Picture from halfway in the race at the Bembridge Ledge turning mark from Justify where we were actually ahead of eventual winner Whooper...they are on the far left of the image at the end. Allowing for corrected time at this stage we were giving them a bit of a race...untill they shifted up a gear - crossed the Ryde sand bar home and smashed us and the rest of the fleet! Still we'll take a 2nd overall behind Whooper in any race!
If the Racecarmarine J/80 Justify competes in a RORC race and gets a namecheck - we can assume it is due to an acknowledgement for our J/80 being the smallest boat in the fleet or for making the race committee stay at their posts for a bit longer - not for being at the sharp end of the results! However this time conditions favoured lower rated boats and we were delighted to find out we finished 2nd overall out of 26 boats. We were ahead of Whooper at the halfway stage - and as we pinched with the reaching kite home to the Ryde sand bar mark with the boat quite hard pressed - we were still feeling confident of giving them a race....however as the wind we became a bit variable we started hunting wind and sailing angles to keep the asymmetric flying, we failed to notice Whooper use their 1m draft and audaciously cross the Ryde sand bar cutting a big corner off the course. As the wind filled in towards the finish we looked to the Island and were quite surprised but utimately resigned to see they were well ahead. Predictably Whooper - one of the most successful boats racing in IRC ever - smashed us and the rest of the fleet and taught us a lesson - business as usual then! We knew we were not last and maybe thought a finish in the mid teens was on - so 2nd felt like a win! Been a member of RORC for a while from doing offshore races in bigger boats - but for the next race might put a small RORC sticker on the J/80 transom now :)
Official RORC release below by Louay Habib:
- 58 entries including 29 IRC Two-Handed teams racing overnight for the first time this year
- The Royal Ocean Racing Club organised two races over the May Bank Holiday weekend.
58 boats entered, including a 91nm race for IRC Two Handed, the first overnight race of the year. Giovanni Belgrano’s Classic Whooper won the race for crewed IRC boats. Mike Yates’ J/109 Jago, racing with Eivind Boymo-Malm, was the winner for IRC Two-handed.
Results Link. http://www.rorc.org/racing/race-results/2021-results
A race of approximately 24nm was set for the IRC Crewed boats, essentially a windward leg from the Squadron Line to Bembridge Ledge Buoy with a reciprocal downwind leg back. David Collins’ Botin IRC 52 Tala took line honours in just over four hours. However, the breeze built during the latter part of the race, giving an advantage to the smaller boats. Whooper won the race after time correction by a big margin. The smallest boat in the race, Ross Bowdler’s J/80 Justify, was second. The Army Sailing Association’s Sun Fast 3600 British Soldier, skippered by Henry Foster, was third.
“It was an awesome tactical race against all the forecast odds!” explained Whooper’s Giovanni Belgrano. “The wind speed ranged from 5 knots at the start to 20 knots in a rain squall. We had to use every trick we know to win the race. Going inshore on the return leg was the biggest gain. Whooper weighs about the same as Tala, but we only draw one metre, so we could go right over Ryde Sands.”
“A big thank you to the RORC for the race,” commented J/80 Justify’s Ross Bowdler. “It is so cool to race against the big boats and get a great result. Congratulations to Whooper, they sailed an impeccable race.”
Congratulations should also go to Ed Bell’s JPK 1180 Dawn Treader. With all three races completed, Dawn Treader is the overall winner of the RORC Spring Series for IRC Crewed boats. Second is Rob Bottomley’s MAT12 Sailplane 3 skippered by Nick Jones. Michael O'Donnell’s J/121 Darkwood was third overall.
IRC Two-Handed race
29 teams racing in IRC Two-Handed were set a separate 91 nautical mile course with crews racing through the night for the first time this year. Starting from the Squadron Line the fleet raced upwind to the east. After exiting The Solent, the fleet were off the breeze for a spinnaker run along the South Coast of the Isle of Wight. After passing The Needles, a broad reach into Poole Bay was followed by a harden up to finish at North Head.
Mike Yates’ J/109 Jago, racing with Eivind Boymo-Malm, was the winner for IRC Two-handed. Sun Fast 3200 Mzungu, sailed by Sam White and Sam North was second by just 12 seconds in a race lasting almost 17 hours. Richard Palmer’s JPK 1010 Jangada, racing with Jeremy Waitt, was third.
“It was a very complex race, with many sail changes and tactical decisions from beginning to end,” commented Jago’s Mike Yates. “A big cloud at the Nab Tower caused a split in the fleet and we just managed to hold our kite. Our jib top was very effective on the southside of the island and the decision to go offshore at St Catherines worked well with a breeze filling in from the southwest. We also just made several tidal gates in the latter part of the race. We are delighted to win and all credit to Eivind, two-handed racing is heavily reliant on teamwork, so he deserves just as much credit.”
“ A great race, with lots of opportunities for people to get back ‘into it’ if they had been unfortunate enough to find a hole, as there were a lot around.” commented Mzungu’s Sam White.
Racing with the Royal Ocean Racing Club goes inshore for the Vice Admiral’s Cup Friday 21st – Sunday 23rd May. Offshore racing is scheduled to resume on Saturday May 29th with the Myth of Malham Race. The 230nm race around the Eddystone Lighthouse is expected to have a substantial RORC fleet, as the start mirrors the Rolex Fastnet Race.