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IRC Two-Handed Division is Expected to be Big for RORC Season Opener

25th March 2021
IRC Two-Handed is expected to be the largest class racing in the RORC Spring Series
IRC Two-Handed is expected to be the largest class racing in the RORC Spring Series Credit: Paul Wyeth

The ‘stay at home’ rule in the UK will end on the 29th March allowing the Royal Ocean Racing Club to organise a Spring Series of racing in April and early May. With some government restrictions still in place, three races are planned to offer crews the chance for some early season training and race practice. The series is open to IRC rated boats including an IRC Two-Handed Class and MOCRA rated multihulls.

The first race of the RORC Spring Series is scheduled to start on Saturday 3rd April from the Royal Yacht Squadron, Cowes. One long race is planned of approximately 6-8 hours duration and online entry is open.

Michael O’Donnell’s J/121 Darkwood will be competing in the RORC Spring SeriesMichael O’Donnell’s J/121 Darkwood will be competing in the RORC Spring Series Photo: Paul Wyeth

Michael O’Donnell’s J/121 Darkwood will be competing in the RORC Spring Series. This will be the first RORC race of the year in preparation for their Rolex Fastnet Campaign. “Like everyone else, we are desperate to get back on the water and this series is a very pragmatic solution to the current restrictions,” commented Michael. “It is a safe way to get almost fully-crewed boats back racing. For us, this is an absolute no-brainer.”

Kelvin Rawlings’ Sun Fast 3300 Aries training in The Solent. Photo: John Green CowesKelvin Rawlings’ Sun Fast 3300 Aries training in The Solent. Photo: John Green Cowes

IRC Two-Handed is expected to be the largest class racing in the RORC Spring Series. Early entries include 2020 RORC Yacht of the Year, JPK 10.10 Jangada. Richard Palmer will return to the fray after a knee operation and will team up with Jeremy Waitt. 2020 IRC Two-Handed Champions James Harayda and Dee Caffari, will be racing the Sun Fast 3300 Gentoo. Kelvin Rawlings’ Sun Fast 3300 Aries will be racing with the RORC for the first time. Rawlings will be racing Two-Handed with Stuart Childerley, the team won the Two-Handed class in the 2015 Rolex Fastnet Race.

“Kelvin’s got another big birthday and he wanted to treat himself, have some fun and we really enjoy racing together,” commented Stuart. “The RORC Spring Series is an opportunity for us to continue the training we started last year before lockdown. We are especially keen on developing our polars for the boat and hopefully, we will have some long legs to improve our data. Ultimately we want to improve our performance by getting to know how to sail Aries.”

Sam Laidlaw’s Quarter Tonner BLT Sam Laidlaw’s Quarter Tonner BLT Photo: Louay Habib

Sam Laidlaw’s Quarter Tonner BLT will be racing in the RORC Spring Series. Laidlaw has won the Quarter Ton Cup twice and BLT won the Quarter Ton Cup in 1980. The vintage Jacques Fauroux design is currently the smallest boat entered for the race. “We usually compete at the RORC Easter Challenge, as it’s a good start to the season. This is a low-key series with no stress. A perfect opportunity to shake the cobwebs away, do some training, and test the modifications to the boat over the winter.”

The RORC Spring Series Notice of Race requires that all crew shall comply with current Covid-19 guidelines, and with respect to social distancing at all times.

Louay Habib

About The Author

Louay Habib

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Louay Habib is a Maritime Journalist & Broadcaster based in Hamble, United Kingdom

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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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