Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: RORC

91 boats crossed the Royal Yacht Squadron Line for the RORC Morgan Cup Race from Cowes to Dartmouth. A weak sea breeze and a favourable tide got the fleet away to a smooth start to the east, but as the front runners reached No Man’s Land Fort the wind shut down, causing the first, and by no means the last, park up of the race. Windless holes were a feature right through the 112nm race to Dartmouth. The keys to top performance were avoiding the lulls and making the most of the puffs. In the 91-boat fleet, after IRC time correction, the top ten came from all seven IRC Classes. 

Niklas Zennstrom’s Carkeek CF 520 Rán was the overall winner under IRC, RORC Commodore James Neville, racing Carkeek 45 Ino Noir was second and Noel Racine’s JPK 1030 Foggy Dew was third. Congratulations to all of the IRC Class winners, including Chris Choules & Nancy Gould, racing Sigma 38 With Alacrity, Tom Kneen’s JPK 1180 Sunrise III, and Tim Goodhew & Kelvin Matthews, racing Sun Fast 3200 Cora. Peter Morton’s Maxi 72 Notorious took Line Honours for the third race in a row.

Peter Morton’s Maxi 72 Notorious took Line Honours in the The Morgan Cup Race for the third RORC race in a rowPeter Morton’s Maxi 72 Notorious took Line Honours in the The Morgan Cup Race for the third RORC race in a row

Tim Goodhew & Kelvin Matthews racing Sun Fast 3200 CoraTim Goodhew & Kelvin Matthews racing Sun Fast 3200 Cora

Rán navigator Steve Hayles gave an insight into their overall win in The Morgan Cup Race; this was the first RORC race for Rán since the RORC Caribbean 600.

“It was a complicated race with a lot going on for different boats and different times. Sometimes you can go out racing with a really solid plan, but for this one, you had to have a bit of an idea and be very reactive to what was happening around you,” commented Steve Hayles. “People might say that this was a big boat race, but well done to Sigma 38 With Alacrity; fourth overall is a great result for them. You look through all of the fleet, and the level is really high, and it’s great to be back racing in the English Channel.”

A weak sea breeze and a favourable tide got the RORC Morgan Cup Race fleet away to a smooth start to the eastA weak sea breeze and a favourable tide got the RORC Morgan Cup Race fleet away to a smooth start to the east

“Christian Dumard’s weather briefing (freely available to all competitors) got everybody clued up. As he predicted, a high pressure ridge followed by a low pressure trough. Strategically both of those are tricky, so I don’t think anybody would have sailed a perfect race. There were a few thunderstorms around that were not particularly violent but they had a big effect because the gradient breeze was so light. At one point we were looking on for a Line Honours win, but it flipped the other way and Notorious got away. It was good to get back into racing, and we had one eye on the Fastnet. This has been a really good use of the weekend, it’s great to be back RORC racing.”

Chris Choules & Nancy Gould, racing Sigma 38 With AlacrityChris Choules & Nancy Gould, racing Sigma 38 With Alacrity Photo: Rick Tomlinson

Chris Choules & Nancy Gould racing the 35-year-old Sigma 38 With Alacrity, had an outstanding race: Fourth overall, winner of IRC Two-Handed and IRC Four.

“A Sigma 38 is not renowned as a light wind weapon, but we were determined to get to the finish and the result was lovely as well,” commented Chris Choules. “It was quite a strategic race, especially by looking at the boats around you, mapping out the big holes ahead, and then sailing around them. From that point of view it was a very intense race. You also need luck and near the end, we headed for the shore looking for thermal wind, and found ten knots, giving us seven knots of boat speed towards Dartmouth. I think we did about 30 sail changes, so we worked our cotton socks off, every quarter of a mile mattered, but With Alacrity is definitely a cruising boat, we did have a few ice-creams on the way round!”

Tom Kneen’s JPK 1180 Sunrise IIITom Kneen’s JPK 1180 Sunrise III Photo: Rick Tomlinson

Tom Kneen’s JPK 1180 Sunrise III was the winner of IRC One. This was Sunrise’s first race since returning from Australia, having won their class in the Rolex Sydney Hobart.

“This was the first time I had raced the boat this year, so I was really worried that we would not be up to speed racing in such a competitive fleet. So to get such a great result is really positive,” explained Sunrise’s Tom Kneen. “In many ways, with a light race, you have to work much harder. Before the race, we knew what we were in for, but mentally, this was a real challenge. Especially as we sailed into a wind hole early on and spent the next 30 hours trying to catch up. For years, I have thought that light wind racing is a lottery but the same people seem to win them every time! You just have to keep working really hard, so much of it is actually brain-power and seeing it through. I am relieved that the boat is still fast, but let’s hope we have a windy Fastnet; I wouldn’t like to sail in that mode for 700 miles!”

The vast majority of the 500 plus sailors competing in The Morgan Cup are amateurs, and due to time constraints, including work on Monday morning, many boats retired from the race. However, well done to those who showed the tenacity to finish. None more so than Olly Bewes & George Beevor’s Sagitta 35 Ugly Duckling, which was racing with Tom Chicken, Lisa McCrindle, Matt Thornton, and Daryl Reis-Day. Ugly Duckling was the last boat to finish The Morgan Cup Race in an elapsed time of 1 day 21 hrs 05 mins 54 secs. After IRC time correction, Ugly Duckling made the podium in IRC Four.

The Morgan Cup Race is part of the 2023 RORC Season's Points Championship, the world's largest offshore racing series. Racing with the Royal Ocean Racing Club switches to inshore mode next weekend with the IRC National Championship held from Friday, 23 - Sunday, 25 June in The Solent.

The RORC Season’s Points Championship continues on Sunday, 02 July, with the 350nm La Trinité-Cowes Race, which will also feature the first race of the inaugural IRC Double-Handed European Championship.

Morgan Cup Full Results here

Published in RORC
Tagged under

Starting on the 16th June, over 90 boats are set for the Morgan Cup Race from Cowes, IOW to Dartmouth, Devon.

The Morgan Cup is the tenth race of the RORC Season’s Points Championship, the largest racing series in the world of offshore racing.

The impressive RORC fleet will gather off Cowes IOW about an hour before the first start at 1800 on June 16th. Race fans will get a superb view of all three starts from Cowes Parade.

Close to 500 sailors will be taking part from Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Morgan Cup Race Entry List

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. 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.

Full Speed in RORC's IRC Zero

Niklas Zennstrom’s Carkeek CF 52O Rán (SWE) returns to RORC racing and carries one of the highest ratings in IRC Zero along with Ross Hobson’s Open 50 Pegasus of Northumberland (GBR). (who is also planning a round Ireland speed record bid). Mark Emerson’s A13 Phosphorus II (GBR) has the lowest IRC rating in IRC Zero and could go second in class for 2023 with a good race to Dartmouth. The de Graff family racing Ker 43 Baraka GP (NED) are hoping for a top result to put the team into the top three in class for the season. RORC Commodore James Neville will be taking part in his second race with his Carkeek 45 Ino Noir (GBR).

