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The final race of the 2021 RORC Season’s Points Championship was won by David Collins’ Botin IRC 52 Tala, second was Ross Applebey’s Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster and third was Gavin Doyle’s Corby 25 Duff Lite, racing Two-Handed with Alex Piatti. The Army Association’s Sun Fast 3600 Fujitsu British Soldier was the winner of IRC Three and fourth overall. Andrew Hall’s Lombard 46 Pata Negra was the winner of IRC One. Sam Goodchild’s Multi 50 Leyton was first to finish, taking just 7 hours and 23 minutes to complete the 91nm course. Greg Leonard’s Kite was the Class40 winner.

Full Results are here

Tala’s David Collins presented with the Loujaine Trophy by RORC Commodore James Neville (right). Photo: Paul WyethTala’s David Collins presented with the Loujaine Trophy by RORC Commodore James Neville (right). Photo: Paul Wyeth

IRC Zero

Tala’s David Collins was presented with the Loujaine Trophy by RORC Commodore James Neville for the best overall corrected time under IRC.Tala was also the winner of IRC Zero. Second in class was VME Racing’s CM60 Venomous, sailed by James Gair. Third was Lance Shepherd’s Volvo Open 70 Telefonica Black.

"Once the shorter course was announced, our routing showed it to be much more favourable for us in terms of the tidal gates,” commented Tala’s Pete Redmond. “The beat against the tide worked in our favour against the boats in our class, as well as the smaller boats. Once Tala got around St. Cats and out of the really strong tide, we also had a favourable wind shift. Tala has had a really good season, David (Collins) is really happy. In a fleet with a massive range of IRC Ratings, and a lot of tidal gates in home waters, you don’t always get the best conditions over the season, but we have always tried to get the best result we can. Tala’s current plan for the future is the RORC Transatlantic Race and then up to Antigua for the RORC Caribbean 600. Tala has been optimised for offshore racing, but we have a lot of work planned in preparation for the RORC Transatlantic Race.”
IRC One

Andrew Hall’s Lombard 46 Pata Negra was the winner in IRC One for the Quailo Cup. Sport Nautique Club’s Xp 44 Orange Mecanix2, sailed by Maxime de Mareuil, was second. Michael O'Donnell’s J/121 Darkwood was third.

Ross Applebey's Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster Photo: Paul WyethRoss Applebey's Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster Photo: Paul Wyeth

IRC Two

Ross Applebey’s Scarlet Oyster was presented with the Trophee des Deux Manches for winning IRC Two. Second was Tom Kneen’s JPK 1180 Sunrise, sailed by Jack Trigger. Susan Glenny’s Olympia’s Tigress was third.

“The Castle Rock Race was a bit of a mission,” commented Ross Applebey referring to the 40 tacks in a five-mile stretch approaching St. Cats from the east. “It was full-on, but quite good fun! If we had an infinite amount of energy, we would have done a few more! We really worked hard upwind which put us in a good position.” Downwind Scarlet Oyster made a big gain with their symmetrical kite, as Ross explains. “We went inshore at The Shingles with our pole, temporarily we had five knots of tide against us, which was a bit alarming, but it set us up to get inshore and the advantage of the back eddy to St. Cats. In relatively flat water we gybed out to pass St. Cats and put up our big new kite and we were really rocking with that. Looking to the future, with the permission of my wife and daughter, we hope to enter the RORC Transatlantic Race, and we do have some spaces available for sailors with the right experience.”

The Army Sailing Association’s Fujitsu British Soldier Photo: Paul WyethThe Army Sailing Association’s Fujitsu British Soldier Photo: Paul Wyeth

IRC Three

The Army Sailing Association’s Fujitsu British Soldier was the winner of IRC Three winning the Yacht Club de France Trophy. Second was Rob Craigie’s Sun Fast 3600 Bellino, raced Two-Handed with Deb Fish. Third was Kevin Armstrong’s J/109 Jazzy Jellyfish.

“We are really pleased with our class win but a bit frustrated that we were fourth overall by just five minutes,” commented Henry Foster, skipper of Fujitsu British Soldier. “We had a cracking race with some very well sailed Two-Handed teams, hats off to Bellino, Tigris and Diablo, it was a hard race but good fun. To get third in class for the season is really pleasing, especially as we have had a development team on board for a number of races. For 2022, we are looking at racing Round Ireland and Cork Week, but the big focus as ever, will be the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race. Personally, I will not be on the boat for that race, but we have Phil Caswell and Wil Naylor who have done about ten races between them.”

IRC Two-Handed teams racing in the RORC Castle Rock Race Photo: Paul WyethIRC Two-Handed teams racing in the RORC Castle Rock Race Photo: Paul Wyeth

IRC Four

Two-Handed teams occupied all three podium positions in IRC Four. Gavin Doyle & Alex Piatti racing Duff Lite won the Jolie Brise Trophy. Second was Renaud Courbon racing with Rosie Hill in his First Class 10 Shortgood. Stuart Greenfield’s S&S 34 Morning After was third.

IRC Two-Handed

Duff Lite was the winner of the RORC Trophy. Shortgood was runner up and Tim Goodhew & Kelvin Matthews, racing Nigel Goodhew’s Sun Fast 3200 Cora, was third.

“I asked Alex (Piatti) how many tacks we did, and he replied – too many!” commented Duff Lite’s Gavin Doyle. “If we are going inshore, we like to be the guys that go in the furthest and get the most out of it. We are absolutely delighted with the result. This is our first season with the boat, next up will be the IRC Two-Handed Championship, and we are looking forward to a head-to-head with another Corby 25 in the Hamble Winter Series.” 

BBQ hosted at the RORC Cowes ClubhouseBBQ hosted at the RORC Cowes Clubhouse

There was something of an end of term party atmosphere after the Castle Rock Race with a Race Prizegiving and BBQ hosted at the RORC Cowes Clubhouse. The RORC Annual Dinner, a spectacular black-tie awards ceremony for the RORC Season's Points Championship, will be taking place on Saturday, 27th November at the Intercontinental Park Lane, London.

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The Royal Ocean Racing Club Season’s Points Championship concludes this weekend in the UK with the Castle Rock Race, the grand finale for the RORC season. The eleventh and final race for 2021 will decide the class winners for the world’s largest offshore racing series. Over 400 teams will have competed in the championship over the twelve-month series.

Tom Kneen’s JPK 1180 Sunrise secured the overall championship win in last month’s Rolex Fastnet Race. However, the overall runner up for the season will be decided after the Castle Rock Race. Ed Bell’s JPK 1180 Dawn Treader is currently second, but three teams are very much in contention: ISORA's Andrew Hall’s Lombard 46 Pata Negra, Ross Applebey’s Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster, and Dubliner Michael O'Donnell’s J/121 Darkwood.

VME Racing’s CM60 Venomous © Carlo BorlenghiVME Racing’s CM60 Venomous © Carlo Borlenghi

In IRC Zero, VME Racing’s CM60 Venomous is in pole position but David Collins’ Botin IRC52 Tala is favourite to retain the IRC Zero title by completing the final race. Eric de Turckheim’s NYMD 54 Teasing Machine is currently third but a good result by Ross Hobson and Adrian Banks' Pegasus Of Northumberland will see them overtake Teasing Machine for third.

Michael O'Donnell’s J/121 Darkwood © Paul Wyeth/RORCMichael O'Donnell’s J/121 Darkwood © Paul Wyeth/RORC

IRC One will have a new champion for the series, as neither of the top contenders has won the class before. Michael O'Donnell’s Darkwood has a five-point lead over Andrew Hall’s Lombard 46 Pata Negra with both boats unlikely to be able to better their current scores. Mark Emerson’s A13 Phosphorus II had a superb Rolex Fastnet Race and is odds on to claim the final podium position, ahead of Ed Fishwick’s GP42 Redshift.

Ross Applebey's Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster © Paul Wyeth/RORCRoss Applebey's Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster © Paul Wyeth/RORC

In IRC Two Tom Kneen’s Sunrise is virtually unbeatable. However, Ross Applebey’s Scarlet Oyster is looking strong for runner-up in the class with Ed Bell’s Dawn Treader assured of at least third place for the season.

Rob Craigie's Sun Fast 3600 Bellino, racing Two-Handed with Deb Fish © Rick Tomlinson/RORCRob Craigie's Sun Fast 3600 Bellino, racing Two-Handed with Deb Fish © Rick Tomlinson/RORC

A record 83 IRC Two-handed teams have been racing in the RORC Season’s Points Championship and the class winner will be decided in the Castle Rock Race. Rob Craigie’s Sun Fast 3600 Bellino, racing with Deb Fish, leads the class for the season by just over seven points from Nigel Goodhew’s Sun Fast 3200 Cora, raced by son Tim Goodhew and Kelvin Matthews. Bellino was the champion in 2019, Cora was second.

In IRC Three, there are four Sun Fast 3600 battling for the podium. Bellino looks set to win the class, having been runner-up in 2019 by less than two points. Bellino is only four points ahead of James Harayda’s Gentoo, racing Two-Handed with Dee Caffari. However, Gentoo has not entered this weekend’s race. Battling for the final podium position are the Army Sailing Association’s Fujitsu British Soldier and Nick Martin’s Diablo.

