6 June 2024

'Haven KJ Enigma'
goes for gold!

By Sonia Hook Senior Marketing Executive

'Haven KJ Enigma' wins the
IRC Class 3 National Championship 2024

For the first time in history, the GBR IRC (International Rating Certificate) National Championships were run by a club other than the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC), with the 2024 International Paint Poole Regatta hosting this grand event between 25th and 27th May 2024.

The Nationals attracted 50 IRC yachts split into 5 classes, many of which had travelled from the Solent and the South West.

‘Haven KJ Enigma’, an MG 346 owned and skippered by Ian Braham, was entered in IRC Class 3, which contained a mixed group of 9 yachts, with a narrow rating band of only 0.056.  This equates to a time difference of roughly 5% between the fastest and slowest yachts.

The largest was ‘Cetewayo’, a beautifully restored 1960s classic, of around 47 feet in length.  At the other end of the size scale was a J70 racing yacht, with a hull length of only 23 feet.

International Paint Poole Regatta. Photo Credit: Ian Roman

Day 1

The wind was initially light, at only 6 knots true, from the South East.  The race officer set 3 windward/leaward courses.  The modified half-tonner ‘Quokka’ made the best of the conditions, posting three first places.  The wind increased for the last race to around 9 knots, allowing ‘Haven KJ Enigma’ to close the gap on ‘Quokka’, missing out on first place by just 9 seconds and finishing the day with a 2, 4, 2 scoreline. At the end of the first day, it was ‘Quokka’ in first on only 3 points, ‘Haven KJ Enigma’ in second on 8 points and ‘Ruthless’, Dehler 33, in third on 10 points.

Day 2

What a change . . . . this is more like it!  The wind had increased overnight to a solid 15 knots from the South West, with gusts into the 20s.  The first race of the day was won by ‘Cetewayo’, putting her long waterline to good use in the building breeze.  ‘Haven KJ Enigma’ posted another second, with ‘Quokka’ in third.

The wind built to around 18 knots for the start of the second race and continued to build.  ‘Ruthless’ came into her own, surfing down the runs to score a comfortable win from ‘Haven KJ Enigma’ in second, and ‘Cetewayo’ in third.

For the final race of the day, the wind had built further, with gusts into the 30s.  ‘Haven KJ Enigma’ sustained mainsail damage just after the start, dropped sails and retired.  The race was again won by ‘Ruthless’, from ‘Cetewayo’ and ‘Antix’.  Not a happy day for ‘Quokka’, which posted 3, 5, 4, reducing their lead from 7 points to just 2.  ‘Haven KJ Enigma’ were on equal points with ‘Ruthless’ in second place.

All to play for in the final 2 races.

International Paint Poole Regatta. Photo Credit: Ian Roman

International Paint Poole Regatta. Photo Credit: Ian Roman

Day 3

The day started with similar conditions to the start of day 2, with a solid 15 knots from the SW, with gusts into the 20s.  Race 1 was won by ‘Cetewayo’, with ‘Haven KJ Enigma’ in a customary second and the youth team on the Elan 333, ‘Energy’, in third by only 3 seconds.  Importantly, ‘Ruthless’ finished fourth and ‘Quokka’ fifth.

So the scene was set for the final showdown, with ‘Haven KJ Enigma’ holding a slender lead over ‘Quokka’ and with ‘Ruthless’ within striking distance.  Again the wind had built, with a good 18 knots SW, gusting into the high 20s.

‘Haven KJ Enigma’ got away to a good start and held onto starboard, while ‘Ruthless’ tacked quickly to port to get inshore, followed soon after by ‘Quokka’.  At the top mark, ‘Haven KJ Enigma’ had a good lead, which was held around the second lap, to the finish.  ‘Cetewayo’ was second, with ‘Quokka’ in third.

International Paint Poole Regatta. Photo Credit: Ian Roman

The final result of the IRC Class 3 National Championship

1st       ‘Haven KJ Enigma’      Parkstone Yacht Club      15 points

2nd      ‘Quokka’                         Warsash SC / RYS            18 points

3rd       ‘Ruthless’                       Parkstone Yacht Club      20 points

Congratulations to all the crew of ‘Haven KJ Enigma’ for winning the IRC nationals. It’s amazing to see their passion and determination pay off.

The amazing IRC Class 3
National Champions are

  • Marky-Mark – The voice of reason
  • Pete Eyre –  The main-man
  • Ross Neville-Jones –  “Ross Can!”
  • Carrie Wilkes –  “. . . . doesn’t live here anymore”.
  • Alex Peak –  “2 out of 3 ain’t bad”
  • Will Rae – Diver, sail repairer, ace crew . . . is there anything he can’t do?
  • Pete Norman –  The master of leverage
  • John Arthur –  “Did I mention I used to sail on Morning Cloud?”
  • Ian Braham –  The bloke at the back.

The organization of the regatta, which entailed 5 race courses, 15 separate classes and close to 150 yachts, was outstanding. Congratulations to the regatta committee for running such a well organised, competitive and enjoyable event.  The next iteration of the Poole Regatta will be in 2026.

Results and details

For more information about this fantastic race, head over to the websites listed below. You will also find amazing photos of these dynamic yachts and the people who sail them. Also featured are some insightful videos, one of which features our very own Ian Braham.

Full results and details available at:  CLICK HERE

Yachtsandyachting daily reports:

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3 Final Report 

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