The 2018 RORC Commodores Cup was combined with IRC Europeans to give an interesting mix of both inshore and offshore racing for both fleets. Racing started on Sunday 10th June and ran through to Saturday 16th June. During the week the fleet saw a range of conditions, starting with light winds for the first couple of days, a 25kt blast around the Island in the middle and a double point non discardable 30kt Solent race to finish! Our own Technical Director Kevin Sproul was onboard the Ker 40 “Keronimo” as mainsheet trimmer (and designer of her sail wardrobe). Keronimo was part of the Celtic team put together by Jock Wishart and supported by Aberdeen investments. Her first outing in the Commodores Cup was back to 2012 when Jonathan Goring owned her, that year she was part of the victorious GBR Red team and top boat overall. 2018 would prove to be her second cup win, but not without some challenges along the way.
The Celtic team led from day one and results were consistent until day four of the regatta when Keronimo got caught amongst Class 3 boats near the finish at Egypt Point. Whilst trying to wriggle free of the smaller boats she hit the bottom within sight of the finish line and had to retire. No-one was hurt, however, the keel and rudder sustained damage and she was given permission by the race committee to lift out at Hamble Yacht Services for a survey. Once it was established that the damage was repairable the race was on and the shore team worked through the night to get Keronimo on the start line for Day 5 and keep the Celtic team in contention of the Commodores Cup.
Despite the setback, Keroinmo made it to the start line for the Round the Island race with five minutes to spare where they were met with rain, lots of wind and big seas. Round the back of the Isle of Wight her new A5 came into its own and if you haven’t seen the footage already take a look at the following video on YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykhWAMsEQps.
“Keronimo is a great boat with a nice sail programme that has kept her competitive over the years. The crew are really good and don’t make many mistakes. Relatively speaking, apart from our “bump” on day four we haven’t put a foot wrong during the regatta,” commented Kevin.
Keronimo finished with a commanding win in the final race 30kt blast around the Solent. Helping the Celtic team to secure the Commodores Cup and again finishing top boat overall.
Photo credit: RORC/Paul Wyeth