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Displaying items by tag: RORC

Would Tom Kneen's JPK 11.80 Sunrise have still won the Rolex Fastnet Race 2021 if it had been sailed on the old course, with Plymouth rather than Cherbourg as the finish? Imponderable it may be, but it's a question of renewed interest as the row rumbles on about the in-race shortening of the recent Rolex Middle Sea Race 2021.

This course shortening was done in view of a developing northeasterly storm which soon made the harbour-mouth finish dangerously impossible for smaller boats still at sea. But as everyone is now well aware, it meant that Sunrise – already finished and in port along with two-thirds of the fleet – had to make do with second overall, after looking for a while as though she was about to achieve the magnificent double of Fastnet and Middle Sea overall victories in one season, achieved with such style that it would all have been done and dusted within the space of three months.

But the unhappy outcome instead caused an almighty row, and some of us sought shelter in trying to analyse it from a different point of view. The affable but very keen and obviously extremely effective Tom Kneen is a loyal member of the Royal Western Yacht Club in Plymouth, and he happily admitted that in the RORC members' poll about the change to the Fastnet course, he had voted in favour of the traditional finish in Plymouth rather than race the extra 90 miles to a new big-scale welcome in Cherbourg.

The traditional Fastnet finish at Plymouth and the 2021 version with the finish at Cherbourg. It's possible that the extra 90 miles to Cherbourg gave the Plymouth-base Sunrise her overall win.The traditional Fastnet finish at Plymouth and the 2021 version with the finish at Cherbourg. It's possible that the extra 90 miles to Cherbourg gave the Plymouth-base Sunrise her overall win.

Ironically, it may well be that the extra 90 miles "imposition" gave Sunrise her clearcut win. She had been reasonably well-placed but not winning at earlier stages, thus it was the lengthened final stage after the Bishop Rock and up the middle of the English Channel in a private breeze – a feat repeated with almost equal success by Ronan O Siochru's Desert Star from Dun Laoghaire – which saw Sunrise get so clearly into the Glitter Zone.

But having been given a portal to overall success by the long-planned extension of the Fastnet Race, Sunrise then found the door to a Middle Sea repeat slammed shut in her face by the sudden imposition of a course shortening. Some may raise their eyes to heaven and say: "The Lord Giveth, the Lord Taketh Away". But the more grounded have raised – not for the first time – the question of whether well-meaning amateurs should have ultimate control of the running of any major event in which the combined long-term expense of involvement by a huge fleet – whether amateur or professional – is a figure running into tens and probably hundreds of millions of euro.

The crew of Sunrise celebrating what looked like becoming a remarkable double at their finish of the Middle Sea Race 2021 in Malta. Photo: North SailsThe crew of Sunrise celebrating what looked like becoming a remarkable double at their finish of the Middle Sea Race 2021 in Malta. Photo: North Sails

Instinctively, many of us will incline to the support of the enthusiastic amateurs. But the harsher judges will quote Damon Runyon who, on enquiring about the activities of one of his Manhattan acquaintances, was told that: "He is doing the best he can", to which Runyon responded that he found this to be a very over-crowded profession.

VOLUNTARY ADMINISTRATORS

The voluntary race administrators in the Royal Malta Yacht Club came in for huge flak and this week issued what is in effect a mea culpa and a promise to do better in future. But it's going to rumble on like the Palme volcano for some time yet, and just yesterday Peter Ryan, the Chairman of ISORA, suggested they should now declare two sets of results as though they'd been running two races of different lengths in parallel all along, which if nothing else would lead to dancing in the streets in the Silversmiths' Quarter in Valetta.

And there have been suggestions that the RORC "should consider its position in relation to the Middle Sea Race", which is polite-speak for saying that the RORC should at least think about withdrawing its active support from what is essentially the Royal Malta YC's premier event. But nothing happens in a vacuum, and people making this extreme proposal are failing to take note that there's a turf war (ridiculous to have a turf war at sea, but there you are) going on between the ORC and the IRC measurement systems.

One of the starts from the harbour in the Rolex Middle Sea Race 2021. The wind was already from the northeast, and a severe storm – which caused fatalities in nearby Sicily – made the harbour entrance extremely dangerous by the time the smaller boats were finishing.One of the starts from the harbour in the Rolex Middle Sea Race 2021. The wind was already from the northeast, and a severe storm – which caused fatalities in nearby Sicily – made the harbour entrance extremely dangerous by the time the smaller boats were finishing.

The IRC is very much identified with the RORC, while the ORC has its own setup. And even as quiet territorial expansions are taking place on various fronts with new events emanating from both camps - the interesting Finnish-connected RORC race in the Baltic is one example – a proposed marriage between the World Championships of both systems appears to have resulted in the IRC being left stranded at the altar without a word of explanation.

In this febrile atmosphere, were the RORC to dump on the Royal Malta, it's always possible that the ORC's organisation might step into the breach, for the Middle Sea Race now has a momentum and vitality of its own, and it will happen each year regardless of politicking ashore.

A public spat online was inevitable, and in time we'll be persuaded that it has cleared the air, for that's the way these things happen even if various waters are temporarily muddied. But in global sailing, however big the row, it will only have been in the ha'penny place by comparison with the controversies which are now in the DNA of the America's Cup, which has been a joy and delight for m'learned friends ever since the original hand-written Deed of Gift – inkily scratched on parchment in 1857 – went on to become a Protocol in 1882 which was then revised in 1887.

PROTOCOL FATIGUE

In Ireland, we may well be suffering from Protocol Fatigue these days, but regardless of our feelings, the long-awaited Protocol for the next staging of the America's Cup – AC37 – will be revealed on Wednesday, November 17th by defenders Team New Zealand and the Challenger of Record, Royal Yacht Squadron Racing Ltd.

Doubtless, there'll be many bumps in the road between now and then, just as there have been bumps to the point of chasms in getting to where they are now. It's an uneven progress, with the professional/amateur divide still involved to such an extent that when the New York Yacht Club recently announced that they were "passing" on direct club participation this time around, in a subsequent statement the New Zealanders described the NYYC Commodore as a "Corinthian".

The New York Yacht Club's summer base of Harbour Court, Rhode Island. The Kiwi's description of the Commodore as "Corinthian" did not quite seem to have the usual complimentary intent.The New York Yacht Club's summer base of Harbour Court, Rhode Island. The Kiwi's description of the Commodore as "Corinthian" did not quite seem to have the usual complimentary intent.

This is normally a term of approval, but there was a distinct feeling that approval was not the intention in this case. In addition to the increasingly complex legalities, it made things personal, and that is not a good place to be in a situation like this.

