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Displaying items by tag: Cervantes Trophy

Offshore racing with the Royal Ocean Racing Club returns to Europe on the 30th of April with the Cervantes Trophy Race, the traditional opening domestic race of the RORC Season’s Points Championship. Starting from the Royal Squadron Line Cowes, boats will race across the English Channel bound for Le Havre.

Well over 50 teams are expected with a warm welcome waiting at the oldest yacht club in France, Société des Regatés du Havre, established in 1838.

RORC Commodore James Neville will be racing his HH42 INO XXX RORC Commodore James Neville will be racing his HH42 INO XXX Photo: Rick Tomlinson

RORC Commodore James Neville will be racing his HH42 INO XXX, this will be the first offshore race for Neville’s team, since the 2021 Rolex Middle Sea Race.

“We are excited to get back racing, it has been a long break, but we have had time to focus on this year,” commented James Neville. “We will compete in the RORC series including the Round Ireland Race and culminating inshore with the IRC Europeans in Breskens. The Cervantes is always an interesting race complicated by tide and wind shifts. We would like to have a nice fast reach to stretch our legs, but the long-range forecast is for light winds, so it could become quite tactical.”

Gilles Fournier will skipper French J/133 Pintia © Rick TomlinsonGilles Fournier will skipper French J/133 Pintia Photo: Rick Tomlinson

Gilles Fournier will skipper French J/133 Pintia, which will be racing to their home club, the Société des Regatés du Havre. In 2018, Pintia was the overall winner of the race, an impressive third victory in a row. Pintia’s crew includes the creator of the Louis Vuitton Cup, Bruno Troublé.

“Pintia always tries to win every race that enter,” commented Gilles Fournier. “However, we know that there are a few very good teams still to return to Europe for the season, so perhaps this race will not be indicative of the quality of racing we will experience during the year. Recently the standard of racing with RORC has been really rising, the performance of many teams has been increasing. Britain was a major influence in founding Société des Regatés du Havre, the link with our friends in Cowes is very important to us. As the customary first race across the English Channel, if it is windy, it can be quite cold, but the welcome will be warm! The club house has one of the best restaurants in Le Havre and it is reasonably priced. I strongly recommend making an advanced booking.”

Dee Caffari and Shirley Robertson team up on the new Sun Fast 3300 RockIT Dee Caffari and Shirley Robertson team up on the new Sun Fast 3300 RockIT Photo: Vertigo Films / Tim Butt

At least 25 teams will be racing in IRC Two-Handed, including Richard Palmer’s JPK 1010 Jangada, racing with Jeremy Waitt. Jangada has taken maximum points so far in the 2022 RORC Season’s Points Championship with class wins in the Rolex Middle Sea Race, the RORC Transatlantic Race, and the RORC Caribbean 600. Seven Sun Fast 3300s are entered in IRC Two-handed for the Cervantes Trophy, including a debut race for Dee Caffari and Shirley Robertson racing Rockit. Sun Fast 3200 Cora, raced by Tim Goodhew and Kelvin Matthews, was second in IRC Two-Handed for the 2021 season. Cora will start their 2022 RORC campaign with the Cervantes Trophy Race.

Andrew Tseng's Nicholson 55 Quailo III Andrew Tseng's Nicholson 55 Quailo III Photo: Pat North

Classic yachts racing in the Cervantes Trophy Race include Stuart Greenfield’s S&S 34 Morning After, racing in IRC Two-Handed with Louise Clayton and Janet Hairsine Wilson’s Swan 44 Finnish Line. The Nicholson 55 Quailo III has a long history of racing with the RORC. She was built by Camper & Nicholson in 1971 for Don Parr, a former Commodore and then Admiral of RORC. Part of the 1973 Admiral’s Cup team, she was subsequently renamed British Soldier and Broadsword when part of the Joint Services Adventurous Sail Training Centre. Now back to her original name, Quailo III has been lovingly restored and modified under the ownership of Andrew Tseng.

