Daily Yacht Boat News
2016 RORC Easter Challenge – Action on Day 1
FAST40+s made their race debut at the RORC Easter Challenge - © Paul Wyeth / RORC

RORC Easter Challenge 2016

RORC Easter Challenge 2016 – High speed, adrenalin pumping, ultra-competitive racing came to the Solent today in what many agree is the most exciting development to have taken place in big boat keel boat racing in the UK for decades.

The long-awaited advent of competition for the new FAST40+s, the big boat class at the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s Easter Challenge, coincided today with chilly, but summery conditions. Three races were sailed with the wind peaking at 15-20 knots during race two.

Among the ten FAST40s, there was a different winner in each race, but ultimately there were two stand-out performers in American William Coates’ Ker 43, Otra Vez, and Peter Morton’s brand new Carkeek 40 Mk3, Girls on Film. They won the third and first races, respectively, while Sir Keith Mills’ Ker 40+, Invictus, claimed race two when the FAST40+s were sailing at wind speed.

‘It has gone really well,’ said FAST40+ Class President, Robert Greenhalgh. ‘It has been a lot of hard work by everybody, but all the owners have pulled in the same direction to make it happen, and have spent the money and got the boats. The RORC and IRC (the RORC Racing Office) have been very supportive and we’ve had a lot of sponsors that have come in to help bring it all together.’

Greenhalgh was pleased that most teams posted good results today.

Himself a former Volvo Ocean Race winner and 18ft skiff and International 14 World Championship, Greenhalgh calls tactics on Invictus which today posted a six – one – eight scoreline. This leaves them third overall, six points adrift of Girls on Film and tied with two modified GP42s, Tony Dickins’ Jubilee and South African Mike Bartholomew’s Tokoloshe II.

Invictus got buried at the start of the first race, got away cleanly in race two and then suffered a mishap coming into the top mark in the final race that cost them. ‘This is about close racing and not making mistakes,’ advises Greenhalgh.

Overall leader by two points today is Otra Vez. FAST40+ crewscan include up to five ISAF Cat3 ‘professionals’ of their 11. Sailing with Coates are heavyweight Volvo Ocean Race veterans Steve Hayles, Luke Molloy and Phil Harmer.

‘The fleet is very high quality, it is living up to expectations. It was fantastic racing and it is only going to get better, which is what is nice about it,’ said Coates of today’s inaugural racing for the FAST40+s. Previously Coates raced his Ker 43 in the US and the Caribbean before moving her to the Mediterranean last year and now onto the UK. ‘I think we improved a little bit every race. Most of the crew had never stepped on board before yesterday – they are excellent, but it was about getting familiar with some of the basics today. Plus we do have a little bit of waterline [advantage]. If we get better starts, it helps get us into clear air.

2016 RORC Easter Challenge – Action on Day 1

Today’s FAST40+ winner Texan William Coates Ker 43 Otra Vez’ © Paul Wyeth / RORC

While the FAST40+s stole the show today, in the other three classes there were also standout performers, including RORC Admiral Andrew McIrvine on his First 40, La Réponse, whose two bullets in today’s final races, give him a three point lead in IRC Two. In IRC Four, it is the closest at the top with Sam Laidlaw’s Quarter Tonner, Aguila, a mere half point ahead of Harry J. Heijst’s perennial S&S 41, Winsome.

In IRC Three the latest hardware is prevailing in Tom Kneen’s Sunrise. This is a JPK 1080 sistership to last year’s Rolex Fastnet Race winner, Courrier Du Leon. Today Kneen and his Plymouth-based crew were top scorers posting a one – two – two, despite having only had the boat for three weeks and today being just the third day of racing her.

‘We had an Elan E4, in which we had a brilliant season last year and learned a lot. I was looking for a boat of this size which would be competitive and so far it has been. I am absolutely delighted,’ saidKneen, who intends to enter the selection for the British team in this year’s Brewin Dolphin Commodores’ Cup.

While Kneen has had to adjust from wheel to tiller steering over the last few days, today came good he felt because of the first class effort of the crew, which includes five who sailed with him last season.

For this time of year, it would have been hard to beat today’s conditions. Sadly tomorrow the wind is looking tougher with gale force gusts predicted for the afternoon. Principal Race Officer Stuart Childerley is keeping fingers crossed that conditions will be sailable in the morning before the front arrives.