But then this "situation" has become a world of its own. So much so, in fact, that the America's Cup legalities have provided the makings of its own department in the University of Auckland, and it has already graduated its own PhD in the shape of Dr Hamish Ross, who published his latest findings this week. You've probably read it already, but even so, it's a good browse for a November Saturday morning:

LEGAL OPINION

In eleven days' time, the Protocol for the 37th America's Cup is due to be revealed, eight months after Royal Yacht Squadron Racing Limited filed a notice challenge under the Deed of Gift.

What can we expect and what is likely to be left unanswered?

Sources close to the Defender indicate that the all-important venue selection is yet to be made and may not be announced until as late as March 2022. This will not be welcome news to the Challenger of Record, who will be getting impatient. It has a right to fall back onto the Deed default match terms if relations become strained, which will likely result in a commercial black hole.

Given the selected venue may impact the yacht to be raced, publication of the Class Rule may be similarly delayed, although it was at least agreed last March, that it would be in the AC75 class used in Auckland. There are always refinements to be made. If there is a meaningful push towards costs savings, as has been announced, look for more supplied or common design elements in the same way as the foil systems were supplied for AC36 in Auckland.

Unfortunately, the Deed requirement that the competing yachts must be "constructed in the country" of the respective competing yacht clubs puts the brakes on what could be achieved. In the past, this requirement has sometimes been interpreted rather liberally focusing on the hull, but many would agree that the Deed probably only requires an assembly of components, which can be sourced from anywhere, to create a yacht.
The "construction in-country" term of the Deed has never been fully tested in a court or jury, although the issue was on the table at the end of the 2010 match. Expect sailing restrictions and launch dates to remain to limit the advantages of well-funded competitors.

Dr Hamish Ross took his PhD at Auckland University in America's Cup law.Dr Hamish Ross took his PhD at Auckland University in America's Cup law.

Commercial rights will likely largely remain as they have been since Valencia 2007. Will there be a profit-sharing mechanism between competitors as in 2007 and 2013, if there is a financial surplus? It would seem a major venue financial windfall would be unlikely in the current economic climate.

Timing of the match, and the preceding challenger series may be difficult to fix without a venue having been decided. Don't expect to see firm dates yet. The Deed has hemisphere restrictions limiting the times when a match can be held in each hemisphere. There are seasonal weather and oceanographic factors to be considered at any venue.

Additionally, there is the timing of other events to consider. Few would want to take on a head-on commercial and media clash with the Olympics or the Football World Cup, which traditionally sucks out a lot of sports fan eyeballs and commercial sponsorship from the sports sponsorship market.

A profitable venture – the America's Cup 2007 at Valencia. Ireland's Marcus Hutchinson was on the management team, and the event showed a profit.A profitable venture – the America's Cup 2007 at Valencia. Ireland's Marcus Hutchinson was on the management team, and the event showed a profit.

What other events will be held before the start of the challenger series? Expect a warmup regatta or two. There may be a concessionary warm-up regatta in Auckland on the table to try to calm local waters. But these regattas all cost money, a loss of valuable time and never raise enough money for them to be self-funding when an effort is said to be made to reduce costs.

More chance they will be held in the selected venue than holding a global circuit like Sail GP. A defender will always want an opportunity to check-in against the challengers before the match to try and limit any surprises. Expect Sail GP to actively look into holding an event or two in Auckland during the America's Cup match, if Auckland is not the selected venue!

What will prospective challengers be looking for? When will they see the Class Rule? How long will they have to design, build and test a yacht? How much of a design head start have the Defender and the Challenger of Record given themselves? What will it cost them to compete? Can they hire the design, boatbuilding and sailing talent needed?

This will put the nationality rule into sharp focus– can they get approvals from the Defender as an "emerging nation"? Where will it be held? Don't expect billionaires to line up for an unattractive venue with security risks. What advertising space on the yacht do they have to sell to their sponsors and what space will be taken by the event and in what product categories? Will Prada or Louis Vuitton return as a sponsor? Above all, is there a chance to win or is it simply too stacked up against us?

Expect entry fees to remain the same or increase. US$3,350,000 plus a bond of US$1m was the cheapest entry last time. Expect the challenges to again contribute towards the costs of the challenger selection series unless a sponsor agrees to fund it as did Prada last time.

Finally, who gets to amend the Protocol and the Class Rules? Can anyone competitor block a change? Will there be a tyranny of the majority or simply a Defender and Challenger of Record dictatorship?
Drafting a Protocol involves a delicate balance of many issues both sporting and commercial. Get it wrong and it could be 2007-2010 all over again. Nail it, and it will be back to the big America's Cup heydays of Fremantle 1986-87 or Valencia 2007.

INTERESTING TIMES

For the top end of the international sailing world, the next ten days will be extremely interesting, as we can only guess at the global wheeling and dealing and drafting going on behind the scenes. And when the AC37 Protocol is published, we can be quite sure there'll be controversy, which is meat and drink to the communications industry in all its forms.

In fact, controversy is the gift that just keeps on giving. For even after you've agreed a settlement on whatever is causing the current high profile controversy, you can then go on to have a controversy about how the word "controversy" should be properly pronounced… 

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The Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) together with the Ocean Racing Alliance (ORA) says it has Irish interest in its new offshore race to start on 21st July 2022.

The RORC Baltic Sea Race is open to boats racing under IRC, MOCRA, Class40 Rules and other class associations.

The race of approximately 630 nautical miles will start and finish off Helsinki in the Gulf of Finland. The course will incorporate the Swedish island of Gotland, located approximately 250nm southwest of Helsinki.

The race is supported by the City of Helsinki, the Nylandska Jaktklubben (NJK), Finnish Ocean Racing Association (FORA), Helsingfors Segelklubb (HSK), FINIRC and the Xtra Stærk Ocean Racing Society. The local class association, Finnish Offshore Racing Association (AMP) will also work together with other offshore class associations in surrounding Baltic Sea countries to promote the race.

With over 5,000 miles of coastline, nine countries border the Baltic Sea, all with profound seafaring tradition and racing history: Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, and Russia. Interest for the RORC Baltic Sea Race is also expected from Ireland, Norway, and the United Kingdom.

The Ocean Racing Alliance (ORA) mission is to create international alliances to make it possible to have longer world class offshore races in the Baltic Sea. The Ocean Racing Alliance (ORA) Commodore and Class40 skipper, Ari Kansakoski has competed in three Rolex Fastnet Races, the Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race, the RORC Transatlantic Race and the RORC Caribbean 600: "We expect strong interest from teams participating from Finland and from all of the nations that border the Baltic Sea. The 2021 test event showed that the course for the RORC Baltic Sea Race is very interesting," commented Kansakoski. "The course is very strategic with land influences in the Gulf of Finland and around Gotland. In addition, it is basically on a windward leeward axis, so we expect tactical decisions on which side of the course to choose, as well as managing wind shifts.

