Lady Mariposa wins the Cherbourg Race
A magnificent collage of spinnakers heralded the start of the 2018 Cherbourg Race, organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club. Seventy teams set off east in the Solent with a flooding tide for the 80 nautical mile race across the English Channel.
After an upwind spell to clear the Isle of Wight, the fleet enjoyed a spectacular night race on a reach to Cherbourg. Ker 46 Lady Mariposa, skippered by Nigel King, was the overall winner under IRC. Ross Hobson's Seacart 30 Buzz finished the race in an astonishing 6 Hours 44 Mins 07 Secs to take Multihull Line Honours. Filip Balcean's ClubSwan 50 Balthasar took Monohull Line Honours, and was second overall, ripping around the course in 7 Hours 35 Mins 17 Secs. Third overall and winner of IRC Two was Gilles Fournier's J/133 Pintia.
“A great finish to our UK programme.” commented Lady Mariposa Skipper Nigel King. “Balthasar was great to race against, we were nip and tuck all the way. On such a short race, at a tight reaching angle, we both chose to stay on the rhumb line. However we decided before the start to really see how fast we could go on a night sail sprint, and we made a lot of sail changes during the race. Looking forward, Lady Mariposa will be racing in the RORC Caribbean 600, and the Cherbourg Race was a really useful part of our preparation.”
Ross Hobson's Seacart 30 Buzz was the smallest boat in the race, but scorched around the course to be the first boat into Cherbourg. “We got a good lead at the start but we were on the wind after we left the Solent and the big IRC boats were catching us up.” commented Hobson. “However, the wind went on the beam after that and we lit up, we must have been doing high-teens for the last half of the race. It was really wet, so wet that we were racing old school, just by the feel of the wind and compass, it was a hell of a ride! Thanks to Phillipa and Scotty Cavanough for joining the two old gits for the race (Ross Hobson and Jon McColl). We will be looking to recruit some more sailors for our Fastnet Campaign for next season.”
Ed Fishwick's Sun Fast 3600 Redshift Reloaded was the victor in the 24-strong IRC Two Handed Fleet. Going into the Cherbourg Race, Redshift Reloaded was tied on points with Nigel Goodhew's Sun Fast 3200 Cora for the 2018 IRC Two Handed National Championship. Winning class in the Cherbourg Race clinched the national title.
“It was a very competitive event and I am very happy,” commented Ed Fishwick. “There were many good boats that could have won, we were fortunate at times, and to win in such a great fleet is cool. It is a great event with a superb format; two days of inshore racing combined with a short offshore, and I will definitely do it again. I usually sail with Nick Cherry, who is racing in the Solitaire du Figaro, but for the championship I sailed with Will Harris, who was absolutely fantastic. Racing with people like Nick and Will allows me to learn so much about tactics, and their boat handling ability means that we are not restricted in our tactics by difficult manoeuvres.”
Congratulations to all the class winners for the Cherbourg Race including: Mark Emerson's A13 Phosphorus (IRC One), Jean-Eudes Renier's JPK 10.80 Shaitan (IRC Three), Noel Racine's JPK 10.10 Foggy Dew (IRC Four), and Peter Harding's Phor-ty, skippered by Sam Goodchild.
The final race for the 2018 RORC Season's Points Championship will be the Rolex Middle Sea Race. The 50th anniversary of the 606 nautical mile race will start from Malta on 20th October, 2018.The Royal Ocean Racing Club Annual Dinner and Prize Giving will be held on 17th November in London.