The Royal Ocean Racing Club's 2019 IRC National Championship has been won out of the blue by a first timer not from the Solent. The 22 boat IRC Two fleet was led from the outset by Stuart Sawyer's J/122 Black Dog, rounding off the series today with a final bullet to win ultimately by 15 points from the Blair family's King 40 Cobra.
Despite a dismal light wind and strong tide forecast that had most crews preparing for an afternoon ashore, a light breeze built early in the afternoon, miraculously allowing the Royal Ocean Racing Club's two race committees to lay on a full three race opening day of the IRC National Championship.
A strong line-up, ranging from TP52s, FAST40+s and Performance 40s, down to nimble HP30s and the cruiser-racers majority will take to the Solent this Friday for three days of intense competition at the Royal Ocean Racing Club's IRC National Championship. The event returns after a year's hiatus when the RORC hosted the IRC European Championship in the Solent.
World Sailing's landmark decision to select a Mixed Two Person Offshore Keelboat event for the 2024 Olympics and the recent announcement to hold an Offshore World Championship for mixed double-handed sailing in October 2020 has encouraged the RYA and Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) to combine their efforts to develop double-handed offshore sailing in the UK.
Representatives of the International Rating Certificate (IRC) met in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland, for two days of debate and discussion at the beginning of October. The IRC Technical Committee agreed on a number of developments for 2019 as a result of research throughout the year, while the IRC Policy Steering Group reinforced the good relations between the owners of the Rule, the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) and l’Union Nationale pour la Course au Large (UNCL).
The Royal Ocean Racing Club's domestic sailing season starts this Bank Holiday weekend with the RORC Easter Challenge. This inshore event on the Solent promises a mix of windward-leeward and round the cans racing over three days, in 15-20 knots, culminating in a prizegiving at the RORC Cowes Clubhouse on Sunday afternoon where a seemingly endless supply of Easter eggs are up for grabs.
There are many ways to improve your yacht racing: You can practice more, get a better boat and equip it better, with better sails. You can round up more talented crew, maybe even a pro or two. Frequently absent from this list though is coaching: The single feature of a campaign that can consolidate all its parts; the independent set of eyes that can identify where mistakes are being made, plus the advice on how to fast track their correction.
The Solent laid on perfect conditions for day one of the Vice Admiral's Cup with brilliant sunshine, and wind that increased from 10 knots to 20 through the afternoon. This built up a steep chop that was enough to cause crews to struggle to keep boats beneath rigs.