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The overall winner of RORC Myth of Malham Race, after IRC time correction, was June's Round Ireland Race entry Rob Craigie’s Sun Fast 3600 Bellino, racing Two-Handed with RORC Commodore Deb Fish.

It's another win of a RORC points championships race this season for the potent Sun Fast 3600, with Black Sheep (another one of four Round Ireland 3600 entries) winning last month's Cervantes Trophy cross-channel race.

Eric de Turckheim’s NMD 54 Teasing Machine took line honours by a huge margin in the RORC Myth of Malham Race Photo: Rick TomlinsonEric de Turckheim’s NMD 54 Teasing Machine took line honours by a huge margin in the RORC Myth of Malham Race Photo: Rick Tomlinson

Eric de Turckheim’s NMD 54 Teasing Machine blasted round the 235 mile course to take line honours by a huge margin in the RORC Myth of Malham Race that provided plenty of tactical challenges for navigators, along with remarkably close competition for many.

RORC's 2024 Myth of Malham Race Photo: Rick TomlinsonRORC's 2024 Myth of Malham Race Photo: Rick Tomlinson

Despite the earlier timing than usual – on the early May bank holiday – conditions were largely very pleasant, including a long downwind leg from the start at Cowes to the Eddystone light house, south of Plymouth in around 10 knots of breeze. However, competitors had to negotiate complex weather patterns associated with a small area of low pressure in the west of the English Channel, including a front off the coast of South Devon.

This timing and intensity of this was “massively uncertain” according to Deb Fish and Rob Craigie, co-skipper on Bellino. “The big question was about the timing, so it was quite challenging to work out where to position yourself.

Teasing Machine’s elapsed time of 25.5 hours represents an impressive average speed made good of just over 9 knots. On the other hand, some of the smaller entries, a few of which didn’t finish until almost 24 hours after the big French boat, had a different experience, including a long shut down on their final night at sea.

Early challenges included a hole in the wind in the Needles Channel, less than 15 miles from the start. Bellino gained an early advantage here: “We had been trying to stay out the pack and could see there was more pressure towards the island shore,” says Fish. “We were nearer to that than a lot of the other boats and managed go our own way.”

Tim Goodhew and Kelvin Matthews’ Sun Fast 3200 Cora Photo: Rick TomlinsonTim Goodhew and Kelvin Matthews’ Sun Fast 3200 Cora Photo: Rick Tomlinson

From there it was a matter of playing the wind shifts to maximise gains. Bellino opted to go north of the rhumb line whenever possible, while Tim Goodhew and Kelvin Matthews’ Sun Fast 3200 Cora tended to keep in the middle and Gareth Edmundson’s JPK 10.30 Insert Coin initially to the south and then further north.

“The run down to the Eddystone was really tactical and interesting,” says Goodhew. “Boats that did well in our size bracket all did different things – that showed it was super complicated, because there wasn't one strategy dominating the race, which is not often the case.”

Bellino reached the Eddystone at much the same time as the front, in which the wind speed picked up to 18 knots, with the wind shift turning the leg home into a reach largely under Code 0, rather than a beat. “We were expecting a very slow wind shift, allowing us to sail to the lay line,” says Fish, “but then we saw boats converging from the south sailing on a completely different wind angle. It was a race for both watching the AIS and keeping your eyes out the boat and trying to work out what was happening, which makes it very interesting.”

At the half way point Cora held the overall lead after time correction, according to Bellino’s Rob Craigie, and it was only in the later stages of the race that the smaller boat slipped back. “The wind faded from the west, and ultimately shut down for the boats behind us, but we could see Bellino still going well when we had only 6-7 seven knots of breeze at times,” adds Goodhew.

“We could see it slipping away quite convincingly in the last 15-20 miles of the race, when the real challenge for us was to keep the boat going and try to keep up with the breeze before it shut down.” Nevertheless, Cora won IRC Class 3 and took second overall as well as second in the double handed fleet.

Sam White and Sam North on the JPK 10.80 Mzungu! Photo: Rick TomlinsonSam White and Sam North on the JPK 10.80 Mzungu! Photo: Rick Tomlinson

Craigie and Fish on Bellino spent the second half of the race looking over their shoulders at Sam White and Sam North on the JPK 10.80 Mzungu!, winners of both IRC 2 and double handed last year. At the finish Bellino was just six minutes ahead of Mzungu! and took overall victory 18 minutes ahead of Cora after IRC time correction.

Per Roman’s Swedish JPK 11.80 Garm Photo: Rick TomlinsonPer Roman’s Swedish JPK 11.80 Garm Photo: Rick Tomlinson

The battle for the final podium place in the overall standings could not have been closer – with three boats finishing inside 45 seconds after IRC time correction. Per Roman’s Swedish JPK 11.80 Garm took third overall, just 8 seconds ahead of Insert Coin, and Mzungu! fifth. The latter two boats took second and third places respectively in IRC2.

The de Graaf family’s Ker 43 Baraka GP Photo: Rick TomlinsonThe de Graaf family’s Ker 43 Baraka GP Photo: Rick Tomlinson

In the past few years the Myth of Malham has tended to favour larger boats, but in this edition Teasing Machine slipped to ninth in the overall standings. However, she retained the lead in IRC Zero, ahead of Mark Emerson’s A 13 Phosphorus ll and the de Graaf family’s Ker 43 Baraka GP.

