#rorc – Anthony O'Leary's Antix crew from Royal Cork fought back hard on the last day of the British IRC championships on the Solent yesterday in a bid to overcome gear failure and a retiral on Friday. In the end it was not nearly enough for the defending champion to be successful to retain the crown but it did produce a solid sixth overall in the 14–boat fleet. Overall results are HERE. There is no doubt there will be some disappointment for the Irish defenders in not having one result in the top three and finishing third of the four competing Ker 40s but such is the pro–competition on the Solent.
The final day of the RORC IRC National Championship was blessed with phenomenal racing conditions which the RORC Race Team, led by Stuart Childerley, used to great effect. Three races were held in the Central and Eastern Solent with a solid southwesterly wind ranging from 12-20 knots and brilliant sunshine. The three classes racing under the IRC rule enjoyed thrilling action on two quick-fire windward leeward courses followed by a dramatic reaching start to the final race, in which the overall championship winner was decided by a single point.
Piet Vroon's Ker 51, Tonnerre 4 scored a 1-1-2 on the last day to win the high performance class by a big margin. The Royal Ocean Racing Club were delighted to see Piet Vroon back racing after a back operation that has kept the veteran out this year. Mike Bartholomew's GP42, Tokoloshe II was second in class and Sir Keith Mills' Ker40+, Invictus won the last race of the day to hold off Bastiaan De Voogd's Sydney 43 GTS, Coin Coin.
Volvo Ocean Race sailor, Paul Wilcox was at the helm of Tonnerre 4 for the regatta: "This is one of the better fleets I have sailed in the Solent. The 40-foot fleet is coming back to life; this group of boats and their owners are spending a lot of time and effort in raising the game and the teams are responding by performing well. You can see that in the shorter leg courses, because you have to sail around cleanly and you have to sail well. Over the three days, the Race Committee did a really good job; moving us from the Western Solent to the East shows the experience they have got. We have had three good races every day. That is not easy anymore, these boats are getting more and more draft and it is getting harder and harder to lay good race courses and they have been smart in the way they have mixed up the courses."
1. Tonnerre 4 Ker 51 Piet Vroon
2. Tokoloshe II GP 42 Michael Bartholomew
3. Invictus Ker 40+ Sir Keith Mills
4. Coin Coin Sydney 43 GTS Bastiaan De Voogd
1. Zephyr First 40 Steve Cowie
2. Alice Mumm 36 Simon Henning
3. La Réponse First 40 Andrew McIrvine
4. Premier Flair Elan 410 Jim Macgregor
1. Salvo JND 35 Peter Morton
2. Hot Cookie Sunfast 3600 Neil Martin
3. Bengal Magic J/35 Knight Build Ltd
4. Raygun Ker 32 Mark Devereux