RTI Race Report 2014

This write-up is courtesy of Dave Kneale.

Sea-Pie of Cultra round the Point of Ayre

The crew of Manx Sailing & Cruising Club’s Sea-Pie of Cultra took home a host of silverware and the overall win in the 2014 IOMA Fund & Investment Management Round the Island Race at the weekend.

The challenge of night-time sailing and an unsettled weekend forecast conspired to reduce the entry list and only four of the nine starters finished the 80 mile offshore race.

The deceptive calm during Sunday afternoon’s start in Ramsey Bay gave way to stronger southerly winds once the fleet rounded the Point of Ayre, where they faced an upwind slog along the coast – 20 knots of breeze and seas upto two metres were reported at Contrary Head.  These conditions tend to favour the larger yachts that can make better progress in choppy seas, setting the stage for a three-way battle between Sigma 33’s Sea-Pie, Douglas Bay Yacht Club’s Polished Manx and Pippa 4 of Glasson Sailing Club (GSC).

Smaller craft can find the tide turning against them if they make slow progress round the course, leading to a few early retirements.  They included MS&CC’s Eliza Bee, skippered by Ralph Kee, who had led the fleet around the Point of Ayre before being overhauled by the Sigma’s.

The forecast of strong winds on Monday left the visiting boats with a dilemma – either cut their losses and retire, or finish the race and face the worst of the weekend’s conditions on the trip home.  John Broadhead’s My Cloud (GSC) looked around the corner at the Point of Ayre, thought better of it and retired.  Pippa 4, skippered by Grant Kinsman, retired at the Calf and continued towards Holyhead.  This left Jerry Colman’s Sea-Pie and Kuba Szymanski’s Polished Manx fighting for the lead up the Island’s east coast in variable winds and near-total darkness.  After being quick out of the blocks at the start in Ramsey, the crew of Sea-Pie held on to their advantage and arrived home at 1.45am on Monday morning to earn a host of silverware.

They took the Ramsey Town Cup for the overall win in Division 1, the Ramsey Courier Cup for the first boat home and the Golden Jubilee Trophy for the overall win on corrected time.

Polished Manx crossed the line an hour later but multihull Rice Pudding beat them in by 15 minutes, finishing at 2.30am.  The small crew of Rice Pudding, led by 81-year old Norman Whewell, were rewarded with the Copland Trophy for endeavour.

At 4.20am Castletown yacht Cadenza, skippered by James Edge, became the final boat to cross the line after 14 hours of racing, claiming the historic Coronation Cup for their efforts.

Sea-Pie’s skipper Jerry Colman thanked the events sponsor IOMA Fund & Investment Management, and the many volunteer race officials and helpers at Manx Sailing & Cruising Club for hosting the event.