Saturday 29 May saw the start of the RORC 2004 Morgan Cup Race from the RYS line, in a very light SSW breeze and haze.
First away at 0800 were IRC 2 & 3 with 'Rainmaker', Julian NICHOLS' Lightwave 395, and 'Equilibrium', Graham WHITEHOUSE'S Sweden C38 all having good starts.
The second start at 0810 saw IRC SZ, Z & 1 away, 'Longbow', Anderson / Smith sailing the Army Sailing Associations Prima 38, 'Eclipse', Doug HASSELL'S Humphreys 12m and 'Sticky Fingers', Langlais / Lacour's Mumm 30, leading the pack. The third start being for the Multihulls who were away at 0820.
From the RYS line the fleet were sent west out of the Solent to leave Bridge Light Buoy to port then across the channel leaving Casquets to port, Les Hanois to port and on to the finish off Castle Cornet at the entrance to St Peter Port, a distance of approximately 112 miles.
Continuing with the trend that seems to have been set in the races across the channel so far this season, light airs tactics would be the order of the day. Those who decided to favour the 'well westerly' track seemed to benefit more than those who tried the more direct route. R Lutener / P James / M Elwood, sailing their Mills 36 'Cutting Edge' reported that they had hung on until about half way to Portland before crossing the channel and then tacked when they reached the Casquets. This did indeed benefit them and they achieved second in IRC 1.
Winning the RORC Salver for First Boat Home was Piet VROON'S Lutra 52 'Tonnerre de Breskens', finishing at 0243 Sunday morning ahead of Nick HEWSON'S Farr 52 'Team Tonic' who finished just seven minutes later. It would be an hour before the third boat home 'Jazz', Chris BULL'S J145 crossed the line at 0409 closely tracked by 'Piper at the Gates of Dawn', Charles SWINGLAND'S Swan 45 thirty seconds later and Shaun FROHLIC'S IMX 45 'Exabyte III' at 0411. Once the sums were done it would be more silverware for 'Exabyte III' winning the Morgan Cup for BCT IRC and the Knightsbridge Cup for IRC Z.
IRC 1 was lead home by 'Magnum II', Andrew PEARCE'S IMX 40 at 0615, followed by 'Cutting Edge' and 'Meta Baron', Sean Hurst & Ivan FAWCETT'S IMX 40. This would also be the order in which the prizes would be split once the times had been corrected; 'Magnum II' taking the Queensborough Cup for IRC 1.
The closest battle at the finish line would be between 'Wings of the Wind', Steven Thorpe's J 125 and 'Euphorix', Paul & Joanna DENTSKEVICH'S First 40.7, with 'Euphorix' just holding off the desperate challenges of 'Wings Of the Wind' by seven seconds.
'Psipsina', John LODEN'S HOD 35 brought in the IRC 2 fleet at 0836, 'Jezebel', Bruce Isles & Philip Swatman's J 109 finishing three minutes later and 'Rainmaker' Julian NICHOLS' Lightwave 395 at 0842. With the TCC's applied 'Psipsina' had done enough to lift the Charles Ball Challenge Cup for IRC 2 and the RORC prize for the 2 Handed Division.
It would be the French yachts that would dominate in the IRC 3 fleet, 'Botez Coat III', Yves DERVIEUX'S First 31.7 crossing first at 1109, followed by another of the First 31.7's, Jean - Michel MERCIER'S 'Apsara' at1123. Over an hour would pass before the third IRC 3 boat would cross; that of Jean - Yves CHATEAU, his Nicholson 33. Once again in this class this would be the way the corrected times would pan out; 'Botez Coat' took the Warsash Cup.
Host for the RORC fleet was the Guernsey Yacht Club, who were also the hosting a Nautors Swan Rendezvous, a Royal Navy Sailing Association race and a Youth Dinghy event. Even with all these events happening at over the same weekend the club could not have been more helpful or obliging. Warmest of thanks go to John Elliot (GYC Commodore, Chris Morris and Vanessa Mahay (Senior Steward) for making the RORC fleet so welcome.
Full results are available on the RORC website at the address below.