Displaying items by tag: Commodores Cup
The Royal Ocean Racing Club announced the publication of the Notice of Race for the 2014 Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup, a trophy Ireland won in 2010 and seeks to win again next year.
The event based in Cowes will start on Saturday 19th July 2014 and follow a similar format to previous years. A mixture of inshore races in the Solent, an offshore race in the English Channel and a race around the Isle of Wight, will finish with a final race and prize-giving on Saturday 26th July 2014.
The Commodores' Cup, which started in 1992 is an international three-boat team event using the IRC Rating system and is open to boats rated between 1.020 and 1.230, with only one boat rated above 1.150. It is a vigorously protected Corinthian regatta where the number of Category 3 sailors is restricted to one per boat, except for the boat rated above 1.150 which can have two.
It is an event popular with teams coming from all corners of the world and a number of countries having trials to select their respective participants. With numerous IRC boats based around the Solent, teams are able to charter competitive boats to reduce the cost of shipping boats to the UK.
#commodorescup –The Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup ended with a more typical Solent day, finally providing sailors with some fresh conditions and waves for the last double points scoring race of this week long series for international three boat teams and their amateur crews.
With a 66 point lead going into the final race, RYA Team GBR Red were in a strong position but there have been several occasions in the past when a dominant team has lost this competition in the last race.
Today's final bout got underway on time, but the first attempt had to be abandoned when, cruelly, the wind dropped off to nothing as the leaders closed to within 200m of the line. As the week's first cloud line eased across the Solent, so a westerly filled in and when the Race Committee went to sail the race again the wind was up to 17 knots and slowly built into the low 20s by the final beat.
Despite the wind being with the tide, a chop developed in the central Solent as the crews had to change gear to accommodate the stiffer breeze. This resulted in several incidents, boats being washed down on to the weather mark, another boat ended up on Brambles Bank and there was even a broach.
Today's race belonged to Hong Kong with Nick Burns' Ker 39, EFG Bank Mandrake, winning with a two and a half minute lead on corrected time from their teammates Joachim Isler/Andrew Taylor/Ante Razmilovic on their chartered Grand Soleil 43 Team Ambush Quokka 8.
"We started off a bit frustrated, because we were leading the first race on handicap until the breeze dropped away and the Race Committee did the sensible thing to abandon," said EFG Bank Mandrake tactician Phil Lawrence. "Then we went down to the Lee-on-Solent shore and a fantastic sea breeze came in. As it was the last race we really hammered into the start at flying speed, got the tack done and then just crossed the first boat and then crossed each boat by more and more and more. That was the end of the race really. It has been good for the Hong Kong boys to have come so far and had such a character building week to have finished on a high."
Throughout the race EFG Bank Mandrake managed to stay in the pack chasing the speedy Ker 40s that really came into their own downwind in the stronger conditions.
Commodores' Cup Victory for Team GBR Red
But the series belonged to GBR Red, who managed to maintain their position ahead of second placed GBR White to claim the 2012 Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup with a 63 point margin.
"It is fantastic and we had some wind today - what a day, it was a great day's racing," said Jonathan Goring, owner of the GBR Red Ker 40, Keronimo. "We had a solid 14-18 knots of breeze which is ideal for the Ker 40. It was our sailing weather."
As usual Keronimo spent the duration of the race locked in a match race with Andrew Pearce's equally rated Ker 40 Magnum III in GBR White. Magnum led for the first lap until she was overhauled by Keronimo on the second beat.
This is the second time Goring and his tactician Kevin Sproul have been part of a winning team following their victory in 2004. "It is a fantastic event and I just hope we can persuade people to come back again and again," he said.
For Dignity, it was the boat's second back-to-back win in this event having previously raced as marinerscove.ie with the winning Irish team in 2010.