Iceni 39 Andrasta Photo: Paul WyethIceni 39 Andrasta Photo: Paul Wyeth

Making their IRC debut for the season will be Henry Bateson’s Iceni 39 Andrasta, skippered by Bill Edgerton with the RORC Griffin Team.

JPK 1180 Sunrise Photo: Rick TomlinsonJPK 1180 Sunrise Photo: Rick Tomlinson

Hot Racing in IRC One

The Morgan Cup is the first event in the newly established Performance 40 offshore programme, Twenty-six boats are entered in IRC One. The race sees the rekindling of the rivalry between the 2021 Rolex Fastnet champion, Tom Kneen’s JPK 1180 Sunrise (GBR), and Ed Bell’s JPK 1180 Dawn Treader (GBR). High performers for the season racing to Dartmouth include Michael O’Donnell’s J/121 Darkwood (IRL), Derek Shakespeare’s J/122 Bulldog (GBR), and Gilles Fournier & Corinne Migraine’s J/133 Pintia (FRA). Bruce Huber & Hugh Doherty’s JND 39 Xanaboo (GBR) will be on the start line. Five Beneteau First 40s will be in action; Susan Glenny’s Olympia’s Tigress (GBR) is currently top First 40 for the RORC Season’s Points Championship by a slender margin from Richard Powell’s Rogan Josh (GBR).

Sun Fast 3600 Tigris Photo: James TomlinsonSun Fast 3600 Tigris Photo: James Tomlinson

Eight of the top boats for the season in IRC Two are racing Two-Handed, bucking the trend is Ross Applebey’s Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster (GBR), which is second in class for the season. Scarlet Oyster is no stranger to the Morgan Cup, winning it in 2011. A notable fully crewed dual in IRC Two is between the Army and the Navy. The British Army Sailing Association’s Sun Fast 3600 Fujitsu British Soldier (GBR) is skippered by Lt Col Will Taylor, while the Royal Navy Association will be competing in their newly purchased Sun Fast 3600 Yoyo (GBR), skippered by Vincent Pietersz. The Britannia Royal Naval College has been in Dartmouth since 1863. To say there will be a rivalry to be first to finish between the Army and the Navy would be a colossal understatement!

RORC Fleet Photo: Paul WyethThe RORC Fleet Photo: Paul Wyeth

The many flavours of IRC Three

With at least 12 different designs racing in IRC Three, the class is the most diverse in the race. Rob Cotterill’s J/109 Mojo Risin’ has a chance to move up to second in class for the season with a good Morgan Cup result. The Morgan Cup will be the first RORC race of the season for Johnathan Wade’s X-362 Xocet (GBR), which is the lowest IRC rated boat in the class. The Xocet team are from the Royal Dart Yacht Club and purchased the boat last year for a 2023 Rolex Fastnet Campaign. One of the most experienced skippers in the race is Neal Brewer, who has been racing offshore for forty years, including 20 Fastnet Races. Neal Brewer will skipper Modified Humphreys 30 Bespoke (GBR) in the Morgan Cup, racing with Andrew Baker, Bespoke is the smallest boat in the race.

Sun Fast 3300 Chilli Pepper Photo: Rick TomlinsonSun Fast 3300 Chilli Pepper Photo: Rick Tomlinson

Tilting at Dartmouth in IRC Two-Handed

Jim & Ellie Driver racing Sun Fast 3300 Chilli Pepper will be defending the Morgan Cup, won by just 35 seconds after IRC time correction last year. Chilli Pepper is one of five British Sun Fast 3300 in the Morgan Cup Race. Rob Craigie’s Sun Fast 3600 Bellino, racing with Deb Fish, is leading the double-handed class for the 2023 season, and is one of 21 teams racing with two crew in the Morgan Cup Race. Gavin Howe’s Sun Fast 3600 Tigris is second for the season, just ahead of third place Sun Fast 3200 Cora, raced by Tim Goodhew and Kelvin Matthews.

Dehler 33 Sunhill III Photo: Rick TomlinsonDehler 33 Sunhill III Photo: Rick Tomlinson

IRC Four passion and diversity

Samuel Duménil’s JPK 960 Casamyas (FRA), racing with Ludovic Bernard, leads IRC Four for the season after placing third in class for the Myth of Malham Race. Francois Charles Dehler 33 Sunhill III (FRA) will be taking part in their first RORC race of the season, Sunhill III will be defending their win in IRC Four for the 2022 Morgan Cup Race.

While over half the boats racing double-handed to Dartmouth are from the Sun Fast design board, there are unique entries racing two up in IRC Four. Joph Carter & Robbie Southwell will be racing Peter Morton’s 1968 Swan 36 Scherzo of Cowes (GBR), the lowest rated boat in the class. George Isted’s Westerly Sealord 39 Liberta (GBR), racing with Jamie Stott, has the second lowest IRC rating of the double-handers. George Isted describes Liberta as a ‘floating bungalow’ but he has completed two Atlantic crossings in the Ed Dubois design, and under IRC, Liberta has an equal chance of winning the race.

Royal Dart Yacht Club in Devon Photo: Neal TheasbyRoyal Dart Yacht Club in Devon Photo: Neal Theasby

A warm welcome awaits the RORC fleet at the Royal Dart Yacht Club. Founded in 1866, the Royal Dart Clubhouse is located in Kingswear on the banks of the River Dart. Competitors are welcome to the club bar and dining area with a riverside terrace. The overall winner after IRC time correction will be awarded The Morgan Cup at the Royal Thames Prizegiving Dinner. The sterling silver trophy dates back to 1929 and was donated to the Royal Thames Yacht Club by the JP Morgan family. The Morgan Cup Race first appeared in the RORC programme in 1958.

Carkeek CF 52O Rán © Tim Wright/RORCCarkeek CF 52O Rán Photo: Tim Wright

Published in RORC
Tagged under

The Admiral’s Cup is back for 2025 and will be held biennially thereafter by the Royal Ocean Racing Club. Established in 1957, The Admiral’s Cup is honoured throughout the world of sailing as the "unofficial world cup for offshore racing". Teams from Great Britain have been the most successful, winning the trophy on nine occasions. Germany has won four times, USA and Australia three times each, with Australia being the holders of this prized trophy. Victories have been achieved for France, Italy, the Netherlands and New Zealand.

“Bringing back the Admiral’s Cup is a wonderful way to celebrate the centenary of the Royal Ocean Racing Club,” commented RORC Commodore James Neville. “The chosen format for the 2025 Admiral’s Cup respects the tradition of the regatta, as well as choosing IRC Classes for boats that are competing offshore at the top level internationally. By announcing over two years before the start of the Admiral’s Cup, teams will have time to prepare for a fantastic event. The RORC aim is to attract teams from all over the world for the 2025 Admiral’s Cup.”

The 2025 Admiral’s Cup will be organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club from Cowes, Isle of Wight, UK. Racing will consist of a combination of inshore and offshore racing. Teams will comprise of two boats representing a Yacht Club or Country.

