Big day on the Solent

Ger O'Rourke's Cookson 50 makes her mark at RORC's Fortis IRC Championship

Sunday June 11th 2006, Author: Trish Jenkins, Location: United Kingdom
Clear skies, warm air and early cloud above the New Forest meant sea breeze conditions once again in the sunny Solent. The race course from day one was the obvious choice and the racing did not disappoint, with probably some of the best racing seen in the Solent for several years. A fresh southeasterly breeze of 20 knots gusting to 25, with dazzling sunshine was just what the competitors wanted.

Race 4

IRC SZ
The sight of five big boats hammering up the beat and downwind in a full on foam-up made the hair on the back of your head stand up. Ger O'Rourke’s Cookson 50 Chieftain used her canting keel to full effect winning, but was only 25 seconds from Benny Kelly’s TP 52 Panthera. Kit Hobday’s Farr 52 Bear of Britain was 3rd.

IRC 0
Colm Barrington’s Ker 50 Magic Glove was an awesome sight leaving the rest of the fleet behind by a good five minutes. However, Tim Costello’s Mills 40 Tiamat continued their impressive form, beating the Ker 50 on corrected time to win the race. John Shepherd’s Ker 46 Fair Do’s VII was a consistent third.

IRC 1
David Dwyer’s Mills 39 Marinerscover.ie. were first over the line by an impressive 1½ minutes and also won on handicap from Eamonn Rohan’s Corby 37 Blondie. Ian Maclean’s Ker 36 Software Mistress was in third.

IRC 2
It’s not often that the grinders get a mention but Tony Turnage will have definitely earned a full fry up after short tacking Stephen James’ Swan 48 Jacobite who continued their impressive form winning by a mere 3 seconds, or in sailing terms half a bad tack. Just behind was Anthony O’Leary’s Corby 35 Antix with Andrew Allen and Colm Monahan’s J/109 No Naked Flames in third.

IRC 3
Michael Tattersall’s X-99 Electra continued their tussle with Jackie Welch driving Elusive, with the former winning this race by a significant margin. In third place was Jamie Muir’s SJ320 Scarlet Jester.

Race 5

IRC SZ
With a wind speed gusting up to 30 knots, this was going to be an interesting race. Bear of Britain nailed the start getting into clean air. Up the first beat the fleet were swapping places at will with a few loud discussions going on, particularly between Chernikeeff 2 and Panthera. Kid Hobday’s Farr 52 Bear of Britain was first at the top mark but it wasn’t long before Benny Kelly’s Panthera caught them up. After the most fascinating race of the day, it was Ger O’Rourke’s Cookson 50 Chieftain on corrected time followed by the Farr 52 Bear of Britain and the TP 52 Panthera.

IRC 0
John Shepherd’s Ker 46 Fair Do’s VII managed to get the better of Tim Costello’s Mills 40 Tiamat for the first time in this regatta. In third place was Robert Bottomley’s Beneteau 47.7 Decosol which was great to see after they had to retire from yesterday’s racing.

IRC 1
David Dwyer’s Mills 39 Marinerscove.ie won in dramatic fashion from Eamonn Rohan’s Corby 37 Blondie. The Mills 39 was designed to be a very stable boat and she was very suited to the windy conditions. Ian Maclean’s Ker 36 Software Mistress was third.

IRC 2
Stephen James’ Swan 48 Jacobite continued their relentless top form with yet another bullet. Anthony O’Leary’s Corby 35 Antix was still pushing them hard only 26 seconds behind on corrected time. Mike MacCarthy’s Ker 32 Checkmate was third.

IRC 3
The fantastic battle between two boats continued with Jackie Welch’s Elan 333 Elusive gaining top spot from Mike Tattersall’s Electra. Jamie Muir’s Scarlett Jester was in third place.

Race 6

IRC SZ
Ger O’Rourke’s Cookson 50 Chieftain completed a cracking day on the water winning by over two minutes from Kit Hobday’s Bear of Britain. Benny Kelly’s TP 52 Panthera was third. It is worth mentioning that Bear of Britain’s crew has an average age of 21 and to be competitive in this fleet is a testament to their ability.

IRC 0
Tim Costello’s Mills 40 Tiamat continued their sparkling form, winning the last race of the day. Colm Barrington’s Ker 50 Magic Glove was second and John Shepherd’s Fair Do’s VII third.

Tim Costello owner of Tiamat currently leading Class Super 0 commented: “Even without the sunshine, I’m a very happy man. We seem to be finding the right spots on the start lines and we have to say the boat’s going like a train at the moment. The crew work is great but it’s never perfect but our speed of recovery is keeping us out of trouble. Brendan Foley is doing a fantastic job driving the boat and the Dublin Bay Club crew are very well established on the boat. For the Fortis IRC Championships we have a bit of local advice from Mike Richards and to come over to these waters, which are a little tricky, if you don’t have local input, you are really wasting your time.”

IRC 1
Eamonn Rohan’s Corny 37 Blondie had a close tussle with David Dwyer’s Mills 40 Marinerscover.ie but eventually the Corby came out on top. Ian Maclean’s Ker 36 Software Mistress was third.

John Corby designer of Blondie commented after racing on board today: “We had a much better day at the office. To be honest with you we had a chat to the crew last night and today the crew work was so much better. At the moment I am happy with the crew, the boat and the sails and I am relishing the prospect of racing well tomorrow, especially as we now have the Mills 39 Marinerscover.ie as competition, as Mark Mills is a good buddy of mine.”

IRC 2
The last race of the day saw a general recall with several boats also picking up Z flag penalties after the restart on corrected time, Chris and Hannah Neve’s Beneteau 34.7 No Doubt got their first bullet of the regatta with Lucy Macgregor’s Elan 40 Civils with Flair picking up their first podium, finish. Anthony O’Leary’s Corby 35 Antix was third.

IRC 3
Michael Tattersall’s X-99 Electra came out on top from their class rival Elusive, the Elan 333 helmed by Jackie Welch. Roger Swinney’s Impala 28 Ayanami was third.

Day two saw some fantastic racing in the eastern Solent. To summarise in Super 0 Ger O’Rourke’s canting keel Cookson 50 Chieftain has an almost unassailable lead. But there is a fantastic battle for second place with Benny Kelly’s Panthera just 1 point ahead of Kit Hobday’s Bear of Britain.

In IRC 0 Tim Costello’s Mills 40 Tiamat looks uncatchable but John Shepherd’s Fair Do’s VII in second and Colm Barrington’s Magic Glove in third can still catch Tiamat should they have a bad day tomorrow.

In IRC1 Marinerscove.ie owned by David Dwyer leads the class for the first time but only on countback from Eamonn Rohan’ Corby 37 Blondie. Ian Maclean’s Ker 36 Software Mistress has had a consistent regatta so far and is lying in third place. Conor and Denise Phelan’s Jump Juice had an erratic day dropping them to fourth overall.

Despite a poor result in the last race of the day Stephen James’ Swan 48 Jacobite still leads the IRC 2 Class from Anthony O’Leary’s Corby 35 Antix with Mike MacCarthy’s Ker 32 Checkmate in third but it is worth pointing out that the poor result to Jacobite may be decisive with regards to the overall championship.

Michael Tatersall’s X-99 Electra and Jackie Welch’s Elan 333 are on identical points after six races. One of them will win their class tomorrow in what will be a tense finish in the Fortis IRC Championships for these two. Roger Swinney’s Impala 28 Ayanami is holding onto third but only by a point from Jamie Muir’s Scarlet Jester.

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