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O'Leary Lying Second on the Solent at British IRC Championship

16th June 2012
O'Leary Lying Second on the Solent at British IRC Championship

#rorc – Royal Cork's Anthony O'Leary's Ker 39, Antix is second in class after three races at the IRC British National Championships in a breezy Cowes. Under grey skies with big breeze and frequent rain squalls, the fleet had a harsh introduction to the RORC IRC National Championship yesterday.

"We kept the sails above the boat today and to be honest I was too pre-occupied with that to notice those who didn't manage it. In those conditions, you keep your eyes on the road!" O'Leary said on coming ashore.

Shortly after the first start, the international fleet got a taste of the wicked conditions, as an angry 35-knot gust ripped through the racecourse. Thankfully, it was the biggest blast of the day but the wind rarely dropped below 20 knots and rain peppered the competitors throughout the three races. Spotting the huge gusts and nailing manoeuvres were vital to success. Some passed the test with flying colours, others returned to shore with shredded sails and dented pride.

In IRC One, Round Ireland race defender Piet Vroon's Ker 46, Tonnerre de Breskens started the series with a disappointing tenth, but came back firing on all cylinders to win the next two races and lead class one overnight. After racing, Piet Vroon commented: "It is a simple rule but he who makes the fewest mistakes usually gets the best results. We didn't break anything today, not even a sail batten and that is all down to the crew being careful and handling the boat well. I was especially happy with our results today, as on short courses we do not have a lot of time to make up our time handicap on other boats, it was great effort by the crew today, it really is all down to them."
Jan Persoons sailing Grand Soleil 43, Il Corvo had a consistent day to claim third overall in the big boat class. Mark Devereux's Swan 42, Brevity, started well but the crew will probably remember the day best for their über-Chinese gybe, caught on camera by Paul Wyeth.
It's tight at the top of IRC Two with just one point separating the top four yachts after three races. Jim Macgregor's Elan 410, Premier Flair, was in fine form today and they needed to be - a badly shredded kite threatened to put them out of contention in Race 2 but the team showed great tenacity to claw their way back to claim a second place finish in the race. Jim's daughter, Lucy Macgregor, was calling tactics, grinning from ear to ear and obviously enjoying a break from her build up to representing Great Britain at the upcoming Olympic Games. Past RORC Commodore Andrew McIrvine's First 40, La Réponse, finished the day in fine style taking the gun in Race 3 by a substantial margin to claim second in class. However, La Réponse is tied on points with Marc de Saint Denis & Géry Trentesaux's MC34, Courrier Vintage and Sailing Logic's Reflex 38, Visit Malta Puma.
Today's outstanding performance came from IRC Three. David Franks' JPK1010, Strait Dealer scored three bullets by some margin, exhibiting terrific boat handling, one of the smallest yachts at the regatta was fully under control in the feisty conditions. "I have to say that it was easier in our class to read the shifts because we had two starts in front of us to observe" admitted Strait Dealer's tactician, Graham Sunderland. "We concentrated on tactics upwind today and more on the boat handling downwind, which I think paid off. I was absolutely delighted for David (Franks), his Etchells racing has massively improved his driving skills, and he was top of his game today. Also I would like to add that the RORC race management team did a great job snapping off three races today in quick succession."
IRC Four had a different winner in each race today, Grant Gordon's J/97, Fever won the first rubber but rival J/97, Jika Jika, sailed by Mike and Jamie Holmes, fought back to take Race Two. Michael Kershaw's Chimp, was the last boat to finish in Race 3 but on corrected time the vintage Half Tonner enjoyed their first bullet of the regatta. Racing at the RORC IRC National Championship continues tomorrow with three races scheduled. However, it may be too early to put away the wet weather gear - the weather forecast is suggesting fresh to frightening conditions for the second day of the regatta.

Published in RORC Team

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  • Established in 1925, The Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) became famous for the biennial Fastnet Race and the international team event, the Admiral's Cup. It organises an annual series of domestic offshore races from its base in Cowes as well as inshore regattas including the RORC Easter Challenge and the IRC European Championship (includes the Commodores' Cup) in the Solent
  • The RORC works with other yacht clubs to promote their offshore races and provides marketing and organisational support. The RORC Caribbean 600, based in Antigua and the first offshore race in the Caribbean, has been an instant success. The 10th edition took place in February 2018. The RORC extended its organisational expertise by creating the RORC Transatlantic Race from Lanzarote to Grenada, the first of which was in November 2014
  • The club is based in St James' Place, London, but after a merger with The Royal Corinthian Yacht Club in Cowes now boasts a superb clubhouse facility at the entrance to Cowes Harbour and a membership of over 4,000

At A Glance – RORC 

RORC Race Enquiries:

Royal Ocean Racing Club T: +44 (0) 1983 295144 E: [email protected] W:

Royal Ocean Racing Club:

20 St James's Place, London SW1A 1NN, Tel: 020 7493 2248 E: [email protected] 

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