Owner and helmsman Andrew Williams admitted that they had made hard work of it today. "We were very disappointed about the first race being abandoned as we were looking like a second probably, but at the end of the day you have to keep plugging away." In the re-sailed race Dignity was attempting to shoot the weather mark with a boat outside her but ended up touching the mark and had to carry out a 720 penalty turn. They also suffered an impressive broach on the second downwind leg.
"We had a new code 3 which we hadn't used all regatta because of the light winds and that dug us out of a hole really," said Williams. "We trucked upwind, took out boats and gained a lot of time. The boys did very well to recover from what was looking like quite a difficult race for us.
"Keronimo sailed fantastically all week. We have had a very up and down week, we have posted some very good results and some shocking results, with a lot of bad luck on the offshore, but I am very pleased to be part of a winning team."
Also in GBR Red was Mike West's A 35 CNBC being skippered by Paul Worswick, which also had an up and down week, but excelling in the offshore and yesterday's round the island when Worswick believes that at one point they held a 30 minute lead on corrected time: "The race got quite exciting with 22-23 knots down the last run, but the crew work - we were going around the corners really well, we were taking boat lengths on the hoists and the drops, so really happy."
Generally of their week Worswick said: "It has been really exciting. We've had a bit of argie bargie. We have learnt that in 5-7 knots the boat doesn't go upwind. After the elation of the offshore, the inshores we had were shocking."
The victory for GBR Red as a team occurred yesterday when they posted a 2-4-5 after the park-up just prior to the finish. "The fact that Keronimo and Dignity finished and then we all had to wait an hour or two to get across meant that the team result was fantastic," said Worswick. "It is not about individual glory it is about the team. It is a great competition. The event is fantastic - we just need more boats to come and do it."
Of this week Chief Executive of the RORC, Eddie Warden Owen, summarised: "The Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup overall has been a success. Generally you have a variety of conditions, but this week has been predominantly light and very light, with today being medium to strong. So we ended on a high note with this last race, which was absolutely fabulous."
Warden Owen pointed out that winner RYA Team GBR Red had succeeded due to their being consistent. "Even when one of their boats was having bad results, the other two were hanging in there and today they came good. But by no means has it been easy for them - they have had to work hard and they have had to have incredible patience and persistence."
Jamie Matheson, Executive Chairman of Brewin Dolphin has been in Cowes most of the week watching the racing. "We have been delighted," he said. "We have clearly had to deal with the wind occasionally being awkward but the race management team has done a fantastic job in dealing with that and the competitors have sailed very well indeed.
"It has been all sorts of different things - we have had sunshine, good breezes most of the time and we had the extraordinary visit of Her Majesty The Queen, the background of the superyacht, Athos! Cowes at its best."
A selection of pictures from the final inshore day at the Brewin Dolphin Commodores Cup by Rick Tomlinson are below.
#COMMODORESCUP – With the Irish title holders apparently out of the picture it seems the announcement of Great Britain's four team line-up for the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup, then force of numbers, at the very least, will be on the side of Team GBR when racing starts on the Solent on 22th July.
Run by the Royal Yachting Association, the British trials this year were based on two events, the Royal Ocean Racing Club's Morgan Cup offshore race followed by the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club's Vice Admiral's Cup inshore series and proved to be one of the most competitive ever with 17 boats gunning for the 12 available slots. The 12 boats were chosen and then divided into their four teams by a selection panel comprising RYA Chairman and Head of the Selectors, Stacey Clark, Yachting Secretary of the Royal Yacht Squadron, Chris Mason and Cowes Week CEO, Stuart Quarrie.
Selections and the subsequent team divisions were determined on a straight points calculation following the two events, the only exception being the two Ker 40s, Jonathan Goring's Keronimo and Andrew Pearce's Magnum III, which were unable both to make the top team, GBR Red, as only one 'big' boat (ie with a Time Correction Coefficient of 1.150-1.230) per team is permitted.
So GBR Red this year will comprise Jonathan Goring's Ker 40, Keronimo, Andrew Williams' Mills 39, Dignity, and Mike West's Archambault 35, Eaujet - and they will be hoping to repeat the success of their forebears in 2008 when GBR Red last won the Commodores' Cup.
