Final perfect day

A report from the conclusion of the RORC's Red Funnel Easter Challenge

Monday April 17th 2006, Author: Louay Habib, Location: United Kingdom
The third and final day of the Red Funnel Easter Challenge and the competitors could not have asked for better weather - a south westerly breeze of 10-15 knots with clear skies and wonderful sunshine. The final two races of the series were windward leewards in an area between the Brambles Bank and Southampton Water.

Throughout the weekend the competitors have enjoyed some marvellous and well organised racing and thanks should go to all members of the race committee led by Principal Race Officer Jamie Wilkinson. A special mention to the committee boats Atlantis (Andy & Fiona Bristow); Condor (Bill Oakley and Tony Harvey) and 3C’s (Alec Cokes and Mike Scott).

IRM

Race 6: The penultimate race was won by Jerry Otter and his Farr 45 Werewolf after a tight battle with their sister ship Audacious helmed by Jon Pegg. At the line Werewolf won it, but only by a boat length. In third place was Farr 45 Rebel owned by David Franks.

Race 7: Shaun Frohlich’s Exabyte 4 won the last race of the day and in second place was the Farr 45 John Merricks crewed by Volvo RYA Keelboat sailors, their first podium finish of the regatta. Jerry Otter’s Werewolf was third. It has been fantastic sailing for the IRM class and going into the last race the winner was still undetermined.

In the end Werewolf did just enough to win the class by a single point from Exabyte 4. Jerry Otter, owner of IRM class winner Werewolf commented: “All the sailors out there this weekend learn a lot from people like Jim Saltonstall and Mike Richards coaching. The key lesson we have learnt is to keep looking at the sails all the time, constantly adjusting them and getting the weight of the crew in the correct areas is also very important. That goes for all of the crews, professional and amateur included. They can learn more in three days here than in a month of sailing without them.”

Jon Pegg driving Audacious will be satisfied with a third place against some good competition. This season should see as many as ten Farr 45s ripping up the Solent. It would be nice to see more Farr 40s doing the same.

IRC Super Zero & Zero:

Race 6: Benny Kelly’s TP52 Panthera continued their winning form by posting yet another win in the big boat class. Ger O’Rourke’s Cookson 50 Chieftain, named after his construction company, was second and it was great to see John Shepherd’s Ker 46 Fair Do’s VII making her debut with a third, pipping Kit Hobday’s Bear of Britain by three seconds after correction.

Race 7: Panthera smoked the last race winning by well over two minutes from debutante Ker 46, Fair Do’s VII. Erivale III’s Mike Greville had a good end to his weekend with a third in the last race.

IRC1

Race 6: Eamonn Rohan’s Corby 37 Blondie was absolutely unstoppable winning the race by four minutes on corrected time but significantly in second place was Dominic Chappell’s IMX 40 Maverick 2, pushing Jump Juice, the Ker 37 owned by Conor and Denise Phelan into third place.

Race 7: Eamonn Rohan’s Blondie continued their winning form beating Jump Juice by the biggest margin of the series. Ian Maclean’s Software Mistress had a good end to their regatta taking third place.

Designer John Corby gave his views about the Corby 37: “She is on the pace and I am also extremely relieved. We haven’t talked the boat up at all but there have been some negative comments in the press and perhaps this regatta has answered those criticisms. We’ve just been getting on with it quietly in the background.”

In second place overall was Conor and Denise Phelan’s Ker 37 Jump Juice and this is just the first installment of what should be a fascinating encounter between these two yachts this season. In third place overall, another Ker, Ian Maclean’s Software Mistress had an excellent second half of the regatta. All three of these boats should feature in major RORC events this season. At the moment, it looks like Blondie is just edging it but at this early stage in the season there will be opportunities for other boats to gain peak performance.

IRC2

Race 6: No Naked Flames, the Irish J/109 owned by Andrew Allen continued their sparkling form with a bullet, with Commodores’ Cup hopefuls Chris and Hannah Neve racing their Beneteau 34.7 No Doubt in second place. Third was Jim MacGregor in his Elan 40 Flair IV by only two seconds.

Race 7: Chris and Hannah Neve in No Doubt got the gun by one second on corrected time from No Naked Flames with Peter Rutter’s Quokka in third.

