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Rambler 88 joins 140 Yacht Fleet for the Myth of Malham Race

George David's American Maxi Rambler 88 (RORC/Tim Wright)

RORC Myth of Malham Race
Saturday 27th May, 2017
Cowes - Eddystone – Solent (256 Miles)

Over one hundred and forty yachts, representing nine different countries, have entered the RORC Myth of Malham Race, the largest RORC fleet to race since the 2015 Rolex Fastnet Race. The Myth of Malham Race starts from the Royal Yacht Squadron Line, Cowes with the first mark at the Eddystone Lighthouse, off Plymouth. In essence the first 130 miles of the race mirrors the start of the Rolex Fastnet Race, with tactical and strategic decisions to be made along the tidal headlands of the south coast of England.

The RORC fleet is as diverse as it is sizeable with world record breaking offshore yachts, racing against Corinthian Two-Handed teams, production racer cruisers and just about everything in between. The race also carries a points factor of 1.2, increasing its value for teams looking to stack up points for the RORC Season's Points Championship. Rambler 88 project manager Mick Harvey confirms that George David's American Maxi, Rambler 88, will be taking part in a full RORC programme, leading up to the 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race.

"George is a RORC member and a long-standing supporter of the club, and he is spending some time in Europe this year and thought it would be great to support the RORC with a full campaign in the Season's Points Championship" commented Mick Harvey. "Rambler 88 will be competing in five RORC races; the Myth of Malham, Morgan Cup, St. Malo Race, the Channel Race and the Rolex Fastnet Race. Another factor that has influenced the decision is that we are likely to get more wind in the RORC races than we have experienced in the Mediterranean, and the boat just loves the breeze. The RORC races, especially the Myth of Malham, are great preparation for the Rolex Fastnet, which for us is definitely unfinished business. Rambler 88 will be racing with their full team including Brad Butterworth and Andrew Cape in the afterguard."

2017 irc4 sailing yacht silver shamrock warsash scStuart Greenfield's Half Tonner Silver Shamrock (Warsash Spring Series)

The smallest yacht taking part in the Myth of Malham will be Stuart Greenfield's Ron Holland Half Tonner, Silver Shamrock, racing Two Handed with co-skipper Nathan Steffenoni. Last year Silver Shamrock won the Two Handed Class and IRC 4 in the Myth of Malham Race.

"I managed to snap the rudder after the Cervantes Race at the end of April, my good friend John Corby is building a new one and I am sure we will make the race start " commented Stuart Greenfield. "With 140 bigger and faster boats, the main thing for us at the start is to stay clear or we will just park up in disturbed air. Before Portland Bill, we will be making sure we have a good kedge anchor ready to go, as we are unlikely to make the tide. Last year, we were there for four hours but it paid to kedge rather than go offshore. The Rambler crew will probably finish this race and be home in bed before we get near Eddystone Lighthouse but I don't see that as a disadvantage. I love the challenge of racing shorthanded in a small boat that is over 40 years old and 230 miles doesn't bother me. We did the 400-mile RORC Ushant Race last year, the longer the better, as we get more time to enjoy ourselves."

2017 myth campagne de france rtHalvard Mabire & Miranda Merron's Class40 Campagne de France (Rick Tomlinson)

A clutch of well sailed Class40 will be taking part in the Myth of Malham, including Harvard Mabire Campagne de France racing with Miranda Merron and Ronan de Kersauzon.

One of our priorities for the season is to win the RORC Championship, and the Myth of Malham is an important race for that and also as a practice start for the Fastnet." commented Miranda Merron. "For a Class40, a 230-mile race is a sprint and especially as we are three up, I doubt if we will really get any proper sleep. With water ballast we hardly ever have crew on the rail but with stacking permitted, short tacking is physically exhausting, as we move everything to the windward side of the boat. This is often done very enthusiastically, so I tend to wear a crash helmet when the kit is flying around. There is a very competitive fleet for the Myth of Malham, and we expect the result to be very close."