Proudest of all to get a spot in GBR Red is Andrew Williams and his all-Corinthian crew from Plymouth aboard Dignity:
"It is a fantastic honour to be selected and the big thing is that there has never been a boat from Plymouth or the West Country in the Commodores' Cup before," said Williams. "I am hoping the clubs in Plymouth will get behind the boat and cheer us on."
Williams previously owned the successful Prima 38 Max 'Ed Out! and after this was sold last year, in August he acquired the Mills 39 which as marinerscove.ie was part of Ireland's winning Commodores' Cup team in 2010.
Williams admits that he and the crew have taken a while to get to grips with their new water-borne Ferrari. "Obviously these types of boats are fairly specialised in the way they handle - they have a fast groove and slow groove, whereas production boats tend to be easier all round."
Yet get to grips with it they clearly have done as they won not only the selection trials overall but at the Vice Admiral's Cup also had Class 0 victory secured with a day to spare ahead of the two Ker 40s. At present Williams says they are attempting to track down some sponsorship to assist them in getting some new sails for July's big event.
The smallest boat in the GBR line-up is Peter Morton's Salvo, the Corby 33 that won the Scottish Series two years ago as Salamander XX. She will be competing in July in GBR Black alongside the British Keelboat Academy on David Aisher's J/109 Yeoman of Wight and Cobra, the King 40 campaigned by Commodores' Cup first timers, the father and son team of Mike and Seb Blair.
The trials didn't go entirely according to plan for Salvo. "We had an appalling final selection weekend," admits Morton. "We got hit and we were black flagged and for some reason we were sailing very badly. We did score a second in the offshore behind Eaujet."
Morton co-owned the First 40 La Réponse with ex-Commodore of the RORC Andrew McIrvine when they competed in the 2010 Commodores' Cup and all Salvo crew have competed in the event before. He only acquired Salvo in December and says that they are still getting to grips with the boat's nuances.
Morton is hopeful that this year could be one for the small boats. "The points are skewed towards the offshore and the around the island race and both of those events could turn out to be small boat races. It is quite possible, if everything rafts up, that the small boats could do very well."
As to his team's chances, Morton says GBR Black could, appropriately, be considered the dark horse. "We have a good little unit, because we have Yeoman of Wight which has done very well in Commodores' Cups and a King 40, so it is a good combination."
To assist the GBR teams the RYA has appointed Nigel King to be Team Manager, a role also involving King's long experience as a coach, that has in the past ranged from Dee Caffari's Vendee Globe campaign to the Volvo/RYA keelboat program to, in recent years, Chris Bake's RC44 campaign, Team Aqua.
While there is a GBR squad, King has to effectively manage four separate three boat teams and is meeting with each in early June to assist them with their programs in the run up to the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup, and during the event itself.
"A lot of them have got programs in places, so it is now a case of seeing how much of that is going to be beneficial and if there is anything extra I can do and to try and do some on the water coaching. I think they all recognise they should be training together up to the event to maximise their opportunities, because on their own they probably won't achieve much. Also you have you remember that they have got jobs, so we can't just put in place a three week long training program."
King points out that many new to the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup will also be unfamiliar with its 'team' aspect: "Although there are strict limitations on what they can do from a team racing point of view, it is still nice to know there are two other boats on the water that are supposed to be on your side, so there is support there and are people you can talk to after who are hopefully working for the same aim as you, which is to get a team victory."
Team GBR Red: Dignity (Mills 39), Eaujet (Archambault 35), Keronimo (Ker 40).
Team GBR White: Joopster (J/122), Magnum III (Ker 40), Philosophie (Beneteau First 40.7)
Team GBR Blue: Incognito (Beneteau 40.7), La Réponse (First 40), Premier Flair (Elan 410).
