HM King Harald wins new series
Norwegian Offshore Racing Club (NORC) was founded last year and is the Norwegian equivalent to RORC. This season they put together a regatta series consisting of already established ocean regattas and three new round the cans events in Oslofjorden.
"We chose IMS as rating system and all in all we are quite happy with it so far," says Lars Erik Heibek, founder of NORC and a part of the Fram XIV team. "We have managed to get many of the best sailors in Norway to join the series and we have all learned a lot in the process."
This weekend the boats gathered in the picturesque town of Aasgaardstrand, former home of the painter Edvard Munch, in Oslofjorden for the last round the can events before the winter kicks in.
The series was raced by 20 boats, ranging from Judel/Vrolijk 47s via IMX45s and 40s to First 36.7s. Names like round the world sailors Espen Guttormsen and Christen Horn Johannessen, Knut Frostad, highly ranked Melges 24 sailor and Fram XIV helmsman Kristoffer Spone and Laser, Melges 24 sailing coach Eivind Melleby, joined the regatta.
"We have sailed a number of international IMS regattas on board various Fram boats and we are the most experienced team in Norway," says Spone. "But the competition was so good that we weren't certain that this regatta would go our way. We won by just one point."
Spone sailed his ILC 40 to third place this weekend. That was just enough to beat Peer Moberg, helmsman on Einar Sisseners IMX45 Al One Too, in the finale score. Ocean Warrior, Sverre Valeur's IMX40, had put Espen Guttormsen behind the carbon wheel for the last race in the series and he did his job. Ocean Warrior won the event and secured third place overall.
"We are currently working on the plans for the series next year and we have ambitions of making it even bigger. The combination of ocean-going regattas and intense round the can racing is ideal. We are especially pleased that Sony Ericsson joined us as title sponsor this year and we will work hard to make this a long term relationship," says Heibek.
Results Sony Ericsson NORC ranking 2004:
1. HMK Kong Harald, Fram XIV, ILC 40, 11 point
2. Einar Sissener, Al One Too, IMX45, 12 points
3. Sverre Valeur, Ocean Warrior, IMX40, 12 points
4. Eivind Haugan, Abraxas, IMX40, 16 points
5. Carl Edw. Jansen, Obnoxious, IMX40, 20 points
6. Lasse Kjus, Marjalisa, Grand Soleil 40R, 20 points