2025 Admiral’s Cup – Cowes, Isle of Wight Provisional Dates

2025 Admiral’s Cup – Cowes, Isle of Wight Provisional Dates2025 Admiral’s Cup – Cowes, Isle of Wight Provisional Dates

The Admiral's Cup fleet racing in 1989 Photo: Rick TomlinsonThe Admiral's Cup fleet racing in 1989 

Director of the RORC Rating Office, Jason Smithwick, commented on the type of boats that will be eligible for the 2025 Admiral’s Cup.

“IRC produces the most exciting and high-performance rating system boats in the world, and the Admiral’s Cup is a great opportunity to showcase our fleet,” commented Smithwick.

“The Admiral’s Cup Class IRC rating band and length range have been carefully selected to allow as many boat types to be eligible while maintaining a compact group for each class in terms of performance and also size constraints for racing in the Solent and adjacent waters. The rating bands are purposely aimed to produce close racing so boats experience similar conditions throughout the wide range of races in the Admiral’s Cup.

“For Admiral’s Cup Class 1 there are the bigger boats with a length above 44ft, (13.41m) up to 56ft (17.20m), this range encompasses boats like the Cookson 50 and ubiquitous highly competitive IRC 52/TP 52 fleet as examples. The modest sized boats in Admiral’s Cup Class 2 ranges in length from 36ft (11.00m) up to 44ft (13.40m) and has many boat options with comparatively high performance, such as the MAT 1180, J/125, GP42, and Ker 46.”

2025 Admiral’s Cup – Cowes, Isle of Wight, IRC Classes

2025 Admiral’s Cup – Cowes, Isle of Wight, IRC Classes2025 Admiral’s Cup – Cowes, Isle of Wight, IRC Classes

“The RORC Race Team are enthusiastic about organising The Admiral’s Cup and we are looking forward to welcoming competing teams to the Solent and Cowes,” commented RORC Racing Manager Steve Cole. “With a mixture of tight inshore racing and the challenge of offshore racing, culminating in the Rolex Fastnet Race, the Admiral’s Cup will deliver exciting racing. There will be no limitations on professional crew, but in addition, the RORC will continue our drive for inclusivity in yacht racing by amending the IRC crew numbers for the event to allow one additional crew member, if a boat has two women or two under 25 year old sailors, or a combination. As for all RORC races, competitors, friends and families will be made very welcome at the RORC Cowes Clubhouse throughout The Admiral’s Cup.”

The Admiral's Cup at the RORC St James's Place, London Photo: Matthew DickensThe Admiral's Cup at the RORC St James's Place, London Photo: Matthew Dickens

The Royal Ocean Racing Club will be writing to all the major yacht clubs around the globe, inviting them to enter a team for this world-renowned event, as well as inviting expressions of interest from proposed Admiral’s Cup teams before the Pre-Notice of Race. This will be issued on 19th July 2023, which will be two years to the day before the first race starts for the 2025 Admiral’s Cup.

Published in Admiral’s Cup
Tagged under

The Royal Ocean Racing Club’s (RORC) Myth of Malham Race attracted a record entry of 147 boats racing under the IRC Rating Rule for the Myth of Malham Cup.

The 235nm race attracted the largest entry for any offshore yacht race since the 2022 Newport Bermuda.

A downwind start, with spinnakers flying in bright sunshine, was spectacular viewing in Cowes. Strategy came straight into play immediately after leaving the Solent. With light wind forecast for the middle of the English Channel, the big decision was whether to play the local breeze on the South Coast of England or venture across the English Channel to gain favourable wind off the French Coast, ever mindful of the Casquettes Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS). Teams in the race reported wind speed as high as 27 knots and as low as a total shut down.

After IRC time correction, RORC Vice Commodore Eric de Turckheim racing NMD 54 Teasing Machine (FRA) was the winner. Runner-up was RORC Commodore James Neville in his debut race with Carkeek 45 Ino Noir (GBR). Third was the Family De Graaf’s Ker 43 Baraka GP (NED). Fourth was Jean Pierre Barjon’s Botin 65 Spirit of Lorina (GBR). Peter Morton’s Maxi 72 Notorious (GBR) took Line Honours, won IRC Super Zero and was fifth overall. Gorm Gondesen’s Nica (GER) took Multihull Line Honours.

The 2023 Myth of Malham Race from the RYS at Cowes – Eddystone – Solent is a 235nm race Photo: Paul WyethThe 2023 Myth of Malham Race from the RYS at Cowes – Eddystone – Solent is a 235nm race Photo: Paul Wyeth

Congratulations to all of the class winners, including (IRC One) Gilles Fournier & Corinne Migraine’s Pintia, (IRC Two) Ross Applebey’s Scarlet Oyster, (IRC Three) Mike Yates’ JAGO, (IRC T-H) Dan & Zeb Fellow’s Orbit, and (IRC Four) Scherzo of Cowes raced by Joph Carter & Robbie Southall.

“Well done to Teasing Machine and all of the winners, this was a complex race with many opportunities for gains and losses throughout,” commented RORC Racing Manager Steve Cole. “The staying power of the last dozen or so to finish the race was really impressive, the classic yawl Amokura finished after 2 days and 12 hours on the course. All of these teams showed great determination, which will be needed to complete the Rolex Fastnet Race in July.”

Myth of Malham Results here

Ino Noir & Teasing Machine Photo: Paul WyethIno Noir (left) & Teasing Machine Photo: Paul Wyeth

Eric de Turckheim’s Teasing Machine had a close battle with Ino Noir during the 235nm race. Under the IRC Rule, Teasing Machine gives Ino Noir 96 seconds and hour. After the leading boats all raced south of the Casquettes TSS, Teasing Machine rounded the Eddystone Lighthouse 30 minutes before Ino Noir, a lead on corrected time of 22 minutes. On the beat to finish Teasing Machine slightly extended their lead, winning by less than 27 minutes on corrected time from Ino Noir.

“It was an exhausting race; very cold and as it was sort of a sprint, so we did not sleep very much,” commented de Turckheim. “The first part of the race was downwind in relatively light breeze and Ino Noir was very fast, we could see them all the time, and they matched us gybe for gybe, even over-taking us for some moments. The return from Eddystone was more difficult for Ino Noir, it was upwind and the sea state was choppy, and this suited Teasing Machine more. We were always aware that we had the threat of Ino behind, but our philosophy is to race our boat as best as we can. We stayed offshore in the best wind but it was very variable, but after St Alban’s Head we tacked inshore towards the finish. There was a transition zone between two winds as we came towards the finish, which I think we got through very well. I have not done this race for many years, winning overall is great. It is especially gratifying to see that the work we have done to reduce the weight of Teasing Machine is fantastic for the boat.”

Teasing Machine crew: Eric de Turckheim, Bertrand Castelnerac, Christian Ponthieu, Jerome Teillet, Laurent Mahy, Laurent Pages, Paco Lepoutre, Quentin Bouchacourt, Quentin Le Nabour, Tony Brochet.