Spectators will get a great view of the fleet from The Green at Cowes or vantage points at the Hurst Narrows.

Crystal ball-gazing for the Rolex Fastnet Race winner

Taking on the Rolex Fastnet Race Two-Handed on Redshift Reloaded, Ed Fishwick's Sun Fast 36, with Figaro sailor, Nick Cherry © Paul Wyeth/

Second-guessing the winner under IRC among the 340 boats competing in August’s Rolex Fastnet Race is tough. The outcome of the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s biennial flagship event will depend on the weather: A brisk start should favour the big boats; a light start and lively finish the smaller ones, but it is not simple given the race’s complexity with headlands and tidal gates to negotiate, shipping and Traffic Separation Schemes to avoid, the mix of coastal and oceanic sailing, amid the largest fleet of any offshore race in the world.

There is one unifying factor: the winner will be one of the smartest and most talented crews, sailing the best prepared boat, courtesy of the IRC rating system that aims to create a level playing field for all types of boats competing.

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To the wire at the Vice Admirals’ Cup

Robert Stiles triumphs with Diamond Jem in the J/109 fleet, collecting trophies presented by Stephen Anderson, Vice-Commodore of RORC - copyright Rick Tomlinson

The Vice Admiral’s Cup concluded today on the central Solent in lighter 10-13 knot winds, this time blowing from the east. The leaderboard was so tight across the seven classes of one designs and level rating boats, that in many discards decided their outcome.

In the J/109s, the final day brought about a change of leader with Robert Stiles on Diamond Jem edging out David Richards’ Jumping Jellyfish by a point, in turn finishing one point ahead of Simon Perry’s Jiraffe. "It has been very, very close racing," admitted Stiles. "We won it on the last tack going into the windward mark. It has been a real ding-dong all through the event. We are delighted to have won it two years in succession."

Jumping Jellyfish had managed to get the overlap on Diamond Jem at the final mark of the first race to finish ahead but in today’s second race Diamond Jem turned the tables. "It has been three days of great sailing," said Stiles. "It is a really nice regatta and there were some great courses."

2017 vac j111 mcfly winnerThe crew of McFly celebrate their class win - copyright Rick Tomlinson

Racing in the J/111 class also came down to the last race with Tony Mack’s McFly managing to beat Martin Dent’s World Champions on Jelvis by a mere point. "It has been a fantastic three days," said Dent. "It has been a fantastic variety of racing – we have had all conditions. The Vice Admiral’s Cup does proper justice to a one design fleet and it is credit to the race team in setting courses that are challenging, but fair."

Today Jelvis claimed the first race after winning the pin at the start. Prior to the start of the second race Jelvis and McFly were involved in a match racing style dial-up. Jelvis then sailed their opponent away from the start area but then at the gun they got held up by another boat that was OCS, enabling the wily Mack to get away. As a result McFly beat Jelvis to the overall win by just a point.

2017 vac aguila photo rtAguila leads to claim the win in the Quarter Ton Fleet - copyright Rick Tomlinson

In the Quarter Tonners, Sam Laidlaw and his crew on Aguila hung on to claim the win, adding the Vice Admiral’s Cup to what has so far been an unbeaten run this season. However this was despite the best endeavours of Louise Morton’s all-female team on Bullit which lived up to their boat’s name winning both of today’s races, leaving them second but only by a point.

"We went out to defend our second place," explained Morton. "Today our hoists and drops went well and we won the committee boat at both starts. We beat Aguila in both races but there weren’t enough boats in between us. We had a very strong crew. We have had Helena [Lucas – Paralympic 2.4mR gold medallist] on board for the last two days – she was amazing on tactics."

Bullit came out ahead on the second beat in today’s first race but led at the first weather mark rounding in the second. "It was a very good event," concluded Morton. "We had eight very short sharp windward-leeward races with minimal hanging around. The race management was very good."

