Fluky wind conditions test fleet

A report from day one of the Red Funnel Easter Challenge

Saturday April 10th 2004, Author: Trish Jenkins, Location: United Kingdom
Three races were held on the second day of the Red Funnel Easter Challenge in shifty wind conditions with the fleet of 76 boats setting off for the first race of the day in 7-8 knots of breeze.

Jamie Wilkinson, Chief Race Officer for the RORC described the conditions: "The forecast last night led us to believe that there was going to be very little wind. This morning there was only about two to three knots so thought we would be lucky to get in three races. But, as we headed out on the committee boat, the wind was already blowing six knots although it did go flat and swung round. We finally sent them off in a decent breeze that held up across the Ryde Bank, so we ran a course down to the Island shore and back to the mainland before ending on the Ryde Bank."

The wind was not to hold though and went light half way through the race, but luckily there was enough with the tide across the course to enable the boats to make progress towards the next mark. Finally the wind did come in and the boats in IRC Super Zero and Zero finished the course, with the smaller boats finishing at the top mark so as not to stem the tide on the final leg.

By the time of the start of race three, there was enough depth to get the fleet up into the Hill Head Plateau on the far side of the Brambles Bank and the Race Committee took the decision to run the last two races of the day in this area of the Solent. By race four, the wind had increased to 12-14 knots but as Jamie Wilkinson added: "Looking at the forecast, the wind shifts were never as expected or anticipated making course laying extremely difficult today. We had a lot of shifting around trying to get the start line correct but we managed to get in the three races and I think this was probably pretty good because it was quite difficult, particularly in the morning."

There were a large number of general recalls with boats over the line at the start but most classes responded extremely well to the running commentary by the Chief Race Officer.

In IRC Super Zero and Zero, the competition is now hotting up with only one more day of the regatta to run. Last year's winners, the Farr 52, Bear of Britain owned by Kit Hobday & Tim Louis, and Shaun Frohlich's IMX 45, Exabyte III are battling it out. The Farr having raced well today with a second place in the first race of the day followed by first in race 3 and another second in the final race. They are currently leading their class overall after four races, 7 points ahead of Exabyte III, whose form was good today achieving two wins in race 2 and 4. Shaun Frohlich commented: "We had much better racing today. It was a very good but we could do with a bit more breeze really. We are racing again this year with the same crew and we are getting it together now. We have got a lot more optimisation to do on the boat so we are chuffed with our result today."

Crew member Stig, racing on board Adam Gosling's Beneteau First 44.7 Yes! who are placed 3rd overall in the same class, commented: "We only launched the boat on Thursday night, it's brand new so we want to do a little better tomorrow but we are testing out the boat during this regatta and moving things around."

In IRC 1 Edd Clayson & John Gimson's Mumm 30, I've Had Ya Mumm still held onto their series lead with 13 points, having come in 4th position in all three races today. Following the IMX 40, Exabyte 2 are two boats competing for 3rd and 4th positions overall with 23 points each - Nick Jones' First 40.7, Tarka, who won the first race of the day and Peter Morton's Sydney 36 Salvo. Both are closely followed by another First 40.7, Nick Lutte's Shockwave who achieved a good final race today with a third place win and are only two points behind.

No surprises for the winning boat in the largest fleet of the regatta, IRC 2, with Irish entry, Voodoo Chile, Eamon Crosbie's Ker 32 from Dun Laoghaire, Dublin taking three consecutive wins and a second in the first race of the day. Jonathan & Lisa Goring however have also held onto second place in the class with their J/109 Jeronimo. Two HOD35's follow, Peter Scholfield's Zarafa and 2003 class winners, Tim Harrington's Capitali$m, whose best race of the day was a second place in race 4.

In IRC 3, again Ian Maclean's Software Mistreess, the Sigma 362 had a successful day out on the water with three wins. Robert McLeod's Fulmar Sareema is two points behind in the series followed by Rory Carter and Jon Yorke's Elan 333 Evelyn R.