The Carkeek 45 Ino Noir © Paul Wyeth/RORCThe crimson red Carkeek 45 Ino Noir Photo: Paul Wyeth 

“I was very nervous before our first race for Ino Noir, but we had no real issues, the boat handled the conditions really well,” commented RORC Commodore James Neville. “To be right in the race until the last 20 miles was really satisfying. Unfortunately we fully parked up in the transition zone between and I think that cost us the chance of winning. But coming second in our first race, we can’t complain, we were beaten by one of the best boats out there (Teasing Machine). Maybe their taller rig and water line length gave them some advantages when it went light, but it was anybody’s game. Well done to Eric and his crew and also Baraka GP, which had a really good second half of the race, the De Graaf family sailed really well.”

Sun Fast 3300 Orbit Photo: Paul Wyeth/RORCSun Fast 3300 Orbit Photo: Paul Wyeth

Forty-Seven pairs started in IRC Two-Handed for the Myth of Malham and there was joy and pain for teams in the race. The winner of IRC Two-Handed after time correction was Dan & Zeb Fellows racing Sun Fast 3300 Orbit (GBR). Second by just 82 seconds after IRC time correction was Ian Hoddle racing Sun Fast 3300 Gameon (GBR), racing with Ollie Wyatt. Third was Christian Teichmann’s JPK 1030 Vela Roja (GER) racing with Hugh Brayshaw.

“I hate computers so my 16-year-old son Zeb was the navigator for this race, he has done several virtual Vendee Globes and we went the right way!” smiled Orbit’s Dan Fellows. “With so many 3300s in the race, it is very easy to get caught up in the ‘bees round the honeypot’ and attract to each other but we did what we wanted to do. On the way back we were going to sail north of the TSS but there was no wind there, so we just kept going and got into good wind on the French side. I sail the boat with our kids and my partner, and we have only had Orbit since November. We are Devon bumpkins, we only live 12 miles from the Eddystone in Newton Ferris! I have done a bit of short-handed racing on multihulls and Zeb has higher aspirations in single-handed sailing, but don’t big us up. As a father doing great things with his kids, this has been a lot of fun."

Sam White & Sam North racing JPK 1080 Mzungu! felt the pain of being penalised having scored the best corrected time in IRC Two-Handed. Mzungu! showed their honesty and sportsmanship in their Race Declaration by admitting that they had entered the corner of an exclusion zone for which Mzungu! received a 10% penalty. “We understand that even though we had absolutely no advantage, and the mistake was completely unintentional, our win no longer stands,” commented Sam North. “Nonetheless it was a great race, and we have put a lot of preparation and ideas into practice, especially for the Rolex Fastnet race.”

The 2023 RORC Myth of Malham fleet Photo: Paul WyethThe 2023 RORC Myth of Malham fleet Photo: Paul Wyeth

The RORC Myth of Malham Race is part of the 2023 RORC Season's Points Championship, the world's largest offshore racing series.

Race eight of the series will be held in Irish waters, the 235nm Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race, organised by The National Yacht Club, that will start on Wednesday, 7 June.

Published in RORC
Tagged under

On Sunday, one of the newly-launched hot favourites for the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s (RORC) 50th Rolex Fastnet Race in July, Ino Noir, had its boat christening ceremony at RORC, Cowes. The liquid crimson 45ft monohull will catch the eye on the race circuit. Ino Noir bears all the hallmarks of its creators; Shaun Carkeek’s signature lines and all-round speed, the performance, style and colours of James Neville, the owner and commodore of RORC, and the attention to detail and finish of the builder Jason Carrington.

Neville can seamlessly move from land to sea now with Ino Noir carefully colour-matched to his Aston Martin DB11 AMR.

Great boats are the products of great collaboration, and the excitement around Ino Noir was there from the start and has been evident in testing.

“A boat like Ino Noir is only possible through deep and close collaboration and it is testament to the commitment, ability and open mindedness of James and his crew, the builders at Carrington and everyone here in our design team, particularly the senior team of Simon McGoldrick, Mark Bishop and Gijs Gunneman.

"Ino Noir has been a labour of love and showcases everything we’ve learned over three decades of design,” Shaun Carkeek, the founder of Carkeek Design Partners, said. “We push to deliver champion boats and, as always, strive to redefine the boundaries and innovate. We ensure all our clients a state-of-the-art yacht in which experience, vision, technology and design are blended seamlessly through our unique turnkey design process.

Our philosophy is to surpass the client’s expectations in all we do and deliver a lifetime of experience through our process, incorporating the latest technology available to develop today’s best yacht. We see the initial design, build and launch as the beginning of a continued collaboration in the quest for the best. We look forward to seeing Ino Noir at the front of the fleet - you can’t miss it!”

The new yacht is colour matched with the Liquid Crimson of Neville's Aston Martin DB11 AMR Photo: Georgie AlthamThe new yacht is colour matched with the Liquid Crimson of Neville's Aston Martin DB11 AMR Photo: Georgie Altham

Neville intends Ino Noir to build on the success of his slightly shorter HH42, Ino XXX, which was second in the IRC Overall in the 2021 Fastnet Race. Although as Commodore of RORC he would dearly love to win the 50th edition of the biennial 690-mile Fastnet Race, the boat has been created to compete in a growing number of 600-mile offshore race circuits and the liquid crimson finish shows that they will not be shrinking violets.

As regular Afloat readers will know, during one of Neville's last visits to Irish waters, in June's 2022 Round Ireland Race, the pre-race favourite Ino XXX was forced out of the race, suffering 'hull delamination' off the County Kerry coast. Let's hope his return visit this August is a happier one.

“Christening a boat like this is a day to remember for all of us, it is a special moment, which I am sure will be the first of many,” Neville said. “In design, build and action, Ino Noir is exactly what we were hoping for. We wanted to keep racing with our same crew of 10 in a boat that reflects all the latest evolutions in technology as well as what we have learned as a team. There have been huge jumps in the Fast 40+ and the 52s where Shaun and Jason have had great success. And of course we wanted a boat that looks good too!”

Ino Noir comes with a high-speed water ballast system for quick tacking and inshore manoeuvres Photo: Georgie AlthamIno Noir comes with a high-speed water ballast system for quick tacking and inshore manoeuvres Photo: Georgie Altham

“My daughter came up with the name ‘Ino’ when she was studying ancient history (the Greek goddess, Ino, is sometimes called ‘the Queen of the Sea’), and I bought the Corby 36. At the time, three-letter boats were the thing - Yes and Rán - and there was some Yes/No contrast and on reflection, Ino is Oui upside down. I added Noir to play on its colour resemblance to Pinot Noir”

The sense of shared purpose and quest for innovation and excellence was honoured by boatbuilder, Jason Carrington.

“Carrington Boats are proud to have been part of the creation of Ino Noir,” Carrington said. “As ever, it was a real pleasure to work with the Carkeek office and the Ino team. Ino Noir has been a special project for us and we thank James for the chance to build the vision.”

For Carkeek, this has been another layer in their long and successful relationship. It’s always a pleasure to work with Jason and his team and thanks to James for this unique opportunity."

Ino Noir is the latest launch in Carkeek Design Partner's portfolio, with the team currently working tirelessly on a range of new projects, from racing yachts to superyachts, ahead of the busy summer season of 2023 and beyond.

Published in Fastnet
Tagged under

Sixty-nine boats started the North Sea Race outside the Royal Harwich YC for the 180nm race bound for the Scheveningen Yacht Club, Netherlands.