Nigel Goodhew’s Sun Fast 3200 Cora, raced by son Tim Goodhew and Kelvin Matthews. © Rick Tomlinson/RORCNigel Goodhew’s Sun Fast 3200 Cora, raced by son Tim Goodhew and Kelvin Matthews. © Rick Tomlinson/RORC

In IRC Four, the podium for the season looks to be decided prior to the Castle Rock Race. Cora has an unassailable lead and will win IRC Four for the first time. Renaud Courbon & Emmanuel Winsback, racing First Class 10 Shortgood, is in second place.

Richard Palmer’s JPK 1010 Jangada, racing with Jeremy Waitt, is less than two points behind in third, but Jangada is en route to the Rolex Middle Sea Race and will not be competing in the Castle Rock Race.

Greg Leonard’s Class40 Kite © Paul Wyeth/RORCGreg Leonard’s Class40 Kite © Paul Wyeth/RORC

37 Class40 teams have competed in the championship. Greg Leonard’s Kite is entered for the Castle Rock Race for somewhat of a lap of honour having won class for the season. Sam Goodchild’s Multi 50 Leyton will be making a RORC debut, with plans to compete in next year’s RORC Caribbean 600.

Yachts taking part in the Castle Rock Race will start to gather off Cowes Parade from around 1800 on Friday 10th September. The full entry list and AIS tracking link can be found here and also via smartphones with the YB App. 

Once back in Cowes competitors will experience the warm welcome by the RORC Cowes Clubhouse where the prizegiving will extend to an evening of partying, with competitors and their guests enjoying all that the Clubhouse has to offer.

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Teams racing Two-Handed in IRC Four dominated the overall results for the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s Channel Race. Held in light to medium airs, the 98nm offshore race was won overall by Jeffrey Knapman’s MG335 Virago, racing with Tristan Kemp. Second overall was the Sun Fast 3200 Cora, raced by Tim Goodhew & Kelvin Matthews. Gavin Doyle’s Irish Corby 25 Duff Lite, racing with Alex Piatti, was third. Duff Lite was a slender 17 seconds ahead of William McGough & Christian Jeffery, racing J/109 Just So.

RORC has Congratulated all of the class winners, including Eric de Turckheim’s NMYD54 Teasing Machine, Michael O'Donnell’s J/121 Darkwood, Ross Applebey’s Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster, Henry Bomby & Sam Matson racing Sun Fast 3300 Swell, and Class40 Manic, skippered by Brian Thompson.

Full Results Link here

Starting on the Royal Yacht Squadron Line on an ebb tide, the 80-boat RORC fleet beat to the west to exit The Solent. The ingenious course then required the fleet to pass a line of longitude, south of Bournemouth, before easing sheets and racing downwind past St Catherine’s Point. A second line of longitude, south of Littlehampton, was the next leg of the course. The RORC fleet then rounded the Nab Tower, before finishing at Stokes Bay East off Gilkicker Point.

Jeffrey Knapman’s MG335 Virago, racing with Tristan Kemp. Photo: Rick Tomlinson/RORCJeffrey Knapman’s MG335 Virago, racing with Tristan Kemp. Photo: Rick Tomlinson/RORC

“This is our first race as a Two-Handed team, although we have raced, together and against each other, as kids in dinghies.” smiled Jeffrey Knapman, who raced Virago to overall victory with cousin Tristan Kemp. “To be honest, the conditions really suited the set-up of the boat. The No.2 is our biggest jib and was perfect for the upwind conditions. This season we have a much bigger spinnaker, which does put our rating up, but really increases the horse-power.” Both Jeffrey and Tristan managed to grab two hours sleep each in the first half of the race. “It’s unusual to get that much sleep but it helped us to be proactive in the latter part of the race, especially staying alert for wind shifts and a confused sea state. When the Sun Fast 3200 Cora finished, we calculated they were three minutes ahead of us on corrected time. This was a real incentive to make up the time to win our class, but we were very surprised to win the race overall!”

Eric de Turckheim’s French NMYD54 Teasing Machine Photo: Rick Tomlinson/RORCEric de Turckheim’s French NMYD54 Teasing Machine Photo: Rick Tomlinson/RORC

IRC ZERO

Eric de Turckheim’s French NMYD54 Teasing Machine was the winner of IRC Zero after a fascinating battle with David Collins’ British Botin IRC 52 Tala, which took Line Honours for the race.

“We had a good race which was very interesting,” commented Teasing Machine’s Eric de Turckheim. “The lines of longitude were giving quite a lot of tactical options, especially the angle of attack and the relationship with the currents. Most routing software programmes work using waypoints, not lines of longitude, also you have to plan much farther forward for the next leg. On the first leg west, Tala was on one extreme south, and we were on the other extreme north, but we finished the race almost together. In the end, Tala was quicker than us to the finish, but this was a good race for Teasing Machine. Next we will do the Fastnet Race, and I am really looking forward to it.”

Michael O'Donnell’s J/121 Darkwood Photo: Rick Tomlinson/RORCMichael O'Donnell’s J/121 Darkwood Photo: Rick Tomlinson/RORC

IRC ONE

Michael O'Donnell’s J/121 Darkwood was the winner or IRC One, three minutes and 42 seconds ahead after IRC time correction from Jacques Pelletier’s French Milon 41 L'Ange De Milon. Third was Colin Campbell’s British Azuree 46 Eclectic.

“For us, L'Ange De Milon is a benchmark for our performance, given that they won the class in the last Fastnet Race, “ commented Darkwood’s Michael O'Donnell’s. “For this race they were always wily, and we spent the whole time looking over our shoulder. She was always in touch with us, right to the finish. Pelletier’s team are formidable competitors, and on corrected time, they only give us seven seconds an hour. I am sure they will be one of the boats giving us a tough battle for the big race. We look at the FAST40+ as well, and we are competitive in conditions were they can’t plane, probably 14 knots of wind. Our opportunity comes when it is a bit lighter, and this season has been light airs so far. We would not be at all upset if those conditions continued for the Fastnet Race. Having said all that, you need to sail the boat well. The RORC racing in the Spring was really useful, as we got out every sail, raced around plenty of corners, and all in a variety of conditions.”

Ross Applebey's Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster Photo: Rick Tomlinson/RORCRoss Applebey's Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster Photo: Rick Tomlinson/RORC

IRC TWO

Ross Applebey’s British Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster was the class winner. A terrific battle for second place was fought between two British JPK 11.80s. Ed Bell’s Dawn Treader won the duel by just 17 seconds after IRC time correction, from Thomas Kneen’s Sunrise, sailed by Tom Cheney. Sunrise leads IRC Two for the season, but with the discard race rule kicking in, Dawn Treader and Scarlet Oyster have closed the gap in the class prior to the Fastnet Race.

Henry Bomby & Sam Matson won IRC Three racing Sun Fast 3300 Swell Photo: Rick Tomlinson/RORCHenry Bomby & Sam Matson won IRC Three racing Sun Fast 3300 Swell Photo: Rick Tomlinson/RORC

IRC THREE

The Two-Handed pair of Henry Bomby & Sam Matson won IRC Three racing Sun Fast 3300 Swell. Mike Yates’ J/109 JAGO, racing Two-Handed with Eivind Bøymo-Malm, was runner-up, by just 26 seconds after IRC time correction. Third in class was Nick Martin’s Sun Fast 3600 Diablo. Nick Martin was racing Two-Handed with Calanach Finlayson and has moved up to fourth in IRC Three for the season.

The RORC Season’s Points Championship continues on Sunday the 8th of August with the 49th edition of the Rolex Fastnet Race. Starting from the RYS Line Cowes, about 400 boats will set off on the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s flagship offshore race

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The Royal Ocean Racing Club Season’s Points Championship continues with the Channel Race, which will start on Saturday, July 24th from the RYS Line, Cowes. 80 boats have entered the non-stop overnight race with the majority of the fleet expected to finish the race in about 24 hours. The Channel Race is the ninth race of the RORC Season’s Points Championship with an international fleet racing under IRC and Class40 Rules. The Channel Race is the final RORC race before the main event of the season, the 2021 Rolex Fastnet Race.

Favourites for Line Honours and the Hugh Astor Trophy will be racing in IRC Zero. David Collins' Botin IRC 52 Tala took line honours and IRC Zero for the Channel Race in 2019. Eric de Turckheim’s NMYD54 Teasing Machine, second in 2019, will be Tala’s main opposition. Lance Shepherd’s Volvo Open 70 Telefonica Black and Ross Hobson’s Open 50 Pegasus Of Northumberland, will hope for strong reaching conditions to be first to cross the finish line. Jean Pierre Dreau’s Mylius 60 Lady First 3 will be racing with his team from Marseille, France. 