Team GBR Black: Cobra (King 40), Salvo (Corby 33), Yeoman of Wight (J/109)
#COMMODORES CUP – Although Ireland is officially slated by the Royal Ocean Racing Club to be defending its 2010 title won on the Solent there is still no details of the compostion of an Irish team for July's Commdore's Cup.
Ireland face an uphill struggle to mount a credible defence, though Antony O'Leary's Antix is most likely to be a key part of any team, which is a major asset, there is still the job of completing the three boat line-up. A call to interested parties was made late last year by the Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA).
ICRA Commodore Barry Rose says that despite the current difficult environment ICRA remains hopeful of mounting a serious defence and have waited until last October to allow the maximum time to those who may consider supporting the challenge but since then there has been no further news of the team.
The Commodores Cup takes place from 21st to 28th July 2012 based in Cowes. Ireland first won this prestigious International Trophy in 2010 .
Captain of the winning team Anthony O Leary told Afloat.ie: 'We finally won this great event in 2010 with a well organised campaign. Let's hope we
can return to defend it in 2012 learning further from that experience'.
Interest from teams wishing to stake a claim on the prestigious Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup is running high with challenges from several nations including: England, Netherlands, France, Ireland and Hong Kong. Eddie Warden Owen, Chief Executive of organisers, the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC), is very happy with the way things are shaping up for the 11th biennial event:
"It would appear that the new format of allowing teams to be made up of three boats of any size and the availability of good boats to charter, has prompted interest from outside of Europe too. The Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup is shaping up to be a very competitive regatta."
Volvo Ocean Race skipper, Bouwe Bekking has been announced as Captain of the Dutch team, with the possibility of two Dutch teams and talk of a combined Benelux team of Dutch and Belgian boats.
"The Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup (BDCC) is a great event. It is giving owners and their predominantly amateur crews, the ability to sail for their own country and in a real team event. The BDCC is nearly the only national team event left in offshore racing. It will provide tough competition and in addition, racing in the Solent will give the event that extra dimension that owners are looking for. For me, it will be the first time as Team Captain for the Netherlands. It sounds more prestigious than the role actually is. The fact is that the three boats have to perform well individually in order that the team can do well overall. But there are a lot of small aspects which can help make them a better team in my opinion. I will try to give them that extra support and insight from all the experiences I have learned from all the Admiral's, Commodores' and Sardinia Cups I have participated in," commented Bekking.
John van der Starre from The Dutch Class Organisation, Noordzeeclub based in The Hague: "We are very pleased that Bouwe will be Team Captain. He has great experience and will drive the team. We will have more news on boats and teams in February, but already have six yachts hoping to compete: Baraka GP, Display, Captain Jack, Redan, J Xcentric and TeamVanVuuren."
The Dutch selection procedure will take place during the two first big IRC events of the year, with trials at the Van Uden Reco Stellendam Regatta (21-22 April) and the Delta Lloyd North Sea Regatta (15/20 May), including the Vuurschepen Race (25/28 May) and RORC North Sea Race.
Teams from the Netherlands have competed in the biennial Commodores' Cup since its inception in 1992, only missing out in 2000 and 2010. They have not yet won the Commodores' Cup but finished on the podium in 1998 and 2002.
Strong Interest from GBR teams
In early January the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Selection Committee met with owners and representatives of 19 boats who were interested in participating in trials for the English teams to compete.
"We were delighted with the turnout for the initial meeting which was much better than I expected and great for the event, as well as for sailing in the UK," said Stacey Clark, the new Chairman of the RYA Council and Chairman of the Commodores' Cup Selection Committee.
John Derbyshire, RYA Racing Manager/Performance Director:"I am delighted to see so much interest, both from previous competitors and potential new team members in being selected for one of the GBR teams. This should provide an excellent trials series from which a team that can win the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup should emerge - as well as providing a competitive base for future events. There was a great atmosphere at the meeting and we look forward to taking on teams from around the world!"
