TeamOrigin drop a race
After yesterday’s lively weather, the Solent seemed almost benign for day tow of the RORC Easter Challenge as a southeasterly breeze of 10-15 knots welcomed the competitors to the starting area, just east of the Brambles Bank. PRO Jamie Wilkinson elected to race the fleet around tighter and shorter courses than the previous day with all six classes able to sail the three scheduled races.
“Medium airs are the toughest to work out, because conditions might vary minute to minute,“ commented Jim Saltonstall, who is attending the regatta offering on the water coaching. “You need to keep your wits about you and constantly evaluate your speed relative to the other boats around you. It's important to learn how to get the best out of your boat for a wide range of sailing angles.”
IRC Super Zero
TeamOrigin Rio took the first race of the day, but not the second. Johnny Vincent’s TP52 Pace took a memorable scalp, beating the America’s Cup team in race 4 by just 19 seconds.
“A very exciting day, a memorable one,” commented Pace’s owner/driver, Johnny Vincent. “TeamOrigin Rio blew a sail and I suppose that was good luck for us, but I was delighted to cross the line ahead of them. It is early days for us and I spun out a few times yesterday which was a bit humbling, but this is only our third weekend out with a new boat, but today was wonderful. I’m like a boy with a new toy.”
Niklas Zennstrom’s Farr 45 Rán won the first race, but it was incredibly close - after correction the top four boats finished within seconds of each other. In race 4 Michael Bartholomew’s King 40 Tokoloshe took their first bullet of the regatta. However, Anthony O’Leary’s Ker 39 Antix had a consistent day, including a win in today's final race. With two races left to go, Rán still lead the class, but are now on level points with Antix.
“Tomorrow should be interesting,” said Anthony O’Leary. "Rán are keeping us on our toes and we are doing the same to them, which is great. On the water we are having a close battle with Tokoloshe. We are delighted that we have come here from Crosshaven, it is an excellent regatta to prepare for the season ahead.”
German Christopher Opielok’s Rockall III had a great day at the races, scoring three straight bullets. “I just love racing here,” commented owner/driver Opielok. “I raced here for three Admiral’s Cups and it is great to be back. Today we had a fantastic battle with Jump Juice. We were together nearly all of the time - it was like match racing.”
However, there is no discard at the RORC Easter Challenge and Rockall III’s retirement yesterday puts them in third place. Andrew Iyer’s First 40.7 Portia had another excellent day and are currently leading the class, level on points with Conor Phelan’s Ker 37 Jump Juice.
Stephen Corson’s Corby 33 Salamander has travelled down from Kip on the west coast of Scotland and had a good start, winning the first race of the day. But Peter Schofield’s HOD 35 Seatrack still leads the class by a healthy margin, scoring another win in a consistent display. Chris and Hannah Neve’s First 35 No Chance ended the day on a high note by winning the last race of the day, lifting them into second place overall. Mike Moxley’s HOD 35 Malice lies third.
Adam Gosling’s Corby 36 Yes! had another perfect day to make it five wins in a row for the series. Robert Baker’s X 322 Brightwork had three podium finishes today, to move up to second place, ahead of the British Keelboat Academy’s J/80, helmed by Mark Lees.
Quarter Ton Class
Louise Morton’s Espada continues to dominate the class with three more bullets today. However, they did have a little extra help with North Sails designer, Dave Lenz, crewing alongside his better half Vicky.
After a well attended video debrief by Jim Saltonstall, TeamOrigin skipper/helmsman Ben Ainslie presented the prizes for Friday and Saturday’s racing at the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club.
Full results here