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There appears to be no de-escalation of the long-festering row between IRC and the ORC that spilt out into the public domain this week.

The World's two leading rating administrators are locked into a war of words over the staging of the 2022 World Championships.

The latest is an admission from ORC that in its opinion the combined ORC/IRC event in 2018 in The Hague that featured averaging scores in ORC and IRC, was a 'failed solution'.

A World Sailing Offshore Committee has been silent since the matter aired this week. The governing body is scheduled to meet today and there's likely just one item at the top of the agenda but even then, it's not clear if any oil can be poured on these troubled waters via this virtual meeting. 

Bruno Finzi of the ORCBruno Finzi of the ORC

Meanwhile, Bruno Finzi of the ORC has responded to Michael Boyd's Tuesday 'shocked and disappointed' IRC salvo with a 2023 olive branch? Full statement below: 

Statement below from Bruno Finzi and the ORC Management Committee in response to yesterday's IRC press release:

We are sorry the IRC Board has expressed shock and disappointment about our decision with YCCS to issue the Notice of Race for next year's ORC Worlds and chosen to misrepresent our dialogue in their press release.

An email was sent on 4 October explaining to them our frustration over their insistence to replicate what we knew was a failed solution of averaging scores in ORC and IRC, as done in 2018 in The Hague. The feedback from the sailors at this event was very negative, and even the minutes of the 2021 IRC Congress admits this as well.

We feel we need to listen to the sailors on what is acceptable to them and not use an ineffectual scoring solution based purely on politics. Our proposal of using ORC scoring for inshore races and IRC scoring for offshore races seems the appropriate solution and we still believe would be acceptable to the constituency.

We, therefore, fail to see why the decision by YCCS and ORC to issue the ORC Worlds 2022 Notice of Race on 21 October could be a surprise: this is only 8 months prior to the start of this event. We also informed them of this on 4 October, their IRC Board meeting was on 6 October, and the IRC Congress was held on 16 October, and yet we still heard nothing from them before our announcement.

Regardless, we are available to re-engage in these discussions for a combined ORC/IRC event in 2023.

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London's Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) is considering staging its own separate IRC World Championships to "preserve the rights of sailors using our rating system" following a rival ORC decision last week to launch its separate championship in 2022. 

The international war of words broke out between the two leading yacht rating systems over the proposed scrapping of a previously 'agreed' combined World Championships for 2022. 

In a statement, IRC Board Chairman Michael Boyd says: "It appears that ORC has no wish to honour our shared commitment to hold joint World Championships made at the World Sailing Annual Meeting in Barcelona in 2016. We hope that this is not true, and we continue to be open to constructive dialogue.

Michael Boyd IRC Board ChairmanMichael Boyd, IRC Board Chairman

Boyd says the decision by the ORC to issue a Notice of Race for an exclusive ORC World Championship in Porto Cervo, Italy, in June 2022 cancels the previously agreed joint IRC/ORC event.

Boyd, who is a Dublin Bay-based yachtsman, says, "The IRC Board, RORC and UNCL were shocked and disappointed to read the ORC/YCCS Notice of Race". 

"This was a totally unexpected unilateral decision at a time when we thought negotiations were continuing to finalise a combined scoring system", he says.

"This action has damaged the foundation of trust and respect, which is essential for progress. If we cannot re-engage, we must consider our options to exercise our right to hold separate IRC World Championships to preserve the rights of sailors using our rating system to compete internationally at the highest level", Boyd concludes.

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Afloat reported in August that the Irish duo of Kenny Rumball and Pamela Lee aboard RL Sailing had been denied a podium position in the Fastnet Race despite crossing the finishing line ahead of her class rivals.

The Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) race jury later found that RL Sailing had unintentionally entered a commercial shipping TSS (prohibited zones under race rules) and awarded them a 10% penalty dropping them to last place.

Despite the team's protest and redress requests, the jury apparently relied on the screenshot of the Yellowbrick tracker that showed RL Sailing inside the RSS.

However, an Afloat investigation identified several other vessels that the Yellowbrick tracker put inside the TSS that were not penalised by the race jury.

Furthermore, screenshots from the tracking app appear to show boats missing out on rounding the Fastnet.

The yacht in this picture is clearly in TSS, but recorded as a legitimate finisher in 162nd place.

A screenshot from the tracker apparently showing Challenger II inside TSSA screenshot from the tracker apparently showing a yacht inside the TSS (displayed in a red tint) 

In the screenshot below the yacht, Horus seems to not only be in the TSS but her track suggests she failed to round the Fastnet. Results show her as a genuine finisher in 118th place.

A screenshot from the tracker apparently showing Hourus in TSS, not rounding the Fastnet RockA screenshot from the tracker apparently showing Hourus in TSS, not rounding the Fastnet Rock

The J/125 Magic Wind was recorded finishing in 76th place, but the tracking screenshot suggests that she too missed the Fastnet and entered the TSS.

 A screenshot from the tracker apparently showing Magic Wind in TSS, not rounding Fastnet A screenshot from the tracker apparently showing Magic Wind in TSS, not rounding Fastnet

Afloat is not suggesting that there was any wrongdoing by these vessels, but rather that the source of evidence relied on in the protest room - the Yellowbrick tracker - is questionable.

If this evidence was available to RL Sailing in the protest room, would the outcome have been different?

RORC did not respond when Afloat put these questions to them.

UPDATE: October 16 2021: RORC Racing Director Chris Stone responded as follows:

1. Was any action taken against these boats for what appears to be infringements of the SIs?

No further action was taking with regards Magic Wind, Horus & Challenger I (not Challenger II as you had referenced). Race Committee (RC) had concluded that none of the boats in question crossed into a TSS zone. For your information both Magic Wind & Horus had tracker failures (water ingress after a heavy couple of days) prior crossing the Celtic Sea and were put on AIS transmission. Both boats had received positions outside the TSS zone (clearly closer to land) and were then reported further down the course south of the Isles of Scilly and again when in AIS range closer to France. Both boats appear to have cut the course due to the dead reckoning between actual AIS positions. In the case of Challenger I on the western side of the Fastnet TSS, a failed satellite report and variations in boat speed meant that dead reckoning place them within the TSS zone while actually being outside. In cases where the RC cannot find evidence to prove a boat was outside the TSS zone, boats are scored with the standard penalty and asked to provide proof of their course, speed and heading to the international jury at the event, should they wish to.

2. If so was it a DSQ and reinstatement on the basis of evidence supplied?

None of the 3 boats identified were given a penalty because the RC had already determined they hadn’t breached the obstruction.

3. If not, was this because of any malfunction by the tracking system?

As noted above two boats had failed trackers and we were using AIS positioning as a safety precaution (which as we all know has very limited range). The third boat had a failed satellite transmission.