Greg Leonard’s Kite and Manic skippered by Brian Thompson will duel for Class40 honours.   Greg Leonard’s Kite and Manic skippered by Brian Thompson will duel for Class40 honours. Photo: Rick Tomlinson

Michael O’Donnell’s J/121 Darkwood Photo: Paul Wyeth

IRC ONE

Michael O’Donnell’s J/121 Darkwood leads IRC One for the 2021 RORC Season’s Points Championship and is a contender for the overall title. Darkwood will be defending the Channel Challenge Cup, as overall winners in 2019. Ed Fishwick’s GP42 Redshift is second in class for the 2021 season, and with a good result in the Channel Race, could take the lead from Darkwood. RORC Commodore James Neville, racing HH42 Ino XXX, will be in a confident mood after winning the Cowes Dinard St Malo Race overall. Mark Emerson’s A13 Phosphorus II, and Andrew Hall’s Lombard 46 Pata Negra, will both be racing and looking to improve their points tally for the season. The Tall Ships Youth Trust has two entries. The 72ft Challenger Yachts will be skippered by Michael Miller and Sue Geary. Teams from overseas include, Jacques Pelletier’s French Milon 41 L'Ange De Milon, winner of IRC One in the 2019 Rolex Fastnet, and Steven Verstraete’s Belgian Sydney 43 Morpheus.

Thomas Kneen’s JPK 1180 Sunrise Photo: Rick TomlinsonThomas Kneen’s JPK 1180 Sunrise Photo: Rick Tomlinson

IRC TWO

The overall leader of the 2021 RORC Season’s Points Championship will be racing. Thomas Kneen’s JPK 1180 Sunrise is the clear leader by over 100 points. However, Ed Bell’s JPK 1180 Dawn Treader has scored one less race for the season and is very likely to close the gap after the Channel Race. The same mathematics is true for Ross Applebey’s Scarlet Oyster. Five Beneteau First 40s will be in action including three entries from Sailing Logic: Lancelot II sailed by James Davies, Merlin sailed by Simon Zavad with CSORC, and Arthur sailed by Jim Bennett. Promocean’s First 40 Hoeoca Sfida and Susan Glenny’s First 40 Olympia's Tigress will also be in the mix. Teams from the Netherlands, both racing Two-Handed are J/122e Moana, sailed by Frans van Cappelle & Michelle Witsenburg and JPK 1180 Il Corvo, sailed by Roeland Franssens & Astrid de Vin. Benedikt Clauberg’s Swiss First 47.7 Kali will be taking part in their sixth RORC race of the season.

Gavin Howe's Sun Fast 3600 Tigris Photo: Paul WyethGavin Howe's Sun Fast 3600 Tigris Photo: Paul Wyeth

IRC THREE

23 teams are expected to be racing in IRC Three, including many teams racing Two-Handed. Fully crewed entries include Trevor Middleton’s Sun Fast 3600 Black Sheep. Skippered by Jake Carter, Black Sheep is the leading fully crewed team in IRC Three. Five fully crewed J/109s will continue their close rivalry for the season. Kevin Armstrong’s Jazzy Jellyfish is leading the J/109s for 2021 ahead of Mojo Risin' skippered by Rob Cotterill.

IRC TWO-HANDED

28 teams are entered racing Two-Handed, the majority racing in IRC Three and Four, the top two double handers for the season so far will be in action. Rob Craigie’s Sun Fast 3600 Bellino, racing with Deb Fish, is less than ten points ahead of James Harayda’s Sun Fast 3300 Gentoo, racing with Dee Caffari. Two Sun Fast 3600s are battling for third for the season. Gavin Howe’s Tigris, racing with Maggie Adamson, is 13 points ahead of Nick Martin’s Diablo, racing with Calanach Finlayson. Two-Handed teams from France include Max Mesnil & Hugo Feydit racing J/99 Axe Sail, and Gilles Courbon & David Guyonvarch racing First Class 10 Shortgood.

Stuart Greenfield’s S&S 34 Morning After Photo: James TomlinsonStuart Greenfield’s S&S 34 Morning After Photo: James Tomlinson

IRC FOUR

Sun Fast 3200 Cora sailed Two-Handed by Tim Goodhew & Kelvin Matthews is leading the class for the season. Cora will be looking to hold off a spirited challenge for the series from Stuart Greenfield’s S&S 34 Morning After, also sailed Two-Handed with Louise Clayton. 20 teams are entered in IRC Four including Gavin Doyle’s Irish Corby 25 Duff Lite and Pierre Legoupil’s French classic Le Loup Rouge Of Cmn.

Yachts taking part in the Channel Race will start to gather off Cowes Parade from around 1000 on Saturday 24th July. The full entry list and AIS tracking link can be found at https://yb.tl/channel2021 and also via smartphones with the YB App. 

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With less than a month before the start of the 2021 Rolex Fastnet Race, IRC Three boasts the largest class competing with 88 teams entered from at least 10 different countries. IRC Three has a cornucopia of boat designs, mainly raced by amateur crews. However, amongst these Corinthian sailors is a rich vein of world class professionals, especially racing in the Two-Handed discipline. In recent editions, IRC Three has produced two overall winners of the race - Pascal and Alexis Loison racing Two-Handed with Night and Day (2013) and Gery Trentesaux’s fully-crewed Courrier Du Leon (2015).

Two-Handed Warriors

The vast majority of the 2021 Fastnet Race’s IRC Two-Handed teams will be racing in IRC Three. The double-handed discipline has become hugely popular, almost doubling in the number of entries over the last decade. The 49th edition is set to eclipse the 64 entries in the 2019 race.

2013 was a golden edition for the father and son duo, Pascal and Alexis Loison, racing JPK 1010 Night and Day to overall victory. Alexis Loison’s success continued in 2019 with JPK 1030 Léon. Racing with the boat’s builder Jean Pierre Kelbert, Léon was the winner of IRC Three and IRC Two-Handed. Léon was leading the Two-Handed Class by 17 minutes at the Fastnet Rock but won the class by nearly five hours by the finish. “After the Rock we had strong reaching conditions with big seas,” recalls Alexis Loison. “With the A5 spinnaker up we were surfing at 19 knots and by the time we reached the Scilly Isles we were with IRC One!”

For the 2021 edition, Alexis will race Léon with a rising star. Guillaume Pirouelle excelled in the 470 Class, won the Tour de France à la voile, and was selected to skipper Region Normandie in the Figaro Class. Should the pair taste success in this year’s race, the two Normans will undoubtedly receive a hero’s welcome in Alexis’ home port of Cherbourg.

“We don’t think about the finish; all of our effort is put into preparing Léon for the race,” continued Alex. “The competition in the Two-Handed Class is very strong from the British Sun Fast teams and like Léon, they will be very fast in strong reaching conditions.”

Past winner, Alexis Loison will race Léon with Guillaume Pirouelle in IRC Three Photo: Carlo Borlenghi/RolexPast winner, Alexis Loison will race Léon with Guillaume Pirouelle in IRC Three Photo: Carlo Borlenghi/Rolex

British Two-Handed teams competing for glory in IRC Three include the leading team for the class in the 2021 RORC Season’s Points Championship. Rob Craigie’s Sun Fast 3600 Bellino, racing with Deb Fish. Bellino’s best Fastnet Race to date was 2017 with a third in both classes. Between them, Rob and Deb have competed in 18 races.

“We're as always excited by the pinnacle race of the season,” commented Deb Fish. “It's a fascinating course with lots of challenges for the navigator and we have already started analysing the tides and strategies for passing Alderney for the new course. We would love to do better than our 2017 result, but that will be a tall order with the influx of boats and talent into the class.”

A new Two-Handed pairing this year and proven race winners are James Harayda and Dee Caffari racing Sun Fast 3300 Gentoo. Dee has vast offshore experience, including the Volvo Ocean Race, six Round the World races, the Vendée Globe, and was the first woman to sail solo, non-stop around the world in both directions. James competed in 2019 on Gallivanter and is looking forward to the new course and tactical decisions that come with it. “I love the race for the adventure, excitement and challenge and am looking forward to the new finish destination of Cherbourg,” said Harayda.

Henry Bomby and Shirley Robertson will be racing Sun Fast 3300 Swell in the Rolex Fastnet Race. Henry was second in the Two-Handed Class in 2019, racing Fastrak XI with Hannah Diamond. Four times Figaro sailor Henry Bomby also competed in the last Volvo Ocean Race and this will be his fifth Rolex Fastnet Race. Shirley Robertson was the first British woman to claim consecutive gold medals in the Olympics. This will be Shirley’s third race, but she is under no illusion that it will be a very different experience, racing doublehanded in the Fastnet Race for the first time.

2015 Two-Handed winners Kelvin Rawlings and Stuart Childerley will be racing Kelvin’s Sun Fast 3300 Aries. Kelvin is an amateur sailor with decades of big boat racing success. Stuart is a two-time Etchells World Champion and double-Olympian. Stuart will be racing after returning from the Tokyo Games where he is Race Officer for the Finn Class. The Aries crew has a combined age of 126 years. Earlier in the 2021 season, Aries put in a winning performance beating both Bellino and Gentoo. "It’s all down to Stuart Childerley, I am only the labourer on the bow!" joked Rawlings. "Our aim is to win by sailing as best and as hard as we can. I enjoy every second of it.”

Veteran racer Alex Bennett will be racing Two-Handed with fellow pro-sailor, Conrad Humphreys in his 1984 Swan 46 Ginny B. The British teams accolades run off the page with Bennett excelling in the Mini Transat and Class40 arena, whilst Humphreys’ success includes winning skipper in the BT Global Challenge and completing the Vendée Globe.

“The challenge is always bigger when you go shorthanded and it offers the greatest challenge over this kind of course,” says Bennett, who is in awe of the IRC Two-Handed fleet. “It is huge - like the Mini Transat fleet in terms of numbers.” Bennett first sailed the Fastnet Race in 1995, when, aged 19, he led the Fastnet Youth Challenge to second place in class aboard a Sigma 36.”