2017 vac diam24 gaetana3 winnerRiccardo Pavoncelli: victorious Vice Admiral's Cup winner with Gaetana 3 in the Diam24od class - copyright Rick Tomlinson

In the Diam 24od trimaran class there was an unexpected winner in Italian Riccardo Pavoncelli’s Gaetana 3 after being awarded redress for a collision in Friday’s first race. They won today’s first race and the Vice Admiral’s Cup overall by 1.5 points from Diam importer Paul Wakelin’s Fluid Boat Services, Buzz. Gaetana 3 crewman Andy Greenwood said: "Today was perfect - there was less breeze than the first two days and the racing was closer because of that. And as it was day three, people were a bit more confident and there were more lead changes." This was the Gaetana team’s first event in the Diam24 having only acquired their boat in March.

2017 vac fast40 invictus winnerAlex Mills and crew of the invincible Invictus - copyright Rick Tomlinson

After scoring bullets in both yesterday’s long round the cans races, Invictus, with Sir Keith Mills’ son Alex helming, won the last of today’s three races to claim first place overall in the FAST 40+ class by eight points from New Zealander Mark Rijkse’s 42° South. Rijkse won today’s first race but, along with Johnny Vincent’s Pace, was OCS in race two.

"I am chuffed to have put in a good result in early doors," said Mills, who’s family was out watching the racing today. "Last year we started badly and we were always trying to catch up, so to have won first up is fantastic and to do it in such as tight fleet as well. Right down to the last race it was neck and neck at the top and there doesn’t seem to be any team much faster than the rest. It will be a super close year."

Despite the tide being on neaps, the left, mainland side of the race course paid today and according to Invictus’ tactician Robert Greenhalgh this made the starts difficult with everyone fighting for the left. "Then you had to sail in high modes upwind to try and peel off guys to windward of you, hopefully before you got to layline."

Otherwise of the Vice Admiral’s Cup, Greenhalgh commented: "It has been fantastic – exactly what everyone hoped for. It was good racing, good race management."

2017 vac 1 sb20 marvel rtRichard Powell's Marvel: top scoring SB20 - copyright Rick Tomlinson

Richard Powell’s Marvel scored her fifth consecutive bullet strengthing her position in the SB20 class to win with an eight point margin over former World Champion Jerry Hill on However Hill fought back to claim today’s final race. "It was not quite enough - it was always going to be hard after Marvel’s day yesterday," he said. "Today it was quite nip and tuck in the first race, but they got ahead and tacked on us on the first beat which meant we had to clear our air and overstood. In the second race they got nabbed on the start line by David Chapman and had to go the wrong way up to clear. We were just ahead of Chapman at the first mark and we then managed to extend. It’s been a really nice few days – good breeze, a good variety of courses."

2017 vac impala28 polly winnerBen Meakins' Polly: champions of the Impala 28s - copyright Rick Tomlinson

Apart from Marvel, another boat to score nothing but 2s and 1s at the Vice Admiral’s Cup was Ben Meakins and the crew of Polly in the Impala 28 class.
"We’ve had a great time - a good range of conditions," said Meakins. "We got pushed quite hard by Two Frank yesterday. Today it was a nice wind direction and not too shifty and it was about getting your starts right. We’ll definitely come back next year if we’re invited. We’d hope to get double figures [entries] next year."

The Vice Admiral’s Cup concluded this afternoon with a prizegiving at the RORC Cowes clubhouse.

Perfect scorelines on breezy day 2 at the Vice Admiral's Cup

Tony Mack's McFly scorches ahead to take the lead in the J/111s - copyright Rick Tomlinson

Conditions turned autumnal for day two of the Vice Admirals' Cup. With seven fleets competing at the RORC's annual regatta for invited one design and level rating classes, today crews found themselves wrestling their boats around the courses in 15-20 knot winds until a squall caused conditions to gust up to 28 knots, plus rain and reducing visibility.

Some clearly enjoyed the brisk conditions with Invictus claiming both today's coastal races in the FAST 40+, while Tony Mack's McFly scored three bullets to take the lead in the J/111s and Richard Powell's Marvel managed a perfect scoreline in the SB20's three races. "It was good - we are very happy," said Marvel crewman Ben Vines. "We got fairly lit up at times. We had a couple of hairy moments. There were big gusts coming through unexpectedly."

