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RORC Easter Challenge Day Three: Coached to Perfection

The competitors enjoy the sunshine at the prizegiving at the RORC Cowes Clubhouse. Credit: RORC/Paul Wyeth/www.pwpictures.comWhile the sun came out for the final day of the RORC Easter Challenge, sadly the wind failed to materialise on the Solent and at 1130 BST Principal Race Office Stuart Childerley hoisted the AP over A announcing an end to the regatta.

Fortunately the RORC Easter Challenge is a `coaching regatta' and use was made of the lost time at the RORC Cowes Clubhouse where Jim Saltonstall's seminar on the Racing Rules of Sailing was delivered to another packed house. The prizegiving followed, held outside on the club's terrace where the main silverware was presented, along with a considerable tonnage of Easter eggs.

Read more... [RORC Easter Challenge Day Three: Coached to Perfection]
RORC Easter Challenge Day Two: More Christmas than Easter

IRC One start one of the four races held on Day Two of the RORC Easter Challenge. Credit: RORC/Paul Wyeth/www.pwpictures.comA stiff northerly breeze gave the second day of the RORC Easter Challenge more of a winter feel, rather than a spring one. But an early start and the shifting 15 knot winds that built towards 20 were enough for the Race Committee to hold four races, making up for yesterday's one.

In IRC One, Antix, Anthony O'Leary's turbo-ed Ker 40 is the runaway leader, having won all but one of the five races held. O'Leary's team on Antix, two-time winner of the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup, now holds the biggest lead across the RORC Easter Challenge's four classes.

Read more... [RORC Easter Challenge Day Two: More Christmas than Easter]
RORC Easter Challenge Day One: Slow start and special guest

The Easter Bunnies make an appearance at the RORC Easter Challenge. Credit: RORC/Paul Wyeth/www.pwpictures.comAfter forecasts earlier this week indicated the RORC Easter Challenge would kick off on `breezy Good Friday', in the event the breeze shut down for two hours in the middle of what was a chilly overcast day on the Solent. Eventually the slow moving warm front shifted sufficiently for a 6-8 knot southeasterly to establish. This allowed just one race to be held.

The RORC Easter Challenge being a training regatta, complete with on the water coaching led by Jim Saltonstall and supported by the North U Regatta Services team all the way from the USA, the day began with some practice starts, before the wind shut down.

After a two hour wait there was slightly too much excitement for the IRC One start with several top boats such as Mike Greville's Erivale III, Mike Bartholemew's GP42 Tokoloshe II and the new C&C30 Checkmate XVI all over early. In the event it was two time Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup winner Anthony O'Leary aboard his latest Antix, a turboed Ker 40, that came out on top with a pleased James Gair skippering the Cowes Race School's Mills 39 Zero II second.

Read more... [RORC Easter Challenge Day One: Slow start and special guest]
Strong field for RORC Easter Challenge

RORC Easter Challenge fleet start in 2014. Credit: RORC/Rick Tomlinson/www.rick-tomlinson.comAfter a successful RORC Caribbean 600, the Royal Ocean Racing Club's European season sets sail this week with the RORC Easter Challenge, running on the Solent from Good Friday (3rd April) to Easter Sunday (5 April).

The event provides an opportunity to gently ease teams into the UK season, to test their latest gear and sails or, in some cases, boats, with the unique opportunity of free assistance, both on the water and ashore, from the RORC's coaching team led by Jim Saltonstall.

As a sign that the UK is at long last emerging from darker economic times, IRC One will be bristling with new hardware with Mike Bartholomew's GP42 Tokoloshe facing stiff competition from the de Graaf family's Ker 40 Baraka GP, plus three new additions to the RORC Easter Challenge fleet.

Read more... [Strong field for RORC Easter Challenge]
New Caterer for RORC Cowes Clubhouse

2015 new Cowes Catere Logo and Food

The Royal Ocean Racing Club is pleased to announce the appointment of Sarah Churcher's Cuisine á Porter as the new caterer for the RORC Cowes Clubhouse.

Having previously worked for a Michelin Star Restaurant in the New Forest, Sarah Churcher brings a wealth of experience to RORC Cowes. Her previous clients include the Extreme Sailing Series, the Oracle America's Cup Team as well as private Superyachts, the Marlboro Rally and Moto GP Teams.

As owner and founder of Cuisine á Porter, Sarah has built up a reputation for providing quality and consistent menus which will now be available to RORC members and guests at the RORC Cowes Clubhouse.

For RORC Cowes restaurant bookings please call +44 (0)1983 293 581.

The Interclub Youth Keelboat Regatta

2015 Peter Mortons Salvo racing with the RORC Youth Team - photo Graham NixonThis year's Interclub Youth Keelboat Regatta was eagerly anticipated by the RORC team after last year's success. For the second year running Peter Morton had kindly put Salvo, his JND35, at the team's disposal. 12 youth teams from yacht clubs along the South Coast, from Blackwater to Poole, were present at the event organised by the Royal Southern Yacht Club on Saturday 28th March. Regatta rules are that 60% of the team must be under the age of 25, including helm, with yachts allowing the owner or owner's representative on board for the 4 races to be held over the day.

