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2022 RORC Annual Dinner and Prizegiving: Jangada wins RORC Yacht of the Year

by Louay Habib / RORC 7 Nov 2022 14:05 GMT
Three cheers for 2022 RORC Yacht of the Year Season's Points Championship winner: Richard Palmer - JPK 1010 Jangada (GBR) with co-skippers Rupert Holmes & Jeremy Waitt © Rich Bowen Photograph

The 2022 Royal Ocean Racing Club Annual Dinner and Prize Giving was held in the Ballroom of the InterContinental London Park Lane.

Celebrating an impressive season of RORC racing, over 200 guests enjoyed a cocktail reception and gourmet dinner at the luxury five-star hotel. Sailors came from all over Europe and further afield for a night of festivities with the RORC. A glittering array of prestigious prizes were presented to the season's winners. With trophies dating back over a century, the RORC Season's Points Championship is part of yacht racing history; it is the largest yacht racing series anywhere in the world.

The 2022 RORC Season's Points Championship featured 16 offshore races held in nine different countries. The exciting programme included: the Rolex Middle Sea Race, the RORC Transatlantic Race, the RORC Caribbean 600, the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Yacht Race, the inaugural Roschier Baltic Sea Race, and the Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race.

For 10 months, over 400 boats and 5000 sailors raced an astounding variety of offshore certified keelboats. Ranked under the IRC Rating Rule, jointly administered by the RORC and the UNCL, competition was thrilling and close, right through the classes. The RORC Season's Points Championship also awards prizes to Multihulls and Class40s.

2022 RORC Yacht of the Year + Season's Points Championship winner:

Richard Palmer's JPK 1010 Jangada - racing Two-Handed with co-skippers Jeremy Waitt/Rupert Holmes:

Winning the RORC Season's Points Championship is an achievement desired by any serious offshore sailor. The Overall winner of the 2022 championship, lifting the Jazz Trophy was Richard Palmer's JPK 1010 Jangada, which was raced Two-Handed with two co-skippers during the season; Jeremy Waitt and Rupert Holmes.

Jangada completed 12 races, accumulating a massive haul of points for overall victory. But perhaps the best indicator of Jangada's performance was that the team was victorious in two classes, IRC Two-Handed and IRC Three, where the winner is decided by the best five races in the series. Jangada was also the winner of a new trophy; The Gordon Applebey Trophy for the best six races in IRC Overall.

In IRC Three with 71 entries, Jangada narrowly beat Sun Fast 3200 Cora, raced by Tim Goodhew & Kelvin Matthews. Cora's impressive season was rewarded with The Assuage Trophy. Mike Yate's J/109 JAGO was third. In IRC Two-Handed with 99 teams, runner-up to Jangada was Cora and third was Sun Fast 3300 Chilli Pepper, raced by Jim & Ellie Driver.

Jangada's ambitious resolve to win the RORC Season's Points Championship started in 2018 when Richard Palmer and Jeremy Waitt narrowly missed out in their first attempt, thwarted by rig failure in their final race. In 2020, after a superb start with an overall win in the RORC Transatlantic Race, the pandemic took away any chance of winning. This year, Jangada sealed off an immense season with the overall win under IRC for the Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race.

"Five years ago, we set out to win the Jazz Trophy but we had no idea where this campaign was going to lead us," commented Richard Palmer. "Finally, this year has exceeded all our expectations, winning the Championship overall and winning the RORC Yacht of the Year. A massive thank you to my co-skippers for their huge commitment, and to our families and friends that have supported us on this fabulous journey."

IRC Superzero - Telefonica Black

VO70 Telefonica Black, skippered by Lance Shepherd was the winner of the 18-team IRC Superzero Class. Runner-up was the Polish National Foundation's VO70 I Love Poland, third was the VPLP/Verdier 100 Comanche.

"Our aim to make big boat sailing fun and accessible has been achieved. We are proud to have won IRC Superzero," commented Telefonica Black's Lance Shepherd. "We run Telefonica with a skipper and three regular crew, with up to 14 guests. Our team is different for every RORC race so they have to pull together as a unit. We try to make the experience a fun, learning environment with a huge emphasis on safety and seamanship. Everyone gets to try every position onboard; our mantra is to enjoy the experience. If we get results, that's the icing on the cake."

IRC Zero - INO XXX

One of the highlights of the season for INO XXX was the 230-mile Myth of Malham Race. INO XXX won overall beating Niklas Zennström's brand-new Swedish CF-520 Rán 8 into second place.

"It was great to see so many boats out racing, with the RORC making the most of the Jubilee Weekend!" exclaimed James Neville. "The start was quite difficult; we had to put a few gybes in to hold position on the south side of the Solent. With tide under us, it was a tight call getting past the Shingles. The crucial tactic racing to the west was making Portland on one gybe, and that maximized our VMG. Rán sailed deeper than us and got to the Eddystone Lighthouse two hours ahead of us, but we knew that on IRC corrected they needed about four hours in the race. Rán did have to foot off as they were on a tighter angle, which meant they had to sail more miles, but INO goes well on a tight reach. The big decision racing east was staying quite south on the return past Portland. We had good tide all the way to the Isle of Wight and with the easterly coming in and tidal relief from the Island, that was what did it for us. The wind died for the boats behind and they had foul tide."