Rob Craigie and Deb Fish will compete Two-Handed on Sun Fast 3600 Bellino Rob Craigie and Deb Fish will compete Two-Handed on Sun Fast 3600 Bellino Photo: James Tomlinson  


James Harayda and Dee Caffari racing Sun Fast 3300 GentooJames Harayda and Dee Caffari racing Sun Fast 3300 Gentoo © James Tomlinson

Team Bomby/Robertson: Henry Bomby and Shirley Robertson on Sun Fast 3300 Swell in the Rolex Fastnet RaceTeam Bomby/Robertson: Henry Bomby and Shirley Robertson on Sun Fast 3300 Swell in the Rolex Fastnet Race Photo: Paul Wyeth

 2015 Two-Handed winners Kelvin Rawlings and Stuart Childerley will be racing Kelvin’s Sun Fast 3300 Aries2015 Two-Handed winners Kelvin Rawlings and Stuart Childerley will be racing Kelvin’s Sun Fast 3300 Aries Photo: Paul Wyeth

Fully Crewed Internationals

Over half of the teams racing in IRC Three for the Rolex Fastnet Race will be competing with a full crew. With team rotation and all hands on deck for manoeuvres, these teams can push their boats harder for longer than their doublehanded adversaries. Whilst the Two-Handed favourites come from France and Great Britain, there is a rich diversity of nationalities racing fully crewed with British and French teams joined by crews from Belgium, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Russia and the United States.

This will be the fourth Rolex Fastnet Race in a row for the Black Sheep crew. Trevor Middleton bought the Sun Fast 3600 from new to win the 2019 RORC Season’s Championship overall. “Always nice to round the Rock and I’m looking forward to seeing what the different route is like,” commented Middleton. The Rolex Fastnet Race is always a ‘must do race’ on the calendar. We like the bigger races, Rolex Fastnet, RORC Caribbean 600, Rolex Middle Sea etc. The most difficult part is getting to the start line with everything ready and prepared, but the race is simply a classic which will be hard to miss when the time comes to stop racing. I will be competing with a crew of friends who have sailed together for a while, skippered by Jake Carter.”

One of the fancied French teams, racing fully crewed in IRC Three, will be Louis-Marie Dussere’s JPK 1080 Raging-Bee², which will be racing to their home port of Cherbourg. Racing Raging-Bee² raced Two-Handed in the 2019 edition and was third in class. The fully crewed Raging-Bee² was in fine form for the recent Cowes-Dinard-St Malo Race, winning IRC Three. “It is wonderful to race again in Cowes and see all our English friends on the starting line,” commented Dussere. “We know that we are very good upwind against the top competition, so, we hope there will be a lot of upwind components to the race.”

The fourth Rolex Fastnet Race for 2019 RORC Season’s Points Championship winners - Trevor Middleton's Sun Fast 3600 Black Sheep Photo: Paul WyethThe fourth Rolex Fastnet Race for 2019 RORC Season’s Points Championship winners - Trevor Middleton's Sun Fast 3600 Black Sheep Photo: Paul Wyeth 

Racing fully crewed in IRC Three back to their home port of Cherbourg will be Louis-Marie Dussere’s JPK 1080 Raging-Bee² Photo: Paul WyethRacing fully crewed in IRC Three back to their home port of Cherbourg will be Louis-Marie Dussere’s JPK 1080 Raging-Bee² Photo: Paul Wyeth

Denis Murphy and Royal Cork Yacht Club Rear Admiral, Annamarie Fegan will be racing Irish Grand Soleil 40 Nieulargo for the Fastnet Race. The tactician will be one of Ireland’s top sailors, Nicholas O’Leary, who has competed in three races, including doublehanded with Alex Thomson on IMOCA60 HUGO BOSS. The Nieulargo crew includes 21-year-old Harry Durcan, a champion Optimist, Laser and 29er sailor, and Killian Collins who represented Ireland in the 2004 Olympic Games.

“All of the crew are from Cork, including Denis’ two daughters Mia and Molly who are the principal drivers, and bow woman extraordinaire, Cliodhna Connolly,” commented Nicholas. “We had a good result winning the Dun Laoghaire Dingle Race overall this year, to add to a win in the Dun Laoghaire to Cork race in 2020. Nieulargo will be proudly representing the Royal Cork Yacht Club and as always, it will be a special moment in the race when we round the Fastnet Rock.”

Fifteen J/109 teams have entered the Fastnet Race for the J/109 Trophy, 12 will be racing in IRC Three. One of the fancied performers in the J/109s will be Mike Yates’ JAGO, racing Two-Handed with Eivind Bøymo-Malm. This will be Mike Yates’ first Fastnet Race after 30 years of racing, which includes winning the Commodores’ Cup (way back when), Etchells, Ultras, Skiffs, Mumm30, Ton-class racing, as well as various transatlantics. Yates is also aiming for a top 10 in the Two-Handed class.

Six classic design yachts have entered the Fastnet Race in IRC Three, including Robert Nichols’ Swan 48 Snow Wolf, Ben Morris’ Swan 55 yawl Lulotte and Swan 48 Dantes sailed by Michael Orgzey. Hiroshi Nakajima’s American S&S 49 Hiro Maru is a one-off aluminium yacht designed in 1969 for the original owner Chuck Kirsch. In 2019, Hiro, with his all-amateur Corinthian crew, sailed to victory in the Transatlantic Race, taking first in class for the 3,200nm race.

Denis Murphy and Royal Cork YC Rear Admiral, Annamarie Fegan will be racing Irish Grand Soleil 40 Nieulargo, with tactician Nicholas O’Leary Photo: Afloat.ieDenis Murphy and Royal Cork YC Rear Admiral, Annamarie Fegan will be racing Irish Grand Soleil 40 Nieulargo, with tactician Nicholas O’Leary Photo: Afloat.ie

One of the fancied performers in the J/109s will be Mike Yates’ JAGO, racing Two-Handed with Eivind Bøymo-Malm Photo: Rick TomlinsonOne of the fancied performers in the J/109s will be Mike Yates’ JAGO, racing Two-Handed with Eivind Bøymo-Malm Photo: Rick Tomlinson

Hiroshi Nakajima’s American S&S 49 Hiro Maru is a one-off aluminium yacht designed in 1969 Photo: Rick TomlinsonHiroshi Nakajima’s American S&S 49 Hiro Maru is a one-off aluminium yacht designed in 1969 Photo: Rick Tomlinson

The myriad of boat designs and crews racing in IRC Three mirrors the character of theFastnet Race. From its inception in 1925, the race has proven highly influential in the growth of offshore racing and remains closely linked to advances in yacht design and sailing technique. As always, the winner of the class will be the team that sails a near perfect race. The weather then decides if the class winner will win the Fastnet Race overall, but with recent winners of the race coming from IRC Three, this class will be one to watch.

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Among many hot boats in IRC Two will be the JPK 1180, big brother to the JPK 10.10 Night and Day and 10.80 Courrier Du Leon, which won the Rolex Fastnet Races in 2013 and 2015 respectively. This year five of those potent IRC performers are entered in the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s premier event: Eric Fries' Fastwave 6 and Richard Fromentin's Cocody from France, Astrid de Vin's Il Corvo from the Netherlands and from the UK, Ed Bell's Dawn Treader and Thomas Kneen's Sunrise.

Veteran of the Volvo Ocean Race, Dave Swete is sailing master on board Sunrise this season. The Hamble-based Kiwi professional is looking forward to sailing with her young crew, who earlier this season finished third from 112 finishers in the RORC’s Myth of Malham Race, covering the first part of the Rolex Fastnet Race race course down to the Eddystone Lighthouse. Owner Tom Kneen is only 36 and many of his crew are part of the RORC’s long term initiative to develop racing for Under 35s, run by the club’s Griffin Committee. Swete sees great value in the programme: “In the UK I think there is a link that is missing between people who come out of university or school or out of dinghies and into keelboats.

“On Sunrise we have a youth crew who are all amateurs, apart from me, and up and coming sailors who might make a career out of it. We have three girls on board – in fact, I don’t know a Performance 40 that doesn’t have a girl on board. It is quite an inclusive class like that.” (Swete is also Class Manager for the Performance 40 class, which straddles IRC One and Two in the Rolex Fastnet Race.

Eric Fries and his crew on Fastwave 6 are seen as quiet favourites for winning IRC Two, a dark horse to watch out for in this fiercely contested class. Under her former guise of Adam Gosling’s Yes!, Dawn Treader was a proven performer and Ed Bell continues to campaign her very seriously.

Tom Kneen's JPK 1180 Sunrise - helping to foster offshore sailing opportunities for under 35sTom Kneen's JPK 1180 Sunrise - helping to foster offshore sailing opportunities for under 35s Photo: Rick Tomlinson

Just as serious, but always with a smile on their faces, are the crew of Richard Fromentin’s Cocody. Crewman Nicolas Dupard comments: “Our main goal is to win on corrected time in our class. At least we are aiming for a top three! In the end, the most important thing for us is to have done the most to achieve our goal, even if we've not won the race.

