Thursday, June 18, 2020

RORC Offshore Series Updates

J/122 sailing RORC offshore series
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- As with other major offshore events, the window of opportunity to get back to racing on the Seven Seas depends on jurisdiction and where the races start and end. For the race management team at RORC, the varying rules and jurisdictions are particularly vexing when conducting races between the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Belgium, and The Netherlands.  Here are some of the latest updates.

IRC National Championship - move to September confirmed
The RORC Committee have confirmed the move of the IRC National Championships from its scheduled June time slot to September 11th to13th, Friday to Sunday. The move sees the IRC Nationals being run together with the IRC Double-Handed National Championship scheduled for the same weekend.

IRC Rating Director Dr Jason Smithwick commented, "The later schedule is a good result for the IRC fleet and allows us the best chance of giving them a top-level event with sailing in good conditions."

Channel Race & L'Île d'Ouessant Race
The Club now turns its attention to August and the traditional Channel Race and the quadrennial favorite of the L'Île d'Ouessant Race (or Ushant race), where it is hoped club racing can begin again.

RORC Racing Manager Chris Stone discusses some of the complexities and considerations in getting racing under way, "we are working to provide information as early as possible for all races, with a view to giving members and competitors an update about races no later than 30 days (4 weeks) before the scheduled race date. We will continue to ensure these updates come as early as possible to limit the disruption to those competing. There are many areas to monitor and consider, including the safety of the RORC staff and volunteers before we simply set off and go racing."

"With the cancellation of the July events, we now look more seriously at the Channel Race and the L'Île d'Ouessant Race," continues Stone. "Will Government regulations allow yachts to sail fully crewed? Current social distancing measures make it difficult for that to happen safely. Regulations also currently don't permit people to stay away from their primary residence, so we eagerly await some changes before overnight races can return to normal. There is also more serious border and immigration issues that need to be resolved. At present, sailing into foreign waters in a recreational capacity is against regulations. But, potentially, there may also be some quarantine issues to consider going forward. And lastly, we need to be extremely aware of the situation with our search and rescue authorities and examine their willingness to have events start up again. They are, after all, crucial to our sport, especially in maintaining the safety of all those competing."

Stone further noted, "we appreciate that it must be terribly frustrating watching the season go by from land. We feel the same and would like to ensure all our competitors that we are doing everything within our power to get us back to racing as quickly and as safely as possible."  Sailing Photo Credits- Paul Wyeth/  For more RORC Offshore event sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.