Round Britain and Ireland preview
One of our favourite races – the Royal Western YC’s doublehanded Shetland Isles Round Britain and Ireland Race with stops on the sets sail from Plymouth on Sunday at 1200.
This year's race has a strong line-up - the entry list is full - the majority being monohulls but with eight multihulls.
Half the multihull fleet have been locally-built to Plymouth by Darren Newton’s company Dazcat. Newton himself is taking part on one of his latest creations, with Rupert Kidd, who campaigned the Merf Owen-designed trimaran Fiery Cross in the 1980s. According to Newton, Kidd’s serious last race was 15 years ago while, his own was the RORC’s Round Britain 10 years ago when they won line honours on Dazzler.
They are sailing Kidd’s new boat, Suenos, a Dazcat 1195, built from the same 12m moulds from which boats like Drama Queen, Born Slippy and Dazzle came from and is the latest to launch, having only touched the water for the first time three weeks ago.
“We’ve sailed it for four hours and then sailed it for 300 miles [the RB&I qualifier] and then another four hours and now we’re going Round Britain,” says Newton.
All the 12m Dazcats have differences. As it has evolved Newton says they have attempted to curb the weight spiral by reducing beam to 6.5m and rig height, to create a boat with an easily driven hull. The latest boat has a new coachroof and cockpit designed by another racing multihull ol’ timer and designer, Nic Bailey.
While Suenos is more of a cruising-orientated Dazcat, the performance is still up there and these catamarans seem able to offer that elusive mix of speed and comfort. “Yesterday we went out in 25 knots and were hull flying with two reefs and the genoa," states Newton. "They get up. They are not for newbie multihull sailors. We are going to be in a lot comfort - we have the TV, a diesel stove, microwave, and a 4KVA genset.”
For Newton reckons that the boat to watch in the multihull fleet is Simon Baker and Dan Fellows’ Drama Queen, which is the more racing orientated version of their boat, without the creature comforts. Baker and Fellows are 18ft skiff sailors and got the new boat last year after their previous 10m Dazcat, Paradox was all but written off in a collision. Paradox has since been repaired and competed in the RB&I with Will Claxton and Matt Gill on board.
Both Drama Queen and Suenos are fitted with new 16m tall carbon Selden masts and Banks D4 sails, but Newton reckons that Drama Queen weighs in fully laden at around 4.3 tonnes, around 0.5 tonner lighter than their boat.
Drama Queen will be up against Andrew Fennell and Simon Redding’s trimaran Strontium Dog. Fennell says of his boat: "Simon Redding and myself have been building the boat for five years to get it to the start line for the 2010 RBI. It is a one-off design - hulls built and designed in Finland, carbon beams designed by Shuttleworth and built by Pro-composites in Essex. The boat was built on Canvey Island. Simon did the Oryx Quest with Bullimore and has done a lot of sea miles. I've been a cruiser mostly since leaving the Merchant Navy in the early 90s."
If conditions are right [or wrong] Strontium Dog and the 12m Dazcats will also face stiff competition from Tim Wilson and Richard Haynes’ Dragonfly 35 Cold Fusion Reloaded and also the pokey Corsair 31 Freebird, sailed by Mike Wigmore and Grant Kelly.
Some confusion here. There is an entry called Roaring Forty, but it is not Michel Kleinjans’ famous boat he sailed round the world solo in the Portimao Global Ocean Race, but is a Class 40 (the first Owen Clarke design to come from Jaz Marine in South Africa, we believe). In addition there is Roaring Again, a full-on carbon fibre Open 40, which was built by Hans Plas, who also - and to add to the confusion - built Kleinjans’ boat. Embarrassingly, Roaring Again competed in the last RB&I race and was beaten by Kleinjans’ older sistership (which is now for sale – check out our classifieds).
In addition to the Open 40 Roaring Again, there are nine Class 40s competing in the RB&I and of these one of the favourites is likely to be Alex Bennett and Malcolm Dickinson aboard Fujifilm, one of five Owen Clarke-designed 40s on the RB&I start line. Bennett is an ex-Mini and Open 50 sailor and was (briefly) one of Pete Goss’ crew on the Team Phillips maxi-cat.
