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RORC Channel Race Report - Winsome Victorious

Winsome racing hard during the 2014 IRC National Championship - photo RORC/Paul WyethOne of the closest races of the RORC Season's Points Championship took place over the weekend with side by side battles right through the fleet of seven classes racing in the 10th fixture of the series. The race started on the Royal Yacht Squadron Line, with the RORC fleet beating into a light southwesterly wind helped on by a positive tide. After leaving the Solent, the wind was enhanced by sea breeze, giving the fleet a tactical dead beat to a DZB buoy south of Anvil Point followed by a run to a virtual mark south of the Isle of Wight, before beating up to Poole. The course then took the competitors around the south of the Isle of Wight bringing them into the finish at Gilkicker via the Nab Tower.

Harry Heijst's S&S 41, Winsome was the overall winner, the Dutch team claiming their first winner's trophy of the 2014 season, as well as their first win in IRC Four. Winsome had a tremendous battle with Noel Racine's French JPK 10.10, Foggy Dew, taking the victory by just 2 minutes after 24 hours of racing.

Read more... [RORC Channel Race Report - Winsome Victorious]
 
Ireland’s Brewin Dolphin Commodores’ Cup Whitewash

Victory for Team Ireland: Anthony O'Leary left, Stephen Ford, Executive Director of Brewin Dolphin, Marc Glimcher, Michael Boyd and Niall Dowling. Photo: RORC/Rick Tomlinson rick-tomlinson.comIreland's three boat team, comprising Anthony O'Leary's Ker 39 Antix, Marc Glimcher's Ker 40 Catapult and Michael Boyd and Niall Dowling's Grand Soleil 43 Quokka 8, today scored the most comprehensive victory in the 22 year history of the Commodores' Cup.

The Irish previously won the Royal Ocean Racing Club's biennial flagship event for national teams with amateur crews in 2010, but were unable to defend in 2012. This year they returned with a vengeance finishing the regatta on 268 points, with an unprecedented lead of 173.5 points.

After a disappointing result in yesterday's race around the Isle of Wight, Ireland bounced back strongly in today's double points scoring inshore held on a round the cans course in the central Solent in a light northerly. Impressively the Irish boats claimed three of the top four places on corrected time. Antix put in a particularly powerful performance following the damage she sustained when she hit the rocks close to St Catherine's Point yesterday that bent the aft end of her keel and split the bottom 1ft of her rudder. Lifting the boat out in Cowes yesterday evening, her shore crew worked through the night to ensure she was ready for racing today.

"We were determined after yesterday's fiasco to finish stronger, which thankfully we did," said Anthony O'Leary. Today Antix led around the weather mark and ultimately claimed her third bullet of this Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup.

"The amount of work that all 31 people have put in over the last five or six months has been considerable," said O'Leary of the Irish team's victory. "We are very lucky that it all paid off in the end. There is a lot of experience with three boats and it gelled very well and there was great encouragement from one boat to the other. You don't often get a chance to sail as a team - which is the really good thing about this event."

Read the complete article on the Brewin Dolphin Commdores' Cup minisite [Ireland’s Brewin Dolphin Commodores’ Cup Whitewash]

 
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup 2014: The last shall be first and the first shall be last

The start of the second offshore race, the Round the Isle of Wight Race, from the RYS. Credit: Rick Tomlinson/www.rick-tomlinson.comThroughout this Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup the racing has been blessed with Mediterranean conditions - scorching temperatures and generally light to moderate winds. This has favoured the big boats which have cleaned up in the windward-leewards and Monday's offshore race. But today this all changed.

The Race Committee stuck to the schedule and sent the nine 3-boat teams on a course anti-clockwise around the Isle of Wight. The start was at 09:30 BST from the Royal Yacht Squadron line, and the Blair family's King 40 Cobra in GBR Red and Jamie McGarry's Swan 45 Eala of Rhu in GBR Scotland were called OCS and had to return.

There were two schools of thought among the boats heading west down the Solent and it was the group closer to the mainland shore which prevailed, including the five `fast boats' - the three Ker 40s, the new A13, Teasing Machine, and Swan 45, Eala of Rhu, over the boats closer to the island shore. American Marc Glimcher's turboed Ker 40 Catapult pulled ahead on the water in the Solent leading around the South West Shingles buoy off the Needles.

