RORC Easter Challenge - Southern Ocean chill to the Solent

Day one of the RORC Easter Challenge, with rain drops that felt like icy bullets and an easterly wind from Russia that brought a Southern Ocean chill to the Solent.

Good Friday was a good day if your boat was called Jubilee.

In IRC Zero Tony Dickin's GP42 of this name comfortably scored two bullets ahead of the Ker 46 Lady Mariposa and the Dutch de Graaf family's newly acquired Ker 43 Baraka GP.

Clearly the Jubilee crew, who regularly compete in the FAST40+ class, were more race-ready than most despite this being their first day out in their boat this season.

Dickin's previous Jubilee, the J/109 was also unbeaten today, claiming the lead in the IRC Two ahead of Ed Fishwick's Sun Fast 3600 Redshift Redloaded and the well sailed J/35 Bengal Magic of James Chalmers.

Christopher Preston, who has owned his Jubilee for two years now, 'IRCed it' over the winter, changing for example to non-overlapping jibs.

He is sailing this Easter Bank Holiday weekend with a supreme team that includes newly appointed Cowes Week Regatta Director Laurence Mead and renowned coach, umpire and rules expert Bill Edgerton.

While perennial class winner at the RORC Easter Challenge, Sam Laidlaw's Quarter Tonner Aguila scored two bullets in IRC Three.

In IRC One Roger Bowden's King 40 Nifty ended the day leading, albeit tied on points with sistership Michael Blair's Cobra.

Significantly, Nifty also leads the first ever day of racing for the new 'Performance 40' class.

Racing continues Saturday with the wind forecast to be from the WNW, having performed a 180° shift overnight, raising both temperatures and hopefully spirits.

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