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A strong line-up, ranging from TP52s, FAST40+s and Performance 40s, down to nimble HP30s and the cruiser-racers majority will take to the Solent this Friday for three days of intense competition at the Royal Ocean Racing Club's IRC National Championship. The event returns after a year's hiatus when the RORC hosted the IRC European Championship in the Solent.

Leading the charge around the race track this weekend in the four boat IRC 1 class will be the match racing 52s - Tony Langley's Gladiator and a boat new to the Solent this season. David Collins acquired the Botin IRC 52 Tala just prior to this year's RORC Caribbean 600. Formerly Interlodge/Steve Benjamin's Spookie, the boat is engineered to race offshore and was bought to do this, but can be remodelled for inshore racing. "We thought it would be fun to race Gladiator and partly to race the boat inshore," Collins explains of his participation this weekend.

As to how well Tala will do against the experienced Gladiator, Collins is realistic: "I would imagine they are more polished than we are. We're focussing on keeping the boat upright and getting round corners. I don't expect it to be anything other than challenge." However, he is delighted with the boat. "It is lovely to sail. Having sailed boats before that are always compromised, to sail one that isn't is wonderful." Around half of the crew will be pro including tacticians Brett Aarons and Paul Wilcox.

Following IRC 1 are FAST40+ for whom this will be the third event of their 2019 championship. Six examples are competing with the form boat likely to be Peter Morton's Carkeek 40 Mk3 Girls on Film.
The most competitive class this weekend has to be IRC 2. At the top of the class will be a match race between Tor McLaren's Gallivanter and her MAT1180 sistership Leeloo of Dutchman Harold Vermeulen. Vermeulen raced at Cowes Week on his previous 48ft cruiser racer but this will be his first IRC Nationals and also his first time back on the Solent since acquiring a race boat. "I love sailing there. Also the opportunities for racing other performance-orientated boats in Holland is limited," says Vermeulen.
Gallivanter

The remainder of IRC 2 brings together the substantial Performance 40 class. The P40 class is open to boats with a TCC of 1.075-1.150 (plus 11.15m-14.1m length, 125-205 DLR and 2.7m max draft). The P40 class this year comprises of 17 boats and the IRC Nationals is the third event in their 2019 championship, where Christopher Daniel's J/122E Juno leads having won the first two events.
Daniel has owned Juno for the last four years and competed in last year's IRC Europeans. Their performance in that event, he admits, was disappointing, but they are turning this around now. "We have spent a lot of time over the winter training and refining processes on the boat and just developing it which is what is paying dividends now," Daniel explains.
June RT

While the King 40s - Roger Bowden's Nifty and the Blair family's Cobra - are also regular Performance 40 podium placers, Juno showed both a clean pair of heels at the Vice Admiral's Cup. Despite that Daniel warns: "It is very tight and competitive, so you take absolutely nothing for granted. IRC 2 will be a tough fleet: There is a good contingent of Performance 40s, all of which I treat with the utmost respect, then we have the likes of Fargo - a great boat - and Elke from Holland, which did well in the IRC Europeans last year and Moana, the 47.7 - she is a well-sailed boat too."

Juno is crewed purely by amateurs, largely friends and family, mostly under the age of 25, including three women. This weekend she will also face a match race as another J/122, Stuart Sawyer's Black Dog, is making the trip up from Falmouth to compete.

If the stars align as they did two years ago when Giovanni Belgrano's 1939 Laurent Giles sloop Whooper became IRC National Champion, then a low-rated boat might claim this weekend's IRC title. The very lowest rated this year is the Hustler 32 half tonner Hullabaloo XV, which owner David Evans has brought down especially from her base at Walton-on-the-Naze.

