eddie Warden Owen, Chief Executive of the RORC was out on the water coaching everyday and commented after the conclusion of racing.
“Today was brilliant, stunning weather, decent breeze, shifting both ways, classic west Norwest Solent conditions with the breeze coming down the Solent and out of Southampton Water. Early bias on the left gave way to advantage on the right. Great sailing and a real challenge for the competitors.”
Photo: Paul Wyeth
IRC Super Zero
TEAMORIGIN Rio won the class by some distance but that is not why they came.
Mike Sanderson, Team Director of TEAMORIGIN, summed up the RORC Easter Challenge, “It’s been huge value for TEAMORIGIN to be here, we’ve had everything from 10 to 30 knots! When we showed up a few days ago we were pretty rough around the edges and by the last race today we were starting to make it happen as a team, for sure a very important team building exercise for us all. The Solent, as ever, has proven itself to be a great training ground with its variety of tides conditions and wind strengths. Many thanks to RORC and all the other competitors for making it such a great event.”
Johnny Vincent’s TP52, Pace was second and Grey, Laidlaw & Hayward’s Farr 52, Bob was sailed well all week and picked up third.
Niklas Zennstrom’s Farr 45, Rán, came out on top in a titanic struggle with Anthony O’Leary’s Ker 39, Antix. Going into the last race the Farr 45 held a one point lead against the IRC custom Ker. Rán held on, sailing a near perfect race to clinch the class. “It was a little cold especially on Friday but we have had some very good sailing, well organised by the RORC. I must say a word of thanks to the crew. Ado Stead and Steve Hayles did a great job but they were all magnificent.” Commented Niklas Zennström after racing.
Neil Martin’s J 133, Jammy Dodger, had a very consistent regatta and was rewarded with third overall pushing Tim Costello’s Mills 43, Tiamat into fourth. However Tiamat won the last race of the day to go back to Ireland with some satisfaction.
Conor Phelan’s Ker 37, Jump Juice, held on in an epic battle with Christopher Opielok’s Corby 36, Rockall III . “They certainly kept us on our toes and would not have won if it had not been for some gear failure.” admitted Conor Phelan. “We decided to wait to see how Jump Juice performed at Easter before deciding on our season and we are delighted to have won our class. The IRC Nationals in Ireland and Cork Week are in our plans and perhaps more.”
Andrew Iyer’s First 40.7, Portia was unable to sustain their excellent performance during the regatta but managed a podium position, taking third.
In a class of 19 boats, Peter Schofield’s HOD 35, Seatrack, worst result was third. An impressive result from a boat designed in 1996. “Obviously we are delighted with our performance but it was far from easy, especially today. We got our tactics wrong in Race 6 and we had some gear problems in Race 7. So it was a bit tense to say the least. However, I must say what an excellent regatta with some super racing.”
Adam Gosling’s Corby 36, Yes! posted seven wins out of seven. Adam loves his sailing and it shows. “The boat just goes in the breeze, she loves it, on Friday in big wind she just went faster and faster.” Commented, Adam Gosling.
There were eight Corby’s racing at the RORC Easter Challenge and Cowes Resident John Corby threw a party for all of them on Saturday night. Over 60 owners and crew meant that Corby yachts played a big part in this regatta.
“If you have enough yachts at a regatta you’re are bound to get a winner.” Joked John.
Robert Baker’s X 322, Brightwork, was second with the British Keelboat Academy’s J 80, helmed by Mark Lees third. Both boats had a consistent regatta.
Quarter Ton Class
Louise Morton’s Quarter tonner, Espada, won the Quarter Ton class and obviously a few fans across the world with enquiries about the Espada crew coming from as far away as the west coast of the United States.
A Prize Giving was held at the Cowes Yacht Haven Events Centre for all competitors in the RORC Easter Challenge.
RORC Easter Challenge 2010
IRC Super Zero
1st Team Origin Rio Richard O’Farrell
2nd Pace Johnny Vincent
3rd Bob Grey, Laidlaw and Hayward
1st Rán Niklas Zennstrom
2nd Antix Anthony O’Leary
3rd Jammy Dodger Neil Martin
1st Jump Juice Conor Phelan
2nd Rockall III Christopher Opielok
3rd Portia Andrew Iyer
1st Seatrack Peter Scholfield
2nd No Chance Chris and Hannah Neve
3rd No Retreat! David Riley
1st Yes! Adam Gosling
2nd Brightwork Robert Baker
3rd BKA 1053 British Keelboat Academy
1st Espada Louise Morton