The overall winner after IRC time correction was the J/122 Ajeto! raced Two-Handed by Robin Verhoef & John van der Starre in IRC Two. Second overall, taking Monohull Line Honours and IRC Zero was Richard Matthews’ Carkeek 52 Oystercatcher XXXV. Third overall was the Ker 46 ROST Van Uden, skippered by Gerd-Jan Poortman.

The IRC Class winners in the RORC North Sea Race were: (IRC One) Frans van Cappelle & Michelle Witsenburg’s J/122 Moana, (IRC Three) Michel Dorsman’s X-362 Xtra Djinn, and (IRC Four) Will & Jenny Taylor-Jones’ S&S 39 Sunstone.

Full Results here

John van der Starre & Robin Verhoef from Ajeto!John van der Starre & Robin Verhoef from Ajeto!

The overall winners of the North Sea Race were tired but elated dockside in Scheveningen. Robin Verhoef and John van der Starre from Ajeto! spoke about their victory.

“This was a great experience; it was a race with a lot of things in it. In the tactics for the long upwind to Smith’s Knoll, it was very important that you took the correct shifts, and I think we did that really spot on. After racing Ajeto! for seven years, we know how to run the boat, the different modes and settings become like a computer game, knowing how to set up the boat, in choppy water for example, makes a big difference and we are constantly adjusting the boat. We are always busy but it is worth it for good boat speed and to be competitive.

Our result (under IRC) always depends on the wind. For the North Sea Race, we had 16 knots on the reach on an angle that some boats could not surf. If that had been 20 knots, more boats would have been planning, so our chance of winning would have been less. Ajeto! is a very good all-round boat, it does well upwind and downwind, so we always have a chance, whatever the conditions. The J/122 is not an extreme boat like some of our competitors, and we have modified it, so that on every type of course we can sail well. Also working with Kevin Sproul, we have a sail wardrobe with big cross-overs. This means that we can avoid many sail changes, these take a lot of time when you are Two-Handed.”

Ajeto! will be competing in IRC Two Handed for this year’s Rolex Fastnet Race, with over 100 double-handed teams expected on the start line in Cowes on July 22nd. “The Fastnet is going to be a fantastic race! This will not be our first in fact we have already raced five times. Of course, we want to win but it is also about having fun, that gives us the passion to race hard.” Continued Robin Verhoef.

Richard Matthews' Carkeek 52 Oystercatcher XXXV © Rick Tomlinson/RORCRichard Matthews' Carkeek 52 Oystercatcher XXXV © Rick Tomlinson/RORC

Richard Matthews’ Carkeek 52 Oystercatcher XXXV took Monohull Line Honours in the RORC North Sea Race in an elapsed time of 18 Hrs 41 Mins 40 Secs. While this is one of the quickest elapsed times in the long history of the 180nm North Sea Race. The Monohull Race Record is a staggering 11 Hrs 03 Mins 50 Secs, set by Peter de Ridder’s VO70 Mean Machine in 2007.

 Richard Matthews presented with the Denis Doyle Memorial Salver by RORC Commodore James Neville © Paul Wyeth/RORC Richard Matthews presented with the Denis Doyle Memorial Salver by RORC Commodore James Neville © Paul Wyeth/RORC

Pictured is Richard Matthews with RORC Commodore James Neville, receiving the RORC Dennis Doyle Memorial salver for the skipper to have completed the most Fastnet races.

Richard Matthews’ OysterCatcher XXXV is entered for the 2023 Rolex Fastnet Race, which will be Richard’s 25th race and 22nd as Skipper.

The RORC North Sea Race was first held in 1947 and is part of the 2023 RORC Season's Points Championship, the world's largest offshore racing series. Race seven of the series will be the Myth of Malham Race. The 235nm offshore race from Cowes around the Eddystone Lighthouse, and back to a Solent finish, will start from the Royal Yacht Squadron Line on Saturday, 27 May. The first 110 miles of the course mirrors the start of the Rolex Fastnet Race. 161 boats have already entered the RORC Myth of Malham Race.

Published in RORC
Tagged under

Irish skipper Gavin Doyle from the National Yacht Club on Dublin Bay has won the Royal Ocean Racing Club's (RORC) De Guingand Bowl Offshore Race

A total of 87 boats competed in the 120 nautical mile offshore race that started from the Royal Yacht Squadron line.

Late spring sunshine and high pressure provided a complex mix of weather in a fascinating race for 437 crew racing.

Doyle’s Corby 25 Duff Lite (IRL), the smallest boat in the race, scored the best corrected time under IRC to lift the De Guingand Bowl and win IRC Four.

"We didn’t have the best start but someone once told me you make your own luck"

Second overall and winner of the 37-strong IRC Two Handed Class was Sun Fast 3200 Cora (GBR) raced by Tim Goodhew and Kelvin Matthews.

Third was Rob Cotterill’s J/109 Mojo Risin’ (GBR) racing with a full crew in IRC Three. Peter Morton’s Maxi 72 Notorious (GBR), racing in IRC Super Zero, took Monohull Line Honours in an elapsed time of 14 Hrs 08 Mins 01 Secs 

Peter Morton’s Maxi 72 Notorious (GBR), racing in IRC Super Zero, with Cork's Tom McWilliam onboard took Monohull Line Honours in  RORC's De Guingand Bowl Race Photo: Paul WyethPeter Morton’s Maxi 72 Notorious (GBR), racing in IRC Super Zero, with Cork's Tom McWilliam onboard took Monohull Line Honours in  RORC's De Guingand Bowl Race Photo: Paul Wyeth

Skipper of the winning boat Corby 25 Duff Lite is RORC member Gavin Doyle, who hails from the National Yacht Club, Dublin. Duff Lite’s crew was James Ainsworth, and Nicola Tilche.

"I was often up in the bow looking at the water, a bit like a pirate in a crow’s nest!"

“We didn’t have the best start but someone once told me you make your own luck and when we caught up in the park up off Ventnor, the crew did an amazing job of keeping us going. ” commented Gavin Doyle. “All of the team drive, and we steered around as may wind holes as we could see and looked at how the boats ahead of us were doing. I was often up in the bow looking at the water, a bit like a pirate in a crow’s nest! We have a small sail wardrobe, just a simple headsail and an all-purpose spinnaker, so with few options there our main strategy was to stay out of the foul tide as much as possible. In the final few miles, we were all praying for more wind and continued to steer for pressure. We were all tired having had no more than an hour’s sleep each, but we kept changing the driver to keep things fresh and when we crossed the line we were very, very happy.”

Tim Goodhew & Kelvin Matthews racing Sun Fast 3200 Cora Photo: Paul WyethTim Goodhew & Kelvin Matthews racing Sun Fast 3200 Cora Photo: Paul Wyeth

Tim Goodhew and Kelvin Matthews racing Sun Fast 3200 Cora posted the best IRC corrected time as they finished and waited an agonising hour and a half watching if they would be victorious, before Duff Lite bettered their score. Cora did win IRC Two Handed, ahead of Henry and Edward Clay’s Contessa 38 Flycatcher of Yar. Mike Yates’ J/109 JAGO racing with Mike Stannard was third in the double-handers.

