Over 500 boats took part in the 2017 RORC Season’s Points Championship, with teams flying the flags of 30 different nations from Canada to Russia and Chile to New Zealand.
Well over 4,000 sailors took part, and whilst the majority of the races were in the English Channel, the Championship included the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, the Celtic Sea, the Mediterranean Sea and the North Sea.
The 13-race series, which this year included the Rolex Fastnet Race, is truly international and it is the largest offshore series by participation, anywhere in the world. For the serious offshore sailor, winning the championship is a real challenge.
Lisa – Overall winner – 2017 RORC Season’s Points Championship
The overall winner of the 2017 RORC Season’s Points Championship is Nick and Suzi Jones’ British First 44.7 Lisa, skippered by RORC Commodore Michael Boyd. The corinthian team retained the title from 2016; the only yacht to achieve the double since Piet Vroon’s Dutch Ker 46 Tonnerre de Breskens (2011-12). Gilles Fournier & Corinne Migraine’s J/133 Pintia was second overall and Thomas Kneen’s JPK 1080 Sunrise was third.
Lisa – 2017 RORC Yacht of the Year
Lisa has also been awarded the RORC Yacht of the Year, winning the Somerset Memorial Trophy for an outstanding racing achievement by a yacht owned or sailed by a RORC member, as voted for by the RORC Committee.
‘This has been a tough season, winning the championship in a Fastnet year makes it even more of a challenge,’ commented Lisa’s Nick Jones. ‘Our goal was to defend our win in 2016 and to be awarded RORC Yacht of the Year is beyond our dreams. Michael (Boyd) has been an inspiration, especially to the young crew, whose energy and tenacity has been fundamental to our success. The youth sailors at the RORC are the future of offshore sailing and we will be using our contacts and experience to help them. Lisa will not be racing next year so it is great to finish the adventure on such a high. Next season, Suzi and I will spend our time with our children; Charlie, Freddie and Toby, teaching them the joys of sailing in Chichester Harbour.’
The impressive fleet for the RORC Season’s Points Championship is separated into six classes racing under IRC, a Class40 Division and a Multihull Class. Two outstanding results from this year’s Championship were in IRC Two Handed and IRC Four.
Bellino – IRC Two Handed and Mixed Two Handed
Rob Craigie’s racing Sun Fast 3600 Bellino with Deb Fish, was the winner of the IRC Two Handed Class. Racing in a fleet of 78 teams, Bellino fended off a strong challenge from Ian Hoddle’s Game On, and Ed Fishwick’s Redshift Reloaded.
‘Game On and Redshift were always at our heels; we couldn’t relax at any moment, in any race,’ commented Craigie. ‘Whilst all three boats are Sun Fast 3600s, there are different keels and rigs, so we all have strengths and weaknesses in different conditions. Deb Fish has been my sailing partner all season. She is very good at the analysis, whilst I am the more experienced seaman, and in terms of boat speed, we are an equal match, so it is a great synergy.’
Foggy Dew – IRC Four
Noel Racine’s French JPK 10.10 Foggy Dew has been in scintillating form, securing the class win in IRC Four in a fleet of 116 boats, with two races to spare. Foggy Dew’s winning streak in the Championship dates back to 2013.
‘Every year we have to start as new; we have changes to the crew and the competitors are different,’ commented Racine. ‘Winning is not about doing one thing well, it is about attention to detail. Preparing the boat, the sails and the equipment, and reacting to changes on the race course. In IRC Four, we race against all different types of boat, but I believe that Foggy Dew is a good all-round performer.’
The Annual Dinner and Prize Giving for the 2017 RORC Season’s Points Championship is a spectacular event where prize winners, competitors, crews, RORC members and guests will celebrate the achievements of 2017.