4. If the tracker malfunctioned on these three occasions, would it not be appropriate for those boats that were disqualified to request reinstatement?

No – individual tracking units failing or a failed satellite transmission doesn’t represent a failure or malfunctioning tracking system. In all cases, boats who have an issue with their penalty have the right of reply through an international jury. The jury is onsite at the event and open for this very reason (and other protest matters as well). In all cases where competitors wish to take the matter to the International Jury, they are asked to provide satisfactory evidence that they weren’t in the TSS zone (which is easy enough to do with ALL modern navigation technology) or alternatively show evidence that through no fault of their own they breach the TSS zone. For your information, all competitors are also made aware that taking a matter to an International Jury gives them no right of appeal after the decision of the international jury, as laid out in the Racing Rule of Sailing.

Some other points that may help in publishing further facts in relation to the matter around RL Sailing;

  • Satellite tracking is extremely accurate. YB trackers report multiple GPS fixes in a single satellite transmission, meaning that in one transmission (which is every 15 minutes at that point of the race) they can have up to 90 GPS fixes, if requested to do so.
  • The YB tracking system is set up specifically for Rolex Fastnet and the TSS zones are set up within the system as ‘poly-fences’. Any time a boat comes close to a poly-fence the YB tracking unit automatically requests higher frequency GPS reporting to monitor its approach into the TSS zone.
  • The RC also use a two box theory to identify boats within a TSS zone. 1 - being the outer box that is the actual TSS coordinates and then 2 - an inner box set some distance inside the outer box to allow for a higher degree of accuracy for a breach. Any boat with multiple GPS fixes inside box 2 will receive a standard penalty.
  • All penalties and protests for all boats can be found here https://www.rolexfastnetrace.com/en/competitors/race-documents/race-documents . Hearing 8 is the matter in relation to RL Sailing.
  • For your information there were only 4 boats in the Figaro III class, RL Sailing came 3rd after the penalty.
  • RORC and the RC made every effort to help RL Sailing after receiving a penalty, including allowing Pamela Lee to review the RC data about the breach and distances involved, and specifically identifying information required that would be useful in pleading her case with an International Jury.
  • From the hearing decision, RL Sailing appear to be unable to provide sufficient evidence that they did not cross into the TSS zone or provide evidence that any breach was through no fault of their own.

RORC ‘s ongoing position remains the same, as it has done for more than a decade, the club elects for the purpose of safety and prudent seamanship, in what can be busy commercial shipping areas, to have TSS zones as obstructions within its sailing instructions. Those obstruction breaches receive a standard penalty and allow the RC to enforce any breach of an obstruction when there is suitable proof to do so. RORC regularly reminds competitors of the need to take a wide berth of areas of obstruction and allow for clearance when rounding marks or corners of any obstruction. These penalties and obstructions are clearly identified in ALL RORC race sailing instructions.

Additionally, Chris Stone emphasises RORC 'feels strongly' in representing the following facts;

  • For RORC this is a broad safety issue. The sailing instructions clearly state that TSS infringements will be penalised! This has been the case for a number of years and prior to 2020 the penalty was 20%.
  • YB Tracking (satellite tracking) is extremely reliable and the information is suitable any number of purposes, including determining breaches. As we are aware YB tracking is the industry standard for almost all major events (Vendee, Middle Sea, Hobart, Route du Rhum) and they all use YB tracking for similar purposes including identifying penalties.
  • The 3 boats raised in your email (and there were others) were all reviewed and identified as having sailed the course without entering an obstruction zone.
  • RL Sailing was NOT the only boat who received a 10% standard penalty for TSS infringement. There were several other boats across the entire fleet who received the same penalty.
  • RL Sailing did attend a hearing with the international jury and the jury found RL Sailing was unable to provide sufficient evidence that they did not cross into the TSS zone or provide evidence that any breach was through no fault of their own.
  • There was no failure or malfunction of the tracking system that had adversely affected RL Sailing’s position in relation to a TSS zone. There were individual tracker failures which highlighted areas of further investigation which were reviewed by the RC.

The RORC are aware that this is an extremely disappointing penalty for RL Sailing however RORC operates fairly and without bias for all competitors in relation to the rules within the sailing instruction and we feel in the case of TSS infringements we have conducted ourselves appropriately.

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The hiatus is over - the RORC Caribbean 600 is back and set to start in Antigua on February 21st, 2022. Early entries include teams representing a dozen different countries from around the world including Ireland.

Dublin's Adrian Lee has had a love-affair with the RORC Caribbean 600 since his overall win in the inaugural race. Adrian will be racing Lee Overlay Partners, hoping for strong breeze to suit the Swan 60. And ISORA's Andrew Hall who now owns Pata Negra, the winner of IRC one in the Caribbean 600's last edition, is also competing.

The RORC Caribbean 600 is a race for all, enticing the fastest boats on the planet and passionate corinthians racing performance racer/cruisers and classics. A full house is expected for the bold and beautiful 600-mile race around eleven Caribbean islands.

An astonishing pack of multihulls will be ripping through the course, including the race record holder Maserati Multi70. The flying Italian stallion is skippered by Giovanni Soldini. The reigning class champion, and 2020 Line Honours winner, Cayman Island’s Peter Cunningham will be racing MOD70 PowerPlay. The multinational team, skippered by Ned Collier Wakefield, is set for a stout defence of their title. Back for another bite at the apple is Jason Carroll’s American MOD70 Argo with multiple record holder Brian Thompson on the team sheet. Antoine Rabaste and Jacek Siwek will be taking part in their second race with the largest multihull in the fleet, the French 80ft Maxi Multi Ultim’Emotion 2.

Of the expressions of interest so far, favourite for Monohull Line Honours is the 100ft Supermaxi Comanche, with a triple-A crew skippered by Australian Mitch Booth. The VPLP-Verdier 100 last competed in the race in 2016, finishing in just over 40 hours. Given solid trade winds for the race, Comanche is very capable of beating the Monohull Race record, set by George David’s American Rambler 88 in 2018 (37 hours 41 minutes and 45 seconds). Of the current entries, the biggest threat to Comanche will be the boat that set the original record, the Farr 100 Leopard 3 back under new ownership.

The overall winner and individual class winners for the RORC Caribbean 600 are decided by IRC time correction. Tilmar Hansen’s German TP52 Outsider is expected to be defending their overall win in 2020. Outsider races in IRC Zero which is shaping up to be a real battle of the titans and, more often than not, the winner of the RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy comes from the big boat class.