For the full article see the minisite [Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup 2014: The last shall be first and the first shall be last]

 
Brewin Dolphin Comodores' Cup 2014: Ireland do a 'horizon job' on Three Race Thursday

Antix and Cutting Edge on Day Five. Credit: Rick Tomlinson/www.rick-tomlinson.comIn contrast to the frustration of yesterday's two unfinished races, today three inshore races were successfully held at the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup, bringing the Royal Ocean Racing Club's biennial flagship event for national teams with amateur crews back on schedule.

With five inshore races sailed Ireland has now established a solid lead of nearly 100 points, on 176 followed by GBR Red in second on 275.5 and with France Green and GBR Scotland jockeying for third place on 291.5 and 292.5 respectively. After today's second race just five points separated second from fifth place in the team rankings.

Principal Race Officer Stuart Childerley bravely set up a start line off Osborne Bay just to the east of Cowes for today's first windward-leeward race, sailed in a light northeasterly. Robert Lutener's Cutting Edge, sailing in GBR Red, nailed the start mid-line and found better pressure in the middle of the course to lead at the weather mark from American Marc Glimcher's Ker 40, Catapult, in the Irish team. In the light winds throughout the day it paid to be out in front in clear air and, in the first race, Cutting Edge managed to remain ahead of Catapult to win by 19 seconds on corrected with Eric de Turkheim's A13 Teasing Machine third for France Green.

To read the full article please see the minisite

 
Channel Race Preview

Azawakh, formerly Courier Vintage, will be racing this weekend in the Channel RaceThe tenth race of the Royal Ocean Racing Club's Season's Points Championship will take place this weekend. Starting and finishing in the Solent, the race is expected to take over 24 hours. The weather forecast is for a light northerly breeze for the start, which may build as the race develops. High pressure is likely to cause the current heat wave to continue, providing fantastic conditions for the RORC fleet.

The battle in IRC Canting Keel continues with a head to head between the IMOCA 60, Artemis Team Endeavour, skippered by Mikey Ferguson and the Volvo 70, Monster Project, sailed by Andrew Budgen and Fred Schwyn. Artemis Team Endeavour took line honours and the class win in their last encounter but Monster Project still lead the class for the Season's Points Championship.

Read more... [Channel Race Preview]
 
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup 2014: Unlucky Race Four

Cutting Edge crew enjoy a quick dip to cool down. Credit: Rick Tomlinson/www.rick-tomlinson.comDay four of the Royal Ocean Racing Club's Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup was one Principal Race Officer Stuart Childerley and his team would prefer to forget.

With the best wind forecast for early morning, the 27 boats in nine teams started an hour early from a line off Peel Bank. The plan was for them to sail north to the North Ryde Middle mark and then east out of the Solent and into Hayling Bay onto a windward-leeward course.

Childerley recounted: "The boats started reaching out towards the Forts and there were a few big holes there and then six of the boats got to St Helens [mark in Hayling Bay]. Meanwhile the rest of the fleet was being affected badly by big holes in the wind, so we had a situation where probably over half of the fleet wouldn't have finished within the time limit. So we had to abandon that one."

There followed a long wait for the boats in the Solent to reach the new start area in Hayling Bay before a second attempt at race four of the series could be made - this time a windward-leeward in an offshore northeasterly breeze of 6-7 knots. Unfortunately as the boats were approaching the leeward mark the wind shifted hard right, by more than 90

To read the full article please see the minisite [Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup 2014: Unlucky Race Four]

 
Brewin Dolphin Comodores' Cup 2014: Ireland still leads after swift offshore race

Marc Glimcher's Catapult, crossing the line first in the offshore race. Credit: Rick Tomlinson/www.rick-tomlinson.comStronger winds and reaching conditions resulted in a shorter than anticipated offshore race that allowed crews to sleep in their own beds rather than spending a night at sea in the highest scoring race of the Royal Ocean Racing Club's Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup.

The course took the boats west out of the Solent, southeast down to a virtual gate 26 miles northeast of the Cherbourg peninsula, returning north to the New Grounds Buoy off the Nab Tower, then west to Bembridge Ledge buoy before a final beat to the finish line, just south of Gosport's Gilkicker Point.