They will be up against Andrew Dawson and Jon McColl on the much-campaigned Spliff (possibly not the best name for a performance boat), Nico Budel, who lost his boat in the Portimao Global Ocean Race but has since acquired that race's winner, Boris Herrmann’s Akilaria Beluga Racer. Also likely to be on the pace will be Nick Leggatt and Phillippa Hutton-Squire aboard Phesheya-Racing, as they have just completed in the Normandy Channel Race for the Class 40s. A man who knows his way around Britain is past winner Richard Tolkien who is campaigning his Humphreys Class 40 ORCA.
Among the Class 40 line-up is also Marco Nannini in his newly acquired Akilaria SunGard Front Arena, another ex-Portimao Global Race boat (previously it was Mowgli). Nannini is sailing with former Mini sailor Paul Peggs.
“It will be interesting because no one knows the pecking order,” says Peggs, who’s sailed in the last two RB&Is and is helping with thedailysail's punditry. Two other contenders aren’t taking part – including Miranda Merron and Peter Harding on the latter’s 40 Degrees and well known Dutch shorthanded sailor Sander Bakker who is the new owner of the Open 40 Syllogic – a bit long in the tooth now, but still one of the most radical in the class, originally featuring a canting rig and a special hi-tech autopilot system.
Outside of the Class 40s, the biggest boat in the monohull fleet is the Open 50 Wolfie’s Toy originally built for Royal Western YC shorthanded race stalwart, German Wolfgang Quix. However 17 years old now, the Class 40s and Open 40 should have a pace edge on her. “They were not very fast. We beat them in the JOD35,” says Peggs of how they got on in 2006.
“The Class 40s should lead the way around,” says Peggs. “If it is light at the start there is Jbellino, the J/122 is a good boat upwind. Jbellino must be up there for the IRC win.” Skippered by Rob Craigie this boat won Class 1 under IRC in last year’s OSTAR. On this occasion Craigie has sailing with him Charles Allen, best known in bygone years for his Team Woodbase Open 50 campaign.
While traditionally the RWYC’s shorthanded races have had their fleets divided into length bands and are then raced without handicap, in recent years IRC has been adopted. Given this, in addition to Jbellino, Peggs reckons that the J/105 Taika should be in with a good shout, for despite lurking towards the bottom of the size range she is being sailed by well known meteorologist (and ex Whitbread sailor and BT Global Challenge skipper) Chris Tibbs. “He is very well prepared, the boat is immaculate and he should know where to go. There’ll proably be a little trail of boats behind him!” says Peggs. Among his long list of achievements Tibbs also navigated the Open 60 Solune to a Round Britain monohull record, so knows the route.
Other well known types in the monohull fleet are Mary Falk and Jerry Freeman racing the former’s Q II, while Mini sailor Andrew Wood is sailing Streamline, one of three Koopmans VQ32s competing. Skipper of Streamline is Leslie Irvine from the Shetland Islands, who won his class four years ago.
Two Figaro 2s are racing. Having bailed from her campaign on the French Figaro circuit this year, Katie Miller is racing with Matthew Lingley on board bluQube and they will be up against the young duo Oliver Young and Sam Goodchild on Yogo Racing Izara.
Unlike the RORC’s equivalent, the RWYC’s Round Britian Race is doublehanded, goes on a clockwise rather than anti-clockwise lap of Britain and Ireland and has stopovers - as it has always had in its 44 year life span - in Crosshaven in southern Ireland, Barra in the outer Hebrides, Lerwick in the Shetlands and Lowestoft on the east coast.
As to the winners – the book is decidedly open.
|Strontium Dog||43' Tri||Andrew Fennel||Simon Redding||GBR|
|Drama Queen||Dazcat 1150||Simon Baker||Dan Fellows||GBR|
|Suenos||Dazcat 1195||Rupert Kidd||Darren Newton||GBR|
|Backlash II||11.6m Cat||Tony Purser||Matthew Theobald||GBR|
|Cold Fusion Reloaded||Dragonfly 35 Tri.||Tim Wilson||Richard Haynes||TRI|
|Paradox||Dazcat 10||Will Claxton||Matt Gill||GBR|
|allez Van Hee||Dazcat 9.2||Tony Van Hee||Bob Beggs||GBR|
|Freebird||Corsair 31 tri||Mike Wigmore||Grant Kelly||GBR|
|Wolfie’s Toy||Open 50||Bartel Van Holsbeek||Veronique Dierick Xvisschers||BEL|
|Kindness||Oyster 47||Nicholas Booth||Jonathan Shingleton||GBR|
|Rafiki||Salona 42||Rein Amels||Ebe Docter||NED|
|Roaring Forty||Class 40||Andrew Magrath||David Pugh||GBR|
|Solo||Class 40||Rune Aasberg||Arild Schei||NOR|
|Spliff||Class 40||Andrew Dawson||Jon McColl||GBR|
|Fujifilm||Class 40||Alex Bennett||Malcolm Dickinson||GBR|
|Livewire||Class 40||Stuart Dodd||Ian Marshall||GBR|
|sec.Hayai||Class 40||Nico Budel||Jules Banffer||NED|
|Phesheya-Racing||Class 40||Nick Leggatt||Phillippa Hutton-Squire||RSA|
|SunGard Front Arena||Class 40||Marco Nannini||Paul Peggs||ITA|
|Orca||Class 40||Richard Tolkien||Neil Brewer||GBR|
|Roaring Again||Open 40||Hans Plas||Robin Verhoef||NED|
|Vijaya||De Ridder 40||Huib Swets||Anne Raangs||NED|
|Roc||40ft sloop||Desmond Hampton||Adrian Biggs||GBR|
|Summerbird||Warrior 40||David Southwood||Sebastian Southwood||GBR|
|Quid Non?||Swan 40||Nigel Philpott||Christian Jeffery||GBR|
|Jbellino||J 122||Rob Craigie||Charles Allen||GBR|
|The Shed||Lightwave 395||Pip Hare||Phil Stubbs||GBR|
|Greyhound||Dehler 39SQ||Gerard Schalkwijk||Laura Engel||NED|
|Beyond||Comfortina 38||Stuart McDonald||Angus Lawrence||GBR|
|Zest||Sigma 38||Adrian Bishop||Eric Bates||GBR|
|Elixir||Elan 380||Felicity Gabbay||Roger Barber||GBR|
|Change of Course||C&C 115||Keith Gibbs||Robin Tatum||GBR|
|Thunder||Mills 37||John Fowler||Warwick Samuel||GBR|
|Ding Dong||Stewart 37||Christopher Rustom||Stephen Homewood||GBR|
|Home Run||Westerly Typhoon||John Goodchild||Mike Povey||GBR|
|Krackpot||Dehler 36 CWS||David Gebbett||Steve Lineker||GBR|
|Ruffian||Sigma 36||Pete McIntyre||Emma Nutt||GBR|
|Jangada Too||J109||Richard Palmer||Trevor Drew||GBR|
|Jager||Koopmans 35||Dick Koopmans||Yolanda Cupido-Koopmans||NED|
|Q II||One off||Mary Falk||Jerry Freeman||GBR|
|Comedy of Errors||HOD 35||Tony White||Sam White||GBR|
|Suroma||Starlight 35||Bill Graham||Robin Graham||GBR|
|Kipper of London||Victoria 34||John Corden||John Nash||GBR|
|Taika||J 105||Chris Tibbs||Kim Vasey||GBR|
|Flair II||MG 335||William Mumford||Ned Mumford||GBR|
|Knight’s Challenge||Sigma 33||Janet Sainsbury||John Futcher||GBR|
|bluQube||Figaro II||Katie Miller||Matthew Lingley||GBR|
|Yogo Racing Izara||Figaro II||Oliver Young||Sam Goodchild||GBR|
|Home of Jazz||Koopmans VQ32||Maarten Russchen||Harry Vogel||NED|
|Streamline||Koopmans VQ32||Leslie Irvine||Andrew Wood||GBR|
|Richard House Hospice||Koopmans VQ32||Richard Lett||Sharon McMichael||GBR|
|Resolute||Contessa 32||Wave Crookes||David Flett||GBR|
|Fastrak VII||Sunfast 3200i||Nigel Colley||David Bowdler||GBR|
|Spirit||Corby 30||Richard Versteegh||Jac Sandberg||NED|
|Santana||Capo 30||Myles Perrin||Ashley Perrin||GBR|
|Gratifikation||GK 29||Richard Argent||Kevin Ashford||GBR|