“We are all good friends, and we are pretty sure that if we’ve done our best, we will have a lot of fun on this fantastic race. As a private joke, we call ourselves “Cocody’s Rangers” - and a Ranger never gives up! Do not hesitate to inform our competitors! Also, we noticed that Rolex Fastnet Race ‘RFR’ could be the ‘Richard Fromentin Race’! Maybe it will bring us luck for this year.”

Bringing a huge amount of experience from competing in the previous six Rolex Fastnet Races is Nicolas Loday and Jean Claude Nicoleau’s Grand Soleil 43 Codiam. Their track record includes IRC One victories in 2009 and 2011 and overall finishes of tenth and seventh in 2017 and 2011 respectively.

The J Boat family will be out in force for the Rolex Fastnet Race and are well represented in IRC Two. Stuart Lawrence and his crew on the J/120 Scream 2 have been making a noise in JOG races this season. If the wind direction sets up the course for a reach to the Rock and back, Lawrence & Co. will have a scream on corrected time.

Of the J/111s lining up in this division, pick of the bunch is probably SL Energies skippered by Laurent Charmy, who finished third overall under IRC in last season’s Drheam Cup.

Corinne Migraine co-owns the successful J/133 Pintia with her father Gilles Fournier. This family team are very long-term supporters of RORC races and fare very well in them too - this year’s second place overall in the Myth of Malham being a perfect example. Fournier is proud of his family line-up on board. “I sail with my daughter Corinne, my grandson Victor Migraine and my two nephews - Yan and Thomas Fournier. We are all from the Société des Régates du Havre, the best sailing school in France.”

Seventh Rolex Fastnet Race for Nicolas Loday and Jean Claude Nicoleau - Grand Soleil 43 CodiamSeventh Rolex Fastnet Race for Nicolas Loday and Jean Claude Nicoleau - Grand Soleil 43 Codiam Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo

J/111 SL Energies skippered by Laurent CharmyJ/111 SL Energies skippered by Laurent Charmy Photo: Paul Wyeth

Another French family with a long and strong association with the Rolex Fastnet Race are the Catherineaus. Back in that fateful year of 1979, Alain Catherineau risked his life coming to the rescue of seven sailors on board the RORC’s youth training yacht Griffin, skippered by Stuart Quarrie. For his efforts, he was voted the YJA Yachtsman of the Year for 1979. Despite that bruising experience, he continues to come back to the race and with great competitive spirit. Skippered by his daughter Marie, and with his other daughter Anne-Sophie on board, the J/122 Lorelei has won the RORC’s La Trinité Race and will be a serious contender in IRC Two.

Sistership to Lorelei, British skipper Andy Theobald’s J/122 R&W is another serious player in this class. Theobald loves to bring in employees from his R&W civil engineering business to share the pleasures and challenges of offshore racing with him. Another to watch will be Christopher Daniel’s J/122e Juno, the 2019 Champion in the Performance 40 class.

Several ‘modern classic’ yachts from the 1960s and 1970s are competing in the race. Among them is the Nicholson 55, Eager, owned by yacht broker Chris Cecil-Wright and skippered by RORC Committee member Richard Powell. Eager was the first Nicholson 55 to be launched when she was known as the Lloyd’s of London Yacht Club’s Lutine until she was sold in 1999. The yacht has since undergone a massive rebuild and modernisation, including the fitting of a much-enlarged sail plan based around a carbon spar, a new rudder, deck, deck layout and superstructure, and complete interior, layout and systems. Expect Eager to be well sailed and very competitive in IRC 2, as several stars of the INEOS Team UK America’s Cup crew are expected to step on board for the ride.

Richard Powell's Nicholson 55 Eager - one of several ‘modern classic’ yachts from the 1960s and 1970s competing in the Rolex Fastnet Race Photo: Paul WyethRichard Powell's Nicholson 55 Eager - one of several ‘modern classic’ yachts from the 1960s and 1970s competing in the Rolex Fastnet Race Photo: Paul Wyeth

A few latter-day America’s Cup veterans, such as Paul Standbridge will also be on Desperado of Cowes, the Swan 65 ketch owned since 1986 by Richard Loftus. For this year’s race Loftus’ crew has an average age of 65 to compete with him in his tenth Rolex Fastnet Race. Over the years Loftus has enjoyed success with Desperado, notably in 1989 when his heavyweight ketch and upwind weapon won CHS overall. Desperado also enjoyed the breezy 2007 race, when they found themselves well in the lead at the Fastnet Rock under corrected time, only to be overhauled downwind on the way back. Nonetheless, the Swan 65 still finished 7th overall under IRC. 

Even older than Desperado, but almost identical under IRC rating, is Refanut. This 63ft Sparkman & Stephens design was built in Stockholm in 1955, originally for Swedish banker and industrialist Jacob Wallenberg. She is now being campaigned by his grandson Fredrik Wallenburg who can’t wait to get going on his second assault on the Rolex Fastnet Race. “Our first was in 2015. Now, as then, it is still a bucket list race for most of the crew.” Refanut has been raced extensively since her launch in 2015, mostly in the Baltic (the Gotland Runt race being the annual tradition), but she’s also had some success in the Mediterranean, as well as in Newport, Rhode Island.

“The crew is a mixture of my friends (around 50) and my younger brothers group (30 or so). I’d love to call it brains and brawn, but the biggest brawn is in my group and there is no telling where the brains are!” Fredrik and his brother Peder are passionate about continuing to race Refanut. Other notables on the crew are the former Commodore of the Royal Swedish Yacht Club, Staffan Salén, and the owner/helmsman of Team Inga from Sweden, Richard Göransson.”

A family affair on the 1955 Sparkman & Stephens Refanut - Fredrik Wallenberg is campaigning the boat built for his GrandfatherA family affair on the 1955 Sparkman & Stephens Refanut - Fredrik Wallenberg is campaigning the boat built for his Grandfather

One of the biggest ‘races within a race’ will be between the 18 First 40s competing, most falling within the minimum 1.070 IRC TCC limit for the Performance 40 class. Many are making the trip to Cowes from different corners of Europe. Gianrocco Catalano and his Italian crew on Mon Ile Tevere Remo enjoy good results in the Mediterranean including an overall IRC victory in the 151 Miglia-Trofeo Cetilar race. Håkan Grönvall, from the Royal Swedish Yacht Club (KSSS) is bringing his First 40 C-Me the 1,200 nautical miles from Stockholm to compete.

Alexander Vodovatov, the head of Russian offshore racing club, SeaVentus, is chartering the First 40, Zada, having previously chartered a Farr 50 for the 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race, followed by a J/122 in 2019. “For my club this will be the fifth time in the Rolex Fastnet Race,” said Vodovatov. “We respect this race. We know its history and traditions, and we never miss an opportunity to compete in this legendary race.”

Finally, another strong IRC Two contender will be serial RORC entrant Ross Applebey’s Scarlet Oyster, whose family has been campaigning their Oyster Lightwave 48 continuously for 30 years. During this time they have racked up numerous race wins and class victories in notably the Rolex Fastnet Race and RORC Caribbean 600. In 2019, Scarlet Oyster won overall both the gnarly De Guingand Bowl and the Cowes-Dinard-St Malo. This year, at the time of writing, Applebey’s red flyer is sitting third in IRC Two in the RORC’s 2021 Seasons Point Championship behind Sunrise and Dawn Treader.

Ross Applebey’s Oyster Lightwave 48 Scarlet Oyster has racked up numerous race wins and class victories notably in the Rolex Fastnet Race and RORC Caribbean 600 Photo: ELWJ PhotosRoss Applebey’s Oyster Lightwave 48 Scarlet Oyster has racked up numerous race wins and class victories notably in the Rolex Fastnet Race and RORC Caribbean 600 Photo: ELWJ Photos

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120 boats competed in the 2021 Cowes Dinard St Malo Race. The historic race which dates back to 1906, was won overall by RORC Commodore James Neville’s HH42 Ino XXX. Ed Bell’s JPK 1180 Dawn Treader was second and Ed Fishwick’s GP42 Redshift was third. In the modern era, James Neville is the first RORC Commodore in office to win the King Edward VII Cup.

“Some amazing sailors have been Commodore of the RORC, so this is a proud achievement,” commented James. “We got a fantastic start and held onto Teasing Machine up the Solent. It was a challenging race for the navigator Coriolan (Rousselle), especially to judge how far west we could go to hedge our bets with the tide. Then when the wind went very unstable, we stuck to our plan and cracked off for speed. The tactic worked as we were lifted to get ahead of Redshift. We are really happy about our performance because light winds beating is not really our best conditions, it is not what we are set up for, but we really played our hand very well.”

Line Honours for the MOCRA Class was taken by Francis Joyon’s IDEC. Line Honours for monohulls ,and winner of IRC Zero, was Eric de Turckheim’s NMYD54 Teasing Machine. Congratulations to all the class winners: Nicolas Jossier’s Class40 La Manche #EvidenceNautique, Ed Bell’s JPK 1180 Dawn Treader, Louis-Marie Dussere’s JPK 1080 Raging-Bee², and Elizabeth Wallis’ Albin Express, Expressly Forbidden.

Full Results here

By the morning of the race, 40 French and Dutch boats had sailed to Cowes to compete. On receiving YB Trackers delivered by RORC RIB, all of the overseas teams were delighted by the warm RORC welcome. The club was equally delighted that so many overseas sailors teams had made the effort in these unusual times.

