11th Red Funnel

A top class Cowes regatta to kick the season off...

Wednesday March 20th 2002, Author: John Greenland, Location: United Kingdom
Easter weekend, 29-31 March, will see in excess of 70 boats racing yachts take to the water for the 11th running of the Red Funnel Easter Challenge.

The event, organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club out of Cowes, is the first regatta in the UK yachting season and serves as a useful warm-up for the forthcoming offshore and inshore racing season.

Already several of the South's top boats have confirmed their entries including 2001 IRC1 winner Alvine XII, Harry Evans' Swan 44. Over 75 percent of last year's top ten boats are entered to compete, setting the stage for another weekend of close racing over the Easter weekend.

The three day regatta, which includes free coaching from the RYA, runs from Friday to Sunday. The event is designed to emphasise crew work and boat handling - a refresher and a chance to blow away the cobwebs.

RORC have put into place two starting procedures, different from the norm, in an attempt to control recalls from boats starting prematurely. A running commentary will be provided via VHF radio during the final 60 seconds identifying all boats on the course side of the line and, where possible, by how much they are over. The second change will see the X (Individual Recall) flag shown as soon as boats cross in the final minute rather than waiting for the start signal to display it. On return to the correct, pre-start, side of the line the flag will be lowered.

Both of these procedures, assuming they can be accurately performed, will provide competitors with a unique opportunity to 'test the water' in terms of their position relative to the line. Wise sailors will push the line hard to test their skills in judging transits and just how well their bowmen can call their time to the line.

"We have had to re-write a number of the standard starting rules to allow us to carry out these two new experimental procedures," explained Jamie Wilkinson, Chief Race Office. "The combination will help to reduce the number of boats disqualified for jumping the gun and the number of general recalls, leading to better racing for all."

The event kicks off with two races on the Friday, starting after lunch, three races on Saturday, and a final two on Sunday.

For more information on entries contact Janet Grosvenor, RORC Racing Manager:
Email: info@rorc.org
Tel: +44 (0) 207 493 2248

Page two for the current entry list...

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