by Louay Habib
Cherbourg Race, organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) in association with the Yacht Club de Cherbourg and the Royal Yacht Squadron, starts on Friday 2nd September 2011.
French JPK 9.60, Ultreia!, skippered by Matthias Kracht - Cherbourg Race 2011
After a record breaking Rolex Fastnet Race, the final race of the RORC Season’s Points Championship takes place this weekend. After a scintillating season of racing with the RORC, current weather models predict a light airs race, in sharp contrast to a very windy season.
In IRC Zero Derek Saunders’ CM 60, Venomous, has already clinched the class title but no doubt the team will be celebrating in style in Cherbourg, as this is their first series win with the yacht after three years of trying.
Piet Vroon’s Ker 46, Tonnerre de Breskens, has already wrapped up the class win in IRC One and after competing in nine races this season, the sky blue flyer is sitting out the race to Cherbourg. However, in IRC Two Neil Kipling’s J/122, Joopster, needs to get a result against Ross Appleby’s Oyster 48, Scarlet Oyster, to be sure of the season win. Neither of these yachts has won their class for the RORC Season’s Points Championship before but the conditions and the points favour Joopster to take their first RORC Season’s Points Championship win.
Noel Racine’s JPK 10.10, Foggy Dew, has an unassailable lead in IRC Three after picking up maximum points in the Rolex Fastnet Race but the team from Le Havre are still competing in the final race of the season.
IRC Four has been incredibly competitive and after a long and exciting season, the class title looks like going to French JPK 9.60, Ultreia!, skippered by Matthias Kracht. However Harry Heijst’s S&S 41, Winsome, and Nigel Goodhew’s Sigma 38, Persephone of London, are also racing to Cherbourg and will have a close battle for the runner up spot in IRC Four.
Matthias Kracht, skipper of Ultreia!, is a surgeon but he is obviously proficient in mathematics as he explained:
'By my calculations Ultreia! has a good enough points score in the Two-Handed Class to win the title for the season but we can still be beaten in IRC Four by two yachts, Jean Yves Chateau’s Iromiguy, and also Ian Braham’s Enigma, so we have decided to race to Cherbourg with a full crew to try to get a good result in IRC Four. Only two yachts have won both the Two-Handed Class and their IRC Class in the same season and they were both British yachts, Slingshot and Psipsina. So it would be a great achievement if we can add a French yacht to that.'
Late entries for the RORC Cherbourg Race are possible until Thursday, 1st September.
The Royal Ocean Racing Club's Season's Points Championship consists of a testing series of races that attracts an international and varied fleet. For the serious offshore sailor, trying to win the Season's Points Championship is a real challenge. The Season's Points Championship this year included the tactically and physically challenging Rolex Fastnet Race, the oldest and most prestigious offshore yacht race in the world.