Derek Shakespeare’s J/122 Bulldog finished approximately half an hour later than Garm after IRC time correction, to take second place in IRC1, with Michael O’Donnell’s J/121 Darkwood third in that class.

Jean-Lin’s J/99 Yalla! finished second in IRC3, an hour behind Cora. However, these were the only two boats to escape the shutdown on the second evening of racing and the third placed boat, Philippe Beneben’s Sun Fast 3200 Platypus didn’t finish until eight hours later.

The sole entry in IRC4, Henry and Edward Clay’s Contessa 38 Flycatcher of Yar, finished with an elapsed time only fractionally shorter than 48 hours, but was only two places behind Platypus in the overall standings.

Rosie Hill’s team on Cap Sela Photo: Rick Tomlinson

Two of the new Sun Fast 30 one designs racing were crewed by young sailors from RORC’s Griffin Project. Rosie Hill’s team on Cap Sela finished with a commanding lead on Charlie Muldoon’s Cap Polaris, and Kevin Armstrong’s third placed Cap Altair.

Charlie Muldoon’s Cap Polaris Photo: Rick TomlinsonCharlie Muldoon’s Cap Polaris Photo: Rick Tomlinson

RORC’s next event is the North Sea Race from Harwich to Scheveningen on May 10. Organised in the UK in association with the Royal Harwich Yacht Club and EAORA and in The Netherlands with the Yacht Club Scheveningen and the North Sea Regatta.

Results of the Myth of Malham Race here

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This early May Bank Holiday weekend is the date for one of the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s most celebrated races. An impressive RORC fleet will gather off Cowes, IOW for the Myth of Malham Race with multiple starts from the Royal Yacht Squadron Line from 9 a.m. on Saturday 04 May. The first 100 miles of the race mirrors the start of the Rolex Fastnet Race and spectators can watch the action unfold from Cowes Parade and along the shore of the Western Solent.

The 235-mile race is one of the most gruelling, but also most popular races in the RORC calendar. After starting of the Royal Yacht Squadron Line, the course takes the boats along the strategically challenging headlines of the South Coast of England. The fleet head for the Eddystone Lighthouse off Plymouth. After rounding the lighthouse, the fleet turn back for a finish at North Head buoy, just outside the Solent. Typically, the race is a windward leeward with a tough beat out and a rapid downwind leg to the finish.

A huge variety of sailors and boats will be competing for IRC Class Trophies as well as overall victory for the Myth of Malham Cup.

Myth of Malham Race Entry List

The holder of the Myth of Malham Cup is Eric de Turckheim’s French NMD54 Teasing Machine, which is defending as the highest rated boat in IRC Zero. An international fleet is entered for the big boat class including the De Graaf Family’s Dutch Ker 43 Baraka GP, Sascha Schmid’s German Open 45 Atlantix Express, and Mark Emerson’s British A13 Phosphorus II.

Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster will compete in the 2024 RORC Myth of Malham Race Photo: Paul WyethOyster 48 Scarlet Oyster will compete in the 2024 RORC Myth of Malham Race Photo: Paul Wyeth

Class winners from the 2023 RORC Season’s Points Championship will be returning to RORC Racing for the Myth of Malham Race. Notably IRC Two champion, Ross Applebey’s Scarlet Oyster, and Tim Goodhew’s Sun Fast 3200 Cora, racing with Kelvin Matthews, who are IRC Three and Two-Handed Champions from last year.

Sun Fast 3200 Cora will compete in the 2024 RORC Myth of Malham Race Photo: Paul WyethSun Fast 3200 Cora will compete in the 2024 RORC Myth of Malham Race Photo: Paul Wyeth

The reigning overall RORC Season’s Points Champion Rob Craigie’s Sun Fast 3600 Bellino will be racing two-handed with RORC Commodore Deb Fish.

Sun Fast 3600 Bellino will compete in the 2024 RORC Myth of Malham RacePhoto: Paul WyethSun Fast 3600 Bellino will compete in the 2024 RORC Myth of Malham RacePhoto: Paul Wyeth

At least 21 teams will be competing in the Myth of Malham Race in IRC Two-Handed including last year’s class winner Sam White’s JPK 1080 Mzungu! , which will once again be racing with Sam North. Like many of the teams in the race, Mzungu! is a corinthian entry. Sam White is an airline pilot from the Isle of Wight and Sam North is an events and conference organiser in London.

JPK 1080 Mzungu! will compete in the 2024 RORC Myth of Malham Race Photo: Paul WyethJPK 1080 Mzungu! will compete in the 2024 RORC Myth of Malham Race Photo: Paul Wyeth

Sam White describes the lure of the Myth of Malham Race: “With six tidal gates and early season unstable weather conditions, the race offers a great challenge,” explained Sam. “Early season the difference between the sea temperature and the land is quite marked, so day and night effects can have quite an impact on the gradient wind. Working out a happy balance between wind strategy and tidal strategy can prove tricky but is key to success.

As a double handed boat one of the challenges of this race is managing rest. The race isn’t long enough to be able to settle into a watch routine and yet it isn’t short enough to ‘push on through’ despite the temptation. Being tired and cold are a certainly in this race but with Sam North catering, being hungry is definitely not on the cards!

Sam White & Sam North will compete in the 2024 RORC Myth of Malham Race Photo: Paul WyethSam White & Sam North will compete in the 2024 RORC Myth of Malham Race Photo: Paul Wyeth

"Many people never understand the appeal of spending a long weekend in the English Channel pushing yourself to the limit, getting through emotional highs and lows and having to perform when you are at your lowest ebb. But after the race, when you are back at work, you are totally consumed with the desire to be back out there, doing it again!” Concluded Sam White.

