Thursday, May 19, 2011

J/111 Sails Tough RORC De Guigand Bowl Race

RORC race course for De Guigand Bowl
J/111 3rd in Class Beating Upwind!
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- The De Guigand Bowl race provided another exciting chapter in the 2011 RORC Season's Points Championship. The RORC Race Committee decided to send the fleet on an upwind start, westward out of the Solent, before turning east, down the south side of the Isle of Wight and offshore after St. Catherine's Point, to a top mark mid-Channel: the Greenwich Light Vessel. The fleet then turned for home, a grueling 50-mile upwind leg to finish back in the Solent. Most of the fleet enjoyed a tactical race with many twists and turns along the way.

The start off the Squadron Line was a gentle one with ten knots from the northwest, however as the fleet entered the Western Solent big gusts and wind shifts had the fleet concentrating on sail trim. The breeze built as the fleet turned east and with an increased sea state, the competitors in the De Guigand Bowl Race enjoyed some fast running conditions before blasting offshore bound for the Greenwich Light Vessel. With blues skies punctuated by scattered clouds, the 71-strong fleet enjoyed a day of fantastic offshore action. Just before sunset, the breeze shifted north and colder air, often in excess 20 knots, gave a chilling night sail. By dawn the breeze had abated somewhat and returned to the northwest and by early afternoon, the majority of the RORC fleet had been accounted for.

In the IRC 1 "Big Boat" division, the two J/133s ended up dueling each other for bragging rights at the Squadron bar.  In the end, Neil Martin's JAMMY DODGER finished 5th in class and David Ballantyne's JINGS finished 6th.

In IRC 2 division, the J/111 sailed a tough race, sailing mostly on the wind "white sail" power reaching/ beating or pounding upwind in steep, choppy seas and shifty winds.  Nevertheless, Niall Dowling and crew on ARABELLA sailed well to finish third overall in their division of 15 boats, beating IMX 40s, Beneteau 40.7s,  Archambault 40s and a raft of other IRC-enhanced boats.

The IRC 3 division might be called the J-35 footer class.  With several J/105s racing along with a competitive group of seven J/109s, it was not going to be easy to lead this division home.  In the end, Nick Martin's J/105 DIABLO-J was top J in the division, getting a 4th in class.  Following him was Frenchman Yves Dervieux  sailing his J/109 BOTEZ COAT IV into 5th just under 8 minutes back on handicap time.  Seventh was Greg Nasmyth's J/109 JARHEAD, 9th was  Nikki Curwen's J/105 VOADOR and filling out the top 10 in 10th place was Dave McLeman's J/109 OFFBEAT.  Story contributed by Louay Habib/ RORC.  For more RORC sailing information