The Belgian-flagged Dehler 29 Picsou had a resounding day Saturday, the only boat to post three race wins.
Could this year’s seventh IRC European Championship title go to Alain Rousseau and his mostly French crew on Picsou, the smallest boat among the 39 boats competing here at Damen Breskens Sailing Weekend?
Picsou go into the final day leading by the biggest margin across the three classes.
Yet as an indication of the closeness of the racing at this major IRC championship the Belgium boat is just five points clear of Friday’s stand-out team, Michel Dorsman’s X-362 Sport Extra Djinn
Who are in turn just one ahead of Iwan Vermeirsch’s HOD35 Zarafa (another former Solent boat that has migrated to the Netherlands) with Kees Keetel’s A-31 CSI Rakker also in the running.
In IRC Two another boat came close to a perfect scoreline. Here in the middle group it is safe to say J/109s are dominating.
But surprisingly today’s star player was neither Arjen van Leeuwen’s Joule, which remains on top of the leaderboard in the class, nor John Smart’s slightly lower rated Jukebox, now third overall, but the Royal Navy Sailing Team on their sistership Jolly Jack Tar.
The British crew, led by Mark Flanagan, Rear Commodore (Offshore) of the Royal Naval Sailing Association (RNSA), today scored a 1-1-3, launching them into second, just three points off the lead, and making the IRC Two podium an all-J/109 affair (including two British teams) going into the final day.
In IRC One, there has been upset with the scratch boat, Van Uden-ROST last night having her disqualification overturned by the International Jury.
This had stemmed from a start line incident in Thursday’s non-discardable, double points scoring medium coastal race.
This has launched them back to second overall, just one point behind the immaculate Moana, the Beneteau First 47.7 campaigned by the Goubou family that leads IRC One overall.
Sunday, after two more races and a second discard is applied, the winners will be decided from each class and the top boat of the three will be crowned IRC European Champion.