RORC IRC National Championship, RAN as usual


Right at the start of the RORC IRC National Championship, Niklas Zennstrom’s TP52, RAN, stamped their authority on the competition. Three straight bullets put them at the top of the leader board in Super Zero after the first day’s racing.

“It was very shifty out there,” commented RAN skipper, Tim Powell. “The first race was affected by the transition zone between the south easterly gradient breeze and the south westerly sea breeze and Ado Stead did a great job on tactics. The race course was moved further to the east for the next two races and we got some solid south easterly breeze. Halfway through the second race, we had a consistent 15 knots of breeze. This is the first time we have been racing in the Solent since last August and it is good to be back; it is a challenging place to race. Obviously we are satisfied with today’s results but we are here to defend a national title and we won’t be taking anything for granted.”

After three races, RAN leads IRC Class Super Zero with Lutener & Elwood’s TP52, Cutting Edge, in second and Peter Harrison’s Farr 52, Chernikeeff 2, crewed by the UK Sailing Academy, lying third.



Feisty Solent conditions were the order of the day, as hundreds of competitors on over 60 boats experienced some spectacular racing at the RORC IRC National Championship. Fifteen knots, gusting to over twenty knots from the southeast proved a physical and mental challenge for all five classes.

The tide kicked up a great deal of swell and mastering the lumpy conditions was paramount. Slick boat handling was at a premium; a mistake at a mark rounding in this field and a podium finish would disappear and for some teams, aspirations of a class win evaporated with gear failure.

In IRC Class Super Zero, Niklas Zennstrom’s, TP52, RAN continued their total domination of the class by winning all three races by big margins.

“We had some perfect Solent conditions today. It is a little bit colder than the Mediterranean but we had plenty of physical work to keep us warm,” commented a delighted Niklas Zennstrom. “The shorter courses today were excellent and I would congratulate the RORC on managing to get all six races in over the last two days. I would also like to mention the young team on John Merricks II. They had a very good start in the last race and we recognise that they are using equipment that is not as advanced as RAN. I am sure that many of them will go on to become very good sailors.”

Lutener and Elwood’s TP52, Cutting Edge is second in class and the UK Sailing Academy, racing Peter Harrison’s Farr 52, Chernikeeff 2 are third.




It was blowing half a gale overnight, but by dawn the skies had cleared to provide sparkling conditions for the competitors in the RORC IRC National Championship. Before the end of play, the weather closed in once more to give a variety of conditions for the crews in the eastern Solent, including a 60 degree wind shift on the last beat of the championship.

In Class Super Zero, the cream of British yachting racing Niklas Zennstrom’s TP 52, RAN, finished off the regatta in style with a perfect row of eight bullets. The crew included: Ado Stead; Steve Hayles; Andy Hemmings; Guy Reid and Mo Gray who have all competed in the America’s Cup.

RAN Skipper, Tim Powell commented: “It will be a while before we are sailing in the Solent again, so we were motivated to go out on a bang and eight straight wins was very satisfying. Heartfelt congratulations to Marinerscove for winning the overall title.”

The overall champion is decided with a formula that reflects the size of the classes so despite a perfect score, RAN was beaten by the winners of a larger class.

Robert Lutener & Martin Elwood’s TP 52, Cutting Edge was second and the UK Sailing Academy racing Peter Harrison’s Farr 52, Chernikeef 2 was third.

Photos © Paul Wyeth /