RORC Nelson’s Cup Series – Day 2

Antigua, West Indies February 14, 2024: The RORC Nelson’s Cup Series continued today, Wednesday 14 February, with two hi-octane races in tropical heat. For the second day running there were fine margins right through the fleet. After four races, no boat remains unbeaten in the RORC Nelson’s Cup Series.

With two races yet to be run to complete the RORC Nelson’s Cup Series, Wendy Schmidt’s Botin 85 Deep Blue (USA) leads IRC Zero. Frederic Puzin’s Ker 46 Daguet 3 (FRA) leads IRC One. On equal points in IRC Two is RP37 Warthog (ANT) and JPK 1180 Dawn Treader (GBR). Warthog skippered by Jules Mitchell leads the class on countback.

Congratulations to today’s race winners: Deep Blue, Leopard 3, Ino Noir, Daguet 3, Dawn Treader, and Warthog.

Latest Results here.

For the second day of the RORC Nelson’s Cup Series the gradient breeze was still south of east with a slight increase from the first day up to 15 knots. Once again, PRO Stefan Kunstmann set different tracks for all three IRC classes. However, race lengths in general were slightly shorter, ranging from 9-16 miles. Sea state inshore, especially at the starts featured short chop. Offshore a longer wave pattern and solid breeze produced fast downwind conditions.

Leopard 3’s Chris Sherlock commented: “Leopard is doing the RORC Nelson’s Cup Series because we wanted some inshore training after four months of offshore racing; the owners are really enjoying the regatta. The team have enjoyed the five o’clock beers at the end of racing and it’s a great series before the big race. It is looking a bit light for the round Antigua on Friday, so not a record forecast, but we will be trying out some new sails. The weather has been kind this year and I am pretty sure we will be back next year.”

Ino Noir’s James Neville commented: “It’s great to come out here at this time of year and start the sailing season early, plus we haven’t done any inshore racing since Cowes Week. So, it’s good to get back into it and warm up for the big one next week. Racing has been really tight for the series. Also with quite long legs there is plenty of compression and separation. You just have to stay on your game and keep your boat speed up. I hope that this event is going to grow and grow, especially with local boats joining in.”

Dawn Treader’s Mark Spearman commented: “We are having a great battle with Warthog. As soon as it gets light they are faster than us and it’s hard to keep up. It’s great racing and a really good way to prepare for the Caribbean 600; getting the crew working well together and also to learn more about the conditions. Warthog is a local team and they have local knowledge that we are very interested in. This is all good for the big battle we are expecting for the 600.”

After racing, a relaxed daily prizegiving was held at Antigua Yacht Club with prizes and complimentary drinks provided by RORC Caribbean 600 sponsors – English Harbour 5 Year Old Rum and Carib Beer. Tomorrow the RORC fleet have a lay day with racing continuing on Friday 16th February with the 52-mile Antigua 360. Thirty teams are expected including seven multihulls and Tiger Tyson kite boarding!

Race Analysis:

Race Day Two RORC Nelson’s Cup Series

Race Three:

Weather: South Easterly 13-15 knots ESE. Course Length:  IRC 2 9.1nm, IRC 1 9.8nm, Zero 12.4nm.

IRC Zero:

Wendy Schmidt’s Botin 85 Deep Blue made it three wins in a row, but by the narrowest of margins. Farr 100 Leopard 3 (MON) skippered by Joost Schuijff took line honours for the race, but after IRC time correction Deep Blue won by just eight seconds; roughly a virtual boat length.

IRC One:

The closest match-up of the regatta so far had the full race podium decided after IRC time correction by just 33 seconds. James Neville’s Carkeek 45 Ino Noir won a thriller, scoring their first bullet of the regatta by 14 seconds from Frederic Puzin’s Ker 46 Daguet 3. Niklas Zennstrom’s Carkeek 52 Rán was just 19 seconds behind Daguet 3 after IRC time correction.

IRC Two:

Ed Bell’s JPK 1180 Dawn Treader was the winner by just over a minute after IRC time correction to regain the class lead for the series. RP37 Warthog skippered by Jules Mitchell was second. Frans van Cappelle and Michelle Witsenburg’s J/122 Moana (NED) scored their first podium finish for the RORC Nelson’s Cup.

Race Four:

Weather: SSE 13-15 knots. Course Length: IRC 2 8.8nm, IRC 1 13.8nm, Zero 15.9nm.

IRC Zero:

Farr 100 Leopard 3 (MON) skippered by Joost Schuijff took line honours and the race win after IRC time correction by over five minutes from Wendy Schmidt’s Botin 85 Deep Blue.

IRC One:

Frederic Puzin’s Ker 46 Daguet 3 got back to winning ways with their third bullet of the regatta. Missing out on a race win once again by a very tight margin was Niklas Zennstrom’s Carkeek 52 Rán; just 17 seconds behind after IRC time correction. James Neville’s Ino Noir was less than a minute behind Rán.

IRC Two:

RP37 Warthog skippered by Jules Mitchell scored their second bullet of the regatta to retake the series lead in the class from Ed Bell’s Dawn Treader, which was second in Race 4 by just over a minute after IRC time correction. The Dutch J/122 Moana scored their second podium finish of the regatta.

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ENDS/… Louay Habib

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