The Myth of Malham Race is named after one of the Club’s most celebrated yachts and sailors. Former RORC Commodore John Illingworth’s Myth of Malham won the Fastnet Race twice in succession (1947 and 1949) and was part of the victorious British Admiral’s Cup Team in 1957.

Blue Spinnakers of Sun Fast 30 ODs Cap Sela & Cap Polaris that will compete in the 2024 RORC Myth of Malham Race Photo: Paul WyethBlue Spinnakers of Sun Fast 30 ODs Cap Sela & Cap Polaris that will compete in the 2024 RORC Myth of Malham Race Photo: Paul Wyeth

This year’s Myth of Malham Race will feature two of RORC’s Griffin Youth Teams making their debut race on RORC chartered Sun Fast 30 ODs. Rosie Hill will skipper Cap Sela and Charlie Muldoon will skipper Cap Polaris.

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A record entry of 159 boats is entered for the RORC Myth of Malham Race. The overall winner of the Myth of Malham Cup will be decided after time correction under the IRC Rating Rule. The impressive RORC fleet is expected to have over 850 race crew from 19 different nations: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Nigeria, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, and the United States.

"The Myth of Malham is a mini-Fastnet Race"

From 8 a.m. on Saturday, 27th May, there will be multiple starts from the Royal Yacht Squadron Line, Cowes IOW. The 235nm race is set to have the largest fleet for an offshore race, anywhere in the world this year, and the largest fleet in the Myth of Malham Race since records began. Spectators can watch the start from Cowes Parade and along the shore of the Western Solent.

The Myth of Malham Race can be compared to a mini-Fastnet Race. The course mirrors the first hundred miles of the Rolex Fastnet Race, which will be held in July with a record 500 boats expected.

Myth of Malham Race Entry List

James Harayda’s IMOCA Gentoo will be racing with a crew of seven Photo: James TomlinsonJames Harayda’s IMOCA Gentoo will be racing with a crew of seven Photo: James Tomlinson

Cowes resident Peter Morton will be racing his Maxi 72 Notorious, which took Line Honours in this month’s De Guingand Bowl Race. Notorious will be favourite to be the first monohull to finish the Myth of Malham. James Harayda’s IMOCA Gentoo will be racing with a crew of seven and poses the biggest threat to Notorious. Two Multihulls will be in action, James Holder’s Dazcat 1295 Slinky Malinki and the Roger Hill designed Nica, skippered by Gorm Gondesen.

RORC Commodore James Neville's Carkeek 45 Ino Noir Photo: Georgie LathamRORC Commodore James Neville's Carkeek 45 Ino Noir Photo: Georgie Latham

Hot Competition in IRC Zero

RORC Commodore James Neville will be racing his brand new charge Ino Noir, this will be the debut race for the one-off Carkeek 45. However, James Neville’s team will be defending their overall victory in the Myth of Malham, won on GP42 Ino XXX in 2022, Ino XXX also won the 2017 race. The new boat's colour scheme of crimson red matches the Commodore's Aston Martin, as Afloat reports here

NMD54 Teasing Machine returns to Europe after the Caribbean circuit  Photo: Tim Wright NMD54 Teasing Machine returns to Europe after the Caribbean circuit  Photo: Tim Wright 

RORC Vice Commodore Eric de Turckheim will be racing NMD54 Teasing Machine, which is now back from the Caribbean. Teasing Machine leads the RORC Season’s Points Championship having scored overall victories in the Rolex Middle Sea Race and RORC Transatlantic Race, plus second overall for the RORC Caribbean 600. Also racing will be Jean Pierre Barjon’s Botin 65 Spirit of Lorina from the Yacht Club de France. Spirit of Lorina was second overall to Teasing Machine in the Rolex Middle Sea Race.

Andrew Hall’s Lombard 46 Pata Negra Photo: Tim Wright Andrew Hall’s Lombard 46 Pata Negra Photo: Tim Wright 

Corinthian Experts in IRC One

Thirty-nine boats are entered in IRC One, including four or the top five for 2023. After six races, Andrew Hall’s Lombard 46 Pata Negra is in pole position and back from the Caribbean. Michael O’Donnell’s J/121 Darkwood is in third. Sport Nautique Club’s XP-44 Orange Mecanix II is in fourth and Derek Shakespeare’s J/122 Bulldog is in fifth. From France, Gilles Fournier & Corinne Migraine’s J/133 Pintia returns after winning the Cervantes Trophy overall, Pintia was second overall in the 2021 Myth of Malham and won the race in 2016. Ed Ball’s Dawn Treader will be in action, the JPK 1180 won IRC One for the 2023 De Guingand Bowl Race and was third overall in the 2022 Myth of Malham.

