The fleet enjoyed exhilarating racing in the Solent on the second day of the RORC Easter Challenge © Paul Wyeth/

The fleet enjoyed exhilarating racing in the Solent on the second day of the RORC Easter Challenge © Paul Wyeth/

Mixing it Up at RORC Easter Challenge, Day Two


09/04/2023 - 08:54

The second day of the RORC Easter Challenge, supported by North Sails featured three races for all IRC Classes. With building pressure during the day, the RORC fleet enjoyed exhilarating racing in the Solent. The RORC Race Team produced a variety of courses including technical windward leeward, round the cans races and the rarity of reaching starts. Congratulations to today's race winners: Ian Atkins' GP42 Dark 'N' Stormy, Simon Perry's Cape 31 Jiraffe, Michael Wilson's Shotgunn, Lance Adams' Corby 36 Oui, Nick Martin's Sun Fast 3600 Diablo, Rob Cotterill's J/109 Mojo Risin', James Gair's Team Hero on Zero, and Lucian Stone's Fareast 28 Vendetta.

The RORC Coaching Team led by Mason King was out in force, backed up by drone video from the North Sails Rib. "What a fantastic day to go sailing!" commented Mason King. "A big thank you to Race Officer Stuart Childerley and the RORC Race Team for organising a very high standard of race management across a big spectrum of courses." After racing, the RORC Cowes Clubhouse was packed for the second day with experts offering advice to well over 100 sailors via the RORC Easter Challenge Debrief.

 "We wanted to be able to tack onto port at the first start and be the first boat to get onto the right-hand side of the course which had an extra knot of favourable tide," commented North Sails Ian Walker, tactician on Ian Atkins's Dark 'N' Stormy. "Even if you got a superb start at the pin on starboard, it might not be clear to tack onto port, which was the favoured side. The hard part of doing that in a big fleet of boats is that you have to start near the Committee Boat, so you have to be really sure of your tidally adjusted layline. The best way to do this is to practice before the start."

Ian Atkins' GP42 Dark 'N' Stormy © Paul Wyeth/
Ian Atkins' GP42 Dark 'N' Stormy © Paul Wyeth/

Today in the North Sails Coaching Rib was Jeremy Smart who has been with North Sails for over 20 years and competes at a huge variety of regattas around the world. Jeremy homed in on the management of the jib at the bottom mark: "Getting a Bonner (jib wrapped around the forestay) at the bottom mark is very costly and is very well worth avoiding," commented Jeremy Smart. "It is easy to avoid if someone is tasked with keeping an eye on the jib sheets as the boat approaches the bottom mark, and then snaps the jib on at the right time. If you do get a Bonner the easiest way to free the jib is to bear away, ease until the jib is free and then go back onto the wind."

 RORC Deputy Race Manager Tim Thubron is part of the coaching team and has been answering questions, but also spotted a small change to the course for the finish of Race Two. "Team had to pass through a Leeward Gate before going directly to the finish," explained Tim Thubron. "What teams should have spotted was how close the Blue Finish Line buoy was to The Gate in relation to the Committee Boat. In my opinion the Blue Buoy was half the distance. Today we saw races being won by just a few seconds after IRC time correction. In any race every second counts and there was a lot of time to be gained by spotting the Finish Line bias."

The RORC Cowes Clubhouse was a hive of activity after racing and on the Crew Buffet Menu were homemade RORC Cheeseburgers with all the trimmings. The RORC Easter Challenge concludes tomorrow, Sunday 9th April with even more breeze forecast for a big finish to the regatta.

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