RORC Commodore David Aisher has competed at the Red Funnel Regatta for many years and commented: “We are expecting anything up to 80 boats to take part in both IRC and IRM classes with daily racing taking place over tight Solent courses designed to emphasise teamwork and boat handling. We are extremely grateful to Red Funnel for their 15 years of support to this popular event which provides a great opener to the RORC UK season.”
The Red Funnel Easter Challenge is the first regatta of a very busy racing season with RORC and will showcase a highly diverse fleet of yachts which is what IRC racing is all about. Also this year the IRM Class has nominated the Red Funnel Easter Challenge for the IRM Points Championship, so a large gathering of high performance yachts with some of the south coast’s finest sailors hiking until it hurts overlapped at mark roundings is expected.
Coaching support will be provided with post-race debriefing and on-the-water advice during racing by a team led by Jim Saltonstall with Mike Richards and Barry Dunning.
The Red Funnel Easter Challenge is a great opportunity for new or inexperienced crews to have an introduction into RORC racing as Racing Manager Janet Grosvenor explains: “The atmosphere at the regatta is one of encouragement; it is a chance for many people new to racing to ‘dip their toe in the water’. The event is billed as a training regatta and it is a great environment for yacht owners to try their hand at racing for the first time. Over the last 15 years, the Red Funnel Easter Challenge has been very useful as it serves as an easy way to get involved in RORC racing.”
Being a Rolex Commodores’ Cup year, the event is attracting some of the finest racer cruisers in Europe and there will be several brand new yachts as well as some well known regulars: Phillip Wood will be racing Simply the Best, his brand new Grand Soleil 43 for the first time and from Ireland Eamonn Rohan’s Corby one-off Blondie will be making its debut. Red Funnel Easter Challenge veteran Peter Rutter will be racing his Elan 37 Quokka and the immaculately turned out Farr 52 Bear of Britain will be competing for the first time this year with the latest clutch of youngsters from Kit Hobday’s academy.
The newly completed Events Centre at Cowes Yacht Haven provides an ideal facility for the après-racing venue and besides video debriefing for participants, the traditional prizes of Easter eggs will be awarded after racing.
All competitors will be welcome at the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, the Island Sailing Club, the Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club and the Royal London Yacht Club.