Next up...the De Guingand Bowl
The Royal Ocean Racing Club season continues with another bumper entry for the De Guingand Bowl Race. Over 75 yachts are expected on the Squadron Line this Saturday morning, ranging from cutting edge custom yachts to traditional cruising yachts. Boats from all over Europe will be competing for class prizes and overall honours in this the third race in the RORC Season’s Points Championship.
Piet Vroon’s Ker 46 Tonnerre de Breskens returns to RORC racing after winning her class at this year’s RORC Caribbean 600. The sky blue flyer, which was RORC Yacht of the Year for 2010, has undergone some rig and sail modifications in Breskens before arriving in Hamble this week to continue their racing programme, leading up to the Rolex Fastnet Race this August.
Chaz Ivill’s Grand Soleil 54 John B won IRC One in last month’s Cervantes Trophy Race. “John B will be competing in six RORC races this year, including the Rolex Fastnet Race,” explained Chaz Ivill. “Competing in the De Guingand Bowl is just part of this year’s offshore program. The core crew has been very successful and has been together for five years, this will be our third Fastnet campaign on the trot. However, John B has a blend of youth and experience and we have three sailors new to offshore sailing. Sam Cooper is just 18 and a student, Nathan Hanley is 22 and a sailmaker and Matt Mills has just finished University and is the son of regular crew, Tim Mills. Also William Broughton will be joining us this week for his first race on John B. William is eighteen and studying at Plymouth University.”
RORC Commodore Andrew McIrvine’s First 40 La Réponse won class in the Cervantes Trophy Race. McIrvine’s crew are all friends with no professionals on board. “Jason Owen will be the skipper for the De Guingand Bowl Race, fresh from winning the Etchells Class in Bermuda,” commented Andrew. “Jason is highly experienced but not all of the crew are; Tame Welsh has done very little sailing but has rowed across the Atlantic and Indian Oceans and is also a PhD nurse.” McIrvine’s La Réponse can expect a close battle with another First 40, Guy Prest’s Tarka II of Hamble, which should provide a close duel. Neil Kipling’s J/122 Joopster is also in fine form.
IRC Two also contains several First 40.7s, including Trevor Drew’s Blue Juice, representing the Civil Service Offshore Racing Club.
“The CSORC has a long history as a club, with one of its first races being the 1979 Fastnet,” explained Drew. “The emphasis is on having fun, with a friendly atmosphere. There is no minimum level of experience to sail with the club but the offshore crew has now completed the RYA Sea Survival and the ISAF Offshore Safety Course. We've been out on Blue Juice, getting in some team practice in the Solent and offshore. Our aim is to learn as much as we can and hopefully winning will come later.”
Two-handed racing is becoming an extremely popular discipline within the RORC Season’s Points Championship and 14 yachts will be competing this weekend.
Racing short-handed requires an all-round sailing ability and the class attracts a wide variety of people. Kirsteen Donaldson and Judith Eastwood make up the all-girls team on X-332, Pyxis. Between them they have racked up thousands of sea miles including races from The Solent to La Trinité and Santander but Donaldson is happy that the De Guingand Bowl Race will finish in the Solent.
“Previously, I would have preferred races that could be used as a feeder for a holiday. However, my sailing partner’s husband is not keen on sailing and my ‘other half’ is not keen on long passages home, so finishing near where we started allows us to get a good sail into a weekend most diplomatically!”
Frederic Waniart and crew are the two-handed team in form, having won the Cervantes Trophy Race last time out. Their Vim is one of the oldest boats competing but has been meticulously prepared by the French team. The legendary Paul Elvström designed the Aphrodite 101 in 1977.
“We will be racing the De Guingand double handed, as part of our season racing with RORC and also the UNCL double handed series,” explained Frederic Waniart. “One lawyer and one surgeon who have been sailing friends for quite some time. As for experience, it is my fourth season with the RORC in double handed sailing. I love racing with the RORC because there is a real competition, and the courses are very well organised.”