Fastnet race 2017 - Silver Shamrock, Tale of the smallest boat in the Royal Ocean Racing Club'



Every two years the Royal Ocean Racing club includes the Fastnet Race in its offshore racing program. Silver Shamrock a classic 41year old 1/2 ton racing yacht was refitted in 2016 to compete in this race as well as the seasons other races. My aim in both 2016 and 2017 was to achieve a good result in the seasons overall points championship in the two handed class (That's just two people racing the boat). 2016 turned out to be a brilliant start with Silver Shamrock achieving 4th overall position for the year in the IRC 4 class.

I was looking forward to 2017 and my Co-skipper Nathan has confirmed that he would commit to the years point series again, so we were all set by the end of 2016. During the winter I rebuilt the rudder to give the yacht more grip downwind. The year began well with an overall win in the Warash spring series with a full crew including Nathan so we were very enthusiastic about our chances for a good season.

The first RORC offshore race of the year was the Cervantes Trophy to Le Havre. After a good start sporting out heavy A3 asymmetric spinnaker we began a close fetch across the Channel. With an hour disaster when the new rudder broke off and we were left rudderless in the middle of the Channel with night falling and wind increasing. After a number of attempts to rig a dury rudder that would work we reluctantly acknowledged that in 20knots of wind in a choppy sea with an east/west tide and a shipping lane close by we needed assistance. The coast guard was called and a few hours later we were in tow by the RNLI back to Cowes. A lucky escape and many many thanks to the RNLI.

With just two weeks to the next RORC offshore race I concluded that we were going to miss the De Guingand Bowl race while a new rudder was constructed. Silver Shamrock was ready to go just in time for the Myth of Malham race. This is a race out the Eddystone Light House in Plymouth and back to the Solent. As the second longest race after the Fastnet for the season it is an important qualifying race to gain entry to the Fastnet. After 56 hours of racing with very variable conditions and a