Surprise overall winner of the RORC Channel Race, from a fleet including professional racing teams, was J/121 Darkwood owned by Irishman Michael O’Donnell.
David Collins’ British Botin IRC 52 Tala was runner up, and Dominique Tian’s French Ker 46 Tonnerre de Glen was third.
Michael O’Donnell last competed in the Channel Race in the 1983 Admiral’s Cup, as a 15-year old nipper. His J/121 Darkwood was only launched this year, and four of the crew including Michael, race in the classic Solent-based XOD Class.
Darkwood is very much a team of friends and family and will be competing in next month’s Rolex Fastnet Race.
In IRC Zero, it was joy and pain for David Collins’ British Botin IRC 52 Tala, which missed out on the overall win by under three minutes after time correction.
However, Tala beat an all-star class in IRC Zero including Peter Harrison’s British Maxi72 Sorcha, Eric de Turckheim’s French NM54 Teasing Machine, and Frank Niggeler’s Swiss Cookson 50 Kuka 3.
The win in IRC Two went to Yves Grosjean’s French J/133 Jivaro. Tom Kneen British JPK 11.80 Sunrise was second, just over 14 minutes behind after IRC time correction. With a crew from Northern Ireland, England and Hong Kong, Anthony Day’s XC-50 Explorer was third.
In IRC Three, Erik van Vuuren’s Dutch W36 Hubo scored a narrow victory over Rob Craigie’s Sunfast 3600 Bellino. Both teams were racing Two-Handed, Craigie with his regular partner Deb Fish, and van Vuuren with the young apprentice Jochem Schoorl. British pair, Henry Bomby and Hannah Diamond, racing Sun Fast 3300 Fastrack XII, was third.
The next race of the RORC Season’s Points Championship will be the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s biennial flagship event, the Rolex Fastnet Race.
The race village on Cowes Parade will be open from 1100 BST on Thursday 1st August. The 48th edition of the epic offshore race, the Rolex Fastnet Race, will start on Saturday 3 August from the Royal Yacht Squadron Line in Cowes.