#rorc – The 120-mile race to Guernsey produced some of the toughest conditions in this year's RORC Season's Points Championship so far. However one of the smallest yachts in the race claimed overall victory in the 85 strong fleet writes Louay Habib
Géry Trentesaux's MC34 Patton, Courrier Vintage, powered across the finish line at St. Peter Port, Guernsey to win the RORC De Guingand Bowl Race by nearly half an hour on corrected time. In an astonishing display of boat handling, one of the smallest yachts claimed victory. Meanwhile Piet Vroon's Ker 46, Tonnerre de Breskens 3, was taking the line and an emphatic win in the East Coast Race, also counting towards the RORC Season's Points Championship. After six races in the thirteen race series, Tonnerre de Breskens 3 leads the championship overall, however Courrier Vintage is very much in the hunt.
"I was very pleased with our upwind speed at the start of the race," said Géry Trentesaux. "After The Needles we continued along the south coast of England, whilst many yachts tacked south towards France and I think that was where we did really well tactically. As predicted the wind went to the west and as we tacked we had a good angle across The Channel. The finish was very exciting; we managed a new boat speed record of 19 knots, the boat is very quick reaching, we are really pleased with the performance.
"However, I don't think that we can beat Tonnerre for the championship, in a small boat it is not so easy to perform on longer distances like the Fastnet. Piet Vroon is a very old friend, I have raced with him many times, including three Admiral's Cups and I would be very happy for Piet if he wins this year."
Runner up in the De Guingand Bowl Race overall was Ross Applebey's Oyster 48, Scarlet Logic. "Having just returned from the Caribbean, I have to say that was cold, wet and pretty uncomfortable," admitted Ross. "We were a little short of bodies on the rail and some of our sails are older than the crew, so I am not too disappointed with the result but I have to say I was very surprised at dawn to see Courrier Vintage pop up in front of us! It is always a pleasure to sail with the RORC and I am looking forward to the season."
Reigning RORC Season's Points Champion, Laurent Gouy's Ker 39 Inis Mor, claimed victory in IRC One and third overall in the De Guingand Bowl Race beating RORC Commodore Mike Greville, racing Ker 39 Erivale III, by just under 5 minutes on corrected time. Andrew Pearce's Ker 40, Magnum 3, was third.
In IRC Three Louis-Marie Dussere's JPK 10.10, Raging Bee, had a tremendous debut to the championship, winning both IRC Three and the Two-Handed Class. Second in IRC Three was Todd Wells with J/109, Je Vante, beating five other J/109s racing to Guernsey. Todd Wells sums up a tough race:
"Well that is the sort of race when you ask; why do we do this stuff? From a light start of 15 knots, the weather forecast was as predicted and we knew what was coming. Two thirds of the way to the Casquets, we peeled to the heavy No. 3 and all was fine....Then we hit it. It wasn't so much the wind which was about 28 knots but those Atlantic rollers, some up to 4m, which tossed us mercilessly. Wet, bumpy and torrid for 25 miles against tide; that's when you re-evaluate why you sail offshore! So eventually after four hours or more, it ended. Bearing away to a reach, we spot J/109 Jarhead; a scalp to aim for. We hoisted the kite for the last 3 miles and in up to 25 knot gusts we took her, what a stunning result for Je Vante and I'd like to say how proud I am of you my crew! Thanks for that stunning result guys and thanks much more for enduring it."
IRC Four was the largest class taking part in the De Guingand Bowl Race and two Sigma 38s had a fantastic battle for the class win. Kevin Sussmilch's Mefisto was the winner but only just. Chris and Vanessa Choules' With Alacrity was just two minutes behind on corrected time in a race lasting over 17 hours. Robert Boulter's Cal 40, Breeze, was third in class.
Racing with the Royal Ocean Racing Club continues on Friday 28th June with The Morgan Cup Race from Cowes to Dieppe.