“The start went well and was full on; I think we used every sail before we had left The Solent,” commented Cora’s Tim Goodhew. “It just got better when we had our ‘own personal breeze’ on the southside of the island; we were going downwind on Starboard and the competition were going upwind on Port; weird and quite amazing! This was a really complicated race but a lot of fun with loads of boat handling plus marks near the beach made roundings shifty and fluky. I think that Duff Lite may have had more favourable tide than us in this race, but sometimes it goes against you, and other times it goes for you. Next race for us will be the Myth of Malham, which is a great race but less complicated, with just one mark! “

Rob Cotterill's J/109 Mojo Risin' Photo: Paul WyethRob Cotterill's J/109 Mojo Risin' Photo: Paul Wyeth

Third overall under IRC was Rob Cotterill’s J/109 Mojo Risin’. Rob’s crew are all Corinthian with a bunch of friends who started racing together at the London Business School SC who contribute towards the costs mixed with a younger group of talented sailors who race for free.

“It was a great race considering the light weather conditions,” commented Rob Cotterill. “It was one of those swings and roundabouts races where you can get away in breeze and then get caught when the wind goes light, we had a good battle with JAGO and Jetpack on the water. Often a lead would stretch and then disappear, it was really nip and tuck. The leg from St Catherine’s to Peveril Ledge was a key win for us; We stayed inshore, while a lot of boats footed off. At about The Needles we got a big header which was great for us but pushed our competition behind us. At Peveril Ledge we went right in to get out of the tide in very light airs.”

RORC Racing Manager Steve Cole commented: “It was tricky to set a course for a huge fleet of highly diverse boats in a light air forecast. We aimed to get them all finished on Sunday morning as the wind was due to shut down. A few boats finished in very light winds but with favourable tide. We had very few retirements with the top ten overall under IRC racing in four different classes. The majority of teams have commented that they had a fair race which is always our objective when setting a course.”

It might be Doyle's first major race win but certainly not his only his RORC prize. As Afloat reported previously, the Dun Laoghaire sailor was awarded the National Yacht Club's Boyne Regatta Cup – for the best performance in offshore racing of the year for 2021 achievements that included 1st in IRC 2 handed, 1st in IRC 4 and 3rd overall in the RORC Castle Rock Race 2021 and 3rd Overall, 3rd in IRC 4 and 3rd in the IRC 2 handed division in the RORC Channel Race 2021, JOG NJO Sails Weymouth 2021 – IRC 4 – 2nd, RORC/SORC Solent Shakedown 2021 1st, sailing his Corby 25 Duff Lite with Co-Skipper Alex Piatti 

Gavin Doyle with the National Yacht Club's Boyne Regatta Cup Photo: Michael ChesterGavin Doyle with the National Yacht Club's Boyne Regatta Cup Photo: Michael Chester

The RORC De Guingand Bowl Race is part of the 2023 RORC Season's Points Championship, the world's largest offshore racing series. Race six of the series is the North Sea Race. The offshore race from Harwich, UK to Scheveningen, Netherlands will start on Friday 19 May.

RORC De Guingand Bowl Results

Published in RORC
Tagged under

The overall winner of the RORC Cervantes Trophy Race after IRC time correction was Gilles Fournier & Corinne Migraine’s J/133 Pintia (FRA) from the Société des Regatés du Havre. This was the fourth occasion that the French team has won the impressive Cervantes Trophy.

“We have a special relationship with this race and it is especially great to win this year as it has been sometime since we achieved that,” commented Pintia’s Gilles Fournier. “Our crew are the same family and friends but over the winter Pintia has been improved by reducing the overall weight and increasing the sail area, especially for downwind. This race has shown that this has proved to be okay! In our class another J/133 Corazon was second, so that proves that under IRC these boats are still very competitive. Pintia was built in 2005 and we can still win races and improve the performance; I don’t intend to buy another boat.”

88 boats started the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s Cervantes Trophy Race from the RYS Line Cowes with 86 teams completing the race to Le Havre. Janet Grosvenor was the Race Officer for the start in Cowes and reported that after a 30 minute delay, requested by ABP Southampton for a large cargo ship, the fleet got clear away. The pin end was favourite in a light easterly to north easterly breeze.

The De Graaf family racing Ker 43 Baraka GP (NED) took line honours for the race, won IRC Zero and was second overall. Third overall was Lawrence Herbert’s J/133 Corazon (FRA).

Congratulations to all of the class winners including Ross Applebey’s Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster (GBR), Mark Brown’s JPK 1010 Jetpack (GBR), Samuel Duménil’s JPK 960 Casamyas (FRA), Nick Martin’s Sun Fast 3600 Diablo (GBR), and Renaud Courbon's Class40 Parfums du Large (FRA).

Results of the 2023 RORC Cervantes Trophy Race are here

Ker 43 Baraka GP © James Tomlinson/RORCKer 43 Baraka GP Photo: James Tomlinson

Olivier de Graaf, co-skipper of Baraka GP, commented after the race: “It was a great race, we very much enjoyed it. At the start the most important thing was to get out of the Solent cleanly and sail through the fleet, which we manage to do very well in the soft breeze. After passing The Needles, it was key to play the left shift correctly, and sail fast towards Le Havre; I think we managed very well. The team did a great job keeping the boat fast-reaching.”

Nick Martin's Sun Fast 3600 Diablo and Wayne Palmer's J/99 Jam Photo: James TomlinsonNick Martin's Sun Fast 3600 Diablo and Wayne Palmer's J/99 Jam Photo: James Tomlinson

Nick Martin’s Sun Fast 3600 Diablo, racing with Cal Finlayson, was the winner of the 31-strong IRC Two-Handed Class. Diablo crossed the finish line just 31 seconds after Rob Craigie’s Sun Fast 3600 Bellino racing with Deb Fish. Diablo was the winner by less than six minutes after IRC time correction. Ian Hoddle’s Sun Fast 3300 Gameon, racing with Ollie Wyatt, won a close battle for third; Gavin Howe’s Sun Fast 3600 Tigris racing was just 61 seconds behind after IRC time correction.

“Cal and I feel absolutely fantastic about this win,” commented Diablo’s Nick Martin. “We got a good clear start and our tactics out of The Solent really paid off. We cut through The Needles after Goose Rock and had a good battle with JAGO and Cora but got through them by St. Cats’. The Channel was a good hard slog and near the end we got an unexpected shift with the wind building. To finish where we did, in this very competitive fleet, has made us absolutely delighted. This win sets us up for a good season.” 

RORC Racing Manager Steve Cole was on duty in Le Havre to welcome the RORC fleet. “The conditions looked a bit soft at the start but the majority of the fleet made breakfast in Le Havre so the Club was happy with that,” commented Steve Cole. “ The RORC held a Zoom weather briefing for all the competitors before the race with Christian Dumard. His prediction for a VMG race came true to a large extent. After leaving the Solent, a good strategy was to tuck into Freshwater Bay out of the worst of the flooding tide and then play the shifts across The Channel. We had some very close finishes over the line and only two retirements for gear failure and time constraints, so that was very satisfactory. The RORC finish team were well looked after by the Société des Regatés du Havre; the hospitality here was great.”

