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J/112E wins Class 2 at the U.K. IRC Nationals

by J/Boats 20 Sep 05:57 PDT 11-13 September 2020
IRC Two winner - David Franks J/112E Leon - RORC IRC National Championships 2020 © Paul Wyeth / pwpictures.com

Mid-September it may be, but conditions for the Royal Ocean Racing Club's 2020 IRC championships felt more like June last weekend, with shorts and T-shirts conditions and allowing a full schedule of racing to be laid on by PRO Stuart Childerley and his team. The event concluded Sunday with two windward-leeward races on the central-eastern Solent in more variable and generally lighter winds than on Friday or Saturday.

The hardest fought victory across the three classes was that of 2012 winner David Franks aboard his J/112E Leon. They had been handicapped with Franks only coming out of COVID-19 isolation on Friday; maths not working in their favor from the event's mandatory crew number reduction rules (for social distancing), but mainly from being one of the lowest rated boats in IRC Two and having to find lanes and constantly fight their way up through the fleet. On the plus side the Leon crew had sailed together previously this year.

Franks commented on the regatta, saying "it has been fabulous, a very good event, well organized. It was lovely to see so many boats out on the Solent."

"Normally we do well in the light, despite the fact that we are the smallest boat," continued Leon's Franks. "Today the wind's velocity was going up and down and was all over the place in direction, so it was hard to know what was going on. It was very challenging, a lot of work."

In the IRC 3 Division, the Royal Air Force Sailing Association team on their J/109 Red Arrow managed a few good races on the final day to finish 4th in class. Posting nearly all 5th's, Ross Bowdler's J/80 Justify ended up finishing fifth place, surprise-surprise!

Joining the UK IRC Nationals fleet on Saturday and Sunday were the twenty-two entries for the IRC Two-Handed Nationals. After a four-race series, Mike Yates' J/109 Jago sailed a consistent 2-5-6-2 series to end up tied for second place on 9 pts total, but losing the tiebreaker on countback to settle for the bronze. After a disastrous second race, Bruce Huber's J/112E Xanaboo posted a 4-10-2-4.5 tally to secure fifth place, a great performance for their first outing of the year! Other J's in the top 10 included Stephen Roberts' J/105 Jin Tonic in 7th and David Greenhalgh's J/92 J'Ronimo in 9th place.

Click here for more UK IRC Nationals sailing information.

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