The penultimate race of the RORC Season’s Points Championship often has a party atmosphere, it is the last race of the RORC season in English and French waters.
About seven hundred sailors will be making the dash to France, in a variety of yachts racing under the IRC Rating system, and under the Class40 Rule. For some classes, the RORC Cherbourg Race is the season decider, for others who are already assured of class wins, there is the opportunity to race and celebrate in Cherbourg.
In IRC Zero, the duel between Piet Vroon’s Dutch Ker 51 Tonnerre 4 and Avenarius and Gondesen’s German Ker 46 Shakti will come to a conclusion. Neither will be taking part in the final race of the series, the Rolex Middle Sea Race. Shakti leads Tonnerre by over 30 points, and the German team will only need to finish the race to be sure of victory for the season. The IRC Zero fleet for the Cherbourg Race also includes other fast downwind flyers; Farr 52 Bob, Ker 46 Lady Mariposa and Class40 Arwen.
In IRC One, Nick Jones’ First 44.7, Lisa is likely to win both the class and the RORC Season’s Points Championship overall, if the team can successfully finish the race. Alan Hannon’s RP45 Katsu poses the biggest threat to Lisa. Past RORC Commodore, Mike Greville racing Ker 39 Erivale III has an outside chance of winning the class, but may well be focused on holding off a strong challenge from Edward Broadway’s Ker 40 Hooligan VII.
With two weddings, a school, the British Army, and a virtual photo finish. Fact is stranger than fiction in IRC Two. The British Army Sailing Association’s J/111 British Soldier, is just 0.2 of a point ahead of Sailing Logic’s First 40, Arthur Logic, which tops the class. Ross Applebey’s Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster, could have moved from third to first, but Ross will be getting married this weekend. Chris Frost and Elin Haf Davies, who have been racing J/120 Nunatak, tied the knot last weekend, and will interrupt their honeymoon to join the action, but the result will come down to a four way shoot out between Sailing Logic’s Arthur Logic, the British Army’s, British Soldier, Nunatak and Gilles Fournier’s, J/133,Pintia which has not been beaten in class this year.
“We have two of our First 40s – Arthur and Rocket Dog II – in this end of season shoot out and we are thoroughly looking forwards to it” commented Sailing Logic’s Prue Nash. “Just about everyone who has been racing with us this year has been trying to get on the crew list for one last chance to beat British Soldier! The J/111 crew are a strong bunch of sailors and the Sailing Logic crews, together with skippers Olz Heer and Richard Oswald, have really enjoyed pitting their wits against them this season – may the best man win!”
“We are bracing ourselves for a seriously competitive and intense sprint across the channel” commented Captain Phil Caswell of the British Army Sailing Association. “Arthur Logic is sailing very well at the moment, so we know it will be very tough to hold on to a lead. It will also be a special race, as it will be our last on the J/111, before we look to replace her for next season. We’ll be bringing the A-Team, and in terms of strategy we’ll stick to the tried and tested squaddy proof method – sailing her like we stole her! Failing that the promise of French steak and red wine is always an excellent motivator to get there in good time.”
“Scarlet Oyster has never won class in the RORC offshore season and we won’t be this year” commented Scarlet Oyster’s Ross Applebey. “We already had a clash this weekend as my fiancée, Sarah, owns a Contessa 26 and the nationals is the same weekend. So to solve the problem, we decided to miss both, and get married. We will be back RORC racing in the RORC Caribbean 600 next year.”
In IRC Three, Delamare and Mordret’s JPK 10.80 Dream Pearls leads the class by just 7.6 points, the team from St Malo will have a terrific battle with Louis-Marie Dussere’s JPK 10.10 Raging Bee, who will be racing into their home port of Cherbourg. Raging Bee has all but secured the IRC Two Handed Class, but would love to add IRC Three for a fairy tale finish at the Yacht Club de Cherbourg. RORC Racing Manager Nick Elliott, will be giving up desk duties to race on JPK 10.80 Audrey, skippered by RORC Commodore’s Michael Boyd.
“I have not managed to do an offshore race since joining the RORC as Deputy Racing Manager in 2008, as I have either been involved in the organisation of them or had other commitments” commented Nick Elliott. “For the race I am imagine my position will be tea boy, as it has been a while since I have been further than around the Isle of Wight. Janet Grosvenor is looking after the start and James Bremridge will be greeting us at the finish. So I am not involved in the race management until Prizegiving. The Cherbourg Race always has a party atmosphere at the finish and I am very much looking forward to that!”
18 yachts will be racing in IRC Four including the run-away leader, Noel Racine, racing his JPK 10.10 Foggy Dew. The French team is also entered for the last race of the RORC Season’s Points Championship, the Rolex Middle Sea Race. A good result in Cherbourg, if followed by a triumph in Malta, could see Foggy Dew win the championship overall.
more info …RORC-Cherbourg-Race
by Louay Habib