Three teams finish on day 18 of Round Britain & Ireland Race

Day 18 of the Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race, 19 teams have now finished the 1,805nm race with just one team still racing; Kuba Szymanski & Adrian Kucmin on the First 40.7 Polished Manx II. Three teams finished today and all received a heroes welcome dockside in Cowes, followed by a few cold beers and a hearty meal at the Royal Ocean Race Club’s Cowes Clubhouse. Three cheers for Morning After, Snifix Dry and AJ Wanderlust, whose skippers all spoke dockside at the end of an epic Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race.

Morning glory for Morning After

Stuart Greenfield’s S&S 34 Morning After finished the Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race on the 24th August at 06:56:51 in an elapsed time of 16 days 18 hrs 46 mins and 51 secs. Morning After crew: Stuart Greenfield, RORC Admiral Mike Greville, Louise Clayton and Frederick Neville-Jones.

As dawn broke on the 18th day of the Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland, Morning After crossed the finish line at the Royal Yacht Squadron. Launched in 1968, Morning After is the oldest boat in the race and is runner up in IRC 3. Morning After came third in the Sydney Hobart in 1968 and she has done at least four Fastnets and 50 RORC races. None of the team had done the race before, but RORC Admiral Mike Greville was planning to do the race 40 years ago before it was cancelled.

“The goal was to get to the start line and finish the race. We knew it was going to be tough but in a way this race was a gift that kept giving to Morning After,” commented Stuart Greenfield. “We wanted 10-15 knots on the nose and we got that for the first week and we were winning the race (on IRC corrected time). The reason we didn’t do better was that at Muckle Flugga we were stopped dead for five hours. The top boats went round the mark and reached off. When we got going it was a southerly headwind and the other boats got away. Coming second in class is not bad though.”

Warm welcome in Cowes for Snifix Dry

The Two-Handed German team of Dirk Lahmann & Willie Demeli on Snifix Dry © James Tomlinson/RORC
The Two-Handed German team of Dirk Lahmann & Willie Demeli on Snifix Dry © James Tomlinson/RORC

Peterson 43 Snifix Dry raced Two-Handed by Dirk Lahmann & Wilhelm Demel finished the Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race on the 24th of August at 12:12:02 in an elapsed time of 17 days 0 hrs 2 mins 9 secs. Snifix Dry is the eleventh team competing in IRC Two-Handed to complete the race and the first German team for the 2022 edition. Built in 1978, the only real modification is an auto-tack system for the foresail. Snifix Dry is not set up for double-handed racing. While the mainsail is roller-furling, the headsail is fixed via a Tuff Luff, making sail changes hard work for a double-handed team.

Snifix Dry had S&S 34 Morning After as close opposition for much of the race. Two of the Morning After crew; RORC Admiral Mike Greville and Louise Clayton, as well as Jangada’s Richard Palmer and Rupert Holmes were among family and friends greeting the Snifix Dry team at Trinity Landing. Snifix Dry skipper Dirk Lahmann became a RORC member after finishing the 2021 Rolex Fastnet Race and intends to take part in many more RORC races.

“We had a wonderful battle with Morning After, AJ Wanderlust and Polished Manx II, but we did not have any autopilot for the last five days, which is hard on a boat like Snifix Dry as she is not designed for double-handed racing. The Irish Coast was great and we also made a stop in Fair Isle in the Shetlands to repair our foresail and halyard. The island is wonderful but I think the locals thought we were a bit crazy, sailing up and down the harbour! It took us two hours to fix the sail and Morning After over-took us again. We didn’t catch up until North Foreland, Kent.

AJ Wanderlust – “Let’s go for Lap Two!”

Sun Odyssey 45 AJ Wanderlust (USA), raced in IRC Two-Handed by Charlene Howard and Bob Drummond © James Tomlinson/RORC
Sun Odyssey 45 AJ Wanderlust (USA), raced in IRC Two-Handed by Charlene Howard and Bob Drummond © James Tomlinson/RORC

Sun Odyssey 45 AJ Wanderlust (USA), raced in IRC Two-Handed by Charlene Howard and Bob Drummond finished the Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race on the 24th August at 11:54:02 in an elapsed time of 17 days 0 hrs 44 mins and 10 secs. Charlene Howard raced AJ Wanderlust in the 2018 edition (also Two-Handed) and despite the calm weather, this year AJ Wanderlust was over two hours quicker. Charlene and Bob have sailed the boat twice across the Atlantic and this is the second time this year that they have raced around Great Britain and Ireland!

“As we were finishing, I wanted to send a message to the race WhatsApp group; let’s go for lap two!” joked Charlene. “It was great, we had a bit of competition this time; Morning After and Snifix Dry were with us and Polished Manx until they pulled in for a while due to the weather, but this year we just stayed with it. AJ Wanderlust doesn’t come to races to start, we come to finish, but if we won occasionally that would be great as well! My thought is that longest on the water wins! It does get a wee-bit frustrating when you don’t have wind, but I think there are worse places to be than sailing slowly around this course. It is a great place to be and Bob (Drummond) is good humoured, especially when I thought Portsmouth’s Spinnaker Tower was Snifix’s kite! Pitting yourself against nature is a challenge and something you cannot always control.”

Follow the progress of the last boat in the race on the website: https://roundbritainandireland.rorc.org/

Live Blog with news from the teams: https://roundbritainandireland.rorc.org/live and via the race tracker: https://yb.tl/rbni2022

Ends/… Louay Habib

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