Marvel has now pulled out a five point lead over Jerry Hill's Of the squall in the race three, Vines said: "We got most of the breeze just before it and we then went downwind in the rain. It was quite breezy - the gusts were real bullets. Our top speed was about 16 knots."

After her stand out Friday, Simon Perry's Jiraffe found it harder going today but has managed to retain the lead in the J/109s. John Smart's Juke Box was the lowest scorer winning today's opening race, with David Richards' Jumping Jellyfish and Robert Stiles' Diamond Jem claiming honours in the subsequent two.

However in the J/111s Tony Mack and his crew on McFly blitzed it, scoring three bullets and taking the lead. "It was lovely sailing - we are delighted with our result," said Mack. "Sometimes I think things just go well for you and you make the right calls and other days you don't seem to. Perhaps that is why we keep coming back!"
The J/111s sailed two windward-leewards today ending the day with a round the cans course that was shortened at Gurnard Ledge. Even the invincible McFly had her upsets including one wild broach coming out of a gybe. While the results indicate otherwise, racing among the J/111s was still close. "You had to try until the very end. In the J/111s there are some very good owner-drivers," concluded Mack.

2017 vac fast40 invictus rtBig speeds in big winds for Invictus in the FAST 40+ fleet - copyright Rick Tomlinson

The eleven FAST 40+s spent the day thundering about the western Solent completing two 15-16 mile long round the cans courses, starting off Beaulieu with the last race finishing off Cowes. After a disappointing start to the Vice Admiral's Cup, Invictus won both today's races by a handsome margin.
"Today was really good fun - conditions were great," enthused Sir Keith Mills' son Alex, helmsman here. "We have always been good at reaching starts and we got a massive lead straight out of the blocks."

While Invictus won today's first race by almost three and a half minutes on the water, in the second it was close with Johnny Vincent's Pace initially fastest only to suffer a broach that allowed Invictus to pull ahead. With yesterday's leader, Stewart Whitehead's Rebellion, having a zero or hero regatta, so Invictus has taken the lead, now two points ahead of Tony Dickin's Jubilee.

2017 vac 2 diam24 rtPowering up in the Diam24ods - copyright Rick Tomlinson

If the FAST 40+s were hitting impressive speeds, the Diam 24od trimarans outstripped them. They sailed two long courses, of 15 miles and six miles, the former taking them deep into the eastern Solent. Piers Hugh Smith's Maverick SSR almost scored two bullets but the British campaign, due to take part in the Voile de France a la Voile this July, accidentally failed to complete the course in race one.
"We saw a 30 second average of 19.7 knots and a peak speed of 21," said Smith. "We were hoping to be in the top cluster of boats. It was nice to consistently have good speed and good results."

As usual the racing was closest in the Quarter Tonners where favourite, Sam Laidlaw's Aguila was top scorer of the day, winning the last windward-leeward. Aguila is now four points ahead of Louise Morton's Bullit. Today's other winners were the Southworth's Whiskers and Tom Daniels' Tiger.

Today was a case of minimising handling errors even on the immaculately sailed Aguila. After seeing 24 knots they blew up their vang during a gybe. "We just hobbled over the line but fortunately we were far enough ahead to hold our position," recounted Laidlaw.

In the Impalas Ben Meakins and Polly's run of four bullets was finally broken by Oliver Love's Two Frank. "It was great racing," said Love. "Getting 11 knots out of an Impala is quite good, surfing down waves and now we are back in contention to win."

Racing continues tomorrow at 1030 BST with the final three races to be sailed in the FAST 40+ and Diam 24od and two in the remaining classes.

Trail blazing Vice Admiral’s Cup opening day

Louise Morton's all girls team racing the Quarter Tonner Bullit - photo RORC/Rick Tomlinson

The Solent laid on perfect conditions for day one of the Vice Admiral’s Cup with brilliant sunshine, wind that built from 10 knots to 20 through the afternoon, building up a steep chop that was enough to cause crews to struggle to keep boats beneath rigs.