Built 41 years ago and owned by Evans for the last 21, Hullabaloo is one of a long series of boats of this size Evans has owned since the early 1970s. Over the years he has won most of the silverware available on the East coast and Hullabaloo XV is a regular competitor at the Classic Half Ton Cup. "We won the IRC East Coast Championship a few years ago, but there is a big difference in boats between the south coast and the east coast and as much as anything else I wanted to find out whether the IRC rule really does work. And to do something a bit different," he says of why he is competing.
Racing Hullabaloo XV will be a family affair, Evans joined by his brother George and sons Edward and Nicholas. As to the two light days forecast, David says he is not worried: "We don't mind it when it's light, so long as there is a bit of wind. She is quite heavy for a half tonner so once she gets some way on, she doesn't lose it and will carry you through light patches. Short tacking along the shore in light weather, it's not great. But in 30 knots upwind in a stiff breeze under full main and no3, she is phenomenal."

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Howth Yacht Club’s Laura Dillon is among six women profiled by the Royal Ocean Racing Club ahead of their participation in this year’s Rolex Fastnet Race.

While crew lists for August’s race are not yet finalised, at present just over 10% of those competing in the biennial voyage will be women — more than double the rate of races in the 1990s.

The RORC cites role models such as Tracy Edwards, Ellen MacArthur and Dee Caffari as a reason for this increase in female participation — but notes that opportunities for women at all levels to go sailing are increasing “too slowly”.

For 40-year-old Laura Dillon, it was a high competitive drive from a young age that saw her progress from dinghies to 1720 Sportsboats to Beneteau Firsts in both the Round Ireland and Fastnet races.

This year she swaps the helm of Harry J Heijst’s S&S 41, Winsome, for a place on the four-strong crew of Conor Fogerty’s Figaro Beneteau 3, Raw — one of only three of the new offshore class in the race.

She observes that women’s participation in the Fastnet as enjoyed a considerable step up in the last generation — but says there is a direct parallel with women’s positions in the business world, and believes it will take another generation yet before their numbers increase substantially.

The Rolex Fastnet Race website has much more on this story HERE.

Published in Howth YC

The Royal Ocean Racing Club's race to Dieppe for the Morgan Cup started in the Solent on midsummer's day in superb conditions. The RORC fleet enjoyed a spectacular downwind start off the Royal Yacht Squadron Line, heading east for the English Channel. During the night, the wind evaporated and as high pressure enveloped the race course, competitors were searching for the best of the breeze and tidal conditions. By morning, clear skies and an early sunrise conspired to enhance sea breeze conditions, giving a fantastic downwind finish for the fleet into Dieppe. The slow-down during the night meant that the race to the finish was a close one, with many classes being decided by minutes, even seconds. The 2019 Morgan Cup Race was notable for British yachts which won all seven classes.

William McGoughand Christian Jeffrey, racing J/109 Just So in IRC Two Handed, won the 2019 Morgan Cup Race, winning overall in a fleet of 86 yachts racing under the IRC Rating System. McGough and Jeffrey are both corinthian sailors in their 30s, and this is their first season racing Two-Handed. Monohull Line Honours for the race went to Botin IRC 52 Tala, skippered by Robbie Southall. After time correction, IRC Zero was won by Ker 46 Lady Mariposa, skippered by Nigel King. Joel Malardel's Normanni 34 Tancrède took Multihull Line Honours.

The top three yachts in IRC Overall for the Morgan Cup Race were all racing Two-Handed. Just So won by 27 minutes from Sun Fast 3200 Cora, sailed by Nigel & Tim Goodhew. Sun Fast 3600 Bellino, sailed by Rob Craigie & Deb Fish, was third by less than a minute.

“We have been sailing together for 11 years with fully crewed teams in RORC races but this is the first time we have won a RORC trophy so we are absolutely delighted,” agreed McGough and Jeffrey, the Two-Handed team racing Just So. “We got one of the best starts along with Bellino and we were going well out of the Solent. Probably the biggest tactical decision that paid off was to go east. If you look at the results of the pack of boats that went that way, they have all done well. When we finished the race, we looked at the boats around us and knew we had done well, but to win overall is amazing! Just So will be competing in the Cowes-Dinard-St Malo Race fully crewed but this was the last race before we take on the Rolex Fastnet Race Two-Handed.”

