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RORC Salcombe Gin Castle Rock Race - Cherry on top for Cora

by Louay Habib / RORC 3 Sep 16:36 UTC 1 September 2023
RORC fleet in The Solent © Paul Wyeth / RORC

Tim Goodhew and Kelvin Matthews, racing Sun Fast 3200 Cora Two-Handed, has won the Salcombe Gin Castle Rock Race having scored the best corrected time under IRC.

Mike Yates racing J/109 JAGO, also Two-Handed with Will Holland, was runner-up by just 71 seconds after IRC time correction. Ross Applebey's Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster was third, 87 seconds ahead of Ed Bell's JPK 1180 Dawn Treader. The top four boats came from four IRC Classes, congratulations to all of the IRC Class winners including Ross Hobson's Open 50 Pegasus of Northumberland and Gareth Penn's Contessa 32 Jemima of Farley.

Tim Goodhew, co-skipper of Cora has been racing with the Royal Ocean Racing Club for 23 years, and this was the first time he had won a race overall under IRC. "Delighted!" smiled Tim, my first RORC campaign was with my father on our Sigma 38 in 2007. We have come really close to winning overall maybe five times, but we have always got pipped by someone, so to win right at the end of the season is really cool; the cherry on the top."

Cora beat JAGO by just over a minute and the race was on the whole way around as Tim continued. "We were neck and neck with JAGO on the first leg but extended on them on the first beat, but they came back at us, and overtook us on the last downwind leg. From there on IRC corrected time, the lead was going to and fro, JAGO sailed really well."

Tim Goodhew and co-skipper Kelvin Matthews are great friends. The Matthews family joined the victorious Cora Team at the RORC Cowes Clubhouse to celebrate with a RORC 'Start Point - Offshore Strength' gin.

"I think we have made each other's sailing level better and we have got more and more consistent." Added Kelvin Matthews. "We have very complimentary skill sets; Tim has done many hours more than me double-handed offshore and I come from a boat speed and trim back ground." Kelvin has been with North Sails for 14 years. "Combining those skill sets and supporting each other to improve all of the talents has really improved our performance."

The Salcombe Gin Castle Rock Race was the first race of the Double-Handed IRC National Championships. The top three going into the final race on Saturday 09 September are Cora, JAGO, and Rob Craigie's Sun Fast 3600 Bellino, racing with RORC Rear Commodore Deb Fish. JAGO is the defending champion and will be highly motivated to win the final race, as will all of the RORC IRC Two-Handed teams.

Ross Applebey's Scarlet Oyster, with a highly experienced crew that has raced thousands of miles together, put in a top performance to win IRC Two not only for the Salcombe Gin Castle Rock Race but also for the RORC Season's Points Championship.

"Our focus this year was the Rolex Fastnet Race but that's where it all went a bit undone," commented Ross Applebey, whose Scarlet Oyster retired on the first day of the Rolex Fastnet Race with significant sail damage. "We needed to get our mojo back and we came back strong for The Channel Race and now the Salcombe Gin Castle Rock Race. This is a very resilient crew and everybody was up for it, so to win our class for the season is very satisfying. I think the RORC Race Team did a great job on course selection. The overall results show a real cross-section of different boats, which is great. A special thank you to my co-skipper Jules White, and also Tim Thubron, who both did a great job alongside the dedicated Scarlet Oyster team."

The RORC Cowes Clubhouse hosted a Prize Giving BBQ after the race with complimentary Salcombe Gin Cocktails as well as RORC 'Start Point - Offshore Strength' gin among the prizes. Party Band Cornerstone played a live set later in the evening. RORC CEO Jeremy Wilton welcomed competitors, family and friends to the Prize Giving. RORC Racing Manager Steve Cole was compere assisted by RORC Rear Commodore Deb Fish, and Howard Davies Co-Founder Salcombe Distilling Co.

"I would like to thank the RORC Race Team for their hard work and commitment in producing a fantastic RORC Season's Points Championship, as well as our dedicated volunteers without whom it would be near impossible to run, what is the biggest offshore racing series in the world," commented RORC CEO Jeremy Wilton. "We cannot thank the competitors enough for racing with the RORC both overseas and in our domestic races. As RORC Members and racers will be aware, The RORC Cowes Clubhouse will start a big development programme this month. This project will transform the Cowes Clubhouse, to give a whole new space and environment. Joe Hall and the Cowes Clubhouse staff look forward to welcoming you to the new look and feel Cowes Clubhouse in 2024. Last but not least a big thank you to Salcombe Gin, we look forward to developing our growing partnership."

See full results here.

For more information about the RORC Season's Points Championship, the largest racing series in the world of offshore racing:

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