Bear is top dog at IRC Nationals

Hobday/Louis knock Thunder 2 off the top spot in Class Zero/Super Zero

Sunday June 30th 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: United Kingdom
After seven races, it was Kit Hobday and Tim Louis' Bear of Britain that won the big boat division in the RORC's IRC Nationals held out of Portsmouth's Gunn Wharf Quay over the weekend.

Bear put in a second and first place today, but the regatta had not gone all their way. Rob Boulter's Mills 37 Thunder II led after Friday and Saturday's races with two wins on the first day but their performance dropped off and they lost the overall lead finishing 16th and eighth in place in today's races.

"It was a long day at the office," commented Mike Broughton, navigator on Terry and Sue Robinson's Swan Assuage, which finished seventh overall in the combined class super zero and zero. Two races were held today, the sixth and seventh of the series (one race was cancelled Saturday) and there were several complaints about RORC making the last race too long (it was around three hours duration).

Conditions in the race area to the south of Hayling Island were lively starting in 18 knots from the west with the wind increasing by around 2 knots every hour. This favoured the big boats.

Bear had spent the regatta playing catch up after scoring a 12th on the second race on the first day. "We were five minutes ahead at the second windward mark and then we just ended up sitting in a hole," explained Bear's Mark Campbell-James about what had gone on in that race. " Chernikeeff who were five minutes behind us, ended up two minutes ahead of us on one run. They came with the breeze and sailed past us. We eventually got out and by the next run we had overtaken them, but in the light breeze the small boats did well."

In the fresh conditions Bear spent most of today dealing with Paul Winkleman's Swan 60 Island Fling. "We got an okay start up the first beat and got round the first windward mark right behind Island Fling" continued Campbell-James. "We were sailing a square course and the next leg was a two sail reach, except everyone put spinnakers up but no one could lay the mark except the Swan. We did a good drop and rehoist, but a lot of boats ended up miles to leeward. We got stuck behind the Swan - she's slower than us downwind - then eventually after another beat and run we got past her and opened up a bit."

In the second race Campbell-James said that they had played the start well as they tacked on a nice lift and were able to keep pace with the bigger Swan. In the 25 knot conditions they were able to hot the boat up and sail the angle downwind and made mincemeat of them.

So why is Bear in winning form at the moment? "I think really it is down to practising and keeping the team together," mused Campbell-James. "They're not easy boats to sail, but we managed to get round the course cleanly and elsewere there was a lot of messy boat handling going on, kite trawling. Our guys managed to get it all done cleanly." This week Bear is being delivered to Ireland for Cork Week where they will have a good competition with sistership Team Tonic, before returning to the Isle of Wight for Cowes Week and the Commodore's Cup.

Robbie Cameron-Davies's Ker 11.3 I-Site also had a good regatta, finishing third overall in combined class super zero and zero. "We were very pleased. We even beat Carphone Warehouse [ Communicator] not just on handicap, but boat-on-boat," enthused helmsman Phil Crebbin of sailing the last race in the 25 knot conditions. It is believed that I-Site will end up as a part of the Welsh Commodore's Cup team. "It was good racing, an amazing competitive fleet," added Crebbin.

Yesterday there was a protest again Douglas Flynn's First 47.7 Kirribilli for having UK Sails' John Brinkers steering, as he is category 2.

Aside from setting a final race that was too long, there were favourable comments about RORC's organisation of the event and of the marina cum discount shopping mall that is Gunn Wharf Quay. But most were impressed by the standard of the fleet, the number and high quality of the boats taking part and the crews. "We counted eight people who'd just done the Volvo," commented Campbell-James. These included the likely lads from Tyco Tim Powell and Gerry Mitchell and News Corp bowman Damian 'Shreda' Duke, on board Peter Morton's Mandrake, illbruck co-navigator Ian Moore on Richard Matthew's new Corby 50 Flirt and even News Corp skipper Jez Fanstone sailing on the Swan 46 Aera, his swansong before heading off to Europe with wife and motorcycle.

For full results click here

Class Super Zero and Zero combined
Name
Type
Owner
Rating
Total
R1
R2
R3
R4
R5
R6
R7
1
Bear of Britain
Farr 52
Kit Hobday/Tim Louis
1.315
22
2
12
1
4
12
2
1
2
Thunder 2
Mills 37
Robert Boulter
1.111
29
1
1
5
5
9
16
8
3
I-Site
Ker 11.3
Robbie Cameron-Davies
1.159
31
5
2
11
8
4
6
6
4
Communicator
Corby 41.5
Charles Dunstone
1.175
32
7
5
13
1
6
4
9
5
Kirribilli
First 47.7
Douglas Flynn
1.142
32.5
10
6.5
8
6
1
7
4
6
Mandrake
Mills 50
Peter Morton
1.295
34
3
10
9
15
7
3
2
7
Assuage
Swan 48
Terry & Sue Robinson
1.153
37
16
11
7
2
5
5
7
8
Island Fling
Swan 60
Paul Winkleman
1.286
44
15
19
6
16
3
1
3
9
El Gringo
Ker 11.3
Nicholas Hartshorn
1.159
49
13
3
4
3
13
13
13
10
Chernikeeff 2
Farr 52
Peter Harrison
1.317
50
6
14
2
14
16
9
5
11
Flirt
Corby 50
Richard Matthews / Dr Jose Alvarez
1.29
54
4
15
12
12
8
8
10
12
Fair Do's V
Ker 11.3
John Shepherd
1.159
55
11
13
15
7
2
10
12
13
Too Steamy
Farr 40
Nick & Anne Haigh
1.17
56
9
6.5
10
9
11
14
11
14
Assegai
Farr 40
Leon Christianakis & Chris Hunt
1.177
57.5
12
8
3
13
11
11
21
15
Minnie the Moocher
Ker 11.3
Anthony Richards
1.159
69
14
4
14
11
14
12
21
16
Kerisma
Ker 11.3
Chris Bull
1.159
73
8
9
16
10
15
15
21
17
Yeoman of Hamble
JV44 one-off
David Aisher
1.202
105
19
18
18
19
18
18
14
18
El Syd
BH 41
Ian McKinney
1.146
106
17
17
19
17
19
17
21
19
Twelfth Knight
First 47.7
David Ruddiman
1.129
107
18
16
17
18
17
21
21
20
Predator of Wight
Murray 41
Miles Woodhouse
1.159
125
20
21
21
21
21
21
21

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