Joules Asterix

Joules Asterix

Lumpy ride

Grey skies still but wind picks up to 20 knots for the second day of the RORC's Red Funnel Easter Challenge

Sunday April 16th 2006, Author: Louay Habib, Location: United Kingdom
Easter Saturday dawned and the weather forecast seemed to be correct with light easterly winds of about 10 knots and grey skies, however shortly before the start of the first race of the day the wind speed started to pick up and didn’t stop until it reached well over 20 knots by 1300. With wind over tide this made for very lumpy conditions with the Solent resembling a mogul field! The lessons learnt today were about boat handling in difficult conditions and often the yachts that made the least mistakes were the ones that came in smiling.


Race 3: David Franks racing his Farr 45 Rebel got their second bullet in the regatta. Jerry Otter’s Werewolf came in second place beating his close rival Shaun Frohlich helming his Farr 45 Exabyte 4. H2O Yachting’s Creative Play unfortunately retired from race 3 which must have been very disappointing after Friday’s success. This was due to a serious incident. During a kite drop, crew member Naomi Bull went overboard, with the water temperature barely above 9°C, it was imperative that she was recovered as quickly as possible. After lowering the mainsail and checking the water for any lines, the helmsman switched on the engine to manoeuvre the boat to rescue the casualty. She was recovered after only one minute in the water and taken to Cowes by RIB for some dry clothing. Happily none the worse for the experience.

Race 4: Shaun Frohlich’s Exabyte 4 was unstoppable winning on corrected time by nearly two minutes, with Werewolf in second place but only just, as Jon Pegg’s driving Audacious was only seven seconds behind on corrected time.

Race 5: Jon Pegg’s Audacious posted their first victory of the Red Funnel Easter Challenge with Shaun Frohlich’s Exabyte 4 in second from Jerry Otter’s Werewolf.

The competition in IRM was always going to be close and with one day’s racing to go, Werewolf and Exabyte 4 are equal on points with Jon Pegg driving Audacious just a point adrift after a good day 'at the office', meaning that the class is wide open going into the last day.

IRC Super Zero & Zero :

Race 3: There was drama right from the start as Nick Lutte’s DK 46 Shockwave was called over the line and sent back. Kit Hobday’s Bear of Britain helmed by Mark Campbell-James had a cracking start and an awesome first beat keeping in touch with Ger O’Rourke’s Cookson 50 Chieftain and Benny Kelly’s TP 52 Panthera. But there was high drama on the second beat when the big boats were approaching the top mark - they did so with a fleet of smaller boats. Panthera got round cleanly but Chieftain could not find the room to round the mark and spun out which probably cost them the race. Panthera won the race by a handsome margin from the consistent Fidessa Fastwave owned by Chris Brown with RORC Commodore David Aisher’s Yeoman of Hamble gaining a much improved third.

Race 4: Ger O’Rourke’s Chieftain came back from their disappointing opener to win the race by over 1½ minutes from Panthera. Bear of Britain came in third and with the breeze touching over 20 knots it certainly favoured the larger boats of the fleet.

Race 5: TP52 Panthera posted yet another victory but the DK 46 Fidessa Fastwave was only six seconds behind on corrected time. With the Cookson 50 Chieftain just a second adrift in third place, meaning the top three boats were separated by only a few seconds.

The racing concludes tomorrow with Panthera very much in the driving seat from Fidessa Fastwave and Chieftain.

John Edwards from Sir Robert McAlpine sailing on the TP52 Panthera, commented after racing: “We came to the Red Funnel Easter Challenge to prepare for the season ahead. The boat has been beautifully prepared with some great crew work and one of the big attractions of this regatta has been the on-the-water tuition from the coaching staff.”


Race 3: The Irish contingent are running away from the rest of the fleet in IRC1. Eamonn Rohan’s Corby 37 Blondie in stars and stripes blue livery, pipped Conor and Denise Phelan’s Ker 37 Jump Juice by 16 seconds on corrected time, with Jack Pringle in his IMX40 Mankie a solid third place.

Race 4: The dual between the top two boats continued but this time, Jump Juice beat Blondie into second place. These two boats are still inseparable on series points and they have not been more than a minute apart in any race. John Dean’s Lowly Worm continued their good form coming in third.

Race 5: There is just no stopping the close encounter between the Ker and the Corby 37. The last race of the day saw Eamonn Rohan’s Blondie get the better of Conor and Denise Phelan’s Jump Juice. Ian Maclean’s Software Mistress had a fine last race taking third position with yachting pro’s Mike Broughton and Simon Shaw on board mixing with friends and colleagues of the owner.

Realistically IRC1 is a two horse race between Blondie and Jump Juice and currently Conor and Denise Phelan’s Ker 37 is edging the class by one point but that could all change tomorrow.


Race 3: Jim MacGregor’s Elan 40 Flair IV reveled in the lumpy conditions winning by over a minute on handicap. Mark Neville’s White Knight of Wessex in his HOD 35 was in second place but only by one second on handicap from Andrew Allen’s J/109 No Naked Flames.

Race 4: Peter Rutter’s Elan 37 Quokka returned to winning form over their long term rivals Flair IV who were in second place. Peter Scholfield’s HOD 35 Zarafa continued their consistent form in the Red Funnel Easter Challenge by posting a third place. This race also saw four boats getting penalty points including No Naked Flames for start line infringements.

Race 5: No Naked Flames was burning brightly winning the last race of the day. Peter Scholfield’s Zarafa posted a second with Sanguma, steered by Chris Walmsley gaining a third.

Zarafa has not won a single race so far in class 2 but is winning the class. This just goes to show that consistency is the key to winning a series. Peter Rutter’s Quokka had a poor result in race 5 but are still very much in the hunt in second place overall and the Irish J/109 No Naked Flames is still in contention for the class.


Race 3: Michael Tattersall’s Electra continued their impressive form winning the first race of the day from Bob Baker’s X332 Brightwork with John Corden’s Contessa 32 Fresh Herring in third place. The Contessa 32 was designed in 1971 which just goes to show that a good sea boat can do well under IRC even if the design is 35 years old.

Race 4: The X99 Electra won by over three minutes on corrected time and Dean & Dyball Enigma owned by Ian Braham, posted another good result coming in second place. Jackie Welch and Rob Dobson continued their great run coming in third with Elusive, their Elan 333.

Race 5: Ian Braham’s X332 finished a great day’s racing with an emphatic win by over three minutes from their main competition Electra, owned by Michael Tattersall. In third place was the Corby 29 hull no. 6 No Retreat, owned by David Riley.

Electra leads the class going into the last day but only by 1½ points from Dean & Dyball Engima. Elusive are still in third but they are subject to a protest.

Following Jim Saltonstall’s debrief, a prizegiving ceremony took place in Cowes Yacht Haven for competitors, where winners were awarded traditional regatta Easter Egg prizes for the last two days of racing.

The third and final day of the Red Funnel Easter Challenge continues tomorrow with two races scheduled before the overall prizegiving.

The above report is subject to on-going protests.Panthera

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