David Collins’ British Botin IRC 52 Tala came second overall in 2019 and can match Outsider all the way around the course. From Larchmont YC USA, Christopher Sheehan will be racing Pac52 Warrior One, class winner of the 2021 Transpac Honolulu Race. Two new designs will make their debut in IRC Zero. German skipper Stefan Jentzsch has competed in the race on many occasions, but this will be the first RORC Caribbean 600 for IRC 56 Black Pearl with a multinational team, including South African Marc Lagesse. The Infiniti 52 Zeus will also be making its race debut. Boat Captain Matt Brushwood confirms that the carbon 52ft yacht is close to completion in the USA. A principal design feature is transverse DSS foils.

Antiguan Bernie Evan-Wong has competed in all-twelve past editions and will be back for another with his Reichel Pugh 37 Taz. Pamala Baldwin’s J/122 Liquid will also be flying the Antiguan flag with a young crew.

British interest in the 2022 RORC Caribbean 600 is as strong as it has ever been with four top boats making their race debut. The overall winner of the 2021 Rolex Fastnet Race, Tom Kneen’s JPK 1180 Sunrise is confirmed, as is RORC Commodore James Neville’s HH42 Ino XXX, second overall in the Rolex Fastnet Race. Ed Bell’s JPK 1180 Dawn Treader will be making its debut, as will Christopher Daniel’s J/122 Juno. Lombard 46 Pata Negra has raced in the past four editions and won IRC One in the last race. Now under the ownership of Andrew Hall, Pata Negra is back for a fifth race. Taking on the RORC Caribbean 600 with its multitude of manoeuvres is a real challenge for Two-Handed teams. Richard Palmer’s JPK 1010 Jangada and Tim Knight’s Pogo 12.50 Kai are amongst the early entries.

French interest for the 2022 edition include new boats to the race and around 10 Class40s are expected to have a re-run of the fantastic battle in 2019. Racing Under IRC will be Jean Pierre Dreau’s Mylius 60 Lady First 3, which was fourth in class for the 2021 Rolex Fastnet Race and Remy Gerin’s Spirit of Tradition Classic Faiaoahe. Jacques Pelletier’s Milon 41 L'Ange de Milon, Laurent Courbin’s First 53 Yagiza, skippered by Philippe Falle, and Dominique Tian’s Ker 46 Tonnerre de Glen will also be competing. While this is the first race for the all-French crew, as Tonnerre de Breskens, the boat has won class on two occasions. In the MOCRA Class Christophe Cols’ French F40 Chaud Patate is set for a return to the race having last competed under previous ownership as Dauphin Telecom – Johnny Be Good in 2014.

Around 10 Class40s are expected to be on the start line of the 2022 RORC Caribbean 600 © Tim Wright/Photoaction.comAround 10 Class40s are expected to be on the start line of the 2022 RORC Caribbean 600 © Tim Wright/Photoaction.com

Winner of IRC one in the last edition - the Lombard 46 Pata Negra has competed in the past four editions © Tim Wright/Photoaction.comWinner of IRC one in the last edition - the Lombard 46 Pata Negra has competed in the past four editions © Tim Wright/Photoaction.com

Lance Shepherd’s Telefonica Black will be racing with charter guests, as will Jens Lindner’s HYPR Ocean Racing Team. It is difficult to imagine a more thrilling experience for Corinthian sailors than ripping around the RORC Caribbean 600, competing against the professional teams in a Volvo 70! Ondeck Antigua’s Farr 65 Spirit of Juno will also compete with charter guests and will be under the guidance of Paul Jackson in his seventh race.

Ross Applebey will be taking part in his ninth race, skippering Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster which has won class on seven occasions. Scarlet Oyster’s long, friendly rivalry will continue with Andy Middleton’s First 47.7 EH01. Two First 40s will be adding a chapter to their long history in the RORC Caribbean 600. Susan Glenny, taking part in her fifth race, will be racing on Olympia's Tigress with a Californian crew. Yuri Fadeev will be on race number six, racing Optimus Prime with a crew from St. Petersburg Russia.

Canadian teams replacing frozen seas for the warmth of the tropics will be J/121 Wings, skippered by American Bill Wiggins, and Ray Rhinelander from the Royal Newfoundland Yacht Club racing J/133 Bella J. Morgen Watson and Meg Reilly will co-skipper Pogo 12.50 Hermes with a multinational crew and this will be the fifth race for the Canadian boat. Jonas Grander’s Swedish Elliott 44 Matador is also returning for another tilt and will be competing in the highly competitive IRC One Class.

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The final race of the 2021 RORC Season’s Points Championship was won by David Collins’ Botin IRC 52 Tala, second was Ross Applebey’s Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster and third was Gavin Doyle’s Corby 25 Duff Lite, racing Two-Handed with Alex Piatti. The Army Association’s Sun Fast 3600 Fujitsu British Soldier was the winner of IRC Three and fourth overall. Andrew Hall’s Lombard 46 Pata Negra was the winner of IRC One. Sam Goodchild’s Multi 50 Leyton was first to finish, taking just 7 hours and 23 minutes to complete the 91nm course. Greg Leonard’s Kite was the Class40 winner.

Full Results are here

Tala’s David Collins presented with the Loujaine Trophy by RORC Commodore James Neville (right). Photo: Paul WyethTala’s David Collins presented with the Loujaine Trophy by RORC Commodore James Neville (right). Photo: Paul Wyeth

IRC Zero

Tala’s David Collins was presented with the Loujaine Trophy by RORC Commodore James Neville for the best overall corrected time under IRC.Tala was also the winner of IRC Zero. Second in class was VME Racing’s CM60 Venomous, sailed by James Gair. Third was Lance Shepherd’s Volvo Open 70 Telefonica Black.

"Once the shorter course was announced, our routing showed it to be much more favourable for us in terms of the tidal gates,” commented Tala’s Pete Redmond. “The beat against the tide worked in our favour against the boats in our class, as well as the smaller boats. Once Tala got around St. Cats and out of the really strong tide, we also had a favourable wind shift. Tala has had a really good season, David (Collins) is really happy. In a fleet with a massive range of IRC Ratings, and a lot of tidal gates in home waters, you don’t always get the best conditions over the season, but we have always tried to get the best result we can. Tala’s current plan for the future is the RORC Transatlantic Race and then up to Antigua for the RORC Caribbean 600. Tala has been optimised for offshore racing, but we have a lot of work planned in preparation for the RORC Transatlantic Race.”
IRC One

Andrew Hall’s Lombard 46 Pata Negra was the winner in IRC One for the Quailo Cup. Sport Nautique Club’s Xp 44 Orange Mecanix2, sailed by Maxime de Mareuil, was second. Michael O'Donnell’s J/121 Darkwood was third.

Ross Applebey's Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster Photo: Paul WyethRoss Applebey's Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster Photo: Paul Wyeth

IRC Two

Ross Applebey’s Scarlet Oyster was presented with the Trophee des Deux Manches for winning IRC Two. Second was Tom Kneen’s JPK 1180 Sunrise, sailed by Jack Trigger. Susan Glenny’s Olympia’s Tigress was third.

