Good start to the racing season for MS Amlin Enigma

The Royal Ocean Racing Club’s Easter Challenge is billed as an early season training regatta, with coaches on the water providing advice to crews during races. In spite of this, racing is intense. MS Amlin Enigma competed in Class 3, which had 18 yachts including a J70, 5 Quarter Tonners, 3 J97s and an S&S 41 at the top of the rating band. During the three day event, 8 races were completed and debriefs provided by the coaches after racing, with videos including some interesting drone footage.

MS Amlin Enigma’s regatta started perfectly with a win in Race 1 by only 6 seconds, in a light North Westerly breeze. This breeze increased throughout the day to about 15 knots by Race 3. The team managed equal second place in Race 2 and fourth in Race 3, to finish the day in second place overall by 1.5 points. Wind conditions on the second day were similar and the team managed a second place in Race 4, before struggling to get away cleanly in Race 5 resulting in a sixth place. Race 6 was no better, with another sixth place as the team found it difficult to break clear of the pack of boats behind the leaders. Surprisingly with these results MS Amlin Enigma was still placed in second overall at the end of the second day.

A fairly bright day met the fleet in the central Solent for the final day, with initially a light Westerly breeze, which built to about 15 knots for the second race. In Race 7, MS Amlin managed a good start, to finish in second place on the water in the light and shifty conditions. When the ratings had been applied, MS Amlin Enigma moved to third place, behind the 2 Quarter Tonners, Aquila (Sam Laidlaw) and Bullit (Louise Morton). With first place overall now out of reach, the team needed a good solid result in the final race to secure second place in the series.  The wind had built to around 14 knots and the team decided to retain the No.1 genoa for the race which proved to be the right decision.  Following a good start, MS Amlin Enigma was with the leaders at the windward mark and held 3rd place on the water to the finish, improving to equal second on corrected time behind Bullit.

The final regatta result: First Aquila, second MS Amlin Enigma and third Bullit. Racing was very close with only seconds between places in most races. Unusual in IRC racing, two of MS Amlin Enigma’s results were dead heats, further confirming the closeness of competition.

A tired but happy crew attended the prize giving at the RORC clubhouse in Cowes on Sunday evening and enjoyed a well earned drink. The next big event for the team will be the IRC National Championships in June.

Great season opener for MS Amlin Enigma in Solent series. Full results:

(Click to enlarge image of results)