Last blast

This evening's race to Cherbourg will determine the final RORC Points Championship

Friday September 4th 2009, Author: Louay Habib, Location: United Kingdom
Starting today this evening, the Cherbourg Race, the final event in the RORC Season’s Points Championship looks like it could be a fast sleigh ride across the Channel. Current weather models predict a WNW gradient wind of 15 to 20 knots and there is the expectation of extremely gusty conditions with occasional blasts of breeze over 30 knots. Once out of the Solent this would provide very fast downwind conditions for the fleet and a full drag race for the last race of the RORC Season’s Points Championship.

With just one race remaining most of the Season’s Points winners are already decided. The winner of the Jazz Trophy for best total points score overall under IRC is, unofficially, Bill Blain’s J/133, Batfish III, which is entered for the Cherbourg Race. Nick Martin’s J 105, Diablo-J, is currently second overall and is racing this weekend. Piet Vroon’s Ker 46, Tonnerre de Breskens, is racing to Cherbourg and will almost certainly move up to second place overall. The marlin blue, bow sprit yacht should be extremely quick in the predicted conditions.

Overall leader for the season in IRC Super Zero is the RYA Keelboat Programme’s TP 52 John Merricks II and the young team are obviously good at maths. They are not racing this weekend, but can not be overhauled for the class title. Derek Saunders CM 60, Venomous is Cherbourg bound but they can only better their overall points total by an additional 17 points, leaving them an agonising 1.8 points short after the discard. The UK Sailing Association, sailing Peter Harrison’s Farr 52 Chernikeeff 2, are currently third overall.

The RORC season’s champion for IRC Zero is still not decided but Tonnerre de Breskens need only complete the course to stay ahead of Batfish III, after counting the best five results of the season. In fact Mike Greville’s Ker 39 Erivale III could overhaul Batfish III with a good race result this weekend. All three of these boats are bow sprit design and should enjoy an exhilarating race to the Cherbourg peninsular.

In IRC One, RORC Commodore Andrew McIrvine has had a cracking season racing Peter Rutter’s Corby 36 Quokka 7. The team are a long way ahead of the opposition for the class title. Sailing Logic’s Reflex 38 Puma Logic is entered for the Cherbourg Race and is expected to be crowned runner up for the season for the second year running. The Army Sailing Association’s A 40 British Soldier is once again in third place overall for the season.

In IRC Two, Nicolas de la Fourniere’s X 34 Exile/Mirabaud will be all smiles on route to Cherbourg; they will have already clinched two class titles with an unassailable lead in both IRC Two and the Two Handed Division. Second placed boat Simon Curwen’s J/105 Voador is not racing this weekend so have no chance of catching the French boat in either division. Noel Racine’s JPK 9.60 Foggy Dew is assured of third in IRC Two for the season.

In IRC 3 David Lee’s High Tension 36 Hephzibah is in the lead for the season, but only by eight points from Jean Yves Chateau’s Nicholson 33 Iromiguy. However Iromiguy was forced to cancel from the Cherbourg race being unable to get to the start due to the weather conditions and will have to settle for second place. David Cooper’s Dehler 38, Longue Pierre, has third place in the bag for the season.

In the Two Handed Division, Exile/Mirabaud may have the overall title sewn up with Voador in second place but the best battle on the race course this weekend will probably be between two HOD 35s sailing doublehanded. Currently Mike Moxley’s Malice is lying in third but John Loden’s Psipsina is just 8.3 points behind. With just seven boats in the race to Cherbourg sailing two handed, it is unlikely that Psipsina will get the better of Malice for the season but this class epitomises the need for determination and the two will almost certainly be match racing as they surf towards Cherbourg; the climax of the RORC Season’s Points Championship.

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