“The Castle Rock Race was a bit of a mission,” commented Ross Applebey referring to the 40 tacks in a five-mile stretch approaching St. Cats from the east. “It was full-on, but quite good fun! If we had an infinite amount of energy, we would have done a few more! We really worked hard upwind which put us in a good position.” Downwind Scarlet Oyster made a big gain with their symmetrical kite, as Ross explains. “We went inshore at The Shingles with our pole, temporarily we had five knots of tide against us, which was a bit alarming, but it set us up to get inshore and the advantage of the back eddy to St. Cats. In relatively flat water we gybed out to pass St. Cats and put up our big new kite and we were really rocking with that. Looking to the future, with the permission of my wife and daughter, we hope to enter the RORC Transatlantic Race, and we do have some spaces available for sailors with the right experience.”

The Army Sailing Association’s Fujitsu British Soldier Photo: Paul WyethThe Army Sailing Association’s Fujitsu British Soldier Photo: Paul Wyeth

IRC Three

The Army Sailing Association’s Fujitsu British Soldier was the winner of IRC Three winning the Yacht Club de France Trophy. Second was Rob Craigie’s Sun Fast 3600 Bellino, raced Two-Handed with Deb Fish. Third was Kevin Armstrong’s J/109 Jazzy Jellyfish.

“We are really pleased with our class win but a bit frustrated that we were fourth overall by just five minutes,” commented Henry Foster, skipper of Fujitsu British Soldier. “We had a cracking race with some very well sailed Two-Handed teams, hats off to Bellino, Tigris and Diablo, it was a hard race but good fun. To get third in class for the season is really pleasing, especially as we have had a development team on board for a number of races. For 2022, we are looking at racing Round Ireland and Cork Week, but the big focus as ever, will be the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race. Personally, I will not be on the boat for that race, but we have Phil Caswell and Wil Naylor who have done about ten races between them.”

IRC Two-Handed teams racing in the RORC Castle Rock Race Photo: Paul WyethIRC Two-Handed teams racing in the RORC Castle Rock Race Photo: Paul Wyeth

IRC Four

Two-Handed teams occupied all three podium positions in IRC Four. Gavin Doyle & Alex Piatti racing Duff Lite won the Jolie Brise Trophy. Second was Renaud Courbon racing with Rosie Hill in his First Class 10 Shortgood. Stuart Greenfield’s S&S 34 Morning After was third.

IRC Two-Handed

Duff Lite was the winner of the RORC Trophy. Shortgood was runner up and Tim Goodhew & Kelvin Matthews, racing Nigel Goodhew’s Sun Fast 3200 Cora, was third.

“I asked Alex (Piatti) how many tacks we did, and he replied – too many!” commented Duff Lite’s Gavin Doyle. “If we are going inshore, we like to be the guys that go in the furthest and get the most out of it. We are absolutely delighted with the result. This is our first season with the boat, next up will be the IRC Two-Handed Championship, and we are looking forward to a head-to-head with another Corby 25 in the Hamble Winter Series.” 

BBQ hosted at the RORC Cowes ClubhouseBBQ hosted at the RORC Cowes Clubhouse

There was something of an end of term party atmosphere after the Castle Rock Race with a Race Prizegiving and BBQ hosted at the RORC Cowes Clubhouse. The RORC Annual Dinner, a spectacular black-tie awards ceremony for the RORC Season's Points Championship, will be taking place on Saturday, 27th November at the Intercontinental Park Lane, London.

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The Royal Ocean Racing Club Season’s Points Championship concludes this weekend in the UK with the Castle Rock Race, the grand finale for the RORC season. The eleventh and final race for 2021 will decide the class winners for the world’s largest offshore racing series. Over 400 teams will have competed in the championship over the twelve-month series.

Tom Kneen’s JPK 1180 Sunrise secured the overall championship win in last month’s Rolex Fastnet Race. However, the overall runner up for the season will be decided after the Castle Rock Race. Ed Bell’s JPK 1180 Dawn Treader is currently second, but three teams are very much in contention: ISORA's Andrew Hall’s Lombard 46 Pata Negra, Ross Applebey’s Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster, and Dubliner Michael O'Donnell’s J/121 Darkwood.

VME Racing’s CM60 Venomous © Carlo BorlenghiVME Racing’s CM60 Venomous © Carlo Borlenghi

In IRC Zero, VME Racing’s CM60 Venomous is in pole position but David Collins’ Botin IRC52 Tala is favourite to retain the IRC Zero title by completing the final race. Eric de Turckheim’s NYMD 54 Teasing Machine is currently third but a good result by Ross Hobson and Adrian Banks' Pegasus Of Northumberland will see them overtake Teasing Machine for third.

Michael O'Donnell’s J/121 Darkwood © Paul Wyeth/RORCMichael O'Donnell’s J/121 Darkwood © Paul Wyeth/RORC

IRC One will have a new champion for the series, as neither of the top contenders has won the class before. Michael O'Donnell’s Darkwood has a five-point lead over Andrew Hall’s Lombard 46 Pata Negra with both boats unlikely to be able to better their current scores. Mark Emerson’s A13 Phosphorus II had a superb Rolex Fastnet Race and is odds on to claim the final podium position, ahead of Ed Fishwick’s GP42 Redshift.

Ross Applebey's Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster © Paul Wyeth/RORCRoss Applebey's Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster © Paul Wyeth/RORC

In IRC Two Tom Kneen’s Sunrise is virtually unbeatable. However, Ross Applebey’s Scarlet Oyster is looking strong for runner-up in the class with Ed Bell’s Dawn Treader assured of at least third place for the season.

Rob Craigie's Sun Fast 3600 Bellino, racing Two-Handed with Deb Fish © Rick Tomlinson/RORCRob Craigie's Sun Fast 3600 Bellino, racing Two-Handed with Deb Fish © Rick Tomlinson/RORC

A record 83 IRC Two-handed teams have been racing in the RORC Season’s Points Championship and the class winner will be decided in the Castle Rock Race. Rob Craigie’s Sun Fast 3600 Bellino, racing with Deb Fish, leads the class for the season by just over seven points from Nigel Goodhew’s Sun Fast 3200 Cora, raced by son Tim Goodhew and Kelvin Matthews. Bellino was the champion in 2019, Cora was second.

In IRC Three, there are four Sun Fast 3600 battling for the podium. Bellino looks set to win the class, having been runner-up in 2019 by less than two points. Bellino is only four points ahead of James Harayda’s Gentoo, racing Two-Handed with Dee Caffari. However, Gentoo has not entered this weekend’s race. Battling for the final podium position are the Army Sailing Association’s Fujitsu British Soldier and Nick Martin’s Diablo.