SunFast 3600 Bellino leads the charge Photo: Paul WyethSunFast 3600 Bellino leads the charge Photo: Paul Wyeth

Double-Handed Warriors

49 entries for the RORC Myth of Malham Race will be racing in IRC Two-Handed, mainly in IRC Three and Four. The top eight double-handed teams, so far for 2023, will be in action this weekend. The season leader for the double-handers is Rob Craigie’s Sun Fast 3600 Bellino, racing with Deb Fish. Second for the season is Sun Fast 3600 Gavin Howe’s Tigris, racing with Maggie Adamson, and third is Tim Goodhew and Kelvin Matthews racing Sun Fast 3200 Cora. In Fourth for 2023 is Nick Martin’s Sun Fast 3600 Diablo, racing with Cal Ferguson and in fifth is Mike & Susie Yates’ J/109 JAGO, which won IRC Three for the 2022 Myth of Malham. In sixth place for the season is Christian Teichmann’s JPK 1030 Vela Roja. Seventh is the leading Sun Fast 3300 for the season, Jim & Ellie Driver’s Chilli Pepper. There are 13 Sun Fast 3300s entered for the RORC Myth of Malham, including Nigel Colley’s Fastrak XII, racing with Matt Smith and Peter & Duncan Bacon back from their Caribbean adventures with Sea Bear. Sam White & Sam North will be racing Tony White’s JPK 1080 Mzungu! The two-Sams were the top two-handed team for the 2022 Myth of Malham.

 Sun Fast 3200 Cora Photo: Paul WyethSun Fast 3200 Cora Photo: Paul Wyeth

IRC Two & IRC Three

47 entries are in IRC Two, including many of the double-handers. Fully crewed boats scoring well this season are Astrid de Vin’s JPK 1030 Il Corvo, Ross Applebey’s Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster, Trevor Middleton’s Sun Fast 3600 Black Sheep, and the British Sailing Association’s Sun Fast 3600 Fujitsu British Soldier. 31 teams are entered for IRC Three including six J/109s, and another six Sun Fast 3200s. The Two-Handed Sun Fast 3200 Cora is the IRC Three leader for 2023, Tim Goodhew will race with Matt Beecher for the Myth of Malham. The leading J/109 is Rob Cotterill’s Mojo Risin’ after a podium finish overall in the De Guingand Bowl. Mike Yates racing JAGO two-handed is second for the season so far, less than seven points behind. Chris Burleigh’s Jybe Talkin’ is also in the pack of six J/109s racing in the Myth of Malham.

Afloat readers will also note the Dublin Bay Sunfast, YoYo in IRC Two is now in new hands as the Royal Navy Sailing Association (RNSA) compete for the first time in their newly purchased Sunfast 3600.

159 boats have entered the RORC Myth of Malham © Paul Wyeth/RORC159 boats have entered the RORC Myth of Malham Photo Paul Wyeth

IRC Four Flyers

20 entries are set for IRC Four, Ireland's Gavin Doyle’s Corby 25 Duff Lite is the smallest boat in the race and punched well above their weight in this month’s De Guingand Bowl, winning the race overall under IRC in a field of 83 boats. Another minnow for the race is Samuel Duménil’s JPK 960 Casamyas, which is third in IRC Four for the season after a class win in The Cervantes Trophy.

 Shepherd yawl Amokura Photo: Rick TomlinsonShepherd yawl Amokura Photo: Rick Tomlinson

Classics in the Myth of Malham

The Myth of Malham Race has attracted a significant number of classic yachts. Racing under the IRC Rating Rule, traditional designs can compete, and win, against production and high performance yachts.

The 1939 Shepherd-designed 55 yawl Amokura is the oldest boat in the race, owner Paul Moxon will race with a crew of six. Andrew Tseng’s Nicholson 55 sloop Quailo III will be taking part in her third RORC race of the season, Quailo III came second in the 1971 Fastnet Race and was part of the 1973 British Admiral’s Cup team. Harry Heijst’s S&S 41 Winsome is a familiar and highly successful classic. Harry has raced Winsome since 1996 and has enjoyed IRC Class wins in the Rolex Fastnet Race and Rolex Sydney Hobart. Three of the smallest classics racing in the Myth of Malham are Henry & Edward Clay’s Contessa 38 Flycatcher of Yar, which was an impressive sixth overall under IRC in the Cervantes Trophy Race. George Beevor & Olly Bewes’ Sagitta 35 Ugly Duckling was launched in 1972 and under their ownership, Ugly Duckling has won her IRC Class for the JOG Inshore Series. Ugly Duckling maybe 50 years old but her modifications include a fuel cell for the main source of electricity on board.

Joph Carter & Robbie Southwell Photo: Scherzo of CowesJoph Carter & Robbie Southwell Photo: Scherzo of Cowes

Two professional sailors enjoying a beer in Cowes got talking, and as a result the 1968 Swan 36 Scherzo of Cowes will be racing! Joph Carter, skipper of Swan 90 Freya, and Gurnard Pro’ sailor Robbie Southwell will be racing Scherzo two-handed for the Myth of Malham and the Rolex Fastnet Race. Scherzo of Cowes is owned by Joph’s in-laws, Peter and Alison Morton. The classic Swan was the 2022 Overall Cowes Week winner - No pressure Joph & Robbie!

JPK 1080 Il Corvo Photo: Paul WyethJPK 1080 Il Corvo Photo: Paul Wyeth

The Myth of Malham Cup was presented to the RORC by Captain John Illingworth in 1958 and is named after his famous boat, which won the 1947 and 1949 Fastnet Race. The Myth of Malham Race is part of the 2023 RORC Season's Points Championship, the ten-month series comprises of 15 testing offshore races. Over 600 international teams are expected to compete this year. Every race had its own famous prize for the overall winner after IRC time correction with more coveted trophies for class honours.

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British yacht INO XXX which competes in the Round Ireland Race in less than a fortnight was victorious in this weekend's RORC Myth of Malham Race that featured a number of Irish crews. 