“Our long-term aim is the 100th anniversary of the Fastnet Race in 2025” commented Quailo III skipper Andrew Tseng. “Clearly if we want a good performance in 2025, we should be doing 2023 and the Cervantes Trophy Race is the start of the whole campaign. Now the rubber hits the road, so to speak, and we are raring to go. The crew are all enthusiasts, a mixed bag of people that I have picked up along the way, it’s a Corinthian team but we have some interest from some well-known sailors from the past. Quailo III has been evolving over the last few seasons, she has a new engine, but most importantly a new fractional carbon rig. What will be really interesting is how well we can sail under IRC. The rule is a great leveller, which lets classics like Quailo III race alongside new designs. The challenge is, can the crew sail the boat to its rating? Boats like Scarlet Oyster and Winsome have managed to achieve that.”

Stuart Greenfield’s S&S 34 Morning After, racing in IRC Two-Handed with Louise Clayton © Rick TomlinsonStuart Greenfield’s S&S 34 Morning After, racing in IRC Two-Handed with Louise Clayton Photo: Rick Tomlinson

The Cervantes Trophy Race is part of the 2022 RORC Season’s Points Championship, the world's largest offshore racing series comprising of 16 testing races. Every race had its own coveted prize for the overall winner and famous trophies for IRC class honours.

Class40 Kite will be sailed by Nicolas Gaumont-Prat for the Cervantes Trophy Race Photo: Rick TomlinsonClass40 Kite will be sailed by Nicolas Gaumont-Prat for the Cervantes Trophy Race © Rick Tomlinson

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The Cervantes Trophy Race is traditionally the first English Channel Race of the Royal Ocean Racing Club's Season's Points Championship and this year’s race from Cowes to Le Havre has attracted a variety of yachts from Belgium, Britain, France, Germany and the Netherlands. The majority of the teams are passionate Corinthians, but make no mistake, the RORC Season's Points Championship is arguably the toughest offshore series of races in the world. Each race has its own worthy prize, both for overall and class, after time correction using the IRC rule. The Season’s Points Championship Class winners are decided by the best five results across the Season.

James Neville from Cambridge, UK will be racing his HH42, Ino XXX in IRC One for the Ceravntes Trophy Race. “The Cervantes Trophy Race is a qualifier for the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup and we hope to get a step further to being selected by performing well. It is going to be a cold one but we are an experienced crew coming together on a new yacht and we are targeting several offshore races and the IRC National Championship to sharpen up for the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup and we aspire to upgrade to a Fast40+ next season.”

Surgeon Adrian Lower, from Burnham on Crouch, will be racing his Swan 48, Snatch, with co-owner David Smith in IRC Two. “We are a bunch of Essex adventurers and have entered the race because our aim is to do as many RORC races as we can before we head south for the Swan Worlds in Sardinia. The highlight of the programme for us will be the Transatlantic Race and the RORC Caribbean 600 in February 2017. This November will be my second Atlantic crossing and I am hoping to do it short handed this time.”

Jean-Eudes Renier is originally from France but works in London in the Financial sector, he has been sailing since he was a child and has competed in several Rolex Fastnet Races. Jean-Eudes will be competing in the Cervantes Trophy Race in the IRC Three and the Two-handed Class, which has seven teams entered.

“The boat is a new JPK 10.80 called Shaitan (little devil in Arabic). I race her double handed and we aim at competing for the Two-handed RORC championship for 2016 with my friend Patrick Baune. We have been doing fully crewed RORC races since 2004 on various boats that we owned and are now trying our hand at double handed which is extremely exciting. The Cervantes is the first race of the season in our programme. If you know of crew who could help me sail the boat back from Le Havre to Lymington after the race I would be delighted!”

Brian Wilkinson from Crowthorne, Berkshire will be racing Corby 30, Wild Child in IRC Four. Formerly called Yes! the yacht is probably the most successful boat designed by Cowes boat designer John Corby. Brian Wilkinson was a class winner for small multihulls in the 2006 Two-Handed Round Britain race.