Nigel Goodhew’s Sun Fast 3200 Cora, raced by son Tim Goodhew and Kelvin Matthews. © Rick Tomlinson/RORCNigel Goodhew’s Sun Fast 3200 Cora, raced by son Tim Goodhew and Kelvin Matthews. © Rick Tomlinson/RORC

In IRC Four, the podium for the season looks to be decided prior to the Castle Rock Race. Cora has an unassailable lead and will win IRC Four for the first time. Renaud Courbon & Emmanuel Winsback, racing First Class 10 Shortgood, is in second place.

Richard Palmer’s JPK 1010 Jangada, racing with Jeremy Waitt, is less than two points behind in third, but Jangada is en route to the Rolex Middle Sea Race and will not be competing in the Castle Rock Race.

Greg Leonard’s Class40 Kite © Paul Wyeth/RORCGreg Leonard’s Class40 Kite © Paul Wyeth/RORC

37 Class40 teams have competed in the championship. Greg Leonard’s Kite is entered for the Castle Rock Race for somewhat of a lap of honour having won class for the season. Sam Goodchild’s Multi 50 Leyton will be making a RORC debut, with plans to compete in next year’s RORC Caribbean 600.

Yachts taking part in the Castle Rock Race will start to gather off Cowes Parade from around 1800 on Friday 10th September. The full entry list and AIS tracking link can be found here and also via smartphones with the YB App. 

Once back in Cowes competitors will experience the warm welcome by the RORC Cowes Clubhouse where the prizegiving will extend to an evening of partying, with competitors and their guests enjoying all that the Clubhouse has to offer.

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Teams racing Two-Handed in IRC Four dominated the overall results for the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s Channel Race. Held in light to medium airs, the 98nm offshore race was won overall by Jeffrey Knapman’s MG335 Virago, racing with Tristan Kemp. Second overall was the Sun Fast 3200 Cora, raced by Tim Goodhew & Kelvin Matthews. Gavin Doyle’s Irish Corby 25 Duff Lite, racing with Alex Piatti, was third. Duff Lite was a slender 17 seconds ahead of William McGough & Christian Jeffery, racing J/109 Just So.

RORC has Congratulated all of the class winners, including Eric de Turckheim’s NMYD54 Teasing Machine, Michael O'Donnell’s J/121 Darkwood, Ross Applebey’s Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster, Henry Bomby & Sam Matson racing Sun Fast 3300 Swell, and Class40 Manic, skippered by Brian Thompson.

Full Results Link here

Starting on the Royal Yacht Squadron Line on an ebb tide, the 80-boat RORC fleet beat to the west to exit The Solent. The ingenious course then required the fleet to pass a line of longitude, south of Bournemouth, before easing sheets and racing downwind past St Catherine’s Point. A second line of longitude, south of Littlehampton, was the next leg of the course. The RORC fleet then rounded the Nab Tower, before finishing at Stokes Bay East off Gilkicker Point.

Jeffrey Knapman’s MG335 Virago, racing with Tristan Kemp. Photo: Rick Tomlinson/RORCJeffrey Knapman’s MG335 Virago, racing with Tristan Kemp. Photo: Rick Tomlinson/RORC

“This is our first race as a Two-Handed team, although we have raced, together and against each other, as kids in dinghies.” smiled Jeffrey Knapman, who raced Virago to overall victory with cousin Tristan Kemp. “To be honest, the conditions really suited the set-up of the boat. The No.2 is our biggest jib and was perfect for the upwind conditions. This season we have a much bigger spinnaker, which does put our rating up, but really increases the horse-power.” Both Jeffrey and Tristan managed to grab two hours sleep each in the first half of the race. “It’s unusual to get that much sleep but it helped us to be proactive in the latter part of the race, especially staying alert for wind shifts and a confused sea state. When the Sun Fast 3200 Cora finished, we calculated they were three minutes ahead of us on corrected time. This was a real incentive to make up the time to win our class, but we were very surprised to win the race overall!”

Eric de Turckheim’s French NMYD54 Teasing Machine Photo: Rick Tomlinson/RORCEric de Turckheim’s French NMYD54 Teasing Machine Photo: Rick Tomlinson/RORC

IRC ZERO

Eric de Turckheim’s French NMYD54 Teasing Machine was the winner of IRC Zero after a fascinating battle with David Collins’ British Botin IRC 52 Tala, which took Line Honours for the race.

“We had a good race which was very interesting,” commented Teasing Machine’s Eric de Turckheim. “The lines of longitude were giving quite a lot of tactical options, especially the angle of attack and the relationship with the currents. Most routing software programmes work using waypoints, not lines of longitude, also you have to plan much farther forward for the next leg. On the first leg west, Tala was on one extreme south, and we were on the other extreme north, but we finished the race almost together. In the end, Tala was quicker than us to the finish, but this was a good race for Teasing Machine. Next we will do the Fastnet Race, and I am really looking forward to it.”

Michael O'Donnell’s J/121 Darkwood Photo: Rick Tomlinson/RORCMichael O'Donnell’s J/121 Darkwood Photo: Rick Tomlinson/RORC

IRC ONE

Michael O'Donnell’s J/121 Darkwood was the winner or IRC One, three minutes and 42 seconds ahead after IRC time correction from Jacques Pelletier’s French Milon 41 L'Ange De Milon. Third was Colin Campbell’s British Azuree 46 Eclectic.

“For us, L'Ange De Milon is a benchmark for our performance, given that they won the class in the last Fastnet Race, “ commented Darkwood’s Michael O'Donnell’s. “For this race they were always wily, and we spent the whole time looking over our shoulder. She was always in touch with us, right to the finish. Pelletier’s team are formidable competitors, and on corrected time, they only give us seven seconds an hour. I am sure they will be one of the boats giving us a tough battle for the big race. We look at the FAST40+ as well, and we are competitive in conditions were they can’t plane, probably 14 knots of wind. Our opportunity comes when it is a bit lighter, and this season has been light airs so far. We would not be at all upset if those conditions continued for the Fastnet Race. Having said all that, you need to sail the boat well. The RORC racing in the Spring was really useful, as we got out every sail, raced around plenty of corners, and all in a variety of conditions.”

Ross Applebey's Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster Photo: Rick Tomlinson/RORCRoss Applebey's Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster Photo: Rick Tomlinson/RORC

IRC TWO

Ross Applebey’s British Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster was the class winner. A terrific battle for second place was fought between two British JPK 11.80s. Ed Bell’s Dawn Treader won the duel by just 17 seconds after IRC time correction, from Thomas Kneen’s Sunrise, sailed by Tom Cheney. Sunrise leads IRC Two for the season, but with the discard race rule kicking in, Dawn Treader and Scarlet Oyster have closed the gap in the class prior to the Fastnet Race.