The 150 nautical mile race started off the Squadron Line in brilliant sunshine and light airs. Race fans enjoyed a spectacular view from Cowes, as the majority of the fleet started on the island shore as the tide began to turn favourably to the west. A building south-westerly breeze arced up the boats in the Western Solent for an impressive send-off past The Needles and into the English Channel. Conditions offshore were extremely unstable, the prevailing wind was a light southerly, but the fleet experienced significant changes in wind strength and direction, which coupled with strong tide provided a complex conundrum. Managing the changing conditions was rewarded with a top performance.

 Francis Joyon’s IDEC and Yves Le Blevec’s Ultim Actual, sailed by Ronan DehayesFrancis Joyon’s IDEC and Yves Le Blevec’s Ultim Actual, sailed by Ronan Dehayes Photo: Paul Wyeth/RORC

MOCRA Class

Francis Joyon’s IDEC and Yves Le Blevec’s Ultim Actual, sailed by Ronan Dehayes, had an extraordinary dial up for the start of the race. The two giant trimarans circled each other match racing for position. Actual seemed to win the start, racing to windward of IDEC in a controlling position. IDEC was just ahead of Actual at The Needles and eventually pulled away. A westerly breeze kicked in as IDEC rounded the Casquets, ramping up the trimaran to over 20 knots of boat speed. IDEC took Multihull Line Honours and the win in the MOCRA Class. Andrew Fennell’s Morpheus was the third to finish and second in the MOCRA Class. James Holder’s Dazcat 1295 Slinky Malinki completed the MOCRA podium.

Eric de Turckheim’s NMYD54 Teasing Machine and Ultim Actual cross tacks at the startEric de Turckheim’s NMYD54 Teasing Machine and Ultim Actual Photo: Paul Wyeth/RORC

 IRC One Start at the RYS Line CowesIRC One Start at the RYS Line Cowes Photo: Paul Wyeth

IRC One

RORC Commodore James Neville’s HH42 Ino XXX and Ed Fishwick’s GP42 Redshift had yet another close battle in IRC One. Ino XXX eventually winning the class by approximately five minutes after time correction. David Cummins’ Ker 39 Rumbleflurg was the early leader but finished third in class, just ahead after time correction of Mark Emerson’s A13 Phosphorus II.

For the RORC Season’s Points Championship, Michael O'Donnell’s J/121 Darkwood retains the class lead from Redshift. Andrew Hall’s Lombard 46 Pata Negra is third.

Ed Bell’s JPK 1180 Dawn Treader. © Paul Wyeth/RORCEd Bell’s JPK 1180 Dawn Treader. © Paul Wyeth/RORC

IRC Two

Ed Bell’s JPK 1180 Dawn Treader was the winner, scoring an impressive victory over Thomas Kneen’s JPK 1180 Sunrise by nearly two hours after time correction. Dawn Treader was very close to winning the race overall, just over two minutes behind Ino XXX after time correction. Christopher Daniel’s J/122e was third in IRC Three.

For the RORC Season’s Points Championship, Sunrise is still the overall and IRC Two Class leader. Dawn Treader is second in both overall and class.

Louis-Marie Dussere’s JPK 1080 Raging-Bee²Louis-Marie Dussere’s JPK 1080 Raging-Bee². © Paul Wyeth/RORC

IRC Three

Louis-Marie Dussere’s JPK 1080 Raging-Bee² was the first boat in class to finish and was the winner in IRC Three after time correction. Mike Yates’ J/109 JAGO, racing Two-Handed with Eivind Bøymo-Malm, was second and Noel Racine’s JPK 1030 Foggy Dew was third.

“I have always wanted to win class in the St Malo Race, but this is the first time I have achieved that,” smiled Louis-Marie Dussere. “We know that Raging-Bee² is a good boat for upwind but so is the J/109 JAGO. Noel Racine (Foggy Dew) is a good friend ashore but a fantastic enemy offshore. So, we are really happy with this win, and it has been wonderful to race with the RORC again. At Les Hanois, I think we were about fifth, but the wind disappeared, and we had a re-start. Raging-Bee² put in a really good finish, and to be honest the wind stopped again just after we crossed the line. This was a great race against really good opposition.”

For the RORC Season’s Points Championship in IRC Three and IRC Two Handed, Rob Craigie’s Sun Fast 3600 Bellino, racing with Deb Fish, is the new leader. James Harayda’s Sun Fast 3300 Gentoo, racing with Dee Caffari, is second, and Gavin Howe’s Sun Fast 3600 Tigris, racing with Maggie Adamson, is third.

IRC Three start at the RYS Line Cowes. © Paul Wyeth/RORCIRC Three start at the RYS Line Cowes. © Paul Wyeth/RORC

IRC Two Handed

31 teams started the race in IRC Two Handed Elizabeth Wallis racing her Albin Express Expressly Forbidden with Bryn Phillips, revelled in the light upwind conditions to win by approximately seven minutes after IRC time correction from Mike Yates’ J/109 JAGO. Tim Goodhew & Kelvin Matthews, racing Sun Fast 3200 Cora was third. Elizabeth Wallis and Bryn Phillips are both under thirty and taking part in their first RORC race of the season. Expressly Forbidden, with an overall length of 25ft was the smallest boat in the race.

120 boats compete in the Cowes-Dinard-St Malo Race. © Paul Wyeth/RORC120 boats compete in the Cowes-Dinard-St Malo Race. © Paul Wyeth/RORC

IRC Four

Expressly Forbidden was the winner with Cora second. Jonathan Rolls' Swan 38 Xara had an excellent race following on from the overall win for the De Guingand Bowl. Xara was third in class for the St Malo Race. The classic yawl Amokura, sailed by Paul Moxon & Steve Jones, was the last boat to finish the race. With great tenacity, the team did not waiver from their goal to finish the race, taking nearly two and a half days to complete the course.

For the RORC Season’s Points Championship, Cora leads IRC Four by just over five points from Stuart Greenfield’s S&S 34 Morning After with Xara third. 

The Royal Ocean Racing Club Season’s Points Championship continues with The Channel Race, scheduled to start on Saturday 24th July. 

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The Royal Ocean Racing Club's Season's Points Championship continues this weekend with a spectacular fleet of over 130 boats of all shapes and sizes, racing from Cowes to St Malo. The 151 nautical mile race is steeped in history, pre-dating the Royal Ocean Racing Club by almost 20 years. The overall winner under IRC will be awarded the magnificent King Edward VII Cup, presented by the British Monarch in 1906. Two of the world’s fastest multihulls will be racing in the MOCRA Class, Francis Joyon’s IDEC and Yves Le Blevec’s Actual Ultim 3. The race will feature a fleet of Class40s racing with the RORC under class rules.

Francis Joyon’s IDEC is the reigning Jules Verne Trophy holder. © IDEC SPORT / ALEAFrancis Joyon’s IDEC is the reigning Jules Verne Trophy holder. © IDEC SPORT / ALEA

MOCRA Class

Francis Joyon’s IDEC is the reigning Jules Verne Trophy holder, having circumnavigated the world with his crew in 40 days 23 hours 30 minutes 30 seconds. Racing solo, Joyon has held all of the major offshore sailing records, including the fastest single-handed sailing circumnavigation from 2008 to 2016. Bernard Stamm will be on IDEC for the race - the Swiss sailor has recorded four round the world records and race wins. IDEC’s immediate competition for the race to St Malo will come from Yves Le Blevec’s Actual, which was sailed by François Gabart as Macif, setting the current world record for solo around the world. Whilst IDEC and Actual will be odds-on to take Multihull Line Honours, a total of five multihulls are entered for the Yachts and Yachting Cauldron for the best corrected time under the MOCRA rule.

Eric de Turkheim’s French NMYD54 Teasing Machine. © Rick Tomlinson/RORCEric de Turkheim’s French NMYD54 Teasing Machine. © Rick Tomlinson/RORC

IRC ZERO

The big boat division will race for the Lloyds of London Salver and will be favourites for the Sandison Memorial Salver for the first Monohull Yacht Home. After third in class for the Rolex Middle Sea Race, Eric de Turkheim’s French NMYD54 Teasing Machine will be in action for the second race of the championship. Volvo 70 Telefonica Black, Open 50 Pegasus of Northumberland, and the Mylius 60 Lady First 3, will be hoping for strong downwind conditions for the race.

Michael O'Donnell J/121 Darkwood. © Paul Wyeth/RORCMichael O'Donnell J/121 Darkwood. © Paul Wyeth/RORC

Didier Gaudoux’s JND 39 Lann Ael 2. © Paul Wyeth/RORCDidier Gaudoux’s JND 39 Lann Ael 2. © Paul Wyeth/RORC

IRC ONE

Seventeen teams, racing 17 different kinds of boat, will be looking to score the best corrected time under IRC for the Noryema Trophy. RORC Commodore James Neville, racing his HH42 Ino XXX is the top rated boat in class and was second overall in 2017. Ino’s immediate rival will be Ed Fishwick’s GP42 Redshift. Four French teams will be racing in IRC One including Didier Gaudoux’s JND 39 Lann Ael 2, overall winner of the 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race, and Jacques Pelletier’s Milon 41 L'Ange De Milon, winner of IRC One for the 2019 Rolex Fastnet Race. Irish owner/skipper Michael O'Donnell will be racing to retain the class lead for the 2021 season with J/121 Darkwood.

