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Rossborough Round the Island Race at the Royal Channel Islands Yacht Club

by Bill Harris 15 Aug 2016 11:33 BST 7 August 2016
Rhys Perkins' Abracadabra during the Rossborough Round the Island Race © Bill Harris

The Royal Channel Islands Yacht Club's annual Round the Island race was held on Sunday 7th August. With Rossborough Insurance in their first year of a three year sponsorship deal, the Club was delighted to see a strong field of 24 boats on the line for this most popular of races.

Conditions were good for the circumnavigation with a consistent moderate southwesterly breeze that was to hold throughout the morning and into the early afternoon, albeit coupled with moderate seas and overcast skies with occasional poor visibility as banks of mist rolled in. Those hoping for sunshine were to be sorely disappointed.

Starting two hours ahead of high water, the cruiser/racer fleet was sent on its way shortly after 8am, commencing with a short beat from the start line off the Baleine buoy to the Diamond Rock buoy in St Aubin's Bay. Here the fleet bore away for the eight-mile romp, mostly under spinnaker, to the Violet Channel buoy lying four miles to the southeast of the Island. The challenge, at this point, was to round the mark before the tide turned, hence the early start. From that point on, a favourable tide accompanied boats all the way to La Corbière where, if they arrived too soon, they would meet the ebb at its strongest point. The passage along the east coast presented few challenges as boats sailed on a broad reach past Rozel to harden up for the sail across the top of the Island. This is where tactical sailing came to the fore with some boats tacking in early whilst others waited until they were well into the beat before tacking in to Sorel Point. Once through the lumpy seas off Grosnez, boats bore away for the reach through St Ouen's Bay to La Corbière, on the Island's southwest corner. With little change in the wind direction, boats hoisted their spinnakers for the final leg towards the finish line off the Diamond Rock buoy.

Stiff competition was not in short supply in either class, with Rhys Perkins' Archambault A35, Abracadabra, battling it out with Granville's Jérôme Desvaux' Sprint 108, Jurassic, Allen Brown's Melges 24, The Dog's........! and Jeff Chinn's J105, Jewel in class 1. Abracadabra and The Dog's swapped the lead as the race progressed but always with Jurassic and Jewel in contention. After a little under five hours, The Dog's sailed home to take line honours with Abracadabra just two and a half minutes behind. Another two and half minutes behind, Jurassic proved to have sailed an excellent race, away from home, to take the IRC title, winning the coveted Jesse Boot trophy, with Abracadabra having to settle for first under NHC on corrected time. With 65 years of racing in Channel Islands waters to his credit, Granville's Robert Bregeon brought his three-quarter tonner, La Railleuse, home to notch up a second place under NHC. Jewel was third under both IRC and NHC.

Finishing some 40 minutes after The Dog's, the honours and the Cabot Memorial Trophy for class 2 went to Peter Crabb and Peter Williams' X95, Paper Tiger, winning both IRC 2 and NHC B outright. Jacques Minet's Symphonie Q, Gwez Gwern, from St Malo, finishing eight minutes later, was second in both IRC2 and NHC B. Chris Fritot's Hunter Sonata, Rondo, was third in IRC whilst Commodore James Wilding's Pandora 22, Boy Blew, took third place under NHC.

Three boats raced in each of the sport catamaran classes. Starting shortly after the cruisers, Darren Stower and Graeme Monks' Hobie Wildcat, Smurf, quickly sailed through the cruisers to complete the circumnavigation in just over three and a half hours. Adrian Jesson and Paul Martin kept the pressure on, sailing their Wildcat, Hobie 565, to cross the line just three minutes later to take second place. Jimmy Fullerton and Perry Stone suffered gear failure on their Hobie Tiger, Fearful Symmetry, but persevered to finish third.

Yvonne Winspear and Ania Baraniak, sailing Hobie 16, Girls on Top, led the Hobie 16 fleet from the start to take line honours and the race in well under five hours. Stuart McCue and Sandra Coleman on the 16, Salty Bean, finished just minutes later with one quickly righted capsize to their name. Jeremy Smith and Chloë Mattock were third on Nauti-Cat.

The Rossborough Round the Island race drew to a close in the Club that evening when Rossborough director Nigel Quick joined competitors for the prizegiving. Commodore James Wilding in thanking him for representing Rossborough, expressed the Club's appreciation for the company's keen sponsorship, saying that the Club was delighted that the event will continue to carry the company name into next year and beyond.

Overall Results:

Cruiser Classes

IRC 1 - Jesse Boot Trophy
1 Jurassic - Jérôme Desvaux - 4.53.42
2 Abracadabra - Rhys Perkins & ptnrs - 4.57.16
3 Jewel - Jeff Chinn - 5.00.45
4 Zanzibar - Alan Stevens - 5.52.10

NHC A
1 Abracadabra - 4.55.14
2 La Railleuse - Robert Bregeon - 4.56.27
3 Jewel - 4.56.52
4 Jurassic - 4.58.06
5 The Dog's........! - Allen Brown & ptnrs - 4.59.04
6 Zanzibar - 5.41.45
7 Murphy's Barque - Brendan Kellett - 6.46.09
8 Liquid Thrill - Sean Scarsbrook - 6.48.26

IRC 2 - Cabot Memorial Trophy
1 Paper Tiger - Peter Crabb & Peter Williams - 4.54.28
2 Gwez Gwern - Jacques Minet - 5.04.29
3 Rondo - Chris Fritot - 5.11.42
4 Moonlight Sonata - Tom Vallois - 5.13.37
5 Kalina - Rodney Challinor - 5.21.58
DNF Quicksilver

NHC B
1 Paper Tiger - 5.01.01
2 Gwez Gwern - 5.04.49
3 Boy Blew - James Wilding - 5.19.01
4 Moonlight Sonata - 5.22.04
5 Rondo - 5.22.18
6 Kalina - 5.22.42
7 Fillipene - Nick Bailhache - 5.24.14
8 Moku - Dave Yettram - 6.04.40
DNF - Venustus & Quicksilver

Sport Catamaran Classes

F18 - Hobie Tiger & Wildcat
1 Smurf – Darren Stower & Graeme Monks - 3.35.05
2 Hobie 565 – Adrian Jesson & Paul Martin - 3.38.00
3 Fearful Symmetry – James Fullerton & Perry Stone- 5.15.50

Hobie 16
1 Girls on Top – Yvonne Winspear & Anna Baraniak – 4.42.00
2 Salty Bean – Stuart McCue & Sandra Coleman – 4.44.10
3 Nauti-Cat – Jeremy Smith 5.00.47

Diary dates:

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