Over 60 entries sign up for Red Funnel Easter Challenge this weekend 3/4/07

With well over 60 entries now confirmed for the Red Funnel Easter Challenge, the 16th edition of this event shows that it has not lost any of its popularity with the competitors.

There are over 15 different designers or brand of yacht racing which will make for some interesting comparisons. The background of the competitors is just as varied, with America’s Cup and Olympic sailors rubbing shoulders with newcomers to the sport.

Entries are from all over Europe as well as closer to home and several new designs of yachts will be competing for the first time. The Red Funnel Easter Challenge is a competitive regatta, but the on-the-water tuition and the events position at the beginning of the season, means it is an ideal opportunity for new owners and crew to get involved in racing for the first time.

As Captain Mark Thomson explains: “We will be sailing an X332 yacht ‘Xtortion’ in the regatta and it will be mostly crewed by Red Funnel staff. They come from all around the business with a good few complete novices amongst them – so I don’t expect to be collecting any prizes!

“I think that I am the only mariner from Red Funnel on board as until the end of last year I was the Senior Master of Red Falcon. We will also have the boat’s co-owner on board, Richard Oakley who is also a former mariner and now works in the field of marine insurance.”

RORC’s Racing Manager, Janet Grosvenor said: “I have noticed that the standard of racing seems to improve year after year. The feedback that we have been getting from the competitors at the Red Funnel Easter Challenge is that the tuition is invaluable for all of the classes, that is why this year we will have no less than six top class coaches on the water.”

Weather for the Solent is always difficult to predict but at present indications are for a predominantly light airs regatta with plenty of sunshine. Historically there is often one windy day’s racing and this could well be true for Easter Sunday. However, it is worth reminding competitors that although air temperatures may be very comfortable, the sea temperature is at its coldest at this time of the year.