George David’s American Canting Keel Maxi, Rambler 88 has won the 2017 RORC Channel Race, making it two wins in a row, having also won the RORC Cowes Dinard St Malo Race. Rambler 88 took Line Honours in the 160 nautical mile race, and after IRC time correction, was the overall winner out of 109 entries. Piet Vroon’s Dutch Ker 51 Tonnerre 4, was second, and Pascal Loison’s French JPK 10.10 Night and Day, was third racing Two Handed.
Rambler 88 Crew: George David, David Aisher, Silvio Arrivabene, Dean Barker, William Beavis, Scott Beavis, Josh Belsky, Curtis Blewett, Brad Butterworth, Andrew Cape, Rodney Daniel, Brian Giorgio, Mick Harvey, Nathan Hislop, Will McCarthy, Mark Newbrook, Dean Phipps, Stuart Wilson.
Rambler 88’s Project Manager Mick Harvey, spoke about the win: “George (David) is really happy and so is the whole team. We wanted to race in good breeze, and we certainly got that in this race. It was a long leg down to the French coast, and we were fully powered up most of the time, on the leg back to the Isle of Wight, we were sitting at over 20 knots for most of the time, and on occasions, we were sending it faster. This has been a good build up to the Fastnet, which is the big event for us, but we are really enjoying the championship. The RORC race management is excellent, and that is important for the team, as we need to plan well in advance.”
In IRC One, Mark Emerson’s British A13 Phosphorus II, was the class winner after a close battle with Jean Pierre Dreau’s French Grand Soleil 50 Lady First², and James Neville’s British HH42 INO XXX. After over 28 hours on the race course, and after IRC time correction, Phosphorus II was just over a minute ahead of Lady First², and less than four minutes ahead of INO XXX.
In IRC Two, Ross Applebey’s Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster, scored an impressive victory against top opposition. Fournier & Migraine’s French J/133 Pintia was second, and Nick and Suzi Jones’ Beneteau First 44.7 Lisa, sailed by RORC Commodore Michael Boyd, was third. Pintia crossed the line five seconds behind of Lisa, but after IRC time correction, Pintia was second for the race.
“I fully appreciate why Lisa and Pintia are top teams in this year’s championship” commented Ross Applebey. “They are really quick, and extremely well sailed. This was a wet and bumpy race, and it was full of snakes and ladders, and I would very much like to thank my crew for putting up with me and for their hard work. The tough moment in the race was watching the opposition accelerate downwind after the virtual mark, as we battled upwind and against the tide to round it. However, at Selsey Bill we could see boats making little headway inshore, and chose to stay in breeze offshore and it paid off, after a tough race, we managed to end it with a ‘ladder’ rather than a ‘snake’ to take the win.”
In IRC Three, Delamare & Mordret’s French JPK 10.80 Dream Pearls, crossed the line just under four minutes ahead of Ian Hoddle’s Two Handed team, racing British Sun Fast 3600 Game On. Richard Elliott’s British A35 Eaujet, was third. Pascal Loison’s JPK 10.10 Night and Day, was the winner of IRC Four. After IRC time correction, the 2013 Rolex Fastnet Champion, was over an hour ahead of Noel Racine’s JPK 10.10 Foggy Dew. Jonathan Rolls’ Swan 38 Xara was third.
In the Class40 Division, Peter Harding’s Phor-ty was narrowly beat Benoit Charon’s Normandie by just over 17 minutes following over 25 hours of duelling with each other.
The Channel Race is the tenth race of the RORC Season’s Points Championship. The 14 race series attracts an international and varied fleet. For the serious offshore sailor, trying to win the championship is a real challenge. The 2017 RORC Season’s Points Championship continues with The Rolex Fastnet Race, which starts on Sunday 6th August.
For more information about the Royal Ocean Racing Club: www.rorc.org
Report: Louay Habib
Image: Rick Tomlinson