The wind being further west and stronger than forecast resulted in a fast reach down to the virtual gate and it was the powerful reaching machines such as the Ker 40s and the brand new French Archambault A 13, Teasing Machine, that relished the conditions.

Click here to read the full article on the minisite

 
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup 2014: Tactical Evening Ahead

The fleet set off in the Monday sunshine. Credit: Rick Tomlinson/www.rick-tomlinson.comVariety has always been the spice of the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup with the 27 boats from France, Scotland, Ireland and England this week getting to sail a mix of inshores, offshores and a race around the Isle of Wight. At 09:30 BST today the fleet of three boat teams set sail from the Royal Yacht Squadron line of Cowes on the Offshore Race, the longest and most high scoring of the series.

With a moderate wind forecast and the wind due to shut down tomorrow, the Race Committee, led by former Etchells World Champion Stuart Childerley, worked hard to set a fair but challenging course. They opted to send the boats west out of the Solent, passing the Needles Fairway buoy then down to a 'virtual mark' mid-Channel, before returning north to the New Grounds Buoy off the Nab Tower, then on to the Bembridge Ledge buoy and leaving No Man's Land Fort to port before the finish line south of Gosport's Gilkicker Point.

After a long starboard gybe in 10-15 knot NWN wind, at 1600 BST the first boats were rounding the virtual gate. At the front of the fleet the beamy Ker 40s were loving the conditions. GBR Red's Cutting Edge and GBR White's Hooligan VII had done a good job of fending off the `turbo-ed' and higher rated Catapult, leading the Irish boat around the gate.

Read more on the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup minisite [Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup 2014: Tactical Evening Ahead]

 
Antix opens the Brewin Dolphin Commodores’ Cup with two bullets

Anthony O'Leary's Ker 39, Antix, on Day One of the 2014 Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup. Photo: RORC/Rick Tomlinson rick-tomlinson.comIreland has not competed in the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup since winning the event in 2010, but today on the Solent the defending champions once removed got off to a strong start in the Royal Ocean Racing Club's biennial flagship event for national teams with amateur crews.

The Emerald Isle has one of the strongest teams competing in Cowes this week, led, as in 2010, by Anthony O'Leary and the Ker 39, Antix, recent winner of the RORC's IRC National Championship. Today's two inshore races were held in light conditions in the southeastern Solent and Antix won both. With additional consistent performances by her Irish team mates, American Marc Glimcher's turboed Ker 40, Catapult, and Michael Boyd and Niall Dowling's Grand Soleil 43, Quokka 8, Ireland now leads the 2014 Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup with a 19 point advantage over GBR Red.

"On Christmas morning you'd say `yes please',"said Anthony O'Leary of Antix's performance. "We got away cleanly in the two starts. We had a nice position on the line and were able to rumble on without interference, which meant we could make our own decisions. The second race was a bit all over the place. But at the moment it is just shadow boxing - the offshore is what is really important." The event's 24-36 hour long offshore race sets sail tomorrow.

Read the complete article on the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup Minisite

 
Brewin Dolphin Commodores’ Cup Ups the Ante

The 2014 Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup Fleet prepares for racing. Photo: RORC/Rick Tomlinson rick-tomlinson.comAnticipation has been building going into tomorrow's start of the Royal Ocean Racing Club's biennial week-long Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup.

This year's event features nine teams, comprising four from France, one from Ireland and four from Britain (including one from Scotland), two more than 2012. Over the last few days crews from the three boat teams have been putting the finishing touches to their campaigns. The thundery conditions of the last 48 hours have provided some lively moments for boats being delivered to Cowes, with one French boat experiencing 55 knot winds as she crossed the Channel.

As ever the RORC's flagship event for national teams with amateur crews comprises a challenging mix of inshore and offshore racing.

The event kicks off tomorrow (Sunday 20th July) with two inshore races, the first warning signal at 1055 BST. Over Monday-Tuesday the boats head off on an overnight offshore race, the longest of the regatta (set to last 24-36 hours) and carrying the highest points co-efficient of 2.5. Inshore racing resumes on Wednesday and Thursday followed by a race around the Isle of Wight on Friday, with a 1.5 co-efficient, the event concluding on Saturday with an inshore race carrying a co-efficient of 2. In past years the event has gone to the wire, with the final outcome only decided on the last race.

Read the complete article, see the team lists, results, tracking and photos on the event minisite

 
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