Fresh winds provided an exciting last day’s racing at the Cowes-based Red Funnel Easter Challenge

The final day of the Red Funnel Easter Challenge on Sunday (31 March) started with the fleet racing under grey skies in south-westerly breezes of between 10-15 knots.

Courses were set in the Central Solent starting from the area of Fastnet Insurance, finishing at Peel Bank. Several retirements took place during this first race which were mainly due to gear failure and shredded sails. Several collisions also took place amongst the fleet.

In Race 5, RM1, Too Steamy finished first in the provisional results which put her ahead of John Shepherd’s Fair Do’s V in the series at this point. I-Site took second place and came out as the best Ker 11.3.

Other winners included: IRM2: Robert Greenhalgh’s Mumm 30 Panther AMG1 and in IRC Zero, Assuage held off Colm Barrington’s Gloves Off, finishing first in her class and putting her in first place after five races in the series.

In IRC1, seven boats did not finish and Fastwave came in just ahead of last year’s class winners Alvine XII, although at this stage, Fandango remain in first place. The Army Sailing Association’s Prima 38 Longbow won third in class and was the best Prima OD. The X332, Exabyte finished in first place ahead of Alchemist and current leaders – Bump in the Night in IRC2. In this class Billy Whizz received a prize for the best Sigma 38. Software Mistress continued to hold onto first place in the series with her fifth consecutive win in IRC3. In the same class, Mike and June Tong’s Tamara 30 Excalibur finished in second place on equal points with Stewart Broughton’s Penultima and performed consistently well throughout the three-day event.

In race six, gusty conditions caused a lively start to the last race of the day with winds averaging around 20knots with gusts up to 27knots. A crew member was lost overboard but was swiftly retrieved aboard Lightning Reflex. The fleet set off in rainy conditions for the last race of the regatta and once again, several retirements were reported.

In IRM1: Too Steamy went on to win her class overall in the series but it was I-Site who took the lead over 2XL in the final race, putting her in second overall in the regatta. Terry and Sue Robinson managed to hold onto the overall lead in IRC Zero with Gloves Off one point behind in the overall provisional results. In IRM2 Panther AMG2 was first in race six.

With Fastwave winning race six in IRC1, followed by Capitali$m, Alvine XII and in fourth place Fandango, who went on to take first place overall in this class. Software Mistress also won race six and therefore first in class for IRC3. Second in class overall was Excalibur and in third place was Penultima.

Exabyte won race six in IRC2 followed by Alchemist but it was Bump in the Night raced by Duncan Morris who won IRC2 overall.

In the One Designs, best Sigma 38 in race six was Billy Whizz, Fat Diva best Prima and I-Site the best Kerr 11.3.

After a successful regatta, the final prizegiving ceremony was held at the Island Sailing Club in Cowes where Lee Carter representing Red Funnel Ferries awarded prizes to overall winners in each class.

Results (provisional)

IRM1 Too Steamy, Farr 40, Nick and Anne Haigh

IRM2 Panther AMG 1, Mumm 30, Robert Greenhalgh

IRC Zero Assuage, Swan 48, Terry and Sue Robinson

IRC1 Fandango, First 40.7, David Scanlan

IRC2 Bump in the Night, First 36.7, Duncan Morris

IRC3 Software Mistress, Sigma 362, Ian Maclean

One Designs

Prizes were awarded to winning boats in the One Design classes

Best Kerr 11.3, I-Site, Robert Cameron-Davies

Best Prima, Serendip, Paul King

Best Sigma 38, Red Arrow, RAF Sailing Association

Red Funnel Easter Challenge Prix d’Elegance Trophy A new perpetual trophy was also awarded – The Red Funnel Easter Challenge Prix d’Elegance Trophy. This will be presented to Fastwave, a First 40.7 at the RORC Annual Dinner in December in London.