Image: After IRC time correction, Richard Palmer’s JPK 1010 Jangada, racing Two-Handed with Rupert Holmes won overall by seven minutes and nine seconds from Bellino © James Tomlinson/RORC
Triumph through guile and determination
Organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club every four years, the Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race is one of the most challenging offshore races in the world. The 1,805-mile course includes some of the most notorious waters, including: the Celtic Sea, the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea. The 2022 edition was unusual in that high pressure dominated the weather for the race. This produced a highly changeable and complex weather scenario testing the 30 teams.
While near gale force winds and big seas were experienced by just about every boat, this edition was notable for light airs racing. With wind speed ranging from zephyrs to near gale, using the IRC Rating Rule to determine the overall and class winners was an ideal measure. A race where guile and determination were the keys to a top performance. The IRC Rule uses fixed number time correction, meaning that competitors where aware of their ranking throughout the race and could formulate their strategy and tactics accordingly.
The Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race came to a thrilling climax on the 16th day when 10 boats finished within a 14-hour rush hour. Rob Craigie’s Sun Fast 3600 Bellino, racing Two-Handed with Deb Fish was the first of the pack, pipping Sam White & Sam North racing JPK 1080 Mzungu! to the line by just 10 minutes. Bellino set the best IRC corrected to beat for the boats that followed. In a dramatic final twist to an intense and highly complex race, the overall winner was decided by the thinnest of margins.
After IRC time correction, Richard Palmer’s JPK 1010 Jangada, racing Two-Handed with Rupert Holmes won overall by seven minutes and nine seconds from Bellino, with Mzungu! third. In percentage terms Jangada won by just 0.03% in a race of 1,805 nautical miles over 16 days.