“We've entered the Brewin Commodores' Cup selection trials, this race is part of the qualification requirement and great training for the Cup’s offshore race. The new format and rating bands for the Cup mean that after adding a larger overlapping jib and spinnaker, Wild Child re-rated higher to meet eligibility criteria. The new sails have significantly boosted our speed in light to medium airs and I think we could be a contender for the GBR team small boat slot. Wild Child has been very successful inshore, it's going to be interesting to see how she'll go offshore. The crew are a bit of a mixture, some members have sailed in previous GBR Commodore Cup teams, and have extensive offshore experience with multiple Fastnet race campaigns and a range of boats from offshore multihulls to Mumm30s. There are ex-dinghy sailors stepping up to offshore racing for the first time too in our trim and foredeck team. The crew was found using a wide selection of club web sites and Facebook groups. For us the focus is on Commodores Cup qualification so we hope to do well in one other offshore race the De Guingand Bowl and then focus on inshore racing for the Cup .”

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A big variation in wind strength and direction gave the competitors in the RORC Cervantes Trophy Race plenty to think about; spotting the changes in the conditions and reacting to them proved crucial. Sailing Logic’s Reflex 38, Visit Malta Puma, (that will compete in June's Round Ireland race) carried on from their highly successful 2009 season winning the coveted Cervantes Trophy over the Bank Holiday weekend. A glorious spinnaker start saw the fleet out of the Solent but light airs beset the fleet mid-Channel before filling in to give the fleet a beat to the finish at Le Havre.


“We are really delighted with our win and it was down to a very good effort by all of the team,” said skipper Philippe Falle. “The decisive stage of the race was rounding the A5 buoy. The wind had gone super light and forward, it was difficult to keep the boat going but by looking at the gusts on the water under the moonlight we kept her moving. The crew really concentrated on trim, helming and weight distribution and we knew that if we could match wind speed to boat speed we would be doing well. Sometimes the wind speed was as little as three knots but we kept going. We finished last season with a win into Cherbourg, so it was nice to win two on the trot.”


In IRC Super Zero Nigel Passmore’s Apollo won the battle of the TP52s, beating the British Keelboat Academy’s John Merricks II on the water and on handicap. Andrew Dawson’s Class 40, Spliff, was third picking up the Class 40 division win.


IRC Zero saw another win from Mike Greville’s Ker 39, Erivale III, repeating their class win from last year. “We got a pretty good start but a broach near Owers put us in the pack with smaller boats,” commented Mike Greville. “We had a fetch out into the Channel and the only real decision was whether to sail with the Jib Top or the Genoa. However, the breeze eventually started to go forward and light. This turned the race into a much more tactical one. Our strategy was to tack on the shifts, spotting them is not easy in light airs and concentration is paramount.” John Stapleton’s First 44.7, Vespucci's Black Sheep, made a welcome return to offshore racing taking second place in class with the X 41, Pharo, in third.


In IRC One Visit Malta Puma was first but this was a very competitive class with the top four boats within 20 minutes of each other on corrected time. Steve Anderson’s First 40.7, Encore, was second in class and overall by less than two minutes. Christopher Opielok’s Corby 36, Rockall III, was third and RORC Commodore, Andrew McIrvine sailing with Peter Morton on their brand new First 40, La Réponse, were fourth. Both Rockall III and La Réponse will be hoping to race in this year’s Rolex Commodores’ Cup.


Noel Racine in a new JPK 10.10, Foggy Dew, was the winner of IRC Two. “I only picked up the new boat from L’Orient last week, so we have a lot to learn but it is a great start. We will be competing in most of the RORC races this season and we have a clear plan going through to next year, in preparation for the 2011 Rolex Fastnet Race,” commented Le Havre resident, Noel Racine. David Aisher’s J 109, Yeoman of Wight, was second with Mike Moxley’s HOD 35, Malice, in third.


David Lees’ High Tension 36, Hephzibah, won IRC Three in the RORC Season’s Points Championship in 2009 and the Lymington based boat kicked off the 2010 season in fine style, winning in class. Alan Thornewill’s MG 346, Spirit of Daedalus, was second and Kirsteen Donaldson’s X 332, Pyxis, was third.


The Two Handed Division saw ten entries. Mike Moxley’s HOD 35 consolidated their podium finish in IRC Two by taking the prize for the best two handed boat on corrected time. James Gair’s First 40.7, Below Zero, was second and Peter Olden’s A35, Solan Goose of Hamble, was third.


There are two RORC races over the next weekend of offshore racing: The 180 mile North Sea Race from Harwich to Scheveningen starts on Friday 14th May and the De Guingand Bowl Race in the Channel starts on Saturday 15th May.


