The Royal Ocean Racing Club’s Vice Admiral’s Cup burst into action on the first day of racing. With 15-20 knots of wind and a building tide, the high performance fleet was launched on two tight windward leeward courses and a final round the buoys race to finish off a thrilling day on the water.
With downwind boat speed nudging over 20 knots at times, staying on the plane and nailing gybes at full chat was the secret to high gains. Many of today’s 18 races between six different classes were won by seconds.
After three thrilling races in the ten-boat Farr40+ Class, Peter Morton’s British Carkeek40, Girls on Film scored a 1-3-2 on the first day to lead by three points from Mike Bartholomew’s South African GP42, Tokoloshe II. William Coates’ Texan Ker 43, Otra Vez scored a 2-1-7 to finish the day in third place. The results of the Fast40+ Class are subject to protest.
“Winning the pin today and getting onto the bank was a favourable option but we decided that we would start a few boats in, so we wouldn’t have to tack as long as we could hold our lane, and that worked out okay for us today. On top of getting out of the tide, there were left hand shifts coming off the island which worked well for us. We are quite strong downwind and managed to hold off some good competition in the first race from Otra Vez. Jubilee did a good job downwind in the second race and in the third race we managed to trawl a spinnaker, which set us back. About half the fleet made the podium today and there was a different winner in each race. In this fleet, you make a mistake, or fail to get off the line well, and you will be passed by three or four boats, that’s how it should be and what this class is all about.” commented Peter Morton, Girls on Film.
Jamie Rankin’s Farr 280 Pandemonium finished the day on top of the leader board for the HP30 Class with three podium finishes including a win in Race 2. Lloyd Thornburg’s Farr 280, Fomo scored 4,2,1 to finish the first day in third place, an impressive performance, as the team from Lloyd’s MOD 70 Phaedo3, only stepped into racing the boat today. Thorkild Juncker’s Open 7.50 Cool Runnings was incredibly fast today, scoring a bullet and a third in the first two races but a broken halyard saw the dutch team fail to start the third race.
“Keeping the sails point at the sky, certainly helped our cause!” Laughed Pandemonium’s Jamie Rankin. “The Farr 280 is very wet but super fast downwind and it was great to race with my sister Frankie. I know the colour scheme on the boat isn’t exactly subtle but these boats are really enjoyable and today was the first time out in big breeze with a proper fleet. Ploughing through the waves, you really needed swimming goggles and some of the gybe on gybe action was hard work but just immense fun.”
In the SB20 Class, four teams shared the podium but there were three straight bullets for last year’s Vice Admiral’s Cup winner, Forelle Estates, helmed by Joe Llewellyn. Charles Sheppard’s Sharc scored 2,2,3 to finish the day in second place and McAdam and Whelan’s Here Comes Bod, finished the first day in third position. Doug Innes’ A New Hope scored a third in the last race, securing fourth just a point ahead of Peter Noe’s 6a Vision Homes.
Stuart Sawyer’s J/111, Black Dog came out of the blocks with good pace, winning the the first two races and placing third in the last, the Cornish team lead the class but the racing was incredibly close. Cornel Riklin’s Jitterbug scored three second places to finish the day just a point behind the leader and Tony Mack’s McFly finished the day in third place. “We were happy with our speed today, especially downwind but we had a really bad rounding in the last race and let Jelvis get away and allowed Jitterbug to catch us up. In the end there was just 16 seconds between all three of us. The J/111 fleet can be quite aggressive and we have come to have a really competitive regatta and we are pleased with how we are going.”
In the J/109 Class, Robert Stiles’ Diamond Jem had an outstanding day, posting two wins and a second, to lead the class by three points. David Richards’ Jumping Jellyfish won the last race of the day to take second place in the class, just a point ahead of Chris Copeland’s Juke Box.
Louise Morton’s Quarter Tonner, Bullit placed third in the first race and went on to win the last two races to lead the Quarter Tonner Class ahead of Sam Laidlaw’s Aguilla. Tony Hayward’s Blackfun is third.
“We had a really good day today despite the tricky conditions with wind against tide and breaking our pole in the first race was not ideal.” commented Louise Morton. “We did have a couple of wipe-outs but we were not alone, Quarter Tonners can be a handful downwind. Well done to Stuart Childerley and his team for getting six classes off for three good races each, I am sure the race committee was as tired as us by the end of the day.”
Racing at the RORC Vice Admiral’s Cup continues Saturday 21 May, with three more races scheduled for all six classes.
by RORC Press