Among the seven fleets competing at the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s annual regatta for invited one design and level rating classes, it was Ben Meakins on Polly that ended day one with the best scoreline, winning all three races among the seven Impala 28s. Meanwhile Martin Dent on the Jelvis repeated his World Championship-winning form posting a 1-3-1 to lead the J/111 Class, but by just one point from Cornel Riklin’s Jitterbug. Simon Perry and the crew on Jiraffe did one better to lead the J/109 class with a 2-1-1 scoreline, which Perry reckoned was the best his team had ever managed, albeit coming straight out of a win at Warsash Spring Series: "We’re savouring the moment. What we enjoy most is sailing with a good group of boats."

2017 vac 1 fast40fleet rtThe Fast40+ fleet is lead after day one by Stewart Whitehead’s Carkeek 40 Rebellion- photo RORC/Rick Tomlinson

In the eleven boat FAST 40+ fleet the day ended with Stewart Whitehead’s Carkeek 40 Rebellion tied with the modified former GP42, Jubilee, of Tony Dickin. However the day really belonged to Whitehead’s team and their green hulled flying machine after winning today’s first two races before being beset with jib halyard problems on their run into the start line of race three. They had to send a man aloft to retrieve the halyard and once racing again only recover to 10th.

"Overall we’re happy," concluded Whitehead. "Paul Willcox [tactician] got us off the start line well in the first and second races." The mods made to Rebellion over the winter, that include a new stiffer keel fin similar to the latest Carkeek design, also seem to be paying. "Now we have reasonable pace. We just need to put ourselves in the right place and sail well."

With Jubilee winning today’s final race, so the form in the FAST 40+ class seems to be markedly different to last season. "It is great," confirms Whitehead. "All of the boats have made modifications and the difference between them is relatively minimal now. In our third race - before we might have expected to take back three or four places. Now that is nigh on impossible."

2017 vac 1 diam24 buzz race team rtUK Diam 24 importer, Paul Wakelin’s Fluid Boat Services Buzz, lies in second place after day 1 of the regatta- photo RORC/Rick Tomlinson

The fastest boats on the race course today were the Diam 24od trimarans which as the wind and sea picked up were hitting 20+ knot speeds, their crews frequently engulfed in balls of spray. Three different boats won today, but the scores show a two horse race with Matthew Muhlenkamp’s Diam 24 Charter leading UK importer Paul Wakelin’s Fluid Boat Services, Buzz by a single point.

2017 vac 1 sb20 marvel rtAfter day one of the Vice Admiral's Cup Richard Powell’s Marvel leads by one point from David Chapman’s Aussie team on Export Roo- photo RORC/Rick Tomlinson

This is also the case in the SB20s where Richard Powell’s Marvel leads by one point from David Chapman’s Aussie team on Export Roo. It was former World Champion Jerry Hill on that claimed the first race, despite sailing a boat only launched yesterday. All was going well until the second race: "We got the leeward gate all wrong and had to unwind ourselves," admitted Hill. "Plus our rig was all over the place. Otherwise it was nice weather and great to shake the cobwebs out."

Some of the stiffest competition was in the Quarter Ton class where already the favourite, Sam Laidlaw and Aguila, have pulled out a four point lead after scoring 2-3-2 today. There were three different winners with William McNeill’s Illegal Immigrant claiming the first race and Ian Southworth’s Whiskers enjoying the brisk conditions in race three. These two boats are tied on 11 points with former Coutts Quarter Ton Cup winner Louise Morton’s all-female crew on Bullit, winner of the second race.

"It was a lovely day on the water - 15 knots, bright sunshine – what’s not to like?" said Lucy Macgregor, former Match Racing World Champion, who is calling tactics on Bullit. "We had some great racing today, the best so far this season and all of the top boats are out." Bullit won race two by getting a good start and then benefitting from a good layline call into the top mark. Bullit’s all-female is on rotation this week with Paralympic Gold medallist Helena Lucas on board tomorrow.

