The RORC, with PRO Stuart Childerly and team, put on a fantastic event for the combined IRC and 2 Handed National Championship over the weekend of 12th and 13th Sept. It was just like summer. South westerlies 8-15kts, neap tides and 20 deg all made for superb conditions and delivered seriously close and thrilling racing.
There is great interest in the two handed fleet these days with the current health crisis restricting crew numbers and crews preparing for the possible inaugural appearance of this discipline in the 2024 Olympics. So there were yachting legends like Dee Cafari, Shirley Robertson and Libby Greenhalgh amongst the 22 entrants competing in dedicated two handed designs like the Sunfast 3300’s, 3200, 3600 and JPKs. How would a not entirely 2H optimised JAGO fare as the solitary J/109?
The event was of 4 races, one discard and a highly competitive fleet. Two round the cans races on Saturday in 12-17kts from the west delivered a great opener with Jangada (JPK1010 – Shirley Robertson) leading overnight by 1 point from JAGO closely followed by Gentoo (Sunfast3300, Richard Harayda/ Dee Caffari).
Day 2 was slightly less breezy with 8-10kts from the SW. The tension clearly got to JAGO, who was over the line in race 3 but they managed to return and then claw their way back through the fleet to finish a creditable 6th. Gentoo took the win which now really put the pressure on as there was a 6 way split for the overall title going into the final race.
Taking a discard into account Gentoo only had to finish in the top 5 to secure the victory, but the remaining places were split by just 4 points between 5 teams.
Jago got a cracking start and flew up the first beat, coming into the weather mark in a very close 5th place on the water. After taking account of their handicap, they were looking good. Holding their position coming into the final beat it was all about getting the tide and shifts right and Mike and Eivind managed to claw back another place on the water to finish the race 2nd by 16 seconds on handicap to the 3600 Jellyfish (Gareth Edmondson).
So as the final results were counted, it was Gentoo who took a clear win. Jago tied for points with Jellyfish, who took 2nd place overall on count back, leaving Jago in third. Oh so close! But still a podium finish in a highly competitive fleet against customised two handed machinery. Jangada managed fourth, with the beautiful J/112e, Xanaboo in 5th, all separated by 1.5 pts.
It was an absolutely fantastic weekend and many congratulations to Mike Yates and co-skipper Eivind Bøymo-Malm.
Written by: Mike Yates
Photo Credit: Paul Wyeth