In IRC One, Corby 45 Incisor, skippered by James Gair and sailed by the Cowes Race School, was the winner. Didier Gaudoux's 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race champion, JND 39 Lann Ael 2 was second and proven winner Maxime de Mareuil's XP-44 Orange Mecanix2 was third.

In IRC Two, Gavin Howe's Hamble, UK based Sun Fast 3600 Tigris was the winner racing Two-Handed with Sam Cooper. After IRC time correction, Tigris was ahead of 2015 Rolex Fastnet champion Gery Trentesaux racing JPK 11.80 Courrier Recommande, and 2017 IRC Two champion, Gilles Fournier's J/133 Pintia.

The podium for IRC Three was all British yachts, Bellino was the winner. Trevor Middleton's Sun Fast 3600 Black Sheep, sailed by Jake Carter, continue to lead the RORC Season's Points Championship with second in class for the Morgan Cup. The Royal Navy Association's J/109 Jolly Jack Tar, skippered by Tom Thicknesse, was third in class for the Morgan Cup. In IRC Four, Just so, and Cora took the top two places. Cooper & England's Dehler 38 Longue Pierre was third in class, and just four seconds off the podium for the Morgan Cup.

The eighth race of the 2019 RORC Season's Points Championship will be the East Coast Race, organised by the West Mersea Yacht Club and the Royal Ocean Racing Club. The 125nm race across the North Sea finishing in Ostend, Belgium will start on Friday 28th June 2019.

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 The Royal Ocean Racing Club's Season's Points Championship continues this weekend with the Morgan Cup. The seventh offshore race of the series will start on Friday 21 June at 7 pm from the Royal Yacht Squadron Line. Bound for Dieppe across the English Channel, 95 teams have entered the race to the fishing port on the Normandy Coast.

20 teams have entered in IRC 3 including the top two teams in the 2019 RORC Season's Points Championship: Sun Fast 3600 Black Sheep, sailed by Trevor Middleton, and Sunfast 3600 Bellino, sailed Two-Handed by Rob Craigie & Deb Fish.

Monohull line honours for the Morgan Cup are likely to be contested by three teams racing in IRC Zero. Volvo 70 Telefonica Black, sailed by Lance Shepherd, has the highest IRC rating in the fleet, Botin IRC52 Tala, sailed by David Collins is the class leader for the season. Ker 46 Lady Mariposa, skippered by Nigel King, returns to RORC racing after a highly successful Caribbean season.

12 teams have entered IRC One, including the class leader for the season, A13 Phosphorus II, sailed by Mark Emerson. The much in form FAST40+ Redshift, sailed by Ed Fishwick, returns. Xp44 Orange Mecanix2, sailed by Maxime de Mareuil, will be hoping to go one better than second in class for the race last year.

With 29 entries, IRC Two is the largest class in the Morgan Cup and the entry list boasts proven winners and reveals battles within the class. Last year's class winner, Scarlet Oyster sailed by Ross Applebey, will be racing after taking overall victory in this month's De Guingand Bowl Race. 2019 IRC Two leader, JPK 1180 Sunrise, sailed by Tom Kneen, will size up against JPK 11.80 Courrier Recommande, sailed by Gery Trentesaux. Eight Beneteau First 40s are entered, including five from Sailing Logic. Skylander sailed by Yuri Fadeev, which is the top First 40 for the season so far, will also be racing. 2018 RORC Season's Points Champion, X-41 British Soldier sailed by the Army Sailing Association, is also bound for Dieppe.

22 teams racing 18 different types of yacht have entered IRC Four. The top three teams for the 2019 season are all racing: Sigma 38 With Alacrity, sailed by Chris Choules. Sun Fast 3200 Cora, sailed Two-Handed by Tim & Nigel Goodhew and JPK 1010 Foggy Dew, sailed by Noel Racine. Traditional designs racing in IRC Four include the classic yawl Cetewayo sailed by David Murrin. Contessa 32 Assent, sailed by the Rogers family, S&S 41 Easyglider, sailed by Oliver Hughes, and Swan 41 Ithaka, sailed by Giovanni Mazzocchi.