The Selection Trial events have been confirmed for RYA Team GBR:
Offshore - the RORC Morgan Cup starting on 5th May. A 24-36 hour race round buoys in the Channel, starting and finishing in Cowes. Inshore - a Commodores' Cup rating band class in the Vice Admirals Cup on 18th -20th May, organised by the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club in Cowes.
The rules allow for up to four teams per country and one place has already been offered to Scotland who have until the end of February to confirm a team entry. If the Scottish sailors decide not to take the opportunity, then an additional three boats could make up a four team challenge from England.
In 2008 RYA Team GBR won the Commodores' Cup and narrowly missed out to Ireland in 2010. This year, the aim will be to pick four teams who have the potential to win this Summer as well as in future years.
2012 marks the 3rd consecutive challenge from Hong Kong for the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup and the sailors in this southern most part of China are working hard to put together a strong team which will emulate or better their runners-up placing in 2010.
Possibly making a return to the fray is long-time stalwart of the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club (RHKYC), Keith Jacobs, who sailed in several Admiral's Cups with his Dubois-designed Bimblegumbie and has recently returned to the club from Australia. This time Keith is a co-owner of the Kerr 40, Signal 8 which has just launched in Hong Kong and is headed up by co-owners Jamie McWilliam and Patrick Pender, the latter of whom who will drive the boat.
Likely to skipper a boat as well is Nick Burns who campaigned the Mills 40 Mandrake in the Hong Kong 2010 team, and well known Cowes Etchell sailor, Ante Razmilovic - now living in Hong Kong - is also working to put together a crew with Chris Opielok who skippered the small boat Rockall in 2010. Also donning wet weather gear in the Solent this summer will be RHKYC Vice Commodore Joachim Isler, who will return for his third campaign on one of the boats along with his Hong Kong boat partner, Aussie Andrew 'Drew' Taylor.
"Hong Kong's sailors love the world's best big-boat team event and are determined to keep coming back until they win it," says Team Coordinator, Laurence Mead who was helmsman of Mandrake in the 2010 Hong Kong challenge.
Hong Kong has taken part in the Commodores' Cup three times in 1992 (7th), 2008 (5th) and 2nd in 2010.
In a statement the club says 'Following the press announcement earlier today re. Advance Notice of the 2012 Commodores' Cup, please find below clarification of the statement concerning rating bands.
In the sentence: 'Three boats can be chosen from this rating band with the proviso that only one boat in the team shall rate 1.150 or above...' 'Shall' should be substituted with 'may'.'
The statement adds:
"It is the intention that teams can choose three boats from the rating band 1.020 to 1.230. It is NOT necessary for them to have a boat rating 1.150 or above as the wording may have suggested".
Ireland can formally seek to defend its Commodores Cup title now that the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) has announced details of the 2012 Cup to be held in Cowes, Isle of Wight between Saturday 21st and Saturday 28th July 2012 in association with the Royal Yacht Squadron.
National teams to race three boats
This tough mix of inshore and offshore races will be concentrated into a challenging seven day racing schedule on the testing waters in and around the Solent. The RORC have introduced a change to the IRC rating band to encourage more entries. The smallest boats will have a minimum rating of 1.020 and the fastest boats a max rating of 1.230. Three boats can be chosen from this rating band with the proviso that only one boat in the team shall rate 1.150 or above.
RORC Commodore Andrew McIrvine explained the rationale behind the change: "in previous events we have had three distinct bands however some countries have struggled to find a competitive boat in each band. We are keen to get more foreign teams to enter the competition and feel that by opening up the entry criteria, there will be more good boats available for charter, which makes sense in today's challenging economic climate," explained McIrvine. "However, we do not want teams to dominate the competition by bringing three big boats, thus the reason for only allowing one boat in each team to be faster than 1.150."
The racing format will also be changed so that all the boats will start together rather than having three individual races for each rating band as was the norm in previous events.
The last Cup in 2010 was the tenth biennial event and it attracted 10 highly competitive teams from five nations: France, Ireland, Great Britain, Hong Kong and South Africa.