Andrew Allen owner of class winner J/109 No Naked Flames commented after racing: “We came to the Red Funnel Easter Challenge as the first event of what we hope will be a successful season and it’s great for all of the crew to start with a win.” Colm Moynihan, co-skipper added: “I would like to give a special mention to the on-the-water tuition that we have received this weekend, both from the coaches and in our case from North Sails. We were delighted to have Richie Hind-Smith on board who has a lot of experience and it’s a pity he can’t do the whole season with us.”

Peter Rutter’s Elan 37 Quokka, was in second place with her regular crew and is always well sailed. Peter Scholfield in his HOD 35 Zarafa did not manage to keep up his consistently good results and having led the class this morning, slipped to third place.

IRC3

Race 6: Dean & Dyball Enigma owned by Ian Braham notched up yet another win in class by nearly two minutes from Andy Johns Sigma 33 Shadowfax. David Riley’s elegant Corby 29 No Retreat was third.

Race 7: Ian Braham’s Dean & Dyball Enigma won the last race of the series from David Riley’s No Retreat with John Corden’s Contessa 32 Fresh Herring scoring a third.

The MG 346 Dean & Dyball Enigma won class 3 by a huge margin from Michael Tattersall’s Electra, the X99. David Riley’s Corby 29 No Retreat had a good day on the water and moved up to third place overall.

Ian Braham, Enigma’s skipper commented: “The regatta this year is at the right time to think about doing some proper racing. The boat’s based in Poole and unfortunately our race series was cancelled down there and the Red Funnel is a great alternative. At the moment we have an inshore programme but there is some discussion among the crew about whether we should do the Rolex Fastnet but I’m not convinced yet. There is the Bob Fisher view that to do the race you need a foot of boat length for every year of your life and as I am 42, we need a bigger boat. If we’re going to do the Fastnet, we will of course need to do the qualifying offshore races.”

The 15th Red Funnel Easter Challenge concluded with a prizegiving ceremony where Easter eggs and engraved tankards were presented to winners in all classes.

The Prix d’Elegance Trophy was awarded to Jump Juice owned by Conor and Denise Phelan and designed by Jason Ker. She will be part of one of the Irish Teams in the forthcoming Rolex Commodores’ Cup, and the Trophy will awarded at the RORC’s Annual Dinner in London in December.

Red Funnel’s Commercial Director Colin Hetherington who will be taking part in the Three Peaks Challenge on behalf of the British International Sailors’ Society later this year, commented: "With our long and outstanding maritime heritage, we are extremely proud to continue sponsoring this regatta and also to show our on-going commitment to sailing and events on the Isle of Wight. The regatta has always been a fantastic event and I am sure that with everyone’s hard work, it will continue to be known for starting the year’s racing season off with great success and enthusiasm.”

Summing up the regatta this year, RORC’s Racing Manager, Janet Grosvenor said: “What’s really nice about this regatta is that apart from the regulars who come year after year, we also see new people coming in and starting to race with RORC and we hope that some of them will go on to do some offshore racing with us. I have noticed that the standard of racing seems to improve year after year. The feedback that we have been getting from the competitors at the Red Funnel Easter Challenge is that the tuition is invaluable for all of the classes.”

Provisional Overall Results:

Pos Sail No Boat Type Owner Handicap R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 Tot
Super Zero + Zero
1 GBR1997L Panthera TP 52 Benny Kelly 1.328 1 2 1 2 1 1 1 9
2 GBR2R Fidessa Fastwave DK 46 Chris Brown/Peter Harding 1.209 2 1 2 5 2 5 7 24
3 IRL5005 Chieftain Cookson 50 Ger O Rourke 1.319 4 4 6 1 3 2 6 26
4 GBR521R Bear of Britain Farr 52 Kit Hobday 1.32 3 5 5 3 4 4 8 32
5 GBR46L Shockwave DK 46 Nick Lutte 1.208 5 3 6 9 5 7 4 39
6 GBR124 Yeoman of Hamble JV 44 David Aisher 1.168 7 7 3 4 6 8 5 40
7 GBR236R Erivale III Ker 39 Mike Greville 1.118 6 6 9 9 9 6 3 48
8 GBR4601L Fair Do's VII Ker 46 John Shepherd 1.187 9 9 9 9 9 3 2 50
IRC 1
1 IRL3008 Blondie Corby 37 Eamonn Rohan 1.083 1 2 1 2 1 1 1 9
2 IRL2007 Jump Juice Ker 37 Conor & Denise Phelan 1.103 2 1 2 1 2 3 2 13
3 GBR1540R Maverick 2 IMX 40 Dominic Chappell 1.093 10 3 6 14 4 2 5 43.5
4 GBR2740R Mankie IMX 40 Jack Pringle 1.093 7 6 3 11 6 4 9 46
5 GBR4639R Lowly Worm Swan 461 John Dean 1.087 3 18 7 3 5 11 6 53
6 GBR6513N Longbow Prima 38 ASA 1.082 6 7 12 8 7 14 4 58
7 GBR9308T Seaquest Seaquest 36 Hamish Mackay 1.078 5 11 8 5 9 6 14 58
8 GBR1381R Mostly Harmless Prima Tom Hayhoe 1.083 15 5 10 4 10 8 10 62
9 GBR79R Software Mistress Ker 36 Ian Maclean 1.091 16 9 13 16 3 5 3 65
10 GBR7383R Puma Logic Reflex 38 Sailing Logic 1.069 8 13 4 12 8 12 8 65
11 GBR7207T Playing Around First 40.7 Peter Robson 1.061 4 10 5 26 13 7 7 72
12 GBR3093R Joules Asterix Mumm 30 Louis Browne 1.089 10 4 9 14 11 13 12 72
13 GBR6510N Serendip Prima 38 Paul King 1.081 12 19 18 12 14 9 15 99
14 GBR3935R Hooligan V Max Fun 35 Edward Broadway 1.1 17 8 20 17 18 10 13 103
15 GBR560 Simply the Best Grand Soleil 43 Philip Wood 1.096 20 15 14 10 12 15 17 103
16 GBR38R Bornslippy 2 Prima 38 Julian Bates 1.08 11 21 11 18 15 25 12 113
17 GBR6690R Panther Mumm 36 James Stableford 1.081 13 17 17 15 16 17 18 113
18 GBR7003T First Crusader First 40.7 Ric Searle 1.066 14 12 21 18 21 18 16 120
19 NED332 Heart of Gold Mumm 30 Gary Shaffer 1.072 18 20 15 21 19 16 20 129
20 GBR8797T Dragon of Hamble First 44.7 Gwilym Evans 1.105 21 16 19 16 17 21 19 129
21 GBR9863 In X Celsis X 119 Peter Jones 1.071 23 22 25 19 20 19 23 151
22 GBR7080T Tarka First 40.7 Guy Prest 1.061 26 14 16 25 25 25 25 156
23 GBR9389 Tiger Reflex 38 Steven Winstanley 1.069 19 23 22 25 25 20 22 156
24 GBR7386R Lynx Reflex 38 Anna Rockall 1.064 22 24 25 20 25 22 2 159
IRC2
1 IRL11109 No Naked flames J 109 Andrew Allen 1.034 9 1 3 8 1 1 2 25
2 GBR1037L Quokka Elan 37 Peter Rutter 1.035 1 2 6 1 9 6 3 28
3 GBR7712R Zarafa HOD 35 Peter Scholfield 1.036 4 3 4 4 2 7 5 29
4 GBR1404R Flair IV Elan 40 Jim Macgregor 1.04 2 18 1 2 6 3 4 36
5 GBR7714R White Knight of Wessex HOD 35 Mark Neville 1.033 5 7 2 14 8 5 8 49
6 GBR9487R Jumunu J 109 Iain Fenna 1.03 6 11 7 7 5 4 9 49
7 GBR1347R No Doubt First 34.7 Chris and Hannah Neve 1.021 12 6 13 15 4 2 1 53
8 GBR7031T Sanguma Ker 31 Chris Walmsley/Thoms 1.041 3 12 5 6 3 12 12 53
