2015 Event Preview

Organised by the Royal Southampton YC, in conjunction with the Royal Ocean Racing Club. 

Alt Spring Double 0021

The second edition of the IRC Double Handed National Championship will take place in the Solent, this weekend.  A huge variety of keelboats have entered with about 40 teams taking part. Three races are scheduled with no discard. The variety of courses are designed to test all the elements of Double Handed racing with a laid marks course, a round the cans race and a long passage race.

DH prizegiving Jagerbomb

Last year's IRC Class 1winner, Paul Griffiths' J/109 Jagerbomb will be defending their title and Paul will be once again be sailing with his son Mark. Jagerbomb has been competing in the Two Handed class for this year's RORC Season's Points Championship, including the Rolex Fastnet Race.  
“I am sure that we will be making more tacks and gybes this weekend than we did for the whole of the Fastnet.” commented Paul Griffiths. “Full on – would be an apt description, especially with the two races on Friday. Racing Double Handed on a short course is very different to offshore. You don't have the time and the space and you are trying to make manoeuvres that you would normally do with nine people not two, which is just crazy but the secret is to avoid getting into problems and to do that you have to be thinking ahead all the time. Looking at this year's entry list there are some top class sailors and this year we have a group of Figaro II's from the Artemis Offshore Academy, which we didn't have last year.”

Artemis Ocean Racing have entered four double handed teams racing Figaro II skippered by talented young aspiring short handed sailors. RYA Match racer and 49er FX sailor Mary Rook. Will Harris, University Student and past Laser 4.7 National Champion.  Hugh Brayshaw, Silver medallist at the 470 Junior European Championship. Andrew Baker, Solitaire du Figaro sailor, will be racing with Solo Round the world sailor, Mike Golding.

Artemis Offshore Academy skipper, Andrew Baker and round the world sailor, Mike Golding

“There is some real talent and that is why the Artemis Academy is very interesting to me, it is the direct opposite to the opportunities that were available to me when I started racing.” commented Mike Golding. “ Racing on a short course, you are both involved in sailing the boat, all the time, so the biggest thing about this weekend will be knowing where you are going and to get there as cleanly as possible. You don't have the time to go down below and navigate, you have to know the marks of the course in advance and think ahead to the sail set up you will need – you have to mind-map the sequence of events. Figaros are not optmised for IRC, so our first goal will be to beat the other Figaros, but with plenty of corners, if we are slick around them, we might do well overall. It is a pleasure to be involved this weekend, I am an honoury member of the Royal Southampton and the club has always been there supporting me in my projects. The Royal Southampton has been running short handed racing for a long time. Teaming up with the RORC, as an IRC event for the Double Handed series and running the National Championship, has really opened it up to a large number of entries, which is fantastic.”

Louay Habib, September 2015

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