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Dublin Bay

Dublin Bay on the east coast of Ireland stretches over seven kilometres, from Howth Head on its northern tip to Dalkey Island in the south. It's a place most Dubliners simply take for granted, and one of the capital's least visited places. But there's more going on out there than you'd imagine.

The biggest boating centre is at Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the Bay's south shore that is home to over 1,500 pleasure craft, four waterfront yacht clubs and Ireland's largest marina.

The bay is rather shallow with many sandbanks and rocky outcrops, and was notorious in the past for shipwrecks, especially when the wind was from the east. Until modern times, many ships and their passengers were lost along the treacherous coastline from Howth to Dun Laoghaire, less than a kilometre from shore.

The Bay is a C-shaped inlet of the Irish Sea and is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and 7 km in length to its apex at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south. North Bull Island is situated in the northwest part of the bay, where one of two major inshore sandbanks lie, and features a 5 km long sandy beach, Dollymount Strand, fronting an internationally recognised wildfowl reserve. Many of the rivers of Dublin reach the Irish Sea at Dublin Bay: the River Liffey, with the River Dodder flow received less than 1 km inland, River Tolka, and various smaller rivers and streams.

Dublin Bay FAQs

There are approximately ten beaches and bathing spots around Dublin Bay: Dollymount Strand; Forty Foot Bathing Place; Half Moon bathing spot; Merrion Strand; Bull Wall; Sandycove Beach; Sandymount Strand; Seapoint; Shelley Banks; Sutton, Burrow Beach

There are slipways on the north side of Dublin Bay at Clontarf, Sutton and on the southside at Dun Laoghaire Harbour, and in Dalkey at Coliemore and Bulloch Harbours.

Dublin Bay is administered by a number of Government Departments, three local authorities and several statutory agencies. Dublin Port Company is in charge of navigation on the Bay.

Dublin Bay is approximately 70 sq kilometres or 7,000 hectares. The Bay is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and seven km in length east-west to its peak at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the southside of the Bay has an East and West Pier, each one kilometre long; this is one of the largest human-made harbours in the world. There also piers or walls at the entrance to the River Liffey at Dublin city known as the Great North and South Walls. Other harbours on the Bay include Bulloch Harbour and Coliemore Harbours both at Dalkey.

There are two marinas on Dublin Bay. Ireland's largest marina with over 800 berths is on the southern shore at Dun Laoghaire Harbour. The other is at Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club on the River Liffey close to Dublin City.

Car and passenger Ferries operate from Dublin Port to the UK, Isle of Man and France. A passenger ferry operates from Dun Laoghaire Harbour to Howth as well as providing tourist voyages around the bay.

Dublin Bay has two Islands. Bull Island at Clontarf and Dalkey Island on the southern shore of the Bay.

The River Liffey flows through Dublin city and into the Bay. Its tributaries include the River Dodder, the River Poddle and the River Camac.

Dollymount, Burrow and Seapoint beaches

Approximately 1,500 boats from small dinghies to motorboats to ocean-going yachts. The vast majority, over 1,000, are moored at Dun Laoghaire Harbour which is Ireland's boating capital.

In 1981, UNESCO recognised the importance of Dublin Bay by designating North Bull Island as a Biosphere because of its rare and internationally important habitats and species of wildlife. To support sustainable development, UNESCO’s concept of a Biosphere has evolved to include not just areas of ecological value but also the areas around them and the communities that live and work within these areas. There have since been additional international and national designations, covering much of Dublin Bay, to ensure the protection of its water quality and biodiversity. To fulfil these broader management aims for the ecosystem, the Biosphere was expanded in 2015. The Biosphere now covers Dublin Bay, reflecting its significant environmental, economic, cultural and tourism importance, and extends to over 300km² to include the bay, the shore and nearby residential areas.

On the Southside at Dun Laoghaire, there is the National Yacht Club, Royal St. George Yacht Club, Royal Irish Yacht Club and Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club as well as Dublin Bay Sailing Club. In the city centre, there is Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club. On the Northside of Dublin, there is Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club and Sutton Dinghy Club. While not on Dublin Bay, Howth Yacht Club is the major north Dublin Sailing centre.

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