Other VIPs in the Quarter Ton class today included Ian Walker sailing on board Tom Hill’s Belinda, currently lying 10th. Today the double Olympic medallist and Volvo Ocean Race winner found himself second from the front. "I got wet feet – and blisters! And I had to go up the rig to change the D2!" he complained once ashore. "But It is good close racing - the standard is good."

Racing continues tomorrow with some round the cans courses in the western Solent at the early start time of 1030 BST.

Champions galore at the Vice Admiral’s Cup

High podium expectations for Impala 28 Two Frank -copyright Rick Tomlinson

The Vice Admirals' Cup fires up on Friday with three days of racing on the Solent for the seven invited classes.

While the Diam24od multihulls will be showing a clean pair of heels to the fleet, another class competing at the Vice Admiral's Cup for the first time is the Impala 28. 40 years ago the David Thomas-penned One Design won the backing of the 'Offshore One Design Council' in its quest to promote offshore racing. With the first boats launched by Hunter Yachts two years later, it has since proved one of the top designs of its era.

Due to encouragement from Class Captain Ben Meakins and other owners, the Impala 28 is going through a resurgence with 16 boats expected at this year's Nationals and 12 regularly racing out of the Hamble. Six are competing in the Vice Admirals' Cup, including Fearnought, last year's National Champion, now in the hands of another National Champion, Mike Jones, and Two Frank, current leader in the JOG Series and also a past National Champion. Another to watch is David Thomas' own boat of old, Trudi, named after his wife and now campaigned by Chris Williams.

As Meakins puts it: "There aren't many boats where you can race one design, offshore and inshore and go cruising for £10k!"

2017 vac j109 jumping jellyfish rtJumping Jellyfish hopes to show last year's National Champs podium form again - copyright Rick Tomlinson

J/Boats are represented by the J/109 and J/111 with five of the former and six of the latter entered. Among the J/109s are the second and third placed finishers from last year's Nationals: Robert Stiles' Diamond Jem and David Richards' Jumping Jellyfish. The J/111 line-up includes reigning World Champion, Martin Dent with Jelvis.

Campaigning the J/111 since 2014, Dent typically sails with a young team, including family and students. He reckons being World Champion means nothing: "It is a good fleet and we'll be struggling again against the top teams, like Tony Mack in McFly, Cornel [Riklin] in Jitterbug and [Chris Jones'] Journeymaker II."
The Vice Admiral's Cup is becoming a must-do regatta for the J/111s as it is the first event of the year they sail under class rules (as opposed to IRC), limiting their sail inventory and to sailing with one 'pro' on board. Dent also likes it being a three day event..."that's better than two and the Vice Admiral's Cup has always got good race management."

2017 vac j111 jelvis rtJelvis can expect fast action in the J111 fleet - copyright Rick Tomlinson

As to J/111 racing, Dent continues: "It is such good fun: You put the kite up and start ripping downwind at 16-17 knots, and you think 'great – we're going really fast', but then you find that everyone arrives at the same time at the leeward mark. It never a procession, there are always lead changes."

While the twelve FAST40+ boats will be hogging the limelight, the SB20 one design will be providing its normal delicious recipe of high performance bang for buck. For the nine SB20s competing, the Vice Admiral's Cup will be their first competitive outing in what will be a big season with the World Championship set to be held on the Solent at the end of August with 100+ boats from 16-18 countries competing.

According Jerry Hill of Sportsboatworld, who have been marketing the SB20 since 2012, there are likely to be three stand-out boats competing at Vice Admirals Cup: Richard Powell's Marvel on which Ben Vines sails, Export Roo, an Australian boat campaigned by pro David Chapman and his own – Hill was World Champion in 2010. The Vice Admiral's Cup will provide an opportunity for UK crew to get some much needed practice in if they are to go up against the powerful, French, Russian and Aussie teams later in the year.