Strict nationality requirements will once again be in place for crew as at least 50% must be from the nation represented. To ensure that the regatta retains its Corinthian ethos a cap will be placed on the number of professionals allowed to take part. Boats rating 1.150-1.230 shall have a maximum of two Group 3 sailors on board (professional sailors), whilst boats rating 1.020-1.149 shall have a maximum of one. Professionals are not just limited in number; there are restrictions on what they may do. For example, an amateur has to helm throughout the inshore races and at the start of the offshore races; however bona fide owners who are Group 3 sailors will be exempt. Helmsmen shall also be nationals of the country they are representing.
Complete details of the Commodores' Cup 2012 will be published in the Notice of Race in December 2011.
Commodore Barry Rose is urging Cruiser Racers fans to support this weekend's eighth annual ICRA conference at the Carrigaline Court hotel in Carragaline, County Cork.
There's a big line up for the one day event that includes a presentation on an innovative concept to develop a 30 Footer one design concept that can also sail under IRC handicap. The idea is that it will be trailerable to attend ICRA Nationals and other events around Ireland. Rory Staunton travels from the UK to make the 30 footer presentation.
Rose says Saturday's event gives an opportunity to exchange 'constructive opinions to promote and develop the cruiser/racing', the biggest sector of Irish Sailing.
Designers John Corby and Mark Mills will be present to update us on IRC developments and boat design and their thoughts on where boat design is heading. More HERE
Reporting on the latest race news and regatta information is the one of the most important aspects of the Afloat.ie website. This page covers everything from round the world race stopovers, the arrival of the Tall Ships as well as domestic boat shows and a calendar of events.
The 2010 Irish Commodore's Cup team are jointly the Afloat.ie/Irish Independent "Sailors of the Month" for August. In times past, we've had two or even three "Sailors of the Month" at once. And we even had a family – the Dicksons of Lough Ree – getting the honours together. But it's the first time that an entire team have been given the accolade.
However, the 2010 Irish Commodore's Cup team achieved their totally convincing win with a display of team spirit which was of truly international standard, and the judges acclaim the entire squad – and their enthusiastic and able management – with the accolade.
It was realized that selecting any individual sailor or one of the crews from the three boats was going to be difficult. Even when you tried to congratulate any of them, they would tend to heap praise on another of the boats. And on the rare occasion when things went wrong – as when Antix was caught by a rule break at the start of the final and clinching race – the skippers readily accepted blame.
In that instance, Antix boss and team captain Anthony O'Leary declared afterwards that he'd been "110% in the wrong". Admittedly it's not so painful saying that when you go on to sail an absolute blinder of a heavy weather race to finish second in class despite the setback of taking your penalty turn. But even so O'Leary, Dave Dwyer on marinerscove.ie, and the new boys on Roxy 6 were exemplary in their achievement.
Ireland's Commodores Cup Team is August's Sailors of the Month. Photo: David Branigan
Roxy 6 was given special praise as she was still very raw, a new Corby 36 built for Rob Davis in Pembroke in Wales, and put together on the water at some speed by a Cork crew headed by Andrew Creighton, with Maurice "The Prof" O'Connell invaluable as the single permitted onboard professional.
And they sailed with the steady consistency and that sense of the bigger picture which is the key to team success. Ashore, Barry Rose of the Irish Cruiser Racing Association was always available as manager, and the result was the kind of result the Irish sailing community have dreamed about for decades. Not only have we been within a whisker of winning the Commodore's Cup in recent years, but way back in the great days of the Admirals Cup in 1979, the Irish team went into the final event of the series, the Fastnet Race, with what seemed a commanding points lead.
The notorious Fastnet storm of 1979 put paid to that. It was ironic that it was extreme Irish weather which blasted our chances. But the pain of that, and other blighted hopes, were so gloriously blown away in the Solent on Saturday August 22st as the final race was completed with Ireland's winning points piled high.
Ireland's Commodore's Cup team Crew List HERE.
Commdore's Cup Coverage HERE