In IRM 1, Peter Morton & Adrian Stead's Atomic, a Europrix 45 took a first, second and a third today making them overall leaders in their class with 7 points, however Robbie Cameron Davies' I-Site beat them on the final race of the day and are four points behind. Glynn Williams Europrix Wolf also had a good day, winning the final two races and putting them into third position overall at the end of day two.

The position of the two boats in IRM 2 remains the same after racing today, with Simon Henning's Alice winning all three races closely followed by Bob Fisher's Zzing.

Also on the water checking out the runners and riders for the first major regatta of the season was David Aisher who is Chairman of the selectors for the GBR teams in the Rolex Commodores' Cup, taking place between 25 July and 1 August. Although trials consisting of two inshore weekends and an offshore race have been announced by the RYA, Aisher commented: "I was out today observing all the boats, many of which have been performing quite well in the regatta. I really wanted to see who was out there and what they were doing. I can see a few potentials already. "

Once ashore, the last of the debrief sessions by Jim Saltonstall and his team took place once again to a packed attentive audience. Saltonstall commented on the debriefs: "I think crews learn a tremendous amount in the three days that they are in the regatta and take away a lot of knowledge from the debrief sessions but they have now got to take that knowledge away from here and work on it. To a degree some have already put what they learnt in the briefing yesterday into practice, but it only needs the conditions to change and you are talking about a different scenario and a different
problem."

Following the debrief, a prizegiving ceremony took place with prizes which have become a trademark of the regatta, with a presentation of large amounts of Easter Eggs to winners of races over the last two days.

After a much needed drink, the exhausted crews exchanged tales of their day's racing and looked ahead to their final day out on the water on Easter Sunday, before enjoying a special BBQ laid on as part of the social programme in Cowes Yacht Haven.