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Last year's Round Ireland Race Champion winning yacht, the Ker 43 Baraka GP (skippered then by Niall Dowling of the Royal Irish Yacht Club) has this weekend won the 2019 Royal Ocean Racing Club's North Sea Race sailed by Harmen De Graaf (NED). However, victory in the 180nm race from Harwich UK to Scheveningen Netherlands was mighty close. Ker 46 Van Uden, sailed by Wouter Verbaak, was under two minutes behind after IRC time correction. Ker 51 Oystercatcher XXXIII sailed by Richard Matthews (GBR) took Line Honours and corrected out to finish third overall.

Overall winner of the 2019 North Sea Race was Baraka GP skippered by Harmen De Graaf with crew: Lennard Bal, Douwe Broekens, Olivier De Graaf, Dirk De Graaf, Amy Prime, Piers Tyler, Arianne van de Loosdrecht, Bart Van Pelt, Steve Aiken, Mees De Graaf, and Lily Lower.

Fine weather and solid breeze provided fast downwind and reaching conditions for the fifth race of the RORC Season's Points Championship. The Baraka GP team, containing four members of the De Graaf family, celebrated in style in Scheveningen.

“My father has been racing in the North Sea since he was a teenager, and we were all brought up racing from a very young age,” commented Dirk De Graaf, one of three brothers on board Baraka GP. “Our plan at the start of the North Sea Race was to try and keep in touch downwind with the bigger boats in our class, and then set our fractional zero (Fr0) when we went onto the reach. This meant that the whole team was hiking hard as we were very high with the Fr0. Baraka GP has some very talented young sailors on board, and this dynamic has had a very positive effect on how hard we can push the boat. The big race for us is the Rolex Fastnet Race, and our ultimate goal is to join the small number of Dutch boats that have won the Fastnet Trophy over the years.”

In IRC One, Grand Soleil 43 Il Corvo, sailed by Astrid De Vin (NED), won class for the second year in a row. A13 Phosphorus II, sailed by Mark Emerson (GBR), with a crew all in their twenties, was runner-up. ILC 40 Visione sailed by Nikolaus Knoflacher (AUT), completed the podium, by under a minute after time correction from Corby 38 Double Edge, sailed by Chris Schram (NED).

IRC Two and IRC Double Handed was won by J/122 Ajeto, sailed by Robin Verhoef (NED) & John Van Der Starre (NED). The Dutch duo scored a memorable victory in IRC Two ahead of JPK 11.80 Courrier Recommande, sailed by Gery Trentesaux (FRA), and J/122 Junique Raymarine Sailing Team, also sailed Two-Handed by Chris Revelman (NED) & Pascal Bakker (NED). Ajeto also scored a notable win over one of the Netherland's top short handed sailors Erik van Vuuren (NED) racing W36 Hubo.

“Gert Trentesaux and Erik van Vuuren are two of the world's best but they are getting used to new boats and we know all about that. However that will not stop me telling my grandchildren about this victory!” smiled Ajeto's John Van Der Starre. “As always, we pushed Ajeto really hard together. It is wonderful to race with Robin, the atmosphere when we sail together is just fantastic. We will be racing in our fifth Fastnet later this year. It will be a really tough competition, but win or lose I know we will both enjoy the challenge.”

In IRC Three, W36 Hubo was the winner, Sun Fast 3600 Bellino, sailed Two-Handed by Rob Craigie (GBR) and Deb Fish (GBR) was second. Third was Sunfast 3600 Black Sheep, sailed by Trevor Middleton (GBR) and skippered by Jake Carter (GBR). Black Sheep have now extended their lead in the overall ranking for the 2019 RORC Season's Points Championship.

In IRC Four, the podium was all teams from the Netherlands, X-362 Extra Djinn, sailed by Michel Dorsman, took class line honours and was the winner after IRC time correction. Standfast 43 Blue June, sailed by Henk Zomer was second, which will be encouraging for their Rolex Fastnet campaign. Varianta 37 Sailselect, sailed by Jeroen Koninkx, completed the podium.

