Bright sunshine and decent wind gave competitors in the RORC Easter Challenge a day to remember.
Eddie Warden Owen, Chief Executive of the RORC was out on the water coaching every day and commented after the conclusion of racing: “Today was brilliant, stunning weather, decent breeze, shifting both ways, classic west Norwest Solent conditions with the breeze coming down the Solent and out of Southampton Water. Early bias on the left gave way to advantage on the right. Great sailing and a real challenge for the competitors.”
IRC Super Zero
TeamOrigin Rio won the class by some distance - but that is not why they came. Mike Sanderson, Team Director, summed up their regatta: “It’s been huge value for TeamOrigin to be here. We’ve had everything from 10 to 30 knots! When we showed up a few days ago we were pretty rough around the edges and by the last race today we were starting to make it happen as a team. So, for sure, a very important team building exercise for us all. The Solent, as ever, has proven itself to be a great training ground with its variety of tidal conditions and wind strengths. Many thanks to RORC and all the other competitors for making it such a great event.”
Johnny Vincent’s TP52 Pace was second and Grey, Laidlaw & Hayward’s Farr 52 Bob was sailed well all week and picked up third.
Niklas Zennström’s Farr 45 Rán came out on top in a major struggle with Anthony O’Leary’s Ker 39 Antix. Going into the last race the Farr 45 held a one point lead. Rán held on, sailing a near perfect race to clinch the class. “It was a little cold especially on Friday but we have had some very good sailing, well organised by the RORC," said Zennström after racing. "I must say a word of thanks to the crew. Ado Stead and Steve Hayles did a great job, but they were all magnificent.”
Neil Martin’s J/133 Jammy Dodger had a very consistent regatta and was rewarded with third overall pushing Tim Costello’s Mills 43 Tiamat into fourth. However Tiamat won the last race of the day to go back to Ireland with some satisfaction.
Conor Phelan’s Ker 37 Jump Juice held on in an epic battle with Christopher Opielok’s Corby 36 Rockall III . “They certainly kept us on our toes and would not have won if it had not been for some gear failure.” admitted Phelan. “We decided to wait to see how Jump Juice performed at Easter before deciding on our season and we are delighted to have won our class. The IRC Nationals in Ireland and Cork Week are in our plans and perhaps more.”
Andrew Iyer’s First 40.7 Portia was unable to sustain their excellent performance during the regatta but managed a podium position, taking third.
In a class of 19 boats, the worst result of Peter Schofield’s HOD 35 Seatrack was a third - an impressive result from a boat designed in 1996. “Obviously we are delighted with our performance but it was far from easy, especially today," said Schofield. "We got our tactics wrong in Race 6 and we had some gear problems in Race 7. So it was a bit tense to say the least. However, I must say what an excellent regatta with some super racing.”
Adam Gosling’s Corby 36, Yes! posted seven wins out of seven. “The boat just goes in the breeze, she loves it, on Friday in big wind she just went faster and faster,” commented Gosling.
There were eight Corbys racing at the RORC Easter Challenge and Cowes resident John Corby threw a party for all of them on Saturday night. Over 60 owners and crew meant that Corby yachts played a big part in this regatta “If you have enough yachts at a regatta you’re are bound to get a winner,” joked Corby.
Robert Baker’s X 322 Brightwork was second with the British Keelboat Academy’s J/80, helmed by Mark Lees third. Both boats had a consistent regatta.
Quarter Ton Class
Louise Morton’s Quarter tonner Espada won the Quarter Ton class.
A prize giving was held at the Cowes Yacht Haven Events Centre for all competitors in the RORC Easter Challenge.
Full results here