The RORC Easter Challenge has been running for nearly three decades and for over 15 years, marine photographer Paul Wyeth has been capturing the action in the RORC’s season opener. He selects a few of his favourite shots from 2010-2019.
The event has been a firm fixture on the RORC racing calendar for the past 27 years and the training regatta has kicked off the club’s domestic racing season since 1992. Red Funnel supported the event for over 18 years, until 2009, making it one of the longest running sponsorships with the Club. Free world-class coaching on and off the water, from grand masters like Jim Saltonstall and the expert team at North Sails is followed by post-race video debriefs. Winners are rewarded with a plethora of Easter Eggs at the end of the three-day regatta.
More about Paul Wyeth
Paul Wyeth has lived and worked by the sea all his life and is based on the Isle of Wight. Apart from a brief spell away whilst studying for a design degree, the sea has always been central to him; from teaching sailing, through to boat building and work for the RYA. His background in design combines well with hands-on experience at sea. An appreciation of light and a passion for capturing the energy and grace of the sea is his driving force.
Paul has captured many stunning images of RORC races and specialises in photographing from a small RIB allowing him to get right into the action: close but not too close! His experience in boat handling is a real asset when it comes to successfully getting the shot without getting in the way. Paul also shoots aerial images from helicopter and drones when conditions or budget allow!
Many of Paul's images have been featured in major International yachting publications, in addition to commissioned photography for a wide range of clients. He also works as event photographer for several regattas such as Cowes Week and Antigua Sailing Week.
Time Over Distance Volume 2 - Jack Bouttell and Alexis Loison
Rags to Riches - Jack Bouttell started racing with the RORC on Piet Vroon’s Tonnerre as a teenage bowman and just eight years later he was lifting the Volvo Ocean Race Trophy with Dongfeng Race Team. Achievements also include three Figaro campaigns, including Rookie of the year, and racing with Team Concise on both the Class40 and the MOD70. Jack is still under 30 and now lives in L’Orient, France and is part of the Spindrift Jules Verne Challenge.
Norman the Conqueror - Alexis Loison shot to fame winning the 2013 Rolex Fastnet Race overall, racing with his father on Night and Day. Pascal and Alexis Loison became the first and only Two-Handed team to lift the Fastnet Challenge Cup. Alexis was part of Géry Trentesaux’s Courrier Recommandé - overall winner of the 2018 Rolex Middle Sea Race, and won class in the 2015 Rolex Sydney Hobart racing Géry’s Courrier Leon. Alexis Loison is now set for his 15th Solitaire du Figaro with Region Normandie.
Time Over Distance Volume 2 - Friday 10th April 1700hrs (BST): Live interactive interview with Jack & Alexis, check the RORC Facebook page from 1700hrs or the Time Over Distance feed on the on the club website.
Jolie Brise was the winner of the inaugural Fastnet Race in 1925 and is still the only boat to have won the race on three occasions. She celebrated her centenary by competing in the 2013 Rolex Fastnet Race. Rick Tomlinson selects his favourite shot of this historic 1913 Gaff-Rigged Pilot Cutter.
“One of my all-time favourite pictures is this shot of Jolie Brise at the Fastnet Rock. It came about because her skipper Toby Marris asked me if I could get a picture of them rounding the Rock in the 2013 Rolex Fastnet Race. I was concerned that if we attempted this during the race, they were likely to round in the dark. Toby’s response was “no problem, we can sail over a week before, do the pictures, sail back and then do the race!” Good positive attitude!
The picture was to commemorate the 100-year birthday of Jolie Brise as she was the boat that won the very first Fastnet Race in 1925. She also won in 1929 and 1930 and to this day is the only boat to ever win three Fastnet Races. This picture hangs in the Jolie Brise Room at RORC’s Club House in London.
Jolie Brise is owned by Dauntsey’s School, Wiltshire, UK and is crewed by students, with just a full-time skipper and mate on board. The students do all the sailing and helming, even when docking and manoeuvring. In recent years she has sailed the Norwegian coast, done two transatlantic crossings and last year sailed to Iceland. She is a regular competitor in the Tall Ship events, often winning her division.”
More about Rick Tomlinson Rick Tomlinson made his name capturing the Southern Ocean at its most treacherous from the decks of various yachts in the Whitbread Round the World Race. He started with freelance pictures published in Yachting World and Seahorse from Drum in 1985, and finished his 4 Race Whitbread career with a commission from National Geographic onboard Team EF.
Born in 1958, Rick grew up on the Isle of Man, where he established a serious interest in sailing, spending much of his time on the water racing dinghies, dreaming of one day competing in the Whitbread Race. Rick's enthusiasm for photography began whilst he was boatbuilding and sailing, particularly with his friend Nick Keig, who campaigned the Three Legs of Mann and VSD multihulls. Veteran yachting photographers Alistair Black and Christian Fevrier came to photograph the boat, inspiring Rick into the world of professional yachting photography.
Time Over Distance Volume 1: Live interactive interview with Briton Brian Thompson who has broken 33 world sailing records! Featuring videos and live commentary about his astounding career. The Vendee Globe, Rolex Fastnet Race, Jules Verne Trophy and MOD70 campaigns in the RORC Transatlantic Race and RORC Caribbean 600.
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.