Monday, August 29, 2016

Glorious RORC Ile d’Ouessant Race

J/120 sailing RORC race (Cowes, England)– The inaugural edition of the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s Île d’Ouessant Race produced a fascinating strategic battle for the new 400nm ocean race from Cowes to France via a somewhat circuitous routing. In an ever-changing wind and tide scenario, the outstanding performers needed to make bespoke tactical decisions to achieve success. Speed is always king in offshore racing, but the fastest time is not always achieved by adopting the shortest route. The course is Cowes– Wolf Rock– Ouessant– St Malo (400nm), and was run on August 12, 2016.  Overall, a number of J/Crews did exceptionally well in the challenging race.

One navigator commented, “it was very slow past St Alban’s, pushing the tide. We were close to kedging in 30 metres of water when just enough wind came to get us going again. After that, the wind angle was really good for us. Reaching towards Wolf Rock, we made up a lot of time on boats in front of us. For the leg to Ouessant, the main strategy was to stay east of the rhumb line and go for speed.  We felt that the wind would go northeast, and when it did we had a perfect approach to Ouessant. For the last part of the race, the decision was to go offshore, even though there was more tide; we felt that there was more wind there and if the wind was going to shift more to the northwest then it would work to go that way.  During the early part of the race, we saw much of the English coast because we were inshore trying to beat the tide, and it was the same for the Brittany coast. Inshore among the rocks, with nearly a full moon for a souvenir, it was beautiful!”

J/122 sailing RORC race off Cowes, EnglandIn IRC Two, three British yachts made the podium, including the second-place team- David Richards’ J/122 JUMPING JELLYFISH. Taking 5th place in class was the Army Sailing Association’s J/111 BRITISH SOLDIER, earning valuable points towards the over RORC Season Points Series.

Holding their own in IRC Three class was Nick Martin’s J/105 DIABLO-J, taking a 5th place in the demanding race, sailing in the Double-handed Division as well.  Similarly, in IRC Four class, the long-standing J/105 at the top of the RORC season leaderboard, Robert Nelson’s BIGFOOT, was also sailing Double-handed and took third to gain solid points for her season-series efforts.

As a result of this latest race, a valuable 1.3x counter to the RORC Season Series, Nelson’s J/105 BIGFOOT still sits in 3rd overall with the Army Sailing Association’s J/111 BRITISH SOLDIER sitting in 4th place.   In IRC Two for the season, the J/111 BRITISH SOLDIER still lies in 1st, followed by Gilles Fournier’s J/133 PINTIA in 4th, Elin Haf Davies & Chris Frost’s J/120 NUNATAK in 5th, Chris Schram’s J/120 MAVERICK in 6th and Andy Theobald’s J/122 R&W in 7th.

The IRC Three division series has Martin’s J/105 DIABLO-J in 5th, the top British boat behind four heavily campaigned, virtually all-professional French teams on various JPK 1080s and 1010s.  Not far off the pace is Chris Palmer’s J/109 J-T’AIME in 8th place.

In IRC Four division, Nelson’s J/105 BIGFOOT is still hanging in there at the top of the leaderboard, currently holding 2nd place.  For more RORC Ile d’Ouessant Race sailing information