9 GBR9040T Eye2Eye Dehler 36 Ian Hayes/Christine Simpson 1.031 7 20 9 13 14 8 7 78
10 GBR979R Malice HOD 35 Mike Moxley 1.034 10 8 25 5 23 11 6 88
11 GBR709R Jo Jo Gunne J 109 Richard Creer 1.007 13 15 13 11 15 10 14 91
12 GBR4809R Jacob's Ladder J 109 David Hunt 1.031 11 10 15 12 17 9 19 93
13 GBR2L Beth J 109 James George 1.028 15 16 14 18 7 14 10 94
14 GBR6895T Xcitable X 362 Peter Hodgkinson / Sarah Bailey 1.027 14 13 11 19 10 16 11 94
15 GBR4709R Jambo J 109 Nick Fry/Kate Buckingham 1.033 19 5 16 16 13 15 17 101
16 GBR9205R Diablo J J 105 Nick Martin/Cressida Robson 1.013 8 22 15 8 20 18 16 107
17 GBR9694T J2eau J 109 Steve Maine 1.036 25 4 22 14 12 21 13 111
18 GBR5203R La Bayadere First 36.7 Muller von Blumencron 1.032 21 19 18 21 11 17 15 122
19 GBR4909R High Tension J 109 John Cronk 1.032 22 14 19 23 19 13 18 128
20 GBR6909R Jugular J 109 John Pickles 1.031 18 21 12 22 16 20 21 130
21 IRL1090 Blondie J 109 David Whitehouse 1.035 17 9 25 22 21 19 20 133
22 GBR4811R Leo Lady Elan 40 Graham Nixon 1.042 23 24 21 15 18 22 22 145
23 GBR7707T Fay-J J 105 Paul Griffiths 1.019 16 17 20 20 25 25 25 148
24 GBR9129T Tigger 2 First 36.7 Adrian Ross 1.029 20 23 25 24 22 23 2 160
IRC3
1 GBR4365T Dean and Dyball Enigma MG 346 Ian Braham 0.952 2 4 4 2 1 1 1 15
2 GBR9887 Electra X-99 MOD Michael Tattersall 0.963 1 7 1 1 2 5 7 23.5
3 GBR2912R No Retreat Corby 29 David Riley 0.987 3 1 12 4 3 3 2 28
4 GBR9395R Elusive Elan 333 Jackie Welch and Robert Dobson 0.977 5 2 5 3 6 4 4 29
5 GBR4503 Shadowfax Sigma 33 Andy Johns 0.925 4 3 6 9 7 2 5 36
6 GBR5678T Scarlet Jester SJ320 Jamie Muir 0.998 6 7 8 8 4 6 8 46.5
7 GBR8500R Brightwork X332 Bob Baker 0.995 7 5 2 17 5 7 10 53
8 GBR9648R X Ploiter X 332 Steve Blake 0.993 8 8 10 6 9 8 6 55
9 GBR3278 Fresh Herring Contessa 32 John Corden 0.872 10 10 3 7 17 10 3 60
10 GBR1622T Tangent Minus 1 MG 335 Paul Aisher 0.954 11 11 7 5 8 9 9 60
11 GBR3782R Zebedee Sunfast 37 Bill Howard 1.001 12 9 18 10 12 14 14 89
12 GBR9563R Sonic Boom First 31.7 Simon Brady 0.947 9 12 17 11 17 12 11 89
13 GBR7341R Eilidh Grand Soleil 34.1 Chris Bowles 1 14 14 13 12 10 13 15 91
14 GBR9140 Nazca II OOD 34 Mike Wilkinson 0.949 17 17 12 13 13 11 12 95
15 GBR982R Bombardier Elan 333 Andrew Pickersgill 0.978 13 13 17 14 11 15 13 96
16 GBR2958 Corafin Contessa 32 Robin Holland 0.872 17 17 11 17 17 17 17 113
IRM
1 GBR745R Werewolf Farr 45 Jerry Otter 1.108 5 1 2 2 3 1 3 17
2 GBR4512R Exabyte 4 Farr 45 Shaun Frohlich 1.107 3 4 3 1 2 4 1 18
3 GBR1445R Audacious Farr 45 Jon Pegg 1.103 4 2 4 3 1 2 4 20
4 GBR8448R Rebel Farr 45 David Franks 1.107 1 6 1 4 5 3 5 25
5 GBR98R Creative Play Farr 40 H2O Yachting 1.053 2 3 7 5 4 5 6 32
6 GBR5955T John Merricks Farr 45 Volvo RYA Keelboat Programme 1.104 6 5 5 7 7 6 2 38


Other Prizes & Trophies:

Red Funnel Easter Challenge Prix d’Elegance Trophy:
Yacht Jump Juice, Ker 37 owned by Conor & Denise Phelan

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