Worthy victory

Giles Redpath's Lombard 46 Pata Negra has taken line honours and the win in IRC One for the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race.

Finishing the 1,805 nautical mile course in an elapsed time of 9 days 8 hours 35 mins and 16 secs, Pata Negra has taken line honours in the Round Britain and Ireland Race.

After finishing the race, Pata Negra‘s crew enjoyed drinks and dinner at the Royal Ocean Racing Club Cowes Clubhouse. For Pata Negra‘s skipper Giles Redpath, this was an emotional return to the course. In 1998, he raced two handed with the late John Fisher who tragically was lost at sea in the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race.

“I remembered him at many points in the course; I wish all his family well and wish he could have been with me this time,” commented Redpath. “It is a great memory to have gone around again.

The Pata Negra crew were gathered together from many parts. We divided the crew into the oldies, the middle aged and the young ones, and we ran a rolling watch. Racing at full pace around the West of Ireland and at Muckle Flugga are the moments that I will long remember. The biggest problem was everything was wet; the ceiling and the bunks were just dripping with water the entire time. However, we started as friends and ended much better friends,” continued Redpath.

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Phil Sharp’s Class40 Imerys Clean Energy took line honours in the Race in an elapsed time of 8 days 4 hours 14 minutes 49 seconds, winning the Class40 Division and setting a new world record in the race for yachts 40ft or under.

The team smashed the previous record by 15 hours. The victorious Imerys Clean Energy crew: Phil Sharp, Julien Pulvé, Pablo Santurdé and Sam Matson, were met on the dock by friends, family and fans of the race.

“It hasn’t really sunk in yet, but it is just fantastic to take line honours, the win in the Class40s, and break the world record!” exclaimed an elated Phil Sharp.

“This is definitely the toughest race in the northern hemisphere, harder than a transatlantic and all credit to the team who stuck at it and were exceptional, especially when the going got tough.

You don’t expect to do a race like this without breaking gear. We ripped our smaller spinnaker before halfway and for the last three days we have had no wind instruments, so it was back to old school feeling the breeze.”

“During the race we saw real extremes of challenging weather conditions, from heavy downwind, to light upwind sailing, and although in our class we had other competitive boats that pushed us, it turned out to be very much a race of attrition. Many thanks to the Royal Ocean Racing Club for organising a fantastic race,” concluded Sharp.

Tony Lawson’s Class40 Concise 8, skippered by Jack Trigger, finished the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race on Monday 20th Aug at 22:39:20, less than six hours after Phil Sharp’s record-setting Imerys Clean Energy.

A huge welcome party greeted the youngest team in the race after they crossed the finish line, including RORC Commodore Steven Anderson, RORC Racing Manager Chris Stone, and Phil Sharp and his entire crew. Concise 8 had chased Imerys Clean Energy around the 1,805 nautical mile course until a broken forestay forced Concise 8 to reduce sail.

“If you race around this course you know it’s going to be tough. You want to test yourself and test the boat, and we had everything that we had asked for. The crew and the boat was punished and we feel a real sense of achievement,” said Trigger who is a Type-1 diabetic with a goal to compete in the Vendée Globe.

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