Wednesday, March 20, 2013

RORC Easter Challenge Attracts Top Teams

J105 one-design sailboats- sailing off Block Island (Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- With many of the UK's top IRC boats signed up to compete over three days at the popular RORC Easter Challenge, the regatta is turning into a practice session for the highly competitive IRC Nationals taking place later this summer.

In a unique initiative and as the first Solent-based event in the Club's racing calendar, RORC relax the rules on outside assistance and invite coaching guru, Jim Saltonstall and a team of expert coaches - including past Olympian Barry Dunning - to actively participate and provide helpful tips to improve sail trim and boat handling whilst the boats are racing. The coaching team has also been boosted this year by the addition of sailmakers who will provide sail trim and rig set up tips.

"It's the only event of its kind in the UK and I've not seen it done anywhere else in the world," comments RORC CEO Eddie Warden Owen who is also one of Saltonstall's coaching team.  "Even the top teams with pro sailors on board are keen to get the view we have from the outside. It can be extremely effective, especially for the less experienced crew who often see an immediate improvement during the race," continues Warden Owen.  After racing, Saltonstall de-briefs crews using video evidence to back up his thoughts. These sessions held after racing in the Event Centre at Cowes Yacht Haven are always packed out.

But for the top boats, its also a serious event for a combination training and racing.  Last year the RORC introduced a second race course for the smaller boats and One Design classes like the J/80's.  Racing for all classes starts on Good Friday 29th March and runs through to Sunday 31st March.  In previous years, a cross-section of J/105s, J/97s, J/109s, J/111s and J/122s all showed up to take advantage of may be one of the world's most advanced racing clinics on offshore racing and around-the-buoys coaching and training.  One not to be missed to get the crew tuned for yet another epic season of sailing on the Solent!
Enter here for the RORC Easter Challenge on 14th March.