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New Rán 52 Overall Winner of RORC Channel Race - High Five for IRC

25th July 2022
Start of the 2022 RORC Channel Race
Start of the 2022 RORC Channel Race Credit: Rick Tomlinson/RORC

The top five boats in the RORC Channel Race after IRC time correction on Friday, July 23rd were from five different classes.

The overall winner was in IRC Class Zero with Nicklas Zennström’s CF-520 Rán also taking Line Honours. Second overall was in IRC One with Thomas Kneen’s JPK 1180 Sunrise, skippered by Tom Cheney. Third overall, racing in IRC Two-Handed and IRC Two was Rob Craigie’s Sun Fast 3600 Bellino, which was raced double-handed with Deb Fish.

To complete the full mix of top scoring boats, Harry Heijst’s Classic S&S 41 Winsome was fourth and winner of IRC Four. Antoine Magre’s Palanad 3 was fifth in IRC Overall and winner of the Class40 Division.

The RORC Channel Race started in a light south-westerly breeze to the west off the Squadron Line for the 162nm race for all classes. A Port rounding of East Shambles and North Head was followed by a long beat to Peveril Ledge off Swanage. The RORC fleet then turned east for a downwind leg to round the Needles Fairway buoy to Starboard. After rounding the South Side of the Isle of Wight, and then East to Owers, the fleet raced through the Eastern Solent for a finish off South Bramble in the Central Solent.

Nicklas Zennström’s CF-520 Rán Photo: Rick TomlinsonNicklas Zennström’s CF-520 Rán Photo: Rick Tomlinson

“We are very happy to win our first race, as usual with a new boat it takes a bit of time to figure it out, it is a big learning curve,” commented Team Ran’s Niklas Zennström. “In this race we have learnt more about how to sail the boat, which has been good. It was such a fun race course that was put out. We had good breeze, so we used nearly all of our sails - we did not get to use the flying jib, but we had the full triple-headed offshore set up. It was also amazing to see the variety of boats doing well in this race. With IRC you can set up to win your class but to win overall you need to have the right conditions. We felt that we sailed well and made the most of the conditions, we were out on our own for most of the race, but we could see from the tracker we had good competition.”

Thomas Kneen’s JPK 1180 Sunrise, skippered by Tom Cheney. Photo: Rick TomlinsonThomas Kneen’s JPK 1180 Sunrise, skippered by Tom Cheney. Photo: Rick Tomlinson

Tom Kneen was not on board his JPK 1180 Sunrise for the Channel Race, he was enjoying Lake Como with his wife to be! Navigator Tom Cheney was the skipper for the race and commented: “We sailed pretty well, I think we needed to improve by 18 minutes to beat Rán and I think that would have been quite hard to find, Perhaps we chickened out a bit by not going all the way left on the beat out west, but apart from that the course suited us.”

Rob Craigie's Sun Fast 3600 Bellino (right of picture) racing in the Western Solent Photo: Rick TomlinsonRob Craigie's Sun Fast 3600 Bellino (right of picture) racing in the Western Solent Photo: Rick Tomlinson

Rob Craigie & Deb Fish racing Sun Fast 3600 Bellino was third overall and the winner of IRC Two and IRC Two-Handed. After their winning performance in the Channel Race, Deb Fish commented: “We are absolutely delighted. We got a great start tacking up the island shore and then used the shifts to get south of The Needles. Initially, that strategy didn’t look good, but later the boats up ahead had to tack out on a less advantageous wind angle, so we gained about 2 miles on some of our competitors. After that it was about not making any mistakes and keeping an eye on tidal aspects, so we didn’t lose the gain we made. We had some real fun racing downwind with the spinnaker. We saw about 23 knots of wind, s good top speeds around the South Coast of the Isle of Wight. Next for Bellino will be the Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race. Getting round will be our first big ambition, it is a monstrous race, a big undertaking. We are happy with the boat; we will look at getting some better data into our auto-pilot. We have all the gear and spares for the race, after that it comes down to us as the crew performing well.”

The next race in the 2022 RORC Season’s Points Championship will be the gruelling 1800nm Round Britain and Ireland Race which starts from Cowes on August 7th.

Results here 

Published in RORC
Louay Habib

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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