Read more... [The Interclub Youth Keelboat Regatta]
2015 RORC Caribbean 600 Wrap Up: Stories from the race

RORC Easter Challenge: Free Boat Speed

RORC Easter Challenge 2014. Credit: RORC/Paul Wyeth/www.pwpictures.comWhile it is always tempting to spend money on new sails or other go-faster widgets, coaching is often overlooked by amateur crews as a means of gaining boat speed through improved trim and set-up or just generally getting around the race course in a more efficient, slick manner.

One option is to hire your own coach. Another is to take part in the RORC's UK season opener, the RORC Easter Challenge, taking place over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend (3rd to the 5th April), where some of the country's leading experts will be on the water to offer crews advice. This might be general observations, but crews are also encouraged to ask the coaches to focus on any specific aspects they feel in need of attention. And all of this is FREE to competitors.

As always, the RORC Easter Challenge coaching team will be led by uber-coach Jim Saltonstall, ably assisted by RORC CEO and former America's Cup coach Eddie Warden Owen, plus Mason King. After making their successful debut at the event last year, the Easter Challenge will also see the return of North U Regatta Services, represented by sailmaker/coaches Chuck Allen and Andreas Josenhans, who are flying across from the USA especially for the event.

Based out of North's Rhode Island loft, Allen is a former two time college all-American champion and now a one design specialist while Josenhans, from Canada, is a two time Soling and Star World Champion, was a trimmer on Bill Koch's America's Cup winner, America3, and holds a lengthy, distinguished CV in elite level international yacht racing.

North U Regatta Services regularly attends regattas in the USA such as the NOOD series and Quantum Key West Race Week.

Read more... [RORC Easter Challenge: Free Boat Speed]
The Finest Yacht Race in the Caribbean

The start of the 7th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600. Credit: RORC/Tim Wright/www.photoaction.comArguably the best fleet of offshore racing yachts that has ever gathered in the Caribbean, took part in the 7th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600. 66 yachts started the 600 mile race around 11 Caribbean islands, with numerous world champions, America's Cup and Volvo Ocean Race sailors taking part with passionate Corinthian amateurs, many of whom are members of the Royal Ocean Racing Club. Ranging from the latest high performance record breakers to classic yachts from the past, the variety of yachts and sailors taking part shows that the RORC Caribbean 600 has a wide appeal and the growth in popularity, year-on-year, indicates a very healthy future for the event.

After a classic trade winds start the wind shifted south of east and decreased on the second day, which added gravitas to the tactical decision making for many yachts as they approached the wind shadow of Guadeloupe. By day three, the trade winds were back to provide exhilarating racing for the fleet. By day four, the wind had built to over 20 knots, with gusts in excess of 30 knots and the beat to finish in Antigua from Redonda became a real test for the remaining yachts and exhausted crew.

Read more... [The Finest Yacht Race in the Caribbean]
RORC Caribbean 600: Sensational Fleet Gathers in Antigua

Starts Antigua, W.I. Monday, 23 February 2015

Course: Approx. 600nm non-stop around 11 Caribbean Islands

Overall runner-up in two editions of the RORC Caribbean 600. Hap Fauth's Maxi 72, Bella Mente (USA), aim to make it third time lucky. Photo: RORC/Tim Wright photoaction.comAn amazing fleet of yachts from around the globe have come together for a spectacular Caribbean rendezvous. Fort Charlotte, Antigua will be the starting and finishing point for a sensational 600-mile yacht race around 11 Caribbean islands. Since 2009, the RORC Caribbean 600 has been growing in popularity and the seventh edition boasts an astounding fleet of yachts: record breaking high performance racers, magnificent schooners, elegant classics and fast production yachts. World class sailors will be taking part, rubbing shoulders with royalty, captains of industry and passionate Corinthian amateurs.

The course meanders through the stunning central Caribbean affording amazing scenery, but the RORC Caribbean 600 is not just a joyride. Competitors can expect little sleep as the myriad of corners create many manoeuvres. The racing is electric but the high speed action in tropical heat can be exhausting. At the finish, the welcome party for the crews has become legendary. Every boat is cheered in, regardless of the hour, for a cold beer and a warm welcome.

The monohull course record for the RORC Caribbean 600 (40 hours 20 mins 02 secs) was set by George David's Rambler 100 in 2011. The quality and depth of the fleet in this year's race means that the quest for line honours will be the most dramatic in years.

The overall winner is decided by the RORC IRC rating system and the calibre of the fleet is such that this year's winner is almost impossible to predict. Teamwork, tactics, and a share of good luck will decide the winner. Over the past six editions, only one 100-footer has won the race overall: Rambler 100. High performance yachts ranging from 50-72 feet have won the RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy on four occasions.

This year three projects, new to the race, will fit into that category: Bryon Ehrhart from Chicago, Illinois, will be racing Reichel Pugh 63, Lucky. Piet Vroon's newly acquired Ker 51, Tonnerre 4, from Breskens, Netherlands and British TP52 Sorcha, sailed by Peter Harrison, make up a trio of yachts that will be amongst the favourites for overall victory under the IRC rating rule.

The seventh edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 has entries from over 14 different nations and crew from many more. Throughout the fleet there is a myriad of class champions from famous yacht races around the world.

Read the complete article on the RORC Caribbean 600 minisite

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Event Minisites

Rolex Fastnet Race
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup
RORC Caribbean 600 Race
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race
RORC Transatlantic Race
Transatlantic Race 2015

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