Ross Applebey's Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster. © Paul Wyeth/RORCRoss Applebey's Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster. © Paul Wyeth/RORC

IRC TWO

Twenty-five teams will be racing for the Yeoman Bowl including the current holder of the King Edward VII Trophy, Ross Applebey's Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster, which won the race overall in 2019. Six French teams will be racing including Pierre Sallenave’s X-442 Ster Wenn 5, the overall winner in 2018, and Francois Lognone’s MC34 Nutmeg Solidaire En Peloton, the overall winner in 2015. Eight Beneteau First 40s will enjoy a battle within the class, the majority will be crewed by paying guests under the guidance of professional charter skippers.

Swan 55 yawl Lulotte, skippered by Ben Morris. © Rick Tomlinson/RORCSwan 55 yawl Lulotte, skippered by Ben Morris. © Rick Tomlinson/RORC

IRC THREE

Forty-two teams will be racing for the Yacht Club de Dinard Trophy. About half of the boats racing in IRC Three will be racing Two-Handed. Fully crewed entries include seven J/109s having their own private battle. Seasoned competition includes Richard Oswald’s much travelled Elan 450 Emily of Cowes and the overall winner of the 2019 RORC Season's Points Championship, Trevor Middleton’s Sun Fast 3600 Black Sheep, skippered by Jake Carter. Top French opposition includes Louis-Marie Dussere’s JPK 1080 Raging-bee² and Noel Racine’s JPK 1030 Foggy Dew. The beautiful classic Swan 55 yawl Lulotte, skippered by Ben Morris, will also be racing.

Richard Palmer’s JPK 1010 Jangada, racing with Jeremy Waitt. © Rick Tomlinson/RORCRichard Palmer’s JPK 1010 Jangada, racing with Jeremy Waitt. © Rick Tomlinson/RORC

IRC TWO-HANDED

Forty-one teams have entered racing in IRC Two-Handed, the majority racing in IRC Three and Four. The largest short-handed fleet racing with the RORC since the 2019 Rolex Fastnet Race. Richard Palmer’s JPK 1010 Jangada, racing with Jeremy Waitt, is on for a hat trick of class victories, following triumphs in the Morgan Cup and De Guingand Bowl. However, competition in the class is so intense that Jangada is only third for the season. James Harayda’s Sun Fast 3300 Gentoo, racing with Dee Caffari, and Rob Craigie’s Bellino, racing with Deb Fish, are the two leading boats. Over a dozen teams from France will be racing, many making their RORC debuts of the season. Francois Moriceau was the Two-Handed champion for the race in 2019 and is back with a new JPK 1030 Mary-3. IRC Two Handed will be a fascinating encounter for this famous race.

J/109 Just So, sailed Two-Handed by William McGough & Christian Jeffery. © Rick Tomlinson/RORCJ/109 Just So, sailed Two-Handed by William McGough & Christian Jeffery. © Rick Tomlinson/RORC

IRC FOUR

34 teams have entered, racing for the IR Trophy. Jonathan Rolls’ Swan 38 Xara, overall winner of last month’s De Guingand Bowl Race, is one of a number of classic yachts competing. Six Sun Fast 3200 will be competing, as will the class leader for the season J/109 Just So, sailed Two-Handed by William McGough & Christian Jeffery. Eleven French teams have entered, including Emmanuel Pinteaux’s JPK 1010 Gioia, second in class for the 2019 Rolex Fastnet Race. The oldest boat among the impressive RORC fleet is Amokura, the 50ft yawl built by Moodys in 1939.

An optional return course has been organised by the RORC, especially for teams looking to gain additional race miles towards qualification for the 2021 Rolex Fastnet Race. Details can be found in the Sailing Instructions for the Cowes - Dinard - St Malo Race. All boats taking part in the race will gather off Cowes Parade from around 0900 on Friday 9th July.

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The Royal Ocean Racing Club’s (RORC) De Guingand Bowl Race started in light conditions, with the wind speed increasing later in the race to about 15 knots and veering south.

The top three boats overall were all racing in IRC Four. The overall winner was Jonathan Rolls’ classic S&S Swan 38 Xara.

Second overall was Chris Choules Sigma 38 With Alacrity. French JPK 10.10 Gioia, sailed by Etienne Pinteaux, was third.

In IRC Zero, David Collins Botin IRC 52 Tala took Line Honours for the race. 

Jonathan Rolls’ classic S&S Swan 38 Xara © Paul WyethJonathan Rolls’ classic S&S Swan 38 Xara © Paul Wyeth

“It was a funny old race, and I am sure the crew are very pleased, I think we are a bit lucky really,” commented Xara’s Jonathan Rolls. “We didn’t do anything particularly special to be honest. It was good fun, we are a bit knackered, but it seems that the conditions really suited Xara. I suspect we surprised one or two of the better boats. We are old fashioned amateurs, very definitely not professional, The crew are all family and friends, Tom (Rolls) is the navigator, and very good at it.”

Xara has a long history in the Fastnet Race, including surviving the tragic 1979 edition. In recent years, under the ownership of Jonathan Rolls, Xara has achieved the distinction of achieving Best Swan Overall in the 2017 and 2019 Rolex Fastnet Race.

“We intend to race with the RORC to St. Malo this July, and then the Fastnet this August. I am an ancient gentleman, but the crew look after the old man. For this race, I think that luck played its part, giving us fair winds and following seas.”

A light north easterly breeze freshened as the fleet passed PortsmouthA light north easterly breeze freshened as the fleet passed Portsmouth Photo: Paul Wyeth

The 114nm race started off the Squadron Line to the east on a favourable tide. A light north easterly breeze freshened as the fleet passed Portsmouth. Teams eased sails as they bore away south into the English Channel, where a cross-tide came into the strategy. Once past a virtual line of latitude, the RORC fleet hardened up for a 30 mile beat to Shoreham Outfall. A downwind leg back towards the Solent, following the setting sun, was followed by a manoeuvre-testing chicane, before finishing in the Solent at Mother Bank.

Full Results here

IRC ONE
Ed Fishwick’s GP42 Redshift took line honours and the class win from Rob Bottomley’s Mat 12 Sailplane. David Cummins’ Ker 39 Rumbleflurg, sailed by Harry Bradley, was just 77 seconds behind Sailplane after IRC time correction.

IRC TWO
Ross Applebey’s Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster was the class winner by just over three minutes after IRC time correction. The current overall leader for the RORC Season’s Points Championship, Thomas Kneen’s JPK 1180 Sunrise, was second in class. Ed Bell’s JPK 1180 Dawn Treader was third in class for the race. Capstan Sailing’s Skylander, skippered by Yuri Fadeev, won the battle of the First 40s, and placed fourth in class.

IRC THREE
James Harayda’s Sun Fast 3300 Gentoo, racing Two-Handed with Dee Caffari, was the class winner. Second was the full crew of the Army Sailing Association, racing Sun Fast 3600 Fujitsu British Soldier and skippered by Henry Foster. Rob Craigie’s Sun Fast 3600 Bellino, racing Two-Handed with Deb Fish, was third.

IRC TWO-HANDED
20 teams entered racing in IRC Two-Handed, the majority racing in IRC Three and Four. Richard Palmer’s JPK 10.10 Jangada chalked up another narrow victory. Sailing with Jeremy Waitt, Jangada beat Gentoo by 83 seconds after IRC time correction. Bellino was third. All three of these teams have now completed three races in the RORC Season’s Points Championship, with less than 19 points separating them.

Published in RORC

The Royal Ocean Racing Club Season’s Points Championship continues with the De Guingand Bowl Race, which will start on Saturday June 26th from the RYS Line, Cowes. The course will be 110-160 nautical miles around marks with a finish in the Solent or adjacent waters. 75 boats have entered the sixth race of the RORC Season’s Points Championship, racing under IRC and Class40 Rules.

Favourites for Line Honours include David Collins Botin IRC 52 Tala, VME Racing’s CM60 Venomous, skippered by James Gair, and Ed Fishwick’s GP42 Redshift. Class40s in action include Marc Lepesqueux’s Sensation, sailed by Eric Bredeka with and all French team and Greg Leonard’s all-American Kite, which will be crewed by the Leonard family.

Ed Fishwick’s GP42 Redshift © Rick Tomlinson/RORCEd Fishwick’s GP42 Redshift © Rick Tomlinson/RORC

IRC ONE

Redshift is the scratch boat in a 12-strong class. Mark Emerson’s A13 Phosphorus II will be defending their class win in 2019. Proven race winners in IRC One include: Andrew Hall’s Lombard 46 Pata Negra, Rob Bottomley’s Mat 12 Sailplane, and David Cummins’ Ker 39 Rumbleflurg as well as Michael O’Donnell’s J/121 Darkwood which leads IRC One for the 2021 RORC Season’s Points Championship.