The 2019 RORC Season's Points Championship continues Saturday 8th June with the De Guingand Bowl Race. Starting from the Royal Yacht Squadron line, rounding marks and waypoints, and taking in the headlands of the central English Channel, before returning to the Solent to finish

Full results here

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The Royal Ocean Racing Club's Myth of Malham Race, with 138 boats competing, produced a thrilling finish for overall victory. Botin IRC52 Tala took up the early running, but having led for much of the race on corrected time, the breeze picked up for the chasing pack, turning the advantage towards two FAST40+ yachts. Redshift and Ino XXX, both based in Cowes, battled throughout the 230 nautical mile race with no clear advantage between the two. In the second half of the 30-hour race, having rounded the Eddystone Lighthouse off Plymouth, a high-speed duel developed on the run back to The Solent. In strong downwind conditions, the two teams resorted to hand-to-hand combat to decide the bout, knowing that the winner of the duel would most likely win the race overall. Executing numerous gybes to gain the upper-hand, at times with over 20 knots of boat speed, and just inches apart, the battle was won by Redshift, crossing the finish line just 20 seconds ahead of Ino XXX.

Red shift crewThe overall winner of the Royal Ocean Racing Club's Myth of Malham Race was Farr 42 Redshift raced by Ed Fishwick (GBR) and crew: Quentin Bes-Green (GBR), Hugh Brayshaw (GBR), John Coffey (IRL), Hannah Diamond (GBR), Henry Foster (GBR), Donal Ryan (IRL), George Thompson (GBR), Arianne van de Loosdrecht (NED), Mason Woodworth (USA) Photo: Alexia Fishwick

“An amazing race and an awesome feeling to have won it,” commented Redshift's Ed Fishwick. “The Redshift crew were unbelievable, just sensational! It was a long battle just to get to the lighthouse. We made a good rounding and could see Ino, from then on we were gybing across each other all the way down the track. By Christchurch Bay we were a boat length apart. Ino made a great call going all the way into the bay and pulled away. We went into low mode across the bay and eventually made it back. The last ten minutes were crazy, a match race, just inches apart.”

HH42 Ino XXX raced by James Neville (GBR) was second by just four minutes on corrected time. Ker 40 Keronimo raced by Lars & Birgitta Elfverson (SWE) with Dublin Bay sailors Kenny Rumball and Barry Hurley on board was third. Monohull Line Honours was won by Botin IRC52 Tala, skippered by Robbie Southwell (GBR). The overall winner of the Multihull Class after MOCRA time correction was Dazcat Slinky Malinki raced by James Holder (GBR). Multihull Line Honours was won by Shuttle 39 Morpheus raced by Andrew Fennell (GBR).

In IRC Two, JPK 11.80 Courrier Recommande sailed by Gery Trentesaux (FRA) started their 2019 Rolex Fastnet Campaign with a class win by nine minutes after IRC time correction. J/133 Pintia, sailed by Gilles Fournier & Corinne Migraine (FRA) was second. J/122 Juno, sailed by Christopher Daniel (GBR) was third.

In IRC Three, the podium was made up of yachts racing Two-Handed. JPK 10.80 Timeline, sailed by Marc Alperovitch (FRA) was the winner. Sun Fast 3600 Bellino, sailed by Rob Craigie (GBR) was second by just under 22 minutes after IRC time correction. JPK 10.80 Shaitan, sailed by Jean-Eudes Renier (FRA) was third.

Marc Alperovitch has won class in many high profile races fully crewed including the Rolex Fastnet Race. However, this is Marc's first Two-Handed campaign with Jerome Huillard D'Aignaux. “I suppose you could say this was first time lucky!” smiled Marc. “I decided to make a fresh start with a new boat and the new dynamic of racing two-handed. We had a few problems with gear, which really takes it out of you. Off Portland Bill our headsail became detached in rough seas and it was sometime before we fixed the problem. As we are a new team, we had no pressure to win, but to come out on top in our first race has certainly brought the pressure on!”