Results:

2016 RORC Easter Challenge – Fast 40+

Provisional Results

Series Place Sail No Boat Type of Boat Owner Handicap Series Points Race 1 Race 2 Race 3
1 USA61137 Otra Vez Ker 43 Custom William Coates 1.270 7 4 2 1
2 GBR50R Girls On Film Carkeek 40 Mk3 Peter Morton 1.270 9 1 6 2
3 GBR1851X Invictus Ker 40+ Sir Keith Mills 1.270 15 6 1 8
4 SUI19 Jubilee GP 42 Tony Dickin 1.245 15 8 4 3
5 GBR1682R Tokoloshe II GP 42 Michael Bartholomew 1.264 15 5 3 7
6 GBR1542R 42° South GP 42 Mark Rijkse 1.260 16 3 7 6
7 GBR8449R Rebellion Carkeek 40 Mk 2 Stewart Whitehead 1.267 18 2 11 5
8 IRL708 Antix Ker 40 Anthony O’Leary 1.215 21 9 8 4
9 GBR4242C Zephyr GP 42 Steve Cowie 1.266 21 7 5 9
10 GBR4921R Ino XXX HH 422 James Neville 1.228 29 10 9 10

2016 RORC Easter Challenge – IRC Two

Series Place Sail No Boat Type of Boat Owner Handicap Series Points Race 1 Race 2 Race 3
1 GBR42N La Réponse First 40 Andrew McIrvine 1.085 8 6 1 1
2 IRL2007 Jump Juice Ker 37 Conor Phelan 1.109 11 2 5 4
3 IRL39000 Zero II Mills 39 Cowes Race School 1.115 11 3 3 5
4 GBR7737R Aurora Corby 37 Roderick Stuart & Bill Ram 1.089 13 4 6 3
5 GBR6638R Alice Mumm 36 Simon Henning 1.075 17 1 9 7
6 GBR236R Erivale III Ker 39 Michael Greville 1.116 17 13 2 2
7 GBR5940R Nifty King 40 Roger Bowden 1.117 25 15 4 6
8 GBR3213L Dusty P First 40 Richard Patrick 1.076 25 5 11 9
9 GBR1111X Jitterbug J/111 Cornel Riklin 1.094 26 8 7 11
10 GBR1010L Xinska X 40 Bernard Olesinski 1.069 27 9 8 10
11 GBR7751R Journeymaker II J/111 Chris Jones 1.100 32 10 14 8
12 GBR851R Cracklin Rosie Corby 40 Steven Anderson 1.107 33 11 10 12
13 GBR3234L Rocketdog 2 First 40 Sailing Logic 1.068 39 14 12 13
14 GBR7877R Tilt First 40 Alex & Andy Moore 1.079 40 7 15 18
15 GBR562R Night Owl II Mat 12 Ed Hall 1.136 43 12 16 15
16 GBR9235R Mad Max Max Fun 35 Andy Williams 1.086 45 18 13 14
17 GBR8611R Kestrel J111 Simon Bamford 1.098 54 18 18 18

2016 RORC Easter Challenge – IRC Three

Series Place Sail No Boat Type of Boat Owner Handicap Series Points Race 1 Race 2 Race 3
1 GBR888X Sunrise Jpk 1080 Tom Kneen 1.046 5 1 2 2
2 GBR1250N Strait Dealer JPK 10.10 David Franks 1.012 7 5 1 1
3 GBR8383R Assassin Prima 38 Mark Brown 1.050 11 3 4 4
4 GBR1466R Diamond Jem J/109 Robert Stiles 1.022 12 4 5 3
5 FRA35080 Dunkerque – Les Dunes de Flandre A35 Benoit D’halluin 1.031 18 2 3 13
6 GBR667R Space Race First 40.7 Jonathan Blanshard 1.051 19 8 6 5
7 GBR979R Malice HOD 35 Mike Moxley 1.022 19 6 7 6
8 GBR8541R Jolly Jack Tar J/109 RNSA 1.011 22 7 8 7
9 GBR7906R Party First 35 Claire Turner 1.014 29 11 10 8
10 GBR3033L Rigit on Wild Child Corby 30 Brian Wilkinson 1.000 31 9 9 13
11 GBR7005R Trojan Of Upnor J109 Jason West 1.023 33 12 12 9
12 GBR8809R Mojo risin’ J/109 J/109 Racing Limited 1.009 34 10 11 13

2016 RORC Easter Challenge – IRC Four

Series Place Sail No Boat Type of Boat Owner Handicap Series Points Race 1 Race 2 Race 3
1 GBR8414R Aguila Quarter Tonner Sam Laidlaw 0.908 5.5 2 2.5 1
2 NED118 Winsome S&S 41 Harry J. Heijst 0.989 6 1 1 4
3 GBR501 Illegal Immigrant Quarter Tonner William McNeill 0.910 7.5 3 2.5 2
4 GBR8185 Quokka 9 Half Tonner Peter Rutter 0.945 12 5 4 3
5 GBR7332R X-ToSea X 332 David Hunt 0.972 19 7 5 7
6 GBR726R Jumblesail J/80 Rachel & Robert Hunt 0.958 20 8 7 5
7 GBR8274 MacHismo II Sigma 38 Tim Levett 0.982 22 4 6 12
8 GBR6687T Skywave Elan 333 Royal Signals Yacht Club 0.963 24 10 8 6
9 GBR2097R Jackaroo J/97 Robert Orr 0.978 26 9 9 8
10 IRL1392 Cobh Pirate Quarter Ton Ben Daly 0.909 30 6 12 12
11 GBR97L Jaywalker J/97 Robert Baker 0.977 36 12 12 12

by James Boyd

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