The 2023 RORC Season’s Points Championship continues on Saturday, 13th May with the De Guingand Bowl Race starting from Cowes around marks. 72 boats racing under IRC, Class40 and MOCRA are already entered.

Published in RORC
Tagged under

Offshore racing with the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) returns to Europe on the 29th of April with the Cervantes Trophy Race, the traditional opening domestic race of the RORC Season's Points Championship, the world's largest offshore racing series.

Starting from the Royal Yacht Squadron Line in Cowes, boats will race west out of the Solent and then across the English Channel via marks bound for Le Havre. The final race course decision will be made close to the start with a target time of approximately 24 hours.

The imposing Cervantes Trophy will be awarded to the boat with the best corrected time under the IRC Rating Rule. A RORC fleet approaching 100 teams is expected with race crew from Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, and Switzerland. Spectators can watch the impressive start from the Cowes Parade and the along the shores of the Western Solent. A warm welcome awaits all competitors at the oldest yacht club in France, the Société des Regatés du Havre, established in 1838.

Cervantes Trophy Race Entry List

Ker 43 Baraka GP Photo: Rick Tomlinson/RORCThe Ker 43 Baraka GP, a former Round Ireland Race winner Photo: Rick Tomlinson

IRC Zero & Class40

The Dutch Ker 43 Baraka GP, sailed by the De Graaf family, is the scratch boat for the race under IRC. Co-skippered by Olivier and Dirk De Graaf, Baraka GP is returning to offshore racing after a three year hiatus. Lloyd’s Yacht Club has a long and distinguished history racing with the RORC since 1951. The fifth ‘Lutine’ is an X-55 skippered by James Close. The pocket-rocket in IRC Zero is Mark Emerson’s A13 Phosphorus II which like Baraka is best suited to fast downwind conditions. As the lowest-rated boat in the class, Phosphorous II is given time against their class rivals under IRC. Assuming a 24-hour race, Baraka will give just over two hours to Phosphorous. Renaud and Gilles Courbon will be racing Class40 The 3 Bros. The Courbon family are from Société des Regatés du Havre and, like Baraka GP, will be among the favourites for Line Honours in the Cervantes Trophy Race.

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

IRC One

Jonathan Butler’s Swan 62 Coco de Mer is the scratch boat in IRC One. The lowest rated are a brace of Figaro IIs. Less-Beton 4 will be raced by Miguel Antao & Alexandre Van Cauwenberghe, and Tuff Tuff Tuff raced by Pascal Tuffier. Over 17 different designs will be competing in IRC One. Gilles Fournier & Corinne Migraine’s J/133 Pintia will be racing to their home port, the team of family and friends have won the Cervantes Trophy on three occasions. RORC Treasurer Derek Shakespeare’s J/122 Bulldog, overall class winner for 2022, will be racing to Le Havre with an almost identical IRC rating to Pintia. 2021 class winner and runner up last year, Michael O'Donnell's J/121 Darkwood will also be in action. Seven Beneteau First 40s are expected, including Richard Powell’s Rogan Josh, Ronan Banim’s Galahad of Cowed, Chris Brooks’ Skylander and Sailing Logic’s Merlin of Cowes.

Tim Goodhew & Kelvin Matthews on Sun Fast 3200 Cora Photo: Rick TomlinsonTim Goodhew & Kelvin Matthews on Sun Fast 3200 Cora Photo: Rick Tomlinson

IRC Two-Handed

Over 30 teams will be racing in IRC Two-Handed, with many renewing their rivalries from last year but also joined by new competition. Last year’s RORC Yacht of the Year, Richard Palmer’s JPK 1010 Jangada, will not be racing to Le Havre but most of the top contenders from 2022 will be in action, including class winner for the 2022 Cervantes Trophy; Tim Goodhew & Kelvin Matthews on Sun Fast 3200 Cora. Rob Craigie & Feb Fish on Sun Fast 3600 Bellino have won IRC Two-Handed for the RORC Season’s Points Championship three times. Nick Martin & Cal Finlayson racing Sun Fast 3600 Diablo was third in class last year.

Eleven Sun Fast 3300s are expected to be racing double-handed in the Cervantes Trophy Race. Well-known competitors are back RORC racing, including Jim and Ellie Driver on Chilli Pepper, Nigel Colley & Matt Smith on Fastrak XII, and Jon Tyrell’s Wild Pilgrim. New to the Sun Fast 3300 family are Ian Hoddle with Gameon and Janusz Madej’s Polish entry My Way.

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

IRC Two

With over 30 entries, IRC Two is the largest class and contains the majority of the IRC Two-Handed entries. Ross Applebey’s Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster returns to the fray with an established full crew after a long winter lay-up. Scarlet Oyster has scored impressive results in the big RORC races for the last ten years but has only won class for the RORC Season’s Points Championship once. Proven fully-crewed winners in the IRC Two include Noel Racine’s JPK 1030 Foggy Dew, and two British Sun Fast 3600s: Trevor Middleton’s Black Sheep and The Army Sailing Association’s Fujitsu British Soldier. Two classic designs are set for a personal duel in the Cervantes Trophy Race. Ben Morris’ 1972 Swan 55 yawl Lulotte, and Andrew Tseng’s 1971 Nicholson 55 Quailo III. The two boats virtually level rate under IRC with Lulotte giving Quailo III just three seconds an hour.

Gavin Howe’s wooden classic Julian Everitt designed Wavetrain Photo: Paul WyethGavin Howe’s wooden classic Julian Everitt designed Wavetrain Photo: Paul Wyeth

IRC Three

Over 20 teams are expected to be racing in IRC Three, in at least nine different designs of performance cruisers. The top three rated boats under IRC are Mike Moxley’s HOD35 Malice, overall winner of the 2022 Cherbourg Race. Calum McKie’s Grand Soleil 37 Boracic is racing and hails from DOSC in Dubai. Gavin Howe is racing his Sun Fast 3300 Tigris two-handed with Mike Donovan. However, Howe’s wooden classic Julian Everitt-designed Wavetrain is also racing with an under 25 double-handed team of Jaco Ceresole & Heather Quinn. Seven Sun Fast 3200 will be in action, and six J/109s including Mike Yates’ J/109 JAGO, racing double-handed. JAGO made the IRC Three podium in five races in 2022. Two J/99s will both be racing double-handed, Wayne Palmer’s Jam from the Hamble racing with Mark Emons and An Ael 4 from Le Havre, raced by Jerome Baudy & Clement Garitan.

Samuel Dumenil & Antoine Runet JPK 960 Casamyas Photo: Rick TomlinsonSamuel Dumenil & Antoine Runet JPK 960 Casamyas Photo: Rick Tomlinson

IRC Four

The top rated boats in IRC Four are two JPK 960s from France. Samuel Dumenil & Antoine Runet will race Casamyas which is based in Le Havre and won class in the 2022 Cherbourg Race. Marc Willame’s Elma, also from le Havre, will race double-handed with Antoine Jeu. The lowest-rated boats in the class are two Contessa 32s. Christophe Declercq’s Lecas from Belgium is the lowest-rated boat out of 93 entries under IRC. Lecas’ immediate competition will be Jeremy Swetenham’s Jemmana, based in Lymington. Kirsteen Donaldson’s X-332 Pyxis was third in IRC Four for the 2022 season and is the lowest-rated boat racing in IRC Two-Handed.