2017 vac here comes bod rtThere should be thrills like this for the nine-strong SB20 fleet - copyright Rick Tomlinson

In the mix will be Charlie Whelan on Here Comes Bod. Whelan has been in the class, on and off for a decade but describes his level of competition in football terms as "Championship, not Premiership." Whelan rates Hill for Vice Admiral's Cup victory but acknowledges Export Roo as the dark horse.

As to the SB20 he says: "It still puts a massive smile on my face. We last sailed at the Nationals in Torquay in October. We didn't do particularly well, but we had a blast. In big waves and lot of wind - the boats are just a hoot. They are so easy to sail that you can just step in and out of them and if you know roughly what you're going you can compete moderately well."

The Vice Admiral's Cup will comprise up to eight races on a mix of windward-leeward or round the cans courses.

Dream Pearls takes the De Guingand Bowl

Arnaud Delamare and Eric Mordret's JPK 10.80 Dream Pearls wins the RORC De Guingand Bowl - photo JPK

Arnaud Delamare and Eric Mordret's JPK 10.80 Dream Pearls has won the Royal Ocean Racing Club's De Guingand Bowl Race. In second place was Noel Racine's JPK 10.10 Foggy Dew and third overall was the British Two Handed team of Ian Hoddle and Ollie Wyatt, racing Sunfast 3600 Game On.

Line Honours for the De Guingand Bowl Race went to Piet Vroon's Dutch Ker 51 Tonnerre de Breskens, 36 minutes ahead of their nearest rival, Daniel Hardy's Ker 46 Lady Mariposa. After IRC time correction Lady Mariposa was the winner the big boat class, IRC Zero.

"A very competitive race for us and we are delighted to win the first race of our campaign for the Rolex Fastnet Race" commented Dream Pearls' Christian Maby. "We were happy with our speed and we made some very good decisions with sail selection, especially using our Code Zero on the leg back to St. Catherine's Point. If there was one part of the race that we made significant gains it was there. When we finished, we could see boats around us in IRC Two, so we knew we had done well, but to win is fantastic for the team, and this will give us good hope for the season."

IRC Three was the biggest class with 27 yachts competing; Dream Pearls took the class win, as well as the overall with Game On second and Thomas Kneen's JPK 10.80 Sunrise in third.

2017 dgb ian hoddle game on photo ian hoddleIan Hoddle, racing his Sun Fast 3600 Game On, with Ollie Wyatt won the IRC Two-Handed Division and were third overall in the RORC De Guingand Bowl

Ian Hoddle's Game On had a terrific race, winning the 20-strong IRC Two Handed Class and placing third overall. However Game On was pushed all the way. In IRC Two Handed Nigel De Quervain Colley's Fastrak XI was only two minutes behind and Ed Fishwick's Redshift Reloaded less than three minutes, after IRC time correction.

"Having been beaten by Bellino and Redshift in the Cervantes Trophy, we were keen to strike back immediately" commented Ian Hoddle. "We nailed a more aggressive start, which paid off as we were in the leading pack on the kite-leg down to the forts. The intensity of competition in the Two Handed fleet is such that a good start can make all the difference. North Head was the low point of our race; a broken jib shackle delayed our kite hoist and the time to fix it and a foul tide punished us. At this point the competition had all positioned themselves for the maximum tide running out of Portland. We continued across to Swanage to see if the anticipated lift provided gains; and it worked to a tee. We made the East Shingles Buoy without a tack and even got the Code Zero aloft! Both Ollie and I had certainly left nothing on the table and by 2am we were exhausted!! Ollie and I last raced together back in 2011. I have never seen someone with so much energy - he literally never stops working around the boat - like a machine :)"

Congratulations to Angus Bates' J/133 Assarain IV, winner of IRC One, Nick & Suzi Jones' First 44.7 Lisa, winner of IRC Two, and Antoine Magre's Palanad II, winner of the Class40 Division. The next race in the 2017 RORC Season's Points Championship will be the Myth of Malham. Mirroring the start of the Rolex Fastnet course, the 256 nautical mile race around the Eddytstone Lighthouse, will be the first weighted race of the championship, with a points factor of 1.2.

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