Please select your home edition
Edition
Clipper Ventures

2019 RORC Vice Admiral's Cup: Day 1 - Tough racing in light airs for the fleet

by Rupert Holmes 11 May 05:50 BST 10-12 May 2019
The Fast 40 class gets racing despite light airs today - RORC Vice Admiral's Cup 2019 © Rick Tomlinson

The opening day of the Vice Admiral's Cup served up light airs, with big shifts and wind reversals that challenged competitors and race officials alike. A quiet morning quickly gave way to an afternoon that started with fast-paced action on both course areas.

The first start was for the J/111 and J/109 classes in a very shifty southwesterly of 10-12 knots that created plenty of tactical challenges in a tight race with a short 0.8 mile windward leg. The fleet strongly favoured the committee boat end of the line and the first start was abandoned with 40 seconds to go.

In the restart, the fleet was more spaced out, with Cornel Riklin's J/111 Jitterbug closest to the pin end of the line. Both Simon Bamford's Kestrel and Joerg Sigg's Lallekonig appeared well placed mid-line, but the former was OCS.

It was an intense race for the J/111s, with two laps completed in only 35 minutes, and the first five boats finishing just 69 seconds apart. Joerg Sigg's Swiss Lallekonig took victory, 20 seconds ahead of Tony Mack's McFly, with Cornel Riklin's Jitterbug third.

Next away was the HP30 class, which again saw intense competition and on such a short course a good start was imperative. Tim Cunliffe's Farr 30 Insatiable was almost alone mid line, while most of the fleet again stacked up at the committee boat. Sture Wilkman's Swedish MC31 Vitres and Malcolm Wootton's Farr 30 Pegasus both jumped the gun and had to return, leaving Jamie Rankin's Farr 280 Pandemonium looking best placed in the early part of the race.

Glyn Lock's Farr 280 Toucan and Insatiable rounded the second windward mark simultaneously, with the former inside and therefore gaining a narrow lead at the spreader mark. They were followed closely by Pegasus, Virtres and Pandemonium.

Unfortunately, the best wind of the day proved to be short-lived and by the time the leaders were reaching the finish the breeze had dropped to only six knots, and even less in some big holes. Nevertheless, Toucan pulled out an impressive lead on the final leg, finishing more than two minutes ahead of Insatiable, with Pegasus taking third on the water just three seconds later. Toucan's lead was sufficient to retain the lead after time correction.

The SB20 fleet also raced on the same course, but spent proportionately more time in the lighter winds. Lizzie Farrington's Sail Navy started mid-line with a half-length advantage on the boats nearby, while Robin Kirby's Carnage also looked well placed close to the committee boat. However, Farrington was racing with a new crew of naval ratings who had not previously sailed an SB20 and Kirby retired. Christian Sutherland's Reach Around took victory a good margin ahead of Charlie Whelan's Breaking Bod and Charles Sheppard's Sharc.

The Fast 40+ class was first away for the second start line, with a 1.3 mile windward leg on a course axis of 260 degrees. Tony Dickin's Jubilee led the fleet at the first windward mark, 20 seconds ahead of Filip Engelbert's Elvis. Steve Cowie's Zephyr rounded next, 27 seconds later, followed closely by Niklas Zennstrom's Ran.

By the time the wind eased on the final run, Ran had pulled out a good lead. Meanwhile, having rounding the last mark uncharacteristically far back in the fleet, Peter Morton's Girls on Film gybed toward the northern corner of the course, well clear of her competitors. For a while it looked as though this might work, but as Ran closed the finish a very light south-easterly breeze re-established and Girls on Film again slipped backwards down the rankings.

Ed Fishwick's Redshift was second on the water, a couple of minutes adrift of Ran, and Zephyr third 67 seconds later. With only one point of rating difference between the three boats, they retained these positions on corrected time.

The Quarter Ton class had a long race for their first day, taking 1 hour 20 minutes in extremely fluky winds. Nevertheless Ian Southworth's Protis, Sam Laidlaw's Aquilla and Louise Morton's Bullet had a close tussle all the way around the course.