The impressive silver Cervantes Trophy was presented to the RORC in 1972 by Bob Watson, who commissioned a series of Sparkman & Stephens yacht designs all called Cervantes. In 1971, the British Prime Minister Ted Heath’s Morning Cloud, Watson’s Cervantes IV, and Arthur Slater’s Prospect of Whitby won the Admiral’s Cup for Great Britain. It was also the first year a woman had been selected for the British Admiral’s Cup Team; Bob Watson's daughter Liz was a regular member of the Cervantes crew.

The Cervantes Trophy 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.

Published in RORC
Tagged under

Since the 1940s, the Royal Ocean Racing Club has organised a season of multiple races and organised the first RORC Season’s Points Championship in 2000 using the IRC Rating System. The series quickly became, and still is, the largest racing series in the world of offshore racing.

This year's Championship includes the 240-mile Volvo Dun Laoghaire Dingle Race organised by the National Yacht Club, a race that has already attracted over 20 entries for the June 7 start on Dublin Bay.

For 2023, buoyed by the 50th edition of the Rolex Fastnet Race, also raced in Irish waters, over 600 boats from across the globe are expected to be racing with the Royal Ocean Racing Club. The competition for every race is fierce, and the trophies are part of the history of yachting, many dating back even further than the RORC, which was established in 1925.

Eric de Turckheim's French NMD 54 Teasing Machine Photo: Tim Wright/RORCEric de Turckheim's French NMD 54 Teasing Machine Photo: Tim Wright/RORC

The 2023 RORC Season's Points Championship began with the Rolex Middle Sea Race in October 2022, followed by the RORC Transatlantic Race in January 2023 and the RORC Caribbean 600 in February 2023. RORC Vice Commodore Eric de Turckheim, racing his NMD 54 Teasing Machine, has two overall victories to lead the 2023 RORC Season’s Points Championship. From April, the focus moves back to Europe. The majority of the 12 remaining races will start from the Royal Yacht Squadron Line, Cowes, IOW.

The 2023 RORC Season Calendar that includes June's 240-mile Dun Laoghaire Dingle Race is here 

Ger O'Rourke's Cookson 50, Chieftain from Limerick  Photo: ROLEX/Carlo BorlenghiGer O'Rourke's Cookson 50, Chieftain from Limerick  Photo: ROLEX/Carlo Borlenghi

Since 2000, only one boat 50ft or over has won the RORC Season’s Points Championship; Ger O'Rourke's Cookson 50, Chieftain in 2006. More often than not, a production yacht with a Corinthian Team wins the RORC Season's Points Championship, arguably the most competitive offshore series in the world.

Whilst the Rolex Fastnet Race is the showcase race of the 2023 series, there are 15 testing races that make up the championship. Trying to win the RORC Season's Points Championship is a real challenge, but every race has its own coveted prize for the overall winner under IRC and for class honours. Special prizes for the season include the Somerset Memorial Trophy for RORC Yacht of the Year and The Jazz Trophy for the Overall Winner under IRC of the RORC Season’s Points Championship.

RORC Rear Commodore Richard Palmer, racing JPK 1010 Jangada in IRC Two-Handed, won the 2022 RORC Season’s Points Championship and was RORC Yacht of the Year. Richard had been trying to win the competition since 2018.

Richard Palmer and Rupert Holmes JPK 1010 Jangada Photo: Paul Wyeth/RORCRichard Palmer and Rupert Holmes JPK 1010 Jangada Photo: Paul Wyeth/RORC

“There is nothing like time on the water to get to know the race courses, especially the tides and headlands” commented Richard Palmer. “Reliability is also a key factor; good preparation eliminates points of failure. Some races work in your favour and others don’t so the more races that you do the better your five races that count towards the series trophies.” Having won overall last year, Richard Palmer has a different focus for Jangada for 2023. “It is a slightly different emphasis this time,” continued Palmer. “I will be racing two qualifying races and the Rolex Fastnet Race with my daughter Sophie and the IRC Double-Handed Europeans with Rupert Holmes: La Trinité – Cowes and then Cowes – St Malo. I raced with my daughter in the 2000 miles Azores and Back but she hasn’t raced with me since then, so it will be great fun to spend some time with Sophie on a Fastnet Campaign. The IRC Class that Jangada race in has such a great community spirit, especially with the Two-handed teams and the standard is just improving all the time. I am sure it will be a great experience with Rupert in the European Championship followed by a fantastic Rolex Fastnet Race. Sophie and I are both looking forward to the celebrations in Cherbourg.”

JPK 1010 Jangada Photo: Rick Tomlinson/RORCJPK 1010 Jangada Photo: Rick Tomlinson/RORC

Jangada will be racing in IRC Two-Handed, double-handed racing with the RORC has seen exponential growth over the last 20 years and that is set to continue. In 2022, 85 teams completed races in the double-handed discipline and this year IRC Two-Handed teams in the RORC Season’s Points Championship are likely to exceed 100.

Tim Goodhew & Kelvin Matthews racing Sun Fast 3200 Cora Photo: Rick Tomlinson/RORCTim Goodhew & Kelvin Matthews racing Sun Fast 3200 Cora Photo: Rick Tomlinson/RORC

Second in the 2022 RORC Season’s Points Championship overall was Tim Goodhew & Kelvin Matthews racing Sun Fast 3200 Cora. The young team will be starting off this year’s championship by defending their overall win in the Cervantes Trophy Race. RORC member Tim Goodhew first raced double-handed with his father Nigel, on board Sigma 38 Persephone in the 2013 Rolex Fastnet Race. Tim is now serving on the RORC Committee and spoke about Cora’s goals for the season.

“For 2023, Kelvin and I are focussed on IRC 3 and IRC Two-Handed in the RORC Seasons Points,” confirmed Tim Goodhew. “We are also aiming to do the Offshore Double Handed Europeans from La Trinité - Cowes - St Malo, so that will be something new and interesting and it would be amazing to do well. The 50th Rolex Fastnet Race is going to be a huge experience and our final goal is to defend the UK Double-Handed Offshore Series, which we've been fortunate enough to win two times running.”

Jim & Ellie Driver Sun Fast 3300 Chilli Pepper Photo: James Tomlinson/RORCJim & Ellie Driver Sun Fast 3300 Chilli Pepper Photo: James Tomlinson/RORC

Third for the 2022 RORC Season was Sun Fast 3300 Chilli Pepper raced two-handed by the father and daughter duo of Ellie and Jim Driver. The 20-year-old RORC Member Ellie Driver was voted Sailor of the Year at the 2022 British Yachting Awards. “Dad and I are really excited for the start of the season, working towards the Rolex Fastnet Race which looks like an epic double handed entry of 100+ boats,” commented Ellie Driver. "I’m looking forward to putting all our learnings