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IRC National Championship - Day 1

You don’t often get a sailing scene like this, anywhere. The cream of IRC sailing in Europe and further afield gathered in the central Solent on the first day of the IRC National Championship organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club.

Overnight concerns about the lack of wind were soon forgotten as a light north westerly breeze built throughout the morning, gusting up to 15 knots. By the middle of the afternoon the breeze became very variable both in speed and direction to such an extent that racing had to be postponed on several occasions.

Principle Race Officer; Jamie Wilkinson commented after racing. 'During the afternoon, it became increasingly difficult to adapt the race course to the variation in conditions, as they were changing so rapidly.'

'Well at least we got some racing in, but it was extremely shifty out there today.' Commented Flash Glove’s Colm Barrington after racing. 'Our undoing today was the second race. The wind was all over the place and whatever we seemed to do was the wrong call but that’s yacht racing for you. Hopefully we will get a better set of results tomorrow.'


Niklas Zennstrom’s TP52 Ran, won a close encounter by 15 seconds on corrected time from Colm Barrington’s TP52, Flash Glove. In third place was Stuart Robinson’s TP52, Stay Calm who were only eight seconds behind on corrected time. Andres Soriano’s Mills 68, Alegre, was first to the top mark in her maiden race but a problem on the spinnaker hoist put them out of contention.

Stay Calm won by just seven seconds on corrected time, in a race of over two hours, from Ran. Charles Dunstone’s TP52, Rio had a much improved second race claiming third position.

Ran bounced back to win the last race of the day by nearly two minutes. Rio claimed second spot and Flash Glove third.

After a day of highly competitive racing, Ran is currently leading the class with Rio and Flash Glove tied for second place.


Irishman Anthony O’Leary’s Ker 39, Antix Eile, crossed the finish line just one second ahead of John Dean’s First 45, Poppy of Portland Marina. The Irish boat won the race by 45 seconds on corrected time. John Shepherd’s Ker 46, Fair Do’s VII and Poppy of Portland Marina, could not be separated on corrected time, thereby sharing second place.

Tony Buckingham’s IRC 40, Ngoni, won by a mere second ahead after two and a half hours of racing for a winning return to the Solent to a seasoned campaigner. Antix Eile was second and Fair Do’s VII was third.

RORC Commodore, David Aisher came out on top, in his Rogers 46, Yeoman XXXII, crossing the finish line with the next boat over five minutes astern. Antix Eile continued to post consistent results with a second place and Fair Do’s VII was once again on the podium in third.

Antix Eile leads Class Zero in the series with Yeoman XXXII in second by only half a point from Fair Do’s VII.


Eamon Rohan’s Mills 40, Blondie IV was in blistering form for race one, winning by a healthy margin. Blondie IV’s sistership, Michael Bartholomew’s Mills 40, Tokoloshe was in second place, a great result for her maiden race and Dutch entry, ROARK, driven by Kees Kaan was third.

Conor and Denise Phelan’s Ker 37, Jump Juice scored their first bullet of the championship beating Blondie IV into second place. Tokoloshe was third.

Blondie IV rounded off an excellent day on the water with a narrow victory over close rivals Jump Juice. Bernard Moureau’s A40, Aria, posted there first podium finish and where only four seconds behind on corrected time in third.

Blondie IV are leading the class with a perfect score after discarding a second place, Jump Juice are in second with Tokoloshe in third.


David Nixon’s vintage designed Corby 36, Rosie had a fantastic race, winning against some top competition in the largest class of the regatta. Eamon & Alan Crosbie’s Teng Tools (Voodoo Chile) was second. Close behind in third was Andrew Allen’s Mills 37, No Naked Flames competing in the Solent for the first time.

Rosie continued her impressive form winning the second race by a huge margin. Peter Rutter’s, Corby 36, Quokka 7 was second and Jamie McWilliam’s J/109, Yeoman of Wight with a Hong Kong crew was third.

Rosie completed a hatrick of bullets in the biggest class of the championship but the crew on Quokka 7 finished the day with there second podium finish. Steve Northmore’s Archambault 35, Waterjet finished the day on a high and will be delighted with their first podium finish in a brand new boat.

Rosie cleaned up on Day one in Class Three winning each race by a comfortable margin. Quokka 7 had a very consistent day and are only two points behind after three races. Teng Tools (Voodoo Chile) are lying in third overall.

'Rosie is four years old but the design dates back quite some way.' commented boat designer, John Corby. 'The origin of the design was the well known Mustang Sally and it is great to see her doing so well today.'


In a highly competitive class, boasting previous class winners and successful offshore yachts, the top three were all relative newcomers to the event. Alexander Christie’s Quarter Tonner ASAP, took race one by just under a minute from Nicholas Over’s J/92s Jostix. Peter Hodgkinson’s X-362 Sport, Xcitable was in third.

ASAP made it two wins in a row with an impressive victory by over seven minutes on corrected time from David Rider’s Humphreys 27, Blackberry with Catch 22.

Probably one of the oldest yachts in the fleet won the last race of the day, Harry Heist’s immaculate S&S 41, Winsome, came out on top by just over a minute from Neville Hodkin’s X-362 Sport, Extra Djinn, was second with Peter Morton’s First 34.7, Salvo, in third.

ASAP came out on top of the class but a poor result in race three leaves them vulnerable for the rest of the championship, Winsome is currently second overall but only on count back from Extra Djinn. In Class three it looks like a real battle is developing with nearly half of the fleet very much still in the hunt.

by Louay Habib


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10:14 AM Sat 14 Jun 2008 GMT

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