Crews were once again faced with very little or no wind for the third and final day racing at the Red Funnel Easter Challenge

Light conditions continued to dominate the final day of the Red Funnel Easter Challenge on Sunday.

Crews racing on Easter Sunday in the 13th Red Funnel Easter Challenge were once again faced with very little or no wind for the third and final day of the regatta. All classes in the fleet got underway on a windward mark off Ryde Bank for race 5 in the series, the first race of the day. With only a light north-easterly 2-3kt breeze, the race was shortened for some of the classes resulting in a handful of finishers in IRC1 and IRC2 and unfortunately abandonment for those racing in IRC 3.

Eventually the wind filled in from the south-west and reached just over 7kts so Jamie Wilkinson, the RORC’s Chief Race Officer set a course for the last race of the regatta starting off a mark at Royal Southern and taking the fleet onto the Hill Head plateau once again to reduce the effect of the tide. As the fleet approached their windward marks on the Knoll, the conditions during the race went extremely light but the fleet managed to finish the course, although at one stage 2XL, Dave Murrin’s Farr 40 and Bear of Britain kedged for just a short while. The Europrix 45 Wolf sailed up to the finish line well, although in IRM1 it was Atomic, another Europrix who rounded the windward mark first.

Some boats however, performed extremely well in these light conditions. These included Bob Fisher’s Mumm 36 Zzing and Doug Hassell’s Humphreys 12m Eclipse VII, whose large headsail enabled them to keep going in the light airs, with other boats in the fleet still struggling as the wind died.

Kit Hobday and his crew on the Farr 52 Bear of Britain competing with the big boats in IRC Super Zero and Zero had a good start to the day, winning race 5 but developed problems in the final race. This allowed Minnie the Moocher, Anthony Richards Kerr 11.3 to take pole position in race 6, closely followed by Eclipse VII, the Humphreys 12m in 2nd place. However, Bear of Britain went on to collect prizes as overall winners in IRC Super Zero and Zero, holding onto their lead with 16 points in the series.

Shaun Frohlich’s Exabyte III in the same class, continued to improve their form on the race course and took a 2nd place overall, followed by Minnie the Moocher in 3rd.

In IRC1, Edd Clayson and John Gimson’s Mumm 30 won race 5 but were not so successful in the last race, with a 7th position in the fleet. By the time of the prizegiving, they also had a change of boat name and Media Networks International then went on to take 1st place overall in their class. Although closely followed in 2nd place for race 5 by Dominic Chappell’s IMX40 Maverick 2, Nick Jones’ First 40.7 Tarka won the final race and took 2nd place overall in IRC1, followed by Jerry Otter’s IMX 40 Exabyte 2.

In IRC2, one boat performed consistently throughout the regatta, the Irish Kerr 32 owned by Eamon Crosbie, Voodoo Chile. They retained their lead, winning the last five races and thus securing 1st place overall, giving them a 21 point series lead over the Jonathan and Lisa Goring’s J/109 Jeronimo, who were 2nd overall followed by Peter Scholfield’s HOD 35 in 3rd. Last year’s winners for this class, Capitali$m raced by Tim Harrington also had a good last race, with a 4th place bringing them 4th position overall.

In IRC3, with only one race on the last day, Ian Maclean’s Software Mistress, the Sigma 362 was 1st overall, followed by Sareema, Robert McLeod’s Fulmar and Terry Rowe’s Corby 25, Drakes Drum who are based locally in Cowes.

In the IRM1 fleet, Peter Morton and Adrian Stead’s Europrix 45 Atomic held the lead with an overall class win although racing was close with I-Site the Kerr 11.3 who won the final race of the day but 2nd place overall. In 3rd overall, Glynn Williams’ Europrix 45 Wolf also had a good regatta with two 1st places in race 3 and 4 and a 3rd on the final race of the day.

The two Mumm 36s racing in IRM2 saw a good performance from Bob Fisher’s Zzing, winning both races on the last day and with 10 series points, only 2 points behind the overall class winners, Simon Henning’s Alice.

The Red Funnel Easter Challenge Prix d’Elegance Trophy will be awarded to Adam Gosling’s brand-new First 44.7 Yes! at the RORC’s Annual Dinner in London.

Results (provisional)

IRC Super Zero Zero Bear of Britain Farr 52 Kit Hobday/Tim Louis

IRC1 Media Networks Int’l Mumm 30 Edd Clayson & John Gimson

IRC2 Voodoo Chile Ker 32 Eamon Crosbie

IRC3 Software Mistress Sigma 362 Ian Maclean

IRM1 Atomic Europrix 45 Peter Morton & Adrian Stead

IRM2 Alice Mumm 36 Simon Henning