The Royal Ocean Racing Club’s offshore racing season continues this weekend with the fourth race of the RORC Season’s Points Championship. Over 80 yachts are expected to take part with the vast majority of the crews made up of passionate Corinthian sailors with their own set of goals.
Designed to last 24-36 hours, the De Guingand Bowl Race starts and finishes in the Solent and is a flexi-course allowing the Royal Ocean Racing Club to design a bespoke course.
‘Without the constraint of finishing the race in a totally different location, we concentrate on the weather and tidal conditions to decide the course,’ explains RORC Racing Manager, Nick Elliott. ‘We try to get all of the fleet to finish the first beat in the same tidal vector, so as to avoid a tidal gate early in the race.”
In IRC Zero, Daniel Hardy’s Ker 46 Lady Mariposa is the fastest yacht rated under the IRC rating system. However, several yachts in IRC One could challenge Lady Mariposa for Line Honours including Alan Hannon’s RP45 Katsu, Edward Broadway’s Ker 40 Hooligan VII, and Tor McLaren’s MAT 1180 Gallivanter.
In IRC Two, Richard Neocleous’ Ocean 55 Julia returns after its debut in last season’s championship. The crew come from Hertfordshire and 18 year old Louie Neocleous will skipper Julia as he did last year.
“2016 was a great opportunity to put the team together and we all learnt a huge amount throughout the season.” commented Louie. “This year we are back to race much more competitively, we have a permanent race crew of 8. The remaining 6 crew are all friends, the boat’s mate, Simon Jackson and I have crossed the Atlantic together and built a great relationship for the races. Last year, we were just beginners in terms of racing, our best result was 25th out of 86 boats in the Cervantes Trophy. This year, we hope to achieve better results on a consistent basis.”
In IRC Three, Trevor Sainty and Simon Forbes Jelenko is one of many J/109s that will be racing with the RORC this season. The crew have been together for about ten years and did their first Rolex Fastnet with Jelenko in 2015. The De Guingand Bowl Race is part of the teams programme for another crack at the Rolex Fastnet.
“All amateurs and we are all friends, most of the time.” smiled Trevor. “I am a veterinary surgeon working with horses, Simon works in the City, and the rest of the group are from the South of England and London, working in banking and IT. Our aim is to be top J/109 this season and improve our Fastnet finishing position by winning it of course. This will be my eighth consecutive Fastnet and last! – I said that last time.”
In IRC Four Dave Cooper & Paul England will be racing their Dehler 38 Longue Pierre. This will be their first RORC race this season, as part of their 2017 RORC Season’s Points Championship campaign.
“2017 is the 10th anniversary of us having won the great bowl overall.” commented Dave Cooper. This race will continue our rivalry with the Swan Xara. In 2016, we finished on equal points in JOG and the rivalry continues in both JOG and RORC this year. Longue Pierre is approaching her 30th birthday and has spent all of the last 30 years RORC racing.”
The 2017 De Guingand Bowl Race will start from the Royal Yacht Squadron Line, Cowes on Saturday 13th May.
by Louay Habib