Southworth held a one-length lead over Aquilla at the end of the second 0.9 mile beat, with Bullet following close behind, ahead of Tom Hill's Belinda. On the final leg he extended the lead to 44 seconds, taking both line honours and victory on corrected time. Bullet crossed the line second, just ahead of Aguila, but fell to third on corrected time, while Tony Hayward's Blackfun moved from the back of the fleet up to fourth on the water.

"it was a tough, light airs Solent mixer and the team did very well to get a race in," Southworth said. "We changed places a number of times - it was nip and tuck all the way with Aguila and Bullet - very interesting racing and we're all looking forward to tomorrow."

With the south-easterly breeze subsequently stalling, racing was abandoned for the day at 1620. Tomorrow promises a more consistent north-north westerly breeze.

For more information visit www.rorc.org

Related Articles

140 yachts for the RORC Myth of Malham Race
A notable entry is the 53ft ketch Gipsy Moth IV This bank holiday weekend, 140 yachts, with over 900 crew from all over the world, will be competing in the Royal Ocean Racing Club's Myth of Malham Race. Posted on 23 May
Rolex China Sea Race 2020 date set
58th anniversary event to start on 8th April Entries are flowing for the 30th edition / 58th anniversary of the Rolex China Sea Race which will start on 8 April 2020. Posted on 20 May
Ultimes threaten Rolex Fastnet record destruction
It is very likely the outright record will fall in this August's edition In the last windy Rolex Fastnet Race in 2011, the Loick Peyron-skippered Banque Populaire V blasted around the 608 mile course in one day, eight hours and 48 minutes. Posted on 19 May
Antigua Bermuda Race prizegiving
Handmade customised plaques were awarded to every yacht Vice Commodore David Benevides and Rear Commodore Charles Penruddocke represented the RBYC. Past Commodore and Antigua Bermuda Race Chairman, Les Crane was assisted by Margaret Crane. Posted on 17 May
Pata Negra wins the Antigua Bermuda Race
Winning the Warrior Trophy for best corrected time under IRC With all yachts accounted for in the 2019 Antigua Bermuda Race, Giles Redpath's Lombard 46 Pata Negra (GBR), skippered by Andy Liss, has posted the best corrected time under IRC, winning the Warrior Trophy. Posted on 15 May
Antigua Bermuda Race day 6
Close call for warrior trophy Afansay Isaev's Grand Mistral 80 Maxi Weddell (RUS) is expected to finish around midday taking second place in Line Honours, but Weddell will be outside the IRC corrected time set by SHK Scallywag. Posted on 13 May
RORC Vice Admiral's Cup overall
23 different boats achieved at least one race win The past three days has produced tantalisingly close racing for the 72 boats - an increase of 40 per cent on last year's entry. Despite what initially appeared to be an unpromising forecast, six to eight races were completed in each of the eight classes. Posted on 12 May
Antigua Bermuda Race day 5
Line Honours for SHK Scallywag Supermaxi SHK Scallywag (HKG), skippered by David Witt, crossed the finish line outside St David's Lighthouse, Bermuda on Saturday 11 May, taking Line Honours in the Antigua Bermuda Race in an elapsed time of 3 days 08 hours 54 mins 21 seconds. Posted on 12 May
RORC Vice Admiral's Cup day 2
Day two sees four testing races in varied conditions The second day of racing at the Vice Admiral's Cup delivered four short, sharp races that tested the 72 competing boats and hundreds of sailors over a wide range of conditions. Posted on 12 May
Antigua Bermuda Race day 4
Scallywag's Saturday Night Fever Lombard 46 Pata Negra (GBR) leads the fleet after IRC time correction. Alfred Mylne ketch Mariella (ANT) leads the CSA Cruising Class. All yachts racing in the 935 nautical mile race are experiencing fast-reaching conditions towards Bermuda. Posted on 11 May