In recent years, the 75-mile-sprint to Cherbourg has always been the last hurrah of the RORC Season’s Point Championship. This year’s championship has been one of the most hotly contested for many years. Three yachts are contesting the overall championship and many of the podium places, in the seven classes racing under IRC, are still hanging in the balance.
“Most of the yachts will finish the race in time to enjoy a party atmosphere at the Yacht Club de Cherbourg,” commented RORC Racing Manager, Nick Elliott. “The end of the season is a time when a lot of the sailors really get a chance to meet up and share their memories of the season, the 2012 RORC Season’s Points Championship has been one of extremes with many very windy races but also barely enough breeze to keep going in others. The forecast for this weekend looks likely to give the fleet a downwind finale to the season with a north to north west moderate breeze and clear skies. However, it is highly likely that the wind will drop significantly on approach to Cherbourg and with a strong tide, we could see a exciting finish to the race and a dramatic end to seven months of racing.”
Frenchman Laurent Gouy’s Ker 39 Inis Mor leads the championship overall with a 17 point margin from Nick Martin’s J/105 Diablo-J. Reigning RORC Season’s Points Champion, Piet Vroon’s Ker 46 Tonnerre de Breskens lies in third place just 19.4 points off the lead. If Inis Mor can beat both of their rivals, they will secure the championship.
In IRC One, Inis Mor and Tonnerre de Breskens will be fighting it out for the class win, but four yachts are contesting the last podium position. Mark Emerson’s Rodman 42 Phosphorus is currently third, but RORC Commodore Mike Greville and his Ker 39 Erivale III are just six points behind and defending his overall win in last year’s race to Cherbourg. Andrew Pearce’s Ker 40 Magnum and Steven Anderson’s Corby 40 Cracklin Rosie will both be racing and have a chance of taking the last podium position.
In IRC Two, Sailing Logic’s Visit Malta Puma have secured the class win. Former RORC Commodore, Andrew McIrvine’s First 40 La Réponse is in second place but under serious threat from the Army Sailing Association’s A 40 British Soldier and Marc de Saint Denis and Géry Trentesaux’s MC34 Courrier Vintage.
Diablo-J is currently leading in IRC Three, but an overall winner is far from settled. The IRC classes are decided upon by the best four scores for the season. Vincent Willemart’s Belgian JPK 10.10 Wasabi, Mike Moxley’s British HOD 35 Malice and Noel Racine’s French JPK10.10 Foggy Dew can all snatch victory on the last race.
In the Two-handed Division, Diablo-J has secured the class win, but Kirsteen Donaldson’s X-332 Pyxis leads Mike Moxley’s HOD35 Malice by just a single point for the runner’s up prize.
With 14 different types of yacht racing to Cherbourg in IRC Four. The class is indicative of the huge variety of boats competing in the RORC Season’s Points Championship. Virtually every single yacht racing this weekend has a chance of making the podium for the season. Harry Heijst’s Dutch S&S 41 Winsome is assured of the class title with a race to spare and Kirsteen Donaldson’s X-332 Pyxis and Jean Yves Chateaux’s Nicholson 33 Iromiguy are currently second and third respectively. Pierre Viard & Nicolas Siloret’s Prism 28 Adrenaline may be the smallest yacht in the race but the 28ft pocket rocket will revel in the forecast light downwind conditions and have excellent local knowledge as the crew come from Normandy. Adrenaline has as good a chance as any of winning the final race of the RORC Season’s Points Championship.