In IRC Four, JPK 10.10 Foggy Dew, sailed by Noel Racine (FRA) was the winner by just over 30 minutes after time correction with 41 yachts in class. Emmanuel Pinteaux (FRA) racing JPK 10.10 Gioia was second and Chris Choules (GBR) racing Sigma 38 With Alacrity was third.

Noel Racine's winning streak with Foggy Dew as IRC Four champion dates back to 2013. So what is the secret to Foggy Dew's success? “It is not a secret,” smiled Racine. “You need a good boat, a good crew and you need to make less mistakes than the others. We made a mistake at the beginning of this race when we ran out of wind and watched the fleet sail away. However, we kept focused, kept our concentration, and one by one we caught the competition and passed them to win the class.”

The Myth of Malham Race was the fourth of the 2019 RORC Season's Points Championship. Second overall in the RORC Transatlantic Race, Sun Fast 3600 Black Sheep, sailed by Trevor Middleton (GBR) is the overall leader for the series. After winning the last two races overall Redshift moves up to second for the championship. Cookson 50 Kuka 3 sailed by Franco Niggeler (SUI) is now third. The fifth race of the 2019 RORC Season's Points Championship will be the North Sea Race starting from Harwich on Friday 31 May bound for Scheveningen, Netherlands.

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This UK bank holiday weekend, 140 yachts, with over 900 crew from all over the world, will be competing in the Royal Ocean Racing Club's Myth of Malham Race. A huge variety of yachts will be taking part including; hi-tech racing yachts and multihulls, performance cruising yachts and classic designs. World Class professional sailors and passionate Corinthians will be taking part, and 36 teams will be taking on the offshore race Two-Handed.

A notable entry for the Myth of Malham Race is the 53ft ketch Gipsy Moth IV, which will be raced by Ricky Chalmers. In 1966-67, Sir Francis Chichester circumnavigated with Gipsy Moth IV in 274 days, setting the fastest voyage around the world by any small vessel. Aptly for the Myth of Malham Race, Gipsy Moth IV was co-designed by John Illingworth, who commissioned the Laurent Giles 37'6” sloop Myth of Malham, winning the Fastnet Race in 1947 and 1949, and in 1957 was part of the winning team for the first Admiral's Cup.

2017 IRC Zero winner, Windward Sailing's CM60 Venomous, will once again be sailed by Derek Saunders. In IRC One, the 2017 overall race winner James Neville's FAST40+ Ino XXX will be racing, and will have strong opposition from 2018 overall race runner-up, Edward Broadway's Ker 40 Hooligan VII and this year’s Cervantes Trophy race winner Ed Fishwick's Redshift. Botin IRC 52 Tala was second overall in this year's RORC Caribbean 600, and will make their UK debut in the Myth of Malham, skippered by Robbie Southwell.

The 2019 Myth of Malham Race will start from the Royal Yacht Squadron Line on Saturday 25 May 0800 BST. Spectators can watch the spectacle from the Cowes Parade and The Green, and fans can also follow the progress of the fleet via YB Tracking on the RORC website.

“The forecasts for the Myth of Malham Race are predicting light winds at the start,” commented RORC Racing Manager Chris Stone. “Unfortunately, the tidal conditions may favour the faster boats out of the Solent, but without starting the race at 5 a.m. that cannot be avoided. The forecasts are suggesting that the wind will go to the west later in the race and strengthen, which should give some good results in the small to medium size and boats and good conditions for the sail back from the Eddystone Light.”

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Kenneth Rumball and John White are taking the Irish National Sailing and Powerboat School’s popular ‘man overboard’ lecture to the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s London clubhouse this evening (Thursday 16 May).

On 29 June 2018, the J109 yacht Jedi started the Round Ireland Yacht Race — but little did her crew of eight know that just says later, at 1am on 2 July, crew member John White would be swept overboard south-west of the Blasket Islands.

