Please select your home edition
Edition
Leaderboard brokerage

RORC Easter Challenge Overall: Classic Solent Sunday finale

by Louay Habib 17 Apr 20:39 BST 15-17 April 2022
The Army Sailing Association's Sun Fast 3600 Fujitsu British Soldier, skippered by Henry Foster won IRC Two, with J/112 Happy Daize - raced by Team Knight Build - in a gallant second place in the three-day RORC Easter Challenge © Paul Wyeth / www.pwpictures.com

Classic Solent conditions prevailed for the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s first inshore regatta of the 2022 season. After eight thrilling races, IRC class winners for the RORC Easter Challenge were: Ian Atkins’ GP42 Dark N Stormy (IRC 1), The Army Sailing Association’s Sun Fast 3600 Fujitsu British Soldier, skippered by Henry Foster (IRC 2), and Lena Having’s Corby 33 Mrs Freckles (IRC 3).

At the final Prize Giving held at the RORC Cowes Clubhouse, Regatta Race Manager Steve Cole introduced RORC Commodore James Neville who had been racing INO XXX at the Easter Challenge. James awarded glassware to the IRC class winners and the customary Easter Egg frenzy was well received by a big turn out!

“A fantastic regatta and it has been great to see so many teams competing in fine weather and looking forward to a busy season of racing with the Royal Ocean Racing Club,” commented James Neville. “A big ‘Thank You’ to Steve Cole and his race team, as well as the coaches led by Dog Palfrey, who have done an absolutely cracking job. I know I speak for so many teams when I say that the North Sails debriefs and help out on the water has been really appreciated.”

Full Results can be found at www.rorc.org/racing/race-results

The Solent delivered magnificent weather every day of the RORC Easter Challenge, but Mother Nature saved the best until last. Easter Sunday was blessed with a solid south-easterly, building during the day along with the tide. With outside assistance allowed during the regatta, a RORC coaching team supported by North Sails, was led by Andrew ‘Dog’ Palfrey. All competitors were offered coaching during racing, plus the daily video debriefs and online content provided an opportunity to take-in the lessons learnt. At the Saturday debrief, one of Dog Palfrey’s main points was the start routine and the final day’s racing proved that the teams were listening. Two races were held for all IRC classes with close to blanket starts achieved by the competitors.

IRC One

Ian Atkins’ GP42 Dark N Stormy won the last two races in the big boat class to tally-up seven wins from eight starts. The youth team racing Dutch Ker 46 Van Uden, skippered by Gerd-Jan Poortman, was second. Van Uden was just two points ahead of Harmen Jan de Graaf’s Dutch Ker 43 Baraka Gp.

“More of the same please,” commented Dark N Stormy’s Ian Atkins. “I don’t think I have ever done this regatta when it has felt like we are sailing in summer, with sea breeze and temperature in the high teens. We just had a blast. I wish it would go on for a few more days. Dark N Stormy has a hardcore of my previous team and if the rest of the season is like this, we are going to have a lot of fun!”

Ian Atkins has identified a big group of IRC boats of a similar ilk in the Solent. “These boats are fantastic fun to sail, high performance re-defined and we think there are 12-15 boats that are like Dark N Stormy. We would love them to come and compete in a series using existing events. We have five events in mind, mainly with the RORC and also Cowes Week, and a dedicated event later in the year, with a big party at the end. We know those boats are out there and we have sent invitations to boats ranging from TP52s to IC37S.”

Ian Walker, double Olympic Medallist and Volvo Ocean Race winning skipper was tactician for Dark N Stormy and commented: “The coaching team were really helpful, we got lots of good input and the race team did a great job with the course. There was no hanging around; I can’t fault any of it. The thing I noticed the most was that for us it was getting harder and harder to do well in the races; you could see the standard going up in the fleet, which was the aim of the regatta. Helped by the weather, you couldn’t have had a better weekend of racing.”

IRC Two

The Army Sailing Association’s Sun Fast 3600 Fujitsu British Soldier, skippered by Henry Foster won the class in the very last race of the regatta. J/112 Happy Daize raced by Team Knight Build, was a gallant second. VME Racing’s Mills 39 Zero II, skippered by James Gair finished the regatta in style, taking a second and first place in the final two races to snatch the last podium position. The intensity in the class was exemplified by two race ties after time correction between Andrew McIrvine’s Ker 39 La Réponse and Happy Daize.

Happy Daize skipper James Chalmers commented: “I have not been at the Easter Challenge for many years and we are really glad that we have competed this year. The competition on the water, especially with British Soldier and La Réponse, has been excellent. Right up to the last race we were crossing each other and that sort of competition increases performance. A big ‘Thank You’ to the RORC and the coaching team for organising a superb regatta. Our big regatta this year will be Cork Week in July and we have made a huge amount of progress for that event at the RORC Easter Challenge.”