More of Hamo Thorneycroft's photos on pages 2 and 3

Results

Pos
Boat Type Owner
Tot
IRM1
1
Atomic Europrix 45 Peter Morton & Adrian Stead
1
1
2
3
7
2
I-Site Kerr 11.3 Robbie Cameron Davies
3
3
3
2
11
3
Wolf Europrix 45 Glynn Williams
6
5
1
1
13
4
Rebel Europrix 45 David Franks & Duncan Morris
8
4
4
6
22
5
2XL Farr 40 David Murrin
12
2
5
5
24
6
Too Steamy Farr 40 Nick & Anne Haigh
5
9
6
4
24
7
El Gringo Ker 11.3 Nick Hartshorn
2
7
8
8
25
8
Audacious Europrix 45 David Wadsworth
7
8
7
7
29
9
Blue Belle Ker 11.3 Michael Cover
4
10
10
9
33
10
Skip Jack Kerr 11.3 Fenton Bulgin / Alex Spring
12
6
9
10
37
IRM2
1
Alice Mumm 36 Simon Henning
1
1
1
1
4
2
Zzing Mumm 36 Bob Fisher
2
2
2
2
8
IRCSZ & Z
1
Bear of Britain Farr 52 Kit Hobday & Tim Louis
1
2
1
2
6
2
Exabyte III IMX 45 Shaun Frohlich
8
1
3
1
13
3
Yes First 44.7 Adam Gosling
3
4
4
4
15
4
Minnie The Moocher Ker 11.3 Anthony Richards
2
10
2
3
17
5
Minx Corby 41 Andrew Ritchie & Alex Thomson
7
3
6
5
21
6
Kerisma Ker 11.3 Stephen Bromley
6
6
5
6
23
7
Eclipse VII Humphreys 12m Doug Hassell
5
5
7
7
24
8
Hooligan V Max Fun 35 Edward Broadway
4
7
9
9
29
9
Mad Max Max 35 Andy Uren
10
8
8
8
34
IRC1
1
I've had Ya Mumm Mumm 30 Edd Clayson & John Gimson
1
4
4
4
13
2
Exabyte 2 IMX 40 Jerry Otter
5
6
1
8
20
3
Tarka First 40.7 Nick Jones
12
1
3
7
23
4
Salvo Sydney 36 Peter Morton
3
9
6
5
23
5
Shockwave First 40.7 Nick Lutte
11
2
9
3
25
6
Kylidh Prima 38 Guy Spurr
8
7
5
9
29
7
Maverick 2 IMX 40 Dominic Chappell
4
5
23
2
34
8
Longbow Prima 38 Andersen/Smith ASA.
8
14
2
11
35
9
Magnum II IMX 40 Andrew Pearce
23
3
7
6
39
10
Euphorix First 40.7 Paul & Joanna Dentskevich
14
10
15
1
40
11
Fat Diva Prima 38 Roger Lee
6
18
8
13
45
12
Mystery First 40.7 407 Racing
10
8
13
14
45
13
Offbeat Mumm 30 Ian Gill
2
11
17
16
46
14
Serendip Prima 38 Paul King
13
13
12
10
48
15
Closing Time Prima 38 David Riley
15
19
11
12
57
16
Meta Baron IMX 40 Sean Hurst & Ivan Fawcett
18
15
10
17
60
17
Leopard Reflex 38 Formula 1 Sailing
16
17
14
15
62
18
Panther Mumm 36 James Stableford
9
20
18
20
67
19
Playing Around First 40.7 Peter Robson
23
12
19
18
72
20
In X Celsis X 119 Peter Jones
23
16
16
19
74
21
Unruly First 40.7 Charles Bull
17
23
23
23
86
22
Mankie IMX 40 Jack Pringle
23
23
23
23
92
IRC2
1
Voodoo Chile Ker 32 Eamon Crosbie
2
1
1
1
5
2
Jeronimo J 109 Jonathan & Lisa Goring
1
5
2
4
12
3
Zarafa HOD 35 Peter Scholfield
3
2
6
3
14
4
Capitali$m HOD 35 Tim Harrington
9
4
4
2
19
5
Sanguma Ker 31 Chris Walmsley
11
3
5
5
24
6
Kier Building with Flair Elan 40 Spinnaker Yachts
6
7
9
11
33
7
Jumunu J 109 Alistair Ray
4
13
13
7
37
8
X-To-Sea X 332 Steve Maine
8
10
8
15
41
9
Panache Elan 333 Spinnaker Yachts
7
9
18
9
43
10
Jo Jo Gunne J 109 Richard Creer
10
8
12
14
44
11
Festina Lente Sigma 38 Philip Meakins
15
11
10
12
48
12
Gauntlet of Tamar Sigma 38 Royal Naval Sailing Association
16
15
3
16
50
13
Malice HOD 35 Michael J Moxley
21
14
7
8
50
14
Hazard Chase HOD 35 H20 Yachting
12
12
21
10
55
15
White Knight of Wessex HOD 35 James Neville
28
6
15
6
55
16
Barking Mad Swan 40 Stuart Greenfield
5
16
11
28
60
17
Slingshot J 105 Shaun Murphy
13
22
17
13
65
18
Diablo - J J 105 Gary Fry & Nick Martin
19
21
16
18
74
19
Beth of Fivestar J 109 Five Star Sailing
20
17
23
17
77
20
Zebedee Sunfast 37 Bill Howard
18
25
19
22
84
21
Dragonfly Too X 332 Mike Ridley
24
27
14
20
85
22
Bellerophon of Wight Sigma 38 Amanda Bradbeer
17
26
24
19
86
23
Parthia Lightwave 395 Andrew Scurr
14
18
28
28
88
24
Mustigo II Sigma 38 Stephen Scholefield
24
24
21
21
90
25
Brightwork W 30 Brenie Bingham
24
19
25
24
92
26
Minx 2 First 36.7 Johnathan Gardiner
24
20
22
28
94
27
Scarlet Jester SJ 320 Jamie Muir
24
23
28
23
98
IRC3
1
Software Mistress Sigma 362 Ian Maclean
3
1
1
1
6
2
Sareema Fulmar Robert McLeod
1
3
2
2
8
3
Drakes Drum Corby 25 Terry Rowe
4
4
3
4
15
4
Evelyn R Elan 333 Rory Carter & Jon Yorke
2
2
8
5
17
5
Leo Lady Sigma 362 Graham Nixon
6
5
5
3
19
6
Curved Air Impala David Sprague, Gareth Morris & Rob Mason
5
6
4
6
21

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