RORC IRC National Championship, incorporating the FAST40+ National Championship.
23 – 25 June 2017
Johnny Vincent’s British KER40+ Pace is the 2017 FAST40+ National Champion, holding onto the lead after a terrific battle in the last race of the regatta. In Race 8, Pace was down in fifth place at the first top mark, but gybed away early to make up enough places to win the regatta. Peter Morton’s brand new British Carkeek Mk3 Girls on Film was second, just two points behind. Kiwi Mark Rijkse’s Reichel Pugh designed 42 South was third. 42 South has been the most improved performer in the circuit for the 2017 season.
“We had to work very hard for this win.” commented Johnny Vincent. “We have done so much work over the winter, and the whole fleet has become much more competitive, and much more polished, that has made a big difference. So it is fantastic to win in a fleet like this. It is incredibly close racing and unbelievably good fun charging downwind at over 20 knots, with tons of green water coming at you! It is really full on exhilarating racing. With such competitive racing, you can not always be first to the top mark but you know there is enough tactical decisions and manoeuvres in two or three laps, that it is anybody’s game.
The FAST40+ Class is not one design, but a lot of the boats have now squeezed up into the top of the permitted racing band, and that was the whole concept from the beginning; to not get lumbered with a one design boat means that you can go off and do other IRC events and be very competitive. So you have the flexibility to sail in any regatta but then come together for FAST40+ races and experience racing which is virtually one design. It is a clever combination and it is working really well. This set up allows us to try different things, you are free to try different equipment and rig settings.
When we sold my last boat, a TP52, I asked myself: Can we do something that can be as much fun? Now I am probably the novice out of this team but this is a much harder boat to sail than a TP52 and this racing is ten times more competitive than we were involved in before. The FAST40+ ticks all the boxes; we have close racing in a big fleet and it is so much fun.”
Racing for the FAST40+ Class continues next weekend, 30 June – July 01, with Round 2 of the FAST40+ Race Circuit, consisting of one day of Windward Leeward racing, followed by the 50 nautical mile course Round the Island Race.