Royal Ocean Racing Club Ltd.
20 St James's Place, London, SW1A 1NN | +44 (0) 20 7493 2248

Cornish Black Dog - RORC IRC National Champions

Stuart Sawyer’s J/122 Black Dog © Paul Wyeth/RORC

Time and tide wait for no man – with the feint zephyrs of wind failing to stabilize, there was no racing on the final day of Royal Ocean Racing Club IRC National Championship. The IRC Class leaders after six races remain unchanged.

RORC Commodore James Neville, who had been racing Ino XXX in IRC One, welcomed the competitors to the Prize Giving, held at the RORC Cowes Clubhouse. “I am sure I speak for all the competitors to congratulate Stuart Childerley and his race team for two days of great racing. If there was a way to race today, I am sure they would have found it. It has been great to see so many sailors at the club after sailing, and I would like to thank Sue Wescomb and her team at the RORC Club House in Cowes for the entertainment.”

RORC Racing Manager Chris Stone officiated at the prize giving. Stuart Sawyer’s Black Dog lifted the IRC National Championship Trophy. The second win for the team from Falmouth Cornwall, having won overall in 2019. The team has been racing together for 11 years, and for the championship, Black Dog was joined by double Olympic Silver Medallist, Nick Rogers.

ircn21d3 251The Black Dog crew holding the winners trophy© Paul Wyeth/RORC

“We are delighted,” commented Black Dog’s Stuart Sawyer. “Having a third as a discard, we are really pleased with that. We are surprised to win, we haven’t been racing very much but we have been training, so our crew work is slick. Nick Rogers jelled with the team really quickly and made some great calls. The boat was really well tuned, so we had some tools to work with. We felt like we were clicking in training, so we were confident with ourselves, but we didn’t know how we would measure up against the top IRC boats. This is brilliant racing. The management is top draw, and you get some of the best to sail against, and the RORC and competition is very welcoming.”


Niklas Zennström’s FAST40+ Rán won IRC One by a single point from Peter Morton’s GP42 Jean Genie. Hamilton & Gillon’s GP42 Khumbu was third, just a point behind Jean Genie. Ed Fishwick’s GP42 Redshift finished the regatta in fourth. Rán retains the class win from 2020, and this is the fourth occasion that Rán Racing has won at the RORC IRC National Championship.

ircn21d3 41Niklas Zennström’s FAST40+ Rán © Paul Wyeth/RORC

Rán Racing’s Tim Powell was asked if Rán might be susceptible in light airs. “The GP42s have a lot of sail area and they are quite narrow boats. Sub-nine knots they are super-fast, and they probably have the legs on us,” commented Tim. “It is never easy at this level, yesterday we had to strain ourselves to get up to second, which were excellent results for us. If we had got racing in on the last day, we would have definitely been on the back foot.”


Stuart Sawyer’s J/122 Black Dog was the winner ahead of Rob Bottomley’s Mat 12 Sailplane.

ircn21d2 1076Stuart Sawyer’s J/122 Black Dog © Paul Wyeth/RORC

Russell Peters’ Cape 31 Squirt finished the regatta in third place for the class. The 16-strong class was very competitive with six boats scoring race-podium finishes including, Michael Blair’s King 40 Cobra, Mills 39 Zero II sailed by James Gair, and Lance Adams’ Cape 31 Katabatic.


Adam Gosling’s JPK 1080 Yes! scored four race wins to become the IRC National Champion for IRC Three. Gosling has won class at the IRC Championship a record five times. Howell & Newell’s A35 Arcus, reigning IRC Overall National Champion, was class runner up this year. McNamara & Lowe’s First 40.7 Incognito was third in class. John Cooper’s J/112E Jooped missed the podium by just half a point! The 12-strong class saw seven boats score race-podium finishes including, John Allen’s X 302 Antix, Bruce Huber’s J/112E Xanaboo, and Toby Gorman’s Sigma 33 Stan The Boat.

ircn21d2 860Adam Gosling’s JPK 1080 Yes!  © Paul Wyeth/RORC

Adam Gosling spoke about the ‘take-aways’ from this year’s RORC IRC National Championship. “We have got together as a crew again, slightly short-handed for this event, so we have become slightly better at multi-tasking. In these conditions we have realised how important it is to be able to change gear. We couldn’t have had better race management, really first class racing, the envy of the UK and probably the world.”

Congratulations to the Overall 2021 IRC National Champion Stuart Sawyer’s J/122 Black Dog. The 2021 IRC Three National Champion, and winner of the Jackdaw Trophy for second overall, is Adam Gosling’s JPK 1080 Yes!. The 2021 IRC One National Champion is Niklas Zennström’s FAST40+ Rán. As the best performing RORC member Niklas is the winner of the Roger Grainger Trophy.

Detailed Results

Racing with the Royal Ocean Racing Club continues offshore with the RORC Season’s Points Championship. The De Guingand Bowl Race is scheduled to start on Saturday 26th June from the RYS Line in Cowes. For more information:

RORC Office Locations Map
Royal Ocean Racing Club
(General Enquiries, Membership, House)

20 St James's Place

 +44 (0) 20 7493 2248
 +44 (0) 20 7493 5252
Royal Ocean Racing Club
(Racing Enquiries)

82 High Street
Isle of Wight
PO31 7AJ

 +44 (0) 1983 295 144
 +44 (0) 20 7493 5252
RORC Cowes Clubhouse

The Parade
Isle of Wight
PO31 7QU

 +44 (0) 1983 293581
 +44 (0) 20 7493 5252
RORC Rating Office
(Seahorse Rating Ltd)

Seahorse Building, Bath Road
Lymington, Hampshire
SO41 3SE

 +44 (0) 1590 677030
 +44 (0) 1590 679478

Royal Ocean Racing Club - since 1925

The RORC was founded in 1925 to encourage long distance yacht racing and the design, building and navigation of sailing vessels in which speed and seaworthiness are combined. Today the club encourages ocean, long distance and other forms of yacht racing and yachting activity.