After well received talks at Wicklow Sailing Club in January and the Royal Irish Yacht Club in February, Rumball and White are in London to tell the story of how Jedi’s crew dealt with the situation — and what lessons were learnt from the incident.

Tonight’s RORC talk from 7pm is free for members and £10 for non-members, with booking available online HERE. For dinner reservations following the presentation email [email protected] or call +44 (0)207 493 2248.

Published in INSS

Dun Laoghaire's Kenny Rumball was the helmsman of the Swedish Ker 40 Keronimo that was second overall in the Royal Ocean Racing Club's Cervantes Trophy Race at Cowes at the weekend.

The offshore race provided a challenging start to the European season for the RORC Season's Points Championship. A bitter northerly wind, with squalls gusting over 30 knots, produced a challenging race for the impressive fleet of 108–boats. Starting from the Squadron Line, the fleet headed east out of the Solent passing No Man's Land Fort and into the open waters of the English Channel. After passing south of the Nab Channel, the fleet headed east, blast reaching to Owers, followed by an upwind leg to Littlehampton Outfall. Cracking sheets and hoisting downwind sails, the fleet headed south for a 77-mile dead-run across the English Channel. An energy-sapping upwind leg of over 20 miles, from Cussy Buoy to the A5 Buoy, further tested the fleet, before a downwind section to the finish.

Ed Fishwick's maiden offshore race in British FAST40+ Redshift winning the 2019 RORC Cervantes Trophy Race. With a top class crew including Hannah Diamond and Dave Swete from the Volvo Ocean Race, along with Figaro skipper Nick Cherry. Redshift completed the 160nm course in just under 15 hours taking Line Honours and the overall win after IRC time correction. Lars & Birgitta Elfverson's Swedish Ker 40 Keronimo was second overall with Kenny Rumball and Cork Harbour sailor Barry Hurley both onboard. Dutch Ker 46 Van Uden, skippered by Gerd-Jan Poortman, was third.

“It was amazing - an awesome experience!” enthused Redshift's owner Ed Fishwick. “It was very wet, we had to bail out the boat constantly. We started late and sailed on our own down the Solent but we caught the back of the fleet at the Forts. We hoisted a fractional Code Zero, and by the time we got to the Nab, we were in the top three on the water. We already had a reef in the main for the beat up to Littlehampton, then turned downwind for an 85-mile sensational downwind ride across The Channel. We were doing 18-22 knots all the way, a complete blast but we were taking on a lot of water, bailing like mad. We were swapping out trimmers and drivers regularly, and talking through the gybes well in advance. The beat up to A5 was really tough, gusty with a cross-sea, and then up with the A3 to the finish. The crew work was brilliant, especially from the experienced professionals, but also the rest of the crew, who are all amateurs and many of whom are great young talents. The overall strategy was about keeping focused, changing people around before they started getting tired.”

33 teams started the race in IRC Two-Handed, and two thirds of the fleet completed a tough test of shorthanded boat handling and tenacity. Louis-Marie Dussere's French JPK 10.80 Raging-bee² took class line honours in just under 20 hours, and was the winner after IRC time correction. Deb Fish & Will Taylor racing Sun Fast 3600 Bellino was second in class, and Julien Lebas' French A31 Gaya was third.

Louis-Marie Dussere, was racing Two-Handed with Eric Leroi, Vice President Yacht Club de Cherbourg.“We are proud to win IRC3 and Two-Handed!” smiled Dussere. “We had a perfect start, reaching down the Solent. After a good Spinnaker choice (A3) at No Man’s Land Fort, we got away from the class. It was lots of fun with big surfs (16kn top speed)! Waves, sun and big wind; just like trade winds single handed in the Transquadra! Upwind from Cussy to A5 was very hard; it was cold and we were tired. A bad spinnaker choice near the end was a problem, in 25 knots we struggled to keep the boat under control.”

