Flight of Apollo
Organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club in association with the Royal Yacht Squadron, the De Guingand Bowl saw Nigel Passmore’s turboed TP52, Apollo win both overall and in IRC Super Zero, in some style.
However it didn’t start off very well as Passmore explains: “We did have the worse possible start to the race, we were half a boat length over and whilst the rest of the fleet enjoyed a spinnaker run, we were putting up a headsail and making our way back to restart the race, it took us five painful minutes.”
By the time Apollo had reached St Catherine’s Point, they had caught up the entire fleet and crossed ahead of rival TP52 John Merricks II.
“I don’t think I have ever raced 140 miles down the south coast of England without ever encountering a foul tide “ admitted Passmore. “But one of the greatest strengths of Apollo is the resolve of the crew, they always give 100%, all of the time and we dug ourselves out of a hole and we are delighted with our win.
“We decided to come up from Plymouth to compete in the RORC season because we wanted to race the best and the fleet for the De Guingand Bowl had many great boats which are very well sailed. We are looking forward to the Myth of Malham, on the May Bank Holiday. But this afternoon we will all meet up and have a bit of a celebration."
In IRC Zero, Peter Rutter’s Grand Soleil 43 Quokka 8 had a marvelous debut race, winning the class by some distance in some good company, Jens Kuehne’s American RP48 Sjambok was second and South African Michael Bartholomew’s King 40 Tokoloshe was third on corrected time. Quokka 8 was also runner up overall.
IRC One was won by Neil Kipling’s J/122 Joopster. “It is Neil’s first season with the boat and he is a very happy owner which is always a good thing,” commented navigator Tristan Nelson. “We will be racing most of the RORC races this season including the IRC Nationals next month but our long term goal is the 2011 Rolex Fastnet Race.”
Second in IRC One was RORC Commodore Andrew McIrvine and Peter Morton’s First 40 La Response with Paul Turner’s Grand Soleil 43 Artemis in third.
Past RORC Commodore, David Aisher was racing his J/109 Yeoman of Wight and had a successful race, winning IRC Two. This extremely competitive class included several other Rolex Commodores’ Cup contenders. Yeoman of Wight has several members from the British Keelboat Academy and they showed great resolve by anchoring off Anvil Point at a crucial part of the race. Tired but elated, Aisher was highly complimentary of his crew and delighted with the class win.
Steve Northmore’s A 35 Waterjet.co.uk was second with Chris and Hanna Neve’s First 35 No Chance in third place.
In the two handed division John Loden’s HOD 35 Psipsina was victorious beating Kirsteen Donaldson’s X-332 Pyxis into second place with Peter Olden’s A-35 Solan Goose of Hamble third.
In IRC Three, Kirsteen Donaldson’s X-332 Pyxis won a gruelling race, crossing the finish line after nearly 28 hours of racing. Second was Trevor Nicholls’ Starlight 39 Spellbinder of Wytch.
The next race as part of the RORC Season’s Points Championship will be the Myth of Malham. The 230 mile Round Eddystone race starts on Friday 28 May.
Full results here