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Ovington 2021 - ILCA 2 - LEADERBOARD

J/121 wins IRC 1 in RORC Channel Race

by J/Boats 31 Jul 19:32 BST 24-25 July 2021
Michael O'Donnell's J/121 Darkwood - RORC Channel Race © Rick Tomlinson / RORC

The penultimate race to take place before the famous RORC Rolex Fastnet Race was the Channel Race this past weekend. The race is often seen as the final test and "practice race" for crews fine-tuning their boatspeed, sail choices, and boat-handling skills prior to the "new" Fastnet Race that starts in the Solent, goes west out and around Fastnet Rock Lighthouse, but then heads back east across the English Channel to finish in Cherbourg, France!

With great anticipation, a number of top J/Teams were hoping their season long focus on improving offshore performance was beginning to pay dividends in their continual process of improvement. One team could not have been happier with the outcome of their efforts this offshore season. Winning IRC 1 Division was Mike O'Donnell's J/121 Darkwood. They have been leading IRC 1 Division overall for the season and the win simply added to their series lead.

In the IRC 2 Division, having one of their strongest races to date in the RORC offshore series, was Andy Theobald's J/122 R&W, taking fourth place.

Mike Yates' J/109 Jago also had one of their best outings offshore, taking the silver in arguably one of the toughest divisions in the RORC summer series- IRC 3 Division. What is remarkable about their performance on a 20-year-old design? They missed winning the top spot on the podium by 26 seconds by a brand-new Sun Fast 3300 design! Similarly, just 14 minutes back was Maxime Mesnil's J/99 Axe Sail finishing in fourth place. J/109 teams sailed very well in this race, with Fiona Cook's Jolly Jack Tar taking 7th and Kevin Armstrong's Jazzy Jellyfish placing 9th.

In the relatively large IRC 4 Division, J/109s continued to show their mettle for being a two-decade old design. David McGough's Just So missed winning the race by a mere 12 minutes. And, missed taking the silver by just 4 minutes...or third place by a scant 17 Seconds! Ugh! You can hear the groan when you can quantify where you lost that 17 seconds! Not that far off the pace was Rob Cotterill's J/109 Mojo Risin', finishing 9th.

In the IRC Doublehanded Division, amateur J/Boats owners as a group crushed it...as Corinthians racing against Professional teams on Sunfast boats. McGough's J/109 Just So finished 4th, Mike Yates' J/109 Jago 6th, and Maxime Mesnil's J/99 Axe Sail 9th.

More RORC Channel Race sailing information here...

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