Mark Emerson’s A13 Phosphorus II © Paul Wyeth/RORCMark Emerson’s A13 Phosphorus II © Paul Wyeth/RORC

Ross Applebey’s Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster © Paul Wyeth/RORCRoss Applebey’s Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster © Paul Wyeth/RORC

IRC TWO

14 are entered, including a number of teams from yacht charter companies. Ross Applebey’s Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster, overall winner of the De Guingand Bowl Race in 2019, will be racing. Six Beneteau First 40s will be in action including Ronan Banim’s Galahad Of Cowes, Capstan Sailing’s Skylander and three entries from Hamble based race training school, Sailing Logic: Lancelot II, Merlin and Arthur. Thomas Kneen’s JPK 1180 Sunrise is the overall leader for the 2021 RORC Season’s Points Championship and will continue their duel with Ed Bell’s JPK 1180 Dawn Treader.

Sailing Logic's First 40 Arthur © Paul Wyeth/RORCSailing Logic's First 40 Arthur © Paul Wyeth/RORC

IRC THREE

23 teams are expected to be racing in IRC Three, including many teams racing Two-Handed. Fully crewed entries include Trevor Middleton’s Sun Fast 3600 Black Sheep, skippered by Jake Carter. Six J/109s will be racing fully crewed, including the current leading J/109 for the season, Kevin Armstrong’s Jazzy Jellyfish. Rob Craigie’s Sun Fast 3600 Bellino, racing with Deb Fish, was the class winner for the race in 2019.

Trevor Middleton’s Sun Fast 3600 Black Sheep © Paul Wyeth/RORCTrevor Middleton’s Sun Fast 3600 Black Sheep © Paul Wyeth/RORC

Nigel Goodhew’s Sun Fast 3200 Cora © Rick Tomlinson/RORCNigel Goodhew’s Sun Fast 3200 Cora © Rick Tomlinson/RORC

IRC TWO-HANDED

20 teams are entered racing Two-Handed, the majority racing in IRC Three and Four. The top two teams for the season so far will be in action. James Harayda’s Sun Fast 3300 Gentoo, racing with Dee Caffari, and Rob Craigie’s Bellino. IRC Four season leader, Nigel Goodhew’s Sun Fast 3200 Cora will be racing with Mark Heuchan. Cora won IRC Four for the De Guingand Bowl in 2019. The current runner-up in IRC Four, William McGough & Christian Jeffery, will be racing J/109 Just So. Class winner for the Morgan Cup, Richard Palmer’s JPK 10.10 Jangada, will be in the action racing with Jeremy Waitt.

Jonathan Rolls’ Swan 38 Xara © Paul Wyeth/RORC

IRC FOUR CLASSICS

22 teams are entered in IRC Four, including a number of classic yachts: Mike Greville’s Bowman 44 Skadi, Giovanni Mazzocchi’s Swan 44 Ithaka, Stephen Brookson’s Swan 411 Kiswala, Jonathan Rolls’ Swan 38 Xara, and Stuart Greenfield’s S&S 34 Morning After. Three Contessa 32s will have their own private battle. Rob Windsor & Stephen Davies racing Colemere, Roger Shapland & Mark Himsworth racing ATV and Christophe Declercq racing Lecas.
Yachts taking part in the De Guingand Bowl Race will start to gather off Cowes Parade from around 0700 on Saturday 26th June. The full entry list and AIS tracking link can be found at https://yb.tl/dgbr2021 and also via smartphones with the YB App. Results will be available with live updates at www.rorc.org

Published in RORC
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About Dublin Port 

Dublin Port is Ireland’s largest and busiest port with approximately 17,000 vessel movements per year. As well as being the country’s largest port, Dublin Port has the highest rate of growth and, in the seven years to 2019, total cargo volumes grew by 36.1%.

The vision of Dublin Port Company is to have the required capacity to service the needs of its customers and the wider economy safely, efficiently and sustainably. Dublin Port will integrate with the City by enhancing the natural and built environments. The Port is being developed in line with Masterplan 2040.

Dublin Port Company is currently investing about €277 million on its Alexandra Basin Redevelopment (ABR), which is due to be complete by 2021. The redevelopment will improve the port's capacity for large ships by deepening and lengthening 3km of its 7km of berths. The ABR is part of a €1bn capital programme up to 2028, which will also include initial work on the Dublin Port’s MP2 Project - a major capital development project proposal for works within the existing port lands in the northeastern part of the port.

Dublin Port has also recently secured planning approval for the development of the next phase of its inland port near Dublin Airport. The latest stage of the inland port will include a site with the capacity to store more than 2,000 shipping containers and infrastructures such as an ESB substation, an office building and gantry crane.

Dublin Port Company recently submitted a planning application for a €320 million project that aims to provide significant additional capacity at the facility within the port in order to cope with increases in trade up to 2040. The scheme will see a new roll-on/roll-off jetty built to handle ferries of up to 240 metres in length, as well as the redevelopment of an oil berth into a deep-water container berth.

Dublin Port FAQ

Dublin was little more than a monastic settlement until the Norse invasion in the 8th and 9th centuries when they selected the Liffey Estuary as their point of entry to the country as it provided relatively easy access to the central plains of Ireland. Trading with England and Europe followed which required port facilities, so the development of Dublin Port is inextricably linked to the development of Dublin City, so it is fair to say the origins of the Port go back over one thousand years. As a result, the modern organisation Dublin Port has a long and remarkable history, dating back over 300 years from 1707.

The original Port of Dublin was situated upriver, a few miles from its current location near the modern Civic Offices at Wood Quay and close to Christchurch Cathedral. The Port remained close to that area until the new Custom House opened in the 1790s. In medieval times Dublin shipped cattle hides to Britain and the continent, and the returning ships carried wine, pottery and other goods.

510 acres. The modern Dublin Port is located either side of the River Liffey, out to its mouth. On the north side of the river, the central part (205 hectares or 510 acres) of the Port lies at the end of East Wall and North Wall, from Alexandra Quay.

Dublin Port Company is a State-owned commercial company responsible for operating and developing Dublin Port.

Dublin Port Company is a self-financing, and profitable private limited company wholly-owned by the State, whose business is to manage Dublin Port, Ireland's premier Port. Established as a corporate entity in 1997, Dublin Port Company is responsible for the management, control, operation and development of the Port.

Captain William Bligh (of Mutiny of the Bounty fame) was a visitor to Dublin in 1800, and his visit to the capital had a lasting effect on the Port. Bligh's study of the currents in Dublin Bay provided the basis for the construction of the North Wall. This undertaking led to the growth of Bull Island to its present size.

Yes. Dublin Port is the largest freight and passenger port in Ireland. It handles almost 50% of all trade in the Republic of Ireland.

All cargo handling activities being carried out by private sector companies operating in intensely competitive markets within the Port. Dublin Port Company provides world-class facilities, services, accommodation and lands in the harbour for ships, goods and passengers.

Eamonn O'Reilly is the Dublin Port Chief Executive.

Capt. Michael McKenna is the Dublin Port Harbour Master

In 2019, 1,949,229 people came through the Port.

In 2019, there were 158 cruise liner visits.

In 2019, 9.4 million gross tonnes of exports were handled by Dublin Port.

In 2019, there were 7,898 ship arrivals.

In 2019, there was a gross tonnage of 38.1 million.

In 2019, there were 559,506 tourist vehicles.

There were 98,897 lorries in 2019

Boats can navigate the River Liffey into Dublin by using the navigational guidelines. Find the guidelines on this page here.

VHF channel 12. Commercial vessels using Dublin Port or Dun Laoghaire Port typically have a qualified pilot or certified master with proven local knowledge on board. They "listen out" on VHF channel 12 when in Dublin Port's jurisdiction.

A Dublin Bay webcam showing the south of the Bay at Dun Laoghaire and a distant view of Dublin Port Shipping is here
Dublin Port is creating a distributed museum on its lands in Dublin City.
 A Liffey Tolka Project cycle and pedestrian way is the key to link the elements of this distributed museum together.  The distributed museum starts at the Diving Bell and, over the course of 6.3km, will give Dubliners a real sense of the City, the Port and the Bay.  For visitors, it will be a unique eye-opening stroll and vista through and alongside one of Europe’s busiest ports:  Diving Bell along Sir John Rogerson’s Quay over the Samuel Beckett Bridge, past the Scherzer Bridge and down the North Wall Quay campshire to Berth 18 - 1.2 km.   Liffey Tolka Project - Tree-lined pedestrian and cycle route between the River Liffey and the Tolka Estuary - 1.4 km with a 300-metre spur along Alexandra Road to The Pumphouse (to be completed by Q1 2021) and another 200 metres to The Flour Mill.   Tolka Estuary Greenway - Construction of Phase 1 (1.9 km) starts in December 2020 and will be completed by Spring 2022.  Phase 2 (1.3 km) will be delivered within the following five years.  The Pumphouse is a heritage zone being created as part of the Alexandra Basin Redevelopment Project.  The first phase of 1.6 acres will be completed in early 2021 and will include historical port equipment and buildings and a large open space for exhibitions and performances.  It will be expanded in a subsequent phase to incorporate the Victorian Graving Dock No. 1 which will be excavated and revealed. 
 The largest component of the distributed museum will be The Flour Mill.  This involves the redevelopment of the former Odlums Flour Mill on Alexandra Road based on a masterplan completed by Grafton Architects to provide a mix of port operational uses, a National Maritime Archive, two 300 seat performance venues, working and studio spaces for artists and exhibition spaces.   The Flour Mill will be developed in stages over the remaining twenty years of Masterplan 2040 alongside major port infrastructure projects.

Source: Dublin Port Company ©Afloat 2020. 

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