15 June 2014

Swuzzlebubble wins at the 2014 RORC IRC Nationals

Peter Morton's revamped Farr Half-Tonner Swuzzlebubble won her debut event in the 2014 RORC IRC Nationals held on 13-15 June 2014. Swuzzlebubble, had scored two bullets on the opening day to lead her class (IRC Four), winning the first race by just seven seconds on corrected time. Morton explained the winning strategy - "There were a lot of bigger yachts from other classes in the race area, so finding clear air and holding a lane was always going to be difficult. In the first race, we actually planned to gybe-set at the top mark but we were forced to bear away and set the kite towards the shore. We got lucky and actually found lifting pressure, so it really worked out for us. Like they say - it's better to be lucky than talented!"

Swuzzlebubble sails upwind in the 2014 RORC IRC Nationals (photo pwpictures.com)
On the second day, Swuzzlebubble retained her lead, posting a first, second and third. Morton and his crew struggled on the final day in fresher breezes, but did enough to round out the winner of IRC Four overall, taking a fifth and third-equal. "This is the first big regatta for the boat since it was re-launched and we have learnt a lot about how to sail her," commented Morton. "We were joined this weekend by Tom Schnackenberg, who has won the America's Cup three times and knows a hell of a lot about these boats. I bought Swuzzlebubble for one euro, I have spent a lot of money on her, but about only half the cost of some of the boats racing this weekend. She definitely goes well in the light but against the displacement boats, we suffered in more breeze". 
Swuzzlebubble (KZ 3494) sails downwind behind IRC Two yacht Zephyr (photo pwpictures.com)
Whooper had a consistent series and won races six and seven to secure second overall. The Quarter Tonner Whiskers finished third.

Swuzzlebubble approaches a finish mark (photo pwpictures.com)
Swuzzlebubble also carries her original sail number KZ-3494 and koru-inspired hull graphics to retain something of a New Zealand presence in the regatta (not to mention Schnackenburg as an honorary Kiwi in her crew). Another ex-New Zealand yacht, the Quarter Tonner Blackfun (NZL-3391) made an appearance on the final two days to finish ninth overall, and included a second in the fifth race in her final tally. 

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