In IRC Zero,Van Uden was the class winner, Windward Sailing's British CM60 Venomous, sailed by Derek Saunders was second, and Lance Shepherd's Volvo 70 Telefonica Black third. In IRC One Redshift, and Keronimo took the top two places, Mark Emerson's British A13 Phosphorus II was third.

In IRC Two, Thomas Kneen's British JPK 11.80 took Line Honours for the class, and after time correction won the class, also placing fourth overall. In IRC Three, Raging-bee² was the class winner. Peter Butters' British JPK 10.10 Joy, sailed by Dave Butters, was third.

Noel Racine's JPK 10.10 Foggy Dew made a great start to their defence of their IRC Four win last year, taking Class Line Honours and the win on IRC corrected time. Emmanuel Pinteaux's JPK 10.10 Giola was second and Chris Choules Sigma 38 With Alacrity completed the podium, after winning a great duel with Harry Heijst's S&S 41 Winsome. With Alacrity was third by less than six minutes after nearly 23 hours of racing.

 
In the Multihull Class, two teams racing 30-something footers completed a tough challenge. Joel Malardel's French Normanni 34 Tancrède took Line Honours and the win after time correction. 2018 Multihull champion, Ross Hobson's Seacart 30 Buzz, was second.

RORC Transatlantic and RORC Caribbean 600 Champion, Catherine Pourre's Eärendil, was the winner in the Class40 Division, beating Christophe Coatnoan's Partouche.

“The direct route to Le Havre would have been a fast one-sided reach across the Channel, the course provided was much tougher,” commented RORC Deputy Racing Manager, Tim Thubron on duty in Le Havre. “As a Rolex Fastnet Race qualifier, the RORC had an opportunity to give the fleet a test of their skill and equipment in a challenging scenario. Many thanks to the warm welcome and first class assistance from the Société des Regates du Havre, especially President Hélène Taconet and Commission Voile Christophe Lachèvre. Well done to all of the class winners in the race, a special mention to the young team racing Scaramouche, owned by the Greig City Academy which had crew as young as 13 on board, and finished the race sixth.”

The fourth race of the 2019 RORC Season's Points Championship is the Myth of Malham Race, starting from the RYS Line on Saturday 25 May (0800 BST). The 256nm course mirrors the start of the Rolex Fastnet Race, as far as the Eddystone Lighthouse, followed by a return leg to a Solent finish. A substantial international fleet is expected.

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Ten IRC Championships are held all around the British coast from Scotland to the Channel Islands as well as a specific event for two-handed crews, is providing a large variety of venues, racing conditions and social events to be enjoyed both on and off the water. While most events are held over a weekend, some are spread over several weeks or incorporate separate events. The Solent Championship consists of four events organised by separate clubs, while RORC’s Two-Handed National Championship comprises both inshore and offshore racing and the Inshore Championship on Lake Windermere runs through the winter. 2019 also sees the return of the GBR IRC National Championship organised by RORC from Cowes, after a break last year when RORC organised the IRC European Championship.

The Scottish Series is also a major event for the RC35 class which was developed for close racing within a tight IRC rating band, and along with the Welsh National IRC Championship is part of the Celtic Cup incorporating events in Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Two of the first clubs to use the RORC Rating Office’s Advocate Scheme to successfully start using IRC for their club racing in are hosting IRC Championships this year – the Southern Championship at Weymouth Sailing Club, and the South West Championship which includes the Royal Dart YC as organisers. Reflecting increasing participation in two-handed racing, the Two-Handed Championship returns in September, organised by RORC Cowes.

The 2019 GBR IRC Championships programme is as follows:

  • Solent – 4 events (May-Sept)
  • Scottish – Scottish Series (May)
  • Southern – Weymouth & Portland (May)
  • National – RORC Cowes (July)
  • East Coast – Ramsgate Week (July)
  • Welsh National – Cardigan Bay (August)
  • South West – Dartmouth (August)
  • Two-Handed - Cowes (September)
  • Channel Islands - Jersey (September)
  • Inland – Windermere (November-March)
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THE RORC:

  • 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: http://www.rorc.org/

Royal Ocean Racing Club:

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

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