The Cowes-Eddystone-Solent 230nm started last Thursday and saw IRC SZ Zero winner Volvo 70, Telefonica Black, with Dublin Bay sailor Paul Bradley as part of the crew. 

Another tipped Round Ireland contender, Michael O'Donnell's J/121 Darkwood finished second in IRC One and eighth overall. Her Myth of Malham crew is largely the same as that racing the 700-mile Irish ocean classic and included Kenny Rumball, Michael Boyd, Barry Hurley, and Conor Kinsella.

myth of malham fleet68 teams on the downwind start for RORC Myth of Malham Race Photo: Paul Wyeth/RORC

The overall winner racing under IRC for the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s Myth of Malham Race was the British HH42 INO XXX, raced by the RORC Commodore James Neville. Niklas Zennström’s brand new Swedish CF-520 Rán 8 was second overall and took line honours in an elapsed time of just over 26 hours for the 230-mile course. Ed Bell’s British JPK 1180 Dawn Treader had an excellent race, placing third overall and winning IRC One.

 IRC SZ Zero winner - Dublin Bay sailor Paul Bradley (closest to camera) on the Volvo 70, Telefonica Black IRC SZ Zero winner - Dublin Bay sailor Paul Bradley (closest to camera) on the Volvo 70, Telefonica Black

The Myth of Malham Cup was given to the RORC by Captain John Illingworth in 1958 and is named after his famous boat, which won the 1947 and 1949 Fastnet Race. The race mirrors the start of the Rolex Fastnet Race. 68 teams from eight different nations took part in the 2022 edition of the Myth of Malham Race. An unusual downwind start got the fleet away at a fast pace out of the Solent. During the course of the race, the fleet experienced a huge range of conditions from 5-25 knots, and at times a significant sea state.

The start of the Myth of Malham Race was streamed live. Watch the recording with expert commentary from RYA Race Director, and Volvo Ocean Race winning skipper, Ian Walker below.



IRC Class Winners for the Myth of Malham Race

  • IRC SZ Zero Volvo 70 Telefonica Black
  • IRC 0 INO XXX
  • IRC 1 JPK 1180 Dawn Treader
  • IRC 2 & IRC Two-Handed JPK 1080 Mzungu!
  • IRC 3 J/109 JAGO
  • IRC 4 S&S 34 Morning After

    Full Results here 

Niklas Zennström’s brand new Swedish CF-520 Rán 8 was second overall and took line honours Photo: Paul Wyeth/RORCNiklas Zennström’s brand new Swedish CF-520 Rán 8 was second overall and took line honours Photo: Paul Wyeth/RORC

Quotes from the boats

James Neville HH42 INO XXX
“It was great to see so many boats out racing with the RORC making the most of the Jubilee Weekend!” exclaimed INO XXX’s James Neville. “The start was quite difficult, especially to hold a lane. We had to put a few gybes in to hold position on the South Side of the Solent. We were in good shape past The Needles, with tide under us, but it was a tight call getting passed The Shingles. The crucial decision at that point was that pretty much making Portland on one gybe, which gave us our fastest vmg. Rán can sail deeper than us, so they made more progress plus we had more foul tide to the Eddystone Lighthouse and Rán was two hours ahead of us. We knew that on IRC corrected they needed about four hours in the race and the boats behind us had tide with them and could fly Code Zeros with the wind shifting north. Rán did have to foot off as they were on a tighter angle, but INO goes well on a tight reach. The big decision for us was staying quite south on the return past Portland. We had good tide all the way to the Isle of Wight, and with the easterly coming in and tidal relief from the island, that was what did it for us. The wind died for the boats behind, and they had foul tide.”

Winner IRC 2 & IRC Two-Handed JPK 1080 Mzungu! sailed by Sam White & Sam North Photo: Paul Wyeth/RORCWinner IRC 2 & IRC Two-Handed JPK 1080 Mzungu! sailed by Sam White & Sam North Photo: Paul Wyeth/RORC

For quite a few years, racing on a Sun Fast 3200, we couldn’t understand why we were not getting good results as we had been racing well. We realised we just didn’t have the boat speed,” commented Mzungu!‘s Sam White. “At the tail end of 2021 (in the Rolex Fastnet Race) we sort of fixed that problem, and now with our new boat (JPK 1080), we have the boat speed we desire. We are now trying to find that extra 5% to get onto the podium. We are now putting in a huge amount of prep. work including proper race brief and debrief via Zoom. All of this is paying off; to use an analogy, I feel like I am good carpenter but no longer using blunt chisels! For Sam (North) and I, the big one this season is the Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland, which will be a different dynamic, very much a change of pace where we will need to make our downtime count, but we have a stable platform, and a good all-round boat.”

Mike Yates J/109 JAGO winner of IRC Three, racing Two-Handed with 19-year-old Hamish Pimm Photo: Paul Wyeth/RORCMike Yates J/109 JAGO winner of IRC Three, racing Two-Handed with 19-year-old Hamish Pimm Photo: Paul Wyeth/RORC

Mike Yates J/109 JAGO 

“We went deep south after leaving the Solent, because there was more pressure offshore,” commented JAGO’s Mike Yates. “We were never going to make Portland Bill before the tide would turn and we wanted to avoid Lyme Bay with a forecast of light winds. JAGO is a different type of boat to say a Sun Fast 3300, they have to sail hotter angles. JAGO doesn’t have to go quite as deep, so we gybed earlier to head back inshore. Coming back in Anvil Point was tricky. The wind was due to go west, and we had to be careful not to get headed. After Eddystone the breeze died just around Portland Bill, but there were bands of ten knots in it, so it was very snakes and ladders. We kept an eye on boats inshore and elected to stay offshore for better pressure. We tacked when the tide turned to get the lee bow effect. This was Hamish’s first Two-Handed offshore, he is JAGO’s inshore bowman, and he was absolutely brilliant!”

