Wednesday 16 August 2006

KINGSPAN CHIEFTAIN VICTORIOUS in Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race

KINGSPAN CHIEFTAIN VICTORIOUS in Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race
An elated but exhausted crew on Kingspan Chieftain went through the finish line at Cowes just after 8 pm on Tuesday night, whilst the race is still on for many of the fleet, Kingspan Chieftain’s corrected time can not be beaten for the gruelling 1780 mile SevenStar Round Britain and Ireland title.

Kingspan Chieftain team celebrating the finish of the RBI
Ger O’Rourke brought his beautiful Cookson 50, Kingspan – Chieftain, ghosting across the Royal Yacht Squadron finish line in Cowes to cap an utterly dominant performance in the Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race and claim the overall prize for IRC Division A. In winning this coastal classic, one of the flagship RORC races of the season, O’Rourke adds to his impressive list of victories around the world that started with a class win in the 2005 Rolex Sydney – Hobart Race, a corrected time victory in the 2006 BMW Round Ireland Race and an outright win in this year’s Fortis IRC Nationals.
“The boat is just fantastic to sail. I have never experienced anything like it, on the run down the east coast, we had an amazing amount of sail area up for the conditions but the Cookson 50 was so stable and every time we buried the bow into a wave she popped right back up. It was just the most awesome sailing for two days but I must admit that the stony silence on deck a we topped out at 26 knots in the pitch black of night with water everywhere had an element of fear factor in it.” explained British crewman Tom Whitburn.
“Kingspan Chieftain is a superb boat for offshore racing but a lot of credit must go to the hard work of the crew, they are all good lads, cracking guys, myself I am the oldest man on the boat but besides Jochem Visser, the navigator, all theses lads are in there twenties and I am really happy for them as much as myself that they have done so well, I would have to give special thanks to Mark Tighe, the boat captain, he has done a great job in preparation as well a sailing her.”
Kingspan Chieftain is now safely moored up in Hamble but it will not be long before she is back in action again, she is entered for the RORC Cascais race, on the first of September, 750 miles from The Solent to Cascais in Portugal, taking on all mother nature can throw at them.