Henry Bomby & Sam Matson won IRC Three racing Sun Fast 3300 Swell Photo: Rick Tomlinson/RORCHenry Bomby & Sam Matson won IRC Three racing Sun Fast 3300 Swell Photo: Rick Tomlinson/RORC

IRC THREE

The Two-Handed pair of Henry Bomby & Sam Matson won IRC Three racing Sun Fast 3300 Swell. Mike Yates’ J/109 JAGO, racing Two-Handed with Eivind Bøymo-Malm, was runner-up, by just 26 seconds after IRC time correction. Third in class was Nick Martin’s Sun Fast 3600 Diablo. Nick Martin was racing Two-Handed with Calanach Finlayson and has moved up to fourth in IRC Three for the season.

The RORC Season’s Points Championship continues on Sunday the 8th of August with the 49th edition of the Rolex Fastnet Race. Starting from the RYS Line Cowes, about 400 boats will set off on the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s flagship offshore race

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The Royal Ocean Racing Club Season’s Points Championship continues with the Channel Race, which will start on Saturday, July 24th from the RYS Line, Cowes. 80 boats have entered the non-stop overnight race with the majority of the fleet expected to finish the race in about 24 hours. The Channel Race is the ninth race of the RORC Season’s Points Championship with an international fleet racing under IRC and Class40 Rules. The Channel Race is the final RORC race before the main event of the season, the 2021 Rolex Fastnet Race.

Favourites for Line Honours and the Hugh Astor Trophy will be racing in IRC Zero. David Collins' Botin IRC 52 Tala took line honours and IRC Zero for the Channel Race in 2019. Eric de Turckheim’s NMYD54 Teasing Machine, second in 2019, will be Tala’s main opposition. Lance Shepherd’s Volvo Open 70 Telefonica Black and Ross Hobson’s Open 50 Pegasus Of Northumberland, will hope for strong reaching conditions to be first to cross the finish line. Jean Pierre Dreau’s Mylius 60 Lady First 3 will be racing with his team from Marseille, France. 

Greg Leonard’s Kite and Manic skippered by Brian Thompson will duel for Class40 honours.   Greg Leonard’s Kite and Manic skippered by Brian Thompson will duel for Class40 honours. Photo: Rick Tomlinson

Michael O’Donnell’s J/121 Darkwood Photo: Paul Wyeth

IRC ONE

Michael O’Donnell’s J/121 Darkwood leads IRC One for the 2021 RORC Season’s Points Championship and is a contender for the overall title. Darkwood will be defending the Channel Challenge Cup, as overall winners in 2019. Ed Fishwick’s GP42 Redshift is second in class for the 2021 season, and with a good result in the Channel Race, could take the lead from Darkwood. RORC Commodore James Neville, racing HH42 Ino XXX, will be in a confident mood after winning the Cowes Dinard St Malo Race overall. Mark Emerson’s A13 Phosphorus II, and Andrew Hall’s Lombard 46 Pata Negra, will both be racing and looking to improve their points tally for the season. The Tall Ships Youth Trust has two entries. The 72ft Challenger Yachts will be skippered by Michael Miller and Sue Geary. Teams from overseas include, Jacques Pelletier’s French Milon 41 L'Ange De Milon, winner of IRC One in the 2019 Rolex Fastnet, and Steven Verstraete’s Belgian Sydney 43 Morpheus.

Thomas Kneen’s JPK 1180 Sunrise Photo: Rick TomlinsonThomas Kneen’s JPK 1180 Sunrise Photo: Rick Tomlinson

IRC TWO

The overall leader of the 2021 RORC Season’s Points Championship will be racing. Thomas Kneen’s JPK 1180 Sunrise is the clear leader by over 100 points. However, Ed Bell’s JPK 1180 Dawn Treader has scored one less race for the season and is very likely to close the gap after the Channel Race. The same mathematics is true for Ross Applebey’s Scarlet Oyster. Five Beneteau First 40s will be in action including three entries from Sailing Logic: Lancelot II sailed by James Davies, Merlin sailed by Simon Zavad with CSORC, and Arthur sailed by Jim Bennett. Promocean’s First 40 Hoeoca Sfida and Susan Glenny’s First 40 Olympia's Tigress will also be in the mix. Teams from the Netherlands, both racing Two-Handed are J/122e Moana, sailed by Frans van Cappelle & Michelle Witsenburg and JPK 1180 Il Corvo, sailed by Roeland Franssens & Astrid de Vin. Benedikt Clauberg’s Swiss First 47.7 Kali will be taking part in their sixth RORC race of the season.

Gavin Howe's Sun Fast 3600 Tigris Photo: Paul WyethGavin Howe's Sun Fast 3600 Tigris Photo: Paul Wyeth

IRC THREE

23 teams are expected to be racing in IRC Three, including many teams racing Two-Handed. Fully crewed entries include Trevor Middleton’s Sun Fast 3600 Black Sheep. Skippered by Jake Carter, Black Sheep is the leading fully crewed team in IRC Three. Five fully crewed J/109s will continue their close rivalry for the season. Kevin Armstrong’s Jazzy Jellyfish is leading the J/109s for 2021 ahead of Mojo Risin' skippered by Rob Cotterill.

IRC TWO-HANDED

28 teams are entered racing Two-Handed, the majority racing in IRC Three and Four, the top two double handers for the season so far will be in action. Rob Craigie’s Sun Fast 3600 Bellino, racing with Deb Fish, is less than ten points ahead of James Harayda’s Sun Fast 3300 Gentoo, racing with Dee Caffari. Two Sun Fast 3600s are battling for third for the season. Gavin Howe’s Tigris, racing with Maggie Adamson, is 13 points ahead of Nick Martin’s Diablo, racing with Calanach Finlayson. Two-Handed teams from France include Max Mesnil & Hugo Feydit racing J/99 Axe Sail, and Gilles Courbon & David Guyonvarch racing First Class 10 Shortgood.

Stuart Greenfield’s S&S 34 Morning After Photo: James TomlinsonStuart Greenfield’s S&S 34 Morning After Photo: James Tomlinson

IRC FOUR

Sun Fast 3200 Cora sailed Two-Handed by Tim Goodhew & Kelvin Matthews is leading the class for the season. Cora will be looking to hold off a spirited challenge for the series from Stuart Greenfield’s S&S 34 Morning After, also sailed Two-Handed with Louise Clayton. 20 teams are entered in IRC Four including Gavin Doyle’s Irish Corby 25 Duff Lite and Pierre Legoupil’s French classic Le Loup Rouge Of Cmn.

Yachts taking part in the Channel Race will start to gather off Cowes Parade from around 1000 on Saturday 24th July. The full entry list and AIS tracking link can be found at https://yb.tl/channel2021 and also via smartphones with the YB App. 

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