IRC Three

Lena Having’s Corby 33 Mrs Freckles scored a 1-2 on the last day to win the class. Lena and her partner Eivind come from Gothenburg, Sweden and Mrs Freckles was sailing with a majority female crew, including two from the Magenta Project: “Although I have raced in the Solent before, I think the biggest area we need to improve on is learning about the strong tides, which we do not have in Gothenburg,” commented Having. “This year we plan to compete at a number of events in the Solent, both double-handed with Elvind and also with a full crew. A Swedish all-women’s team will be coming out for the Women’s Open Keelboat Championship this summer. While we love to sail in Sweden, you really have to come to the Solent for really competitive racing.”

Harry J. Heijst’s S&S 41 Winsome finished the regatta in style, taking the race win in the very last race to finish second, by a single point in IRC Three. Winsome was also awarded the Prix D'Elegance Award. Quarter Tonner Bullit, skippered by Julian Metherell was unable to race on the final day. Having led the regatta from the very first race, Bullit still placed third on countback from Rob Cotterill’s J/109 Mojo Risin’.

Racing with the Royal Ocean Racing Club continues with the first European-based offshore race of the 2022 RORC Season’s Points Championship. The Cervantes Trophy Race will be a cross-Channel dash to Le Havre, starting from the Royal Yacht Squadron Line, Cowes on Saturday 30th April. The next inshore regatta for the RORC will be the Vice Admiral’s Cup, with racing in the Solent for primarily one-design classes from Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd May.

Results at www.rorc.org/racing/race-results

For more information go to www.rorc.org

Related Articles

Key Yachting J-Cup Regatta 2022 day 1
Thrilling racing for the 56 teams in the Solent The Key Yachting J-Cup, in association with B&G, kicked off with 56 teams enjoying superb sunny conditions. A south westerly breeze built steadily during the day, and by the second race the gradient breeze was up to 15 knots, with 20 knots in the gusts. Posted today at 4:38 am
Understanding safety onboard
With Ocean Safety Ambassador Dee Caffari MBE and Ocean Safety MD Alistair Hackett YachtsandYachting.com's Mark Jardine talks to Ocean Safety Ambassador Dee Caffari MBE and Ocean Safety MD Alistair Hackett to get a better understanding of the safety features needed onboard yachts. Posted on 29 Jun
2022 J/70 UK National Championship Preview
Being held as part of the Key Yachting J-Cup The 2022 J/70 UK National Championships will take place 30th June - Saturday 2nd July as part of the Key Yachting J-Cup, organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club. Posted on 28 Jun
Half Ton Classics Cup announces main sponsor
Fast Lines Belgium to partner with Cowes event this August On Monday 15th August, which is exactly 51 days from today, the 12th Half Ton Classics Cup will start on the Solent, organized by RORC Cowes and the Half Ton Class Europe (HTCE). Posted on 24 Jun
2022 Roschier Baltic Sea Race preview
An international fleet prepares for the inaugural 630-mile offshore race With the new Roschier Baltic Sea Race starting from Helsinki Finland, the international fleet is preparing for the Royal Ocean Racing Club's inaugural 630-mile offshore race. Posted on 23 Jun
Round Britain & Ireland Race: Class40 combat zone
The race record for a monohull 40ft or less was set in the last edition Ten Class40s are among the entries and expressions of interest for the 2022 Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club. Posted on 21 Jun
Chilli Pepper blast to Morgan Cup victory
The hottest finish so far for the 2022 RORC Season's Points Championship The Royal Ocean Racing Club's race to Dartmouth for the Morgan Cup started on the warmest day of the year in the UK and ended with the hottest finish so far for the 2022 RORC Season's Points Championship. Posted on 19 Jun
Key Yachting J-Cup Regatta 2022 preview
52 teams have already entered with over 300 sailors taking part The Key Yachting J-Cup is the largest meeting of J/Boats in Northern Europe, 52 teams have already entered with over 300 sailors taking part. Posted on 16 Jun
RORC Morgan Cup Race 2022 preview
8th race of the Royal Ocean Racing Club Season's Points Championship The Royal Ocean Racing Club Season's Points Championship continues with the 8th race of the series, the Morgan Cup Race. Starting from the Royal Yacht Squadron Line at 1800 BST on the 17th of June. Posted on 16 Jun
Grand Prix Zero Round 2 at the RORC IRC Nationals
Niklas Zennström's Carkeek 40+ Rán 7, not only won IRC One, but was also awarded the overall win The Royal Ocean Racing Club's UK IRC National Championships has been running for over 20 years. This year for first time, all seven boats racing in the big boat class were all GP Zero Class boats. Posted on 14 Jun