IRC One - Bulldog

Derek Shakespeare's J/122 Bulldog was the winner of the 103-strong IRC One Class, lifting the Trenchemer Cup. Michael O'Donnell's J/121 Darkwood was second and Jean-Eudes Renier & Rob Bottomley racing MAT12 Sailplane was third. Bulldog also won the Peter Harrison Youth Trophy for a crew with a third under 25.

"The key for our RORC Season win was consistency," commented Derek Shakespeare. "Albeit with only one class win, in our six races we finished five on the podium. We kept the boat moving all the time and made some good navigational calls. It was great to win our class in the De Guingand Bowl - there were plenty of tactical options as the course took us first to lines of longitude rather than fixed marks. Between the Needles and St Catherine's we chose to stay close to the Island and that paid for us in the end."

IRC Two - Bellino

Rob Craigie's Sun Fast 3600 Bellino, racing Two-Handed with Deb Fish was the winner of IRC Two in a class of 88 boats, lifting the Emily Verger Plate. Nick Martin's Sun Fast 3600 Diablo, racing with Cal Finlayson was a close second for the season. Jim & Ellie Driver racing Sun Fast 3300 Chilli Pepper was third.

The Corinthian team of Rob and Deb on Bellino have sailed a huge number of miles together, including winning the RORC IRC Two-Handed season three times in the past five years. This year, for the first time, Bellino competed in the Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race. Winning IRC Two for the 1805-mile race resulted in class victory for the season. Bellino had an epic duel with Sam White and Sam North, also racing Two-Handed with JPK 1080 Mzungu!

"We knew from the start that there would be strong competition, with boat-on-boat racing and that was a big reason for entering the race," commented Bellino's Deb Fish after finishing the Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race. "We could see Mzungu! for 95% of the race. In that situation, for every mile you are looking for that extra inch, you have to short tack to stay in pressure or out of bad tide. It was great racing, but also stressful; an absolutely cracking race."

"It's just about sailing the boat," said Rob Craigie. "You have to get it going; tweak the sails, set up the instruments and also have fun and enjoy it. This race has been 1800 miles of close racing at the highest level. All you can ever do is the best you can."

IRC Four - Morning After

Stuart Greenfield S&S 34 Morning After was the winner of IRC Four, lifting the Cowland Trophy and also the Freddie Morgan Trophy for the Best Classic Yacht. Paul Scott's Sigma 38 Spirit was runner-up, with Kirsteen Donaldson's x-332 Pyxis completing the podium.

"Morning After was left in a yard for 21 years. It took 18 months because of Covid to rebuild her and I think I've aged 20 years doing it," commented Stuart Greenfield.

Morning After competed in six RORC races in 2022. Stuart raced Morning After for much of the season Two-Handed with Louise Clayton. However, for the Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race, Morning After was fully crewed with the addition of RORC Admiral Mike Greville and Frederick Neville-Jones. Racing with Louise Clayton, Stuart's 1968 Morning After won IRC Two-Handed in a class of 45 for the 2022 Cowes Dinard St Malo Race.

"Morning After is a brilliant boat on the beat and we stayed on starboard tack all the way to Casquets. In the morning we had no breeze and at one point, we were going backwards on the tide and we thought we had lost the race. However, the wind picked up from the north and we got going again before the boats in front of us got the new wind. That is the luck of being a small boat, but we had to get the tide tactics absolutely spot on!"

MOCRA Class - Maserati

Giovanni Soldini's Multi70 Maserati was the winner of the Multihull Class. After MOCRA time correction Maserati was the winner of the RORC Caribbean 600. Despite not winning on corrected time, Maserati's golden race was the RORC Transatlantic Race, taking Line Honours in a 4000-mile shoot-out with PowerPlay and Argo. "It was a breathtaking race! Our crew gave their all and Maserati Multi70 really made the difference," Soldini rejoiced. "I am very satisfied. The result of the work of these years is there for all to see. It has been a very long process of research and development."

Class40 - Mussulo 40

The RORC Class40 champion for 2022 was Jose Guilherme Caldas' Mussulo 40, winning the Concise Trophy. Runner-up was Antoine Magre's Palanad 3 and third was Greg Leonard's Kite. Twenty Class40 competed in RORC races during 2022, including nine for the RORC Caribbean 600 which was won by Herve Thomas' Finimmo.

The 2023 RORC Season's Points Championship has already started with an overall win for RORC Vice Commodore Eric de Turckheim's Teasing Machine in the Rolex Middle Sea Race. The 15-race series will continue with the RORC Transatlantic Race starting from Marina Lanzarote on the 8th January. 2023 also marks a special occasion for the Royal Ocean Racing Club with the 50th edition of the Rolex Fastnet Race starting from Cowes on the 22nd July.

For more information, please go to: www.rorc.org

View full list of special awards and winners here

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