The RORC Easter Challenge is offering free world class coaching from grand masters like Jim Saltonstall, it also kicks off the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s domestic racing season.
Inshore racing is going through a challenging period in the UK with the return of grand prix racing in the FAST40+ class and the more attainable Performance 40s. The FAST40+ class started with boats such as Ker 40+s and GP42s but has evolved its own purpose-built hardware as exemplified by Niklas Zennström’s Rán 7. On the other hand the FAST40+ has an IRC TCC rating band of 1.210-1.270, the Performance 40s are heavier displacement IRC boats with a TCC range of 1.075-1.145.
Both will be out on the Solent in force for the RORC Easter Challenge over 19-21st April.
The coaching facility at the RORC Easter Challenge will enable the crew to fast-track working up their new steed. “We have always found the coaching to be important – it is definitely good to get eyes off the boat,” says Cherry. “For example I’ve never before been involved in string drops. It is hard to get a good camera angle filming that on board, so getting video from off the boat will really help.”
In addition, progressing from the Sun Fast 3600, which Cherry says he could sail singlehanded, to one reliant on a full crew, is going to take some work. “With this you need seven out of 11 doing exactly the right thing at the right time to do it well.”
While seven FAST 40+s are competing at the RORC Easter Challenge, nine Performance 40s are currently entered. As usual these are topped by the duo of King 40s – the Blair family’s Cobra and Roger Bowden’s Nifty – and also Tom Kneen’s JPK 1180 Sunrise, the trio of J/Boats – Journeymaker II, Red Herring and Jackhammer – the Ker 39 Rumbleflurg, plus the two First 40s La Réponse and Olympia’s Tigress.