RORC Fleet after the start in the 2022 Myth of Malham Race Photo: Paul Wyeth/RORCRORC Fleet after the start in the 2022 Myth of Malham Race Photo: Paul Wyeth/RORC

Christina Wolfe, racing in IRC Two-Handed with husband Justin on Ruby Red, was the top Sun Fast 3300 with 14 racing.

“We are over the moon; it was just a great time! RORC racing is just incredible,” commented Christina who hails from Washington on the North Pacific Coast, USA. “We are very aware that there are some amazing sailors racing with RORC and it was a fantastic experience. Congratulations to Mzungu!, they had a great race. We got close to them, but they negotiated a tricky transition very well. This has been a huge opportunity to learn, especially as we plan to do the Rolex Fastnet next year. We will be returning to racing in the pacific this summer, but we will be back for the Double Handed Nationals in September.” 

RORC CEO Jeremy Wilton watched the start of the Myth of Malham from the Royal Squadron Line: “One thing that is great about the RORC Season’s Points Championship is the breadth of the boats we have racing, boats from 30ft to 70ft, both fully crewed and a large number of two-handed teams. What supports all that is our IRC Rating system, which is the best rating system for bringing all these boats together to race competitively.”

The Royal Ocean Racing Club RORC Season’s Points Championship continues with the 8th race of the series, the Morgan Cup Race. Starting from the Royal Yacht Squadron Line at 1800 BST on the 17th of June. The 110 to 160 mile race course will be finalised close to the race start. The final destination will be Dartmouth where a warm welcome awaits from the Royal Dart Yacht Club.

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One hundred and twenty five boats started the 230 nautical-mile RORC Myth of Malham, held over the Bank Holiday Weekend. High pressure at the start of the race, delivered light to moderate conditions with brilliant sunshine for a magnificent spinnaker run down the South Coast of England. On the morning of Day Two, as the majority of the fleet were rounding the Eddystone Lighthouse, the wind speed increased to over 20 knots from the northeast. A feisty beat in confused seas lasted for about seven hours. The wind faltered later in the race creating calm seas, which combined with a strong unfavourable tide, to slow the progress of the smaller boats.

David Collins’ Botin IRC 52 Tala. Photo: Paul WyethDavid Collins’ Botin IRC 52 Tala. Photo: Paul Wyeth

David Collins’ Botin IRC52 Tala took Line Honours and the Myth of Malham Cup for the best corrected time under IRC. Congratulations to all of the class winners including Orange Mecanix2 skippered by Maxime de Mareuil, Gilles Fournier & Corinne Migraine’s Pintia, Louis-Marie Dussere’s Raging-bee², Tim Goodhew & Kelvin Matthews racing Cora, James Harayda & Dee Caffari racing Gentoo, Charles Emmett’s Virgin Media Business, and James Holder’s Slinky Malinki.

Full Results

“It’s been a long time and great to be back, the last distance race I did was the Fastnet 2019,” commented Tala’s navigator Campbell Field. “Thankfully the South Coast turned on some beautiful weather with a little bit of bash and crash on the way back to the finish. Tala is not putting much emphasis from this result towards the Fastnet in August. If the Myth of Malham had been run seven days earlier, the systems coming through would have created a different story. It was nice to sharpen our act a little, get the team together for some beautiful sailing, and we have found a few things to improve our performance.”

James Harayda’s Sun Fast 3300 Gentoo, racing with Dee Caffari. Photo: Paul Wyeth/RORC   James Harayda’s Sun Fast 3300 Gentoo, racing with Dee Caffari. Photo: Paul Wyeth/RORC  

IRC Two-Handed

Thirty-Eight Two-Handed teams competed in the race, James Harayda’s Sun Fast 3300 Gentoo, racing with Dee Caffari, was the winner of the Ville D’Hyeres Trophy. Kelvin Rawlings’ Sun Fast 3300 Aries, racing with Stuart Childerley, was second. Henry Bomby & Shirley Robertson racing their Sun Fast 3300 were third. The first IRC Two-Handed team to finish the race was Rob Craigie’s Sun Fast 3600 Bellino, racing with Deb Fish. Bellino was fourth after IRC time correction.

Tired but elated, James Harayda and Dee Caffari spoke dockside: “The race was delayed by about 30 minutes because of a ship coming through the Solent, which threw off our plans for the tidal gates. We got a good start and there was a big transition at The Needles but the big boats in front of us gave a good indication of what was to come.” After tight racing all the way down the South Coast, there was little separating the leaders. “It was literally a traffic jam as we rounded the Eddystone Lighthouse. We made sure we got our manoeuvres right and then the fun really started. After a wonderful ride downwind, we had a really messy sea state and 20 knots of wind as we beat back. Approaching Portland, we stayed offshore a little, hoping for more breeze which worked. It is never over until you cross the finish line, anything can happen, and at the end of a long race you can get tired and make a mistake, we had to race-clever all the way to the end.”

IRC One

The French xP44 Orange Mecanix2 skippered by Maxime de Mareuil, has won the Loujaine Cup. Orange Mecanix2 pulled off a tremendous finish to win IRC One from Michael O'Donnell’s J/121 Darkwood. Andrew Hall’s Lombard 46 Pata Negra made a big gain going into Lyme Bay on the return leg, finishing third after IRC time correction. Class Line Honours went to Ed Fishwick’s Farr 42 Redshift, after a close battle with RORC Commodore James Neville racing HH42 Ino XXX.

Gilles Fournier & Corinne Migraine’s French J/133 Pintia. Photo: Paul Wyeth/RORC   Gilles Fournier & Corinne Migraine’s French J/133 Pintia. Photo: Paul Wyeth/RORC  

IRC Two

Gilles Fournier & Corinne Migraine’s French J/133 Pintia won the class winning the Jamarella Trophy and placed second overall for the fleet. Thomas Kneen’s JPK 1180 Sunrise took Class Line Honours, was second in IRC Two, and third overall. Christopher Daniel’s J/122E Juno was third in class. IRC Two produced the most competitive contest for the podium with less than 20 minutes separating the Pintia, Sunrise and Juno, after 36 hours of racing.

“We are very pleased to race the Myth of Malham, our first race since Cherbourg in 2019,” commented Pintia’s Gilles Fournier. “We were very eager to come to England in spite of the pandemic. Even with all the safety measures in place, we received a good welcome in Cowes. For the race, we had friendly and well-sailed competitors, and Pintia is delighted to have won our class. On the way back, Portland Bill was tough with a lot of tide, and we were overtaken by our competitors, but we got back, which was so nice. Thank you to the RORC for a great race!”

IRC Three

French boats filled the class podium with Louis-Marie Dussere’s JPK 1180 Raging-bee² winning the taking Class Line Honours and the win after IRC time correction from the legendary Noel Racine racing his new JPK 1030 Foggy Dew. Maxime Mesnil’s J/99 Axe Sail, taking part in their debut race, was third by just 19 seconds. Raging-bee² wins the Maid of Malham Cup.

IRC Four

Tim Goodhew & Kelvin Matthews won a tight finish racing Two-Handed on Sun Fast 3200 Cora to win the Ernest Moore Plate. Emmanuel Pinteaux’s fully crewed French JPK 10.10 Gioia was second. The Two-Handed team of William McGough & Christian Jeffery, racing J/109 Just So was third, only three minutes behind after time correction. 

Myth of Malham Trophies and Medallions will be presented on Saturday 11th September at the RORC Cowes Clubhouse at 1930 hrs. All skippers and crews are most welcome.

The Royal Ocean Racing Club 2021 Season’s Points Championship continues with the East Coast Race, starting on Saturday 5th June. The race starting and finishing in Harwich, will pitch the RORC fleet in the North Sea on a course of approximately 125nm.

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#rorc – Royal Cork's Anthony O'Leary at the helm of Antix rounded Eddystone Lighthouse this morning in RORC's 259–mile Myth of Malham Race. The Cork Harbour yacht is currently seven miles offshore at Salcombe. Unofficially, Antix is leading the 141 yacht fleet overall, after IRC time correction, and expected to finish the race tonight. 

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#rorc – The RORC Season's Points Championship continues this May Bank Holiday with the challenging 230-mile Myth of Malham Race. A fleet of approximately 40 yachts, from five different nations, will take part with 10 yachts racing in the Two-Handed Class. The race is of great significance in the RORC Season's Points Championship, as the route mirrors the start of the 2014 Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race and has a weighted points factor for teams looking to increase their overall score for the season.

The course can be a described as a long windward leeward, starting from Cowes with the top mark as the Eddystone Lighthouse, approximately 12 miles SSW of Plymouth Sound, and finishing in the Solent. The lighthouse was built between 1878 and 1892 and is mentioned in Herman Melville's epic novel Moby-Dick. At 49 metres (161ft) high, Eddystone's light is visible from 22 miles and, along with Bishop Rock, it is the tallest lighthouse managed by Trinity House.

The end of May is typically a time of changeable weather in the UK and the Myth of Malham Race is shaping up to be a real tactical challenge. The south coast of England has complex and significant tidal flows, measuring as much as five metres at the Eddystone Lighthouse and weather forecasts are predicting varied wind speed and direction along the route. Correctly anticipating whether to stay offshore or come inshore will be a big factor in any teams performance.

Jean Yves Chateau's Iromiguy won IRC Four in last year's Myth of Malham Race; the Nicholson 33 is one of the legendary yachts of RORC racing, having won the Fastnet Trophy in 2005.

"I really enjoy RORC races, especially the Fastnet and Myth of Malham because they are very well organised and the course is very tactical," commented Jean Yves Chateau. "I have owned Iromiguy since 1976 and I will never sell her - like the name of her next race, she is a myth! We have won so many races in Iromiguy and most of the crew have been the same for all those years. The route for the Myth of Malham is so interesting, it is the reason I prefer offshore racing to regattas. The overall tidal flow is well documented but there are local effects that can really change your approach. Timing is everything, you have to look forward and anticipate when you will be at a certain point on the course to decide what you will do immediately and that is an ever changing position - it fascinates me. We will sail Iromiguy from Boulogne to Cowes several days before the start and, after the race, we will sail her back to France. It is a lot of miles but we know well in advance when the race will take place and that it will be well organised - that makes it easy for us to plan and prepare for the best."

Yachts run by Sailing Logic have won the RORC Sailing School Yacht of the Year for the last nine years. This year, the Hamble based racing school have added two First 40s to their fleet: Arthur and Galahad Of Cowes will be making their offshore racing debut in the Myth of Malham Race.

Orthopaedic surgeon, Ronan Banim, will be racing on Galahad this season. "Until last year, I had done very little offshore sailing but after competing in the Round Ireland Race I decided to do a Fastnet campaign with Sailing Logic and it was absolutely tremendous. So much so that I will be racing with the RORC for much of this season on Galahad and I am in the process of joining the club. I find offshore sailing mesmerising, there is something new to learn every race. The first RORC race we did last year was the Myth of Malham and it was a very changeable race with the wind dying near Eddystone, then picking up for a fast sail back to the finish - it was really exciting. This year I am looking forward to what I hope to be a fantastic and challenging race and to enjoy it with a group of people that I probably haven't even met before but who all share the same interest in offshore racing."

Line Honours for the Myth of Malham is likely to come down to a duel between two IMOCA 60s: Chris Le Prevost's Rosalba, and the new Artemis Ocean Racing 2. Led by Mike Ferguson, the team behind Artemis Ocean Racing 2 won the 2010 Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race overall onboard the first Artemis Ocean Racing. "This year we will be taking part in a number of RORC races in partnership with Team Endeavour," explained Mike, who will skipper Artemis for the race.

"For the Myth of Malham Race, half of the crew will be injured servicemen and we will be racing a full season with RORC as Artemis Team Endeavour. These guys are getting the opportunity of racing with professionals for six of the RORC races in the Channel and one of them will be lucky enough to be selected for the Round Britain and Ireland with Brian Thompson as skipper. For the Myth of Malham Race, we are expecting a close battle with Rosalba and we know we will be up for the challenge. Two of the injured servicemen raced the Fastnet on board last year and their attitude was top notch. The only real problem was making them take a break, their enthusiasm was amazing and that has a positive impact for the whole team."

The Myth of Malham Race is the third race of the 2014 RORC Season's Points Championship. The Myth of Malham Cup will be awarded to the yacht with the best corrected time racing under the Spinlock IRC Rule. The trophy and race are named after the yacht Myth of Malham which was a 37'6" sloop built in 1947 by Hugh McClean & Co at Greenock and designed by John Laurent Giles for John Illingworth. Myth of Malham won the 1947 and 1949 Fastnet Races and in 1957 was part of the winning team for the first Admiral's Cup.

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Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2023 Coastal Class

Two Irish hopes in the 2023 Fastnet Race from Cowes will compete first in a 20-boat Coastal Class at July's Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta (VDLR).

Pre-event favourites must be the First 50 Checkmate XX, fresh from Sovereign's Cup victory (three wins from four races sailed) and the Grand Soleil 44 Samatom.

Four races and one discard for the coastal division will be under International Race Officer Con Murphy.

The course will be decided on the race day and communicated to each skipper via a dedicated Offshore WhatsApp group at least one hour before the start. 

The finish will be between the Pier Ends at the Dun Laoghaire Harbour entrance. The finishing time will be taken from the Yellowbrick tracker system.

The class will be the first to start on Thursday, with a warning signal at 1425 and 0955 on Friday. Coastal starts at 1055 on Saturday and 0955 on Sunday. 

The course will use DBSC Marks, Volvo Yellow inflatable Top Hat and Shipping Navigation Marks.

Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2023 Coastal Class Entries

GBR 8859R Jackknife J125 Andrew Hall Pwllheli
GBR 8911R Jezebel J111 1.093 Cris Miles Pwllheli Sailing Club
IRL 3435 Albireo 0.928 David Simpson RIYC
IRL 9898 Indecision J109 1.007 Declan Hayes RIYC
IRL 811 RAPTOR 1.007 Fintan Cairns RIYC
GER 6577 Opal 1.432 Frank Whelan GSC
GBR 9740R SLOOP JOHN T SWAN 40 Iain Thomson
IRL 1507 1.057 James Tyrrell ASC
IRL 1129 Jump The Gun J109 1.005 John M Kelly RIYC
GBR 7536R Hot Cookie Sunfast 3600 John O'Gorman NYC
IRL 3471 Black Velvet 0.979 Leslie Parnell RIYC
IRL 4007 Tsunami First 40.7 Michelle Farreall National Yacht Club
IRL 66 Checkmate XX 1.115 Nigel BIGGS HYC
GBR 6695R Wild Haggis Farr 30 1.060 Nigel Ingram Holyhead
GBR 9496T Bojangles J109 0.999 Paul HAMPSON Liverpool Yacht Club
IRL 1367 Boomerang Beneteau 36.7 0.997 Paul Kirwan
GBR 8992R Lightning Farr 30 1.074 Paul Sutton Holyhead Sailing Club
GBR 9047R Mojito J109 Peter Dunlop Pwllheli SC - RDYC
GBR 9244R Samatom Grand Soleil 44R 1.134 Robert Rendell HYC
IRL 44444 Magic Touch 0.979 Steve Hayes GSC
IRL 3317 Scotia First 31.7 0.930 Terence Fair Ballyholme yacht club
GBR 5373 Honey Bee Hunter HB31 0.900 William Partington Pwllheli Sailing Club / SCYC