Doublehanders win overall
John Loden and co-skipper Paddy Cronin racing the HOD 35 Psipsina pulled off a surprising win to take the RORC's Morgan Cup for best yacht overall in IRC, the Colin Campbell Challenge Cup for best yacht in the Two Handed Division and the Charles Ball Challenge Cup for best yacht inIRC Two.
“I am totally gobsmacked,” admitted John Loden. “I have been racing Psipsina for 11 years and this is the biggest win by a country mile.”
Loden said that the falling breeze approaching Cherbourg was a decisive reason for the win and it went right to the wire. Psipsina beat Piet Vroon’s Ker 46 Tonnerre de Breskens 3 by just two minutes and 13 seconds on corrected time to win the prestigious Morgan Cup.
The start didn’t go well for Psipsina. Loden and Cronin made a navigational error and nearly missed Trinity House buoy altogether but fortunately they managed to alter course, just in time. After that they hardly put a foot wrong.
“The majority of the fleet chose to go to the north shore in the Solent but we correctly chose to say island-side and enjoyed better breeze than our rivals,” explained Loden. “By the time we got to No Man’s Land Fort we were leading IRC Two on the water and going well. During Saturday we had a superb spinnaker run across the Channel, 15 knots of steady breeze, warm air downwind sailing…terrific. One of the important factors in offshore racing is fatigue and we have never taken the macho approach of staying up when sleep is available and both of us got some rest during the day on Saturday which pays dividends.
"By Saturday afternoon we were on our final approach to Cherbourg and paid great heed to the tide. Perhaps we were a little over cautious but we were going to make damn sure we were uptide and we worked hard to make this happen. As we approached the finish the wind died down to as little as 5-6 knots and we were headed. We used one of our secret weapons to make good our speed in these conditions; we have a very flat A5 which is designed as a storm sail downwind but it also doubles up as a very effective headsail in light air conditions closer to the wind.
"We were pretty confident of the Class win and Paddy and I were enjoying a cold beer in the Yacht Club de Cherbourg when the RORC team told us the fantastic news. It is a moment I will treasure for a very long time.”
Piet Vroon’s Ker 46, Tonnerre de Breskens 3, won the Knightsbridge Cup for best yacht in IRC Zero and also took the RORC Salver for line honours by beating Tony Lawson’s Class 40 Concise 2 on the water. Peter Robson’s First 40.7 Playing Around Logic took the Queensborough Cup for best yacht in IRC One. Matthias Kracht’s JPK 9.60, Ultreia! was best yacht in IRC Three, winning the Warsash Cup.
Full results here