Season opener

The RORC's Red Funnel Easter Challenge to follow familiar format

Monday March 16th 2009, Author: Louay Habib, Location: United Kingdom
The Red Funnel Easter Challenge is the ‘must do’ tune up event starting a very busy racing season with the Royal Ocean Racing Club. The 18th Red Funnel Easter Challenge regatta will kick off with seven races scheduled from Friday 10th April to Sunday 12th April.

Once again RORC have relaxed the rules on outside assistance to allow on-the-water coaching which will be organised by Jim Saltonstall and his coaching team, including Cathy Foster, Barry Dunning and RORC Chief Executive Eddie Warden Owen.

“It is an initiative RORC introduced some years ago to give competitors the opportunity to brush off the winter rust and get some useful coaching input whilst racing.” commented Eddie.

The event has always attracted a highly diverse fleet of yachts and competitors and this year is no exception. An international fleet of custom and production yachts will be racing on tight Solent Courses designed to emphasise crew work and boat handling. Entries are still coming in but already there is a fleet boasting over 20 different designs.

Rolex Commodores' Cup competitors, Nick and Annie Haigh will be competing in their sixth Red Funnel Easter Challenge with their DK46, Dark and Steamy: “It is the premier regatta to start off the season and shake off the cobwebs. We have a big squad this year and the Red Funnel Easter Challenge is a great way to get everybody together and start our Rolex Fastnet campaign.”

The Royal Engineer Yacht Club is entering three boats with a mixture of serving officers, retired officers and civilians. Bridget Forster is sailing on X-332, Ilex of Upnor, this will be her third Red Funnel Easter Challenge: “It's a fantastic introduction to racing for people who have expressed an interest. It's a very sociable regatta for sailors who enjoy yachting for the fun of it and there's always something to learn from the coaches, no matter how experienced you are.”

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. For details of accommodation and dining facilities please contact the individual Club.

"The Red Funnel Easter Challenge is not restricted to RORC yachts. Any yacht which meets the requirements of the Notice of Race is most welcome and the owners and their crew will benefit from the superb coaching and the friendly atmosphere. It is an ideal opportunity at the start of the season, to have a really good look at how to improve your sailing and ultimately get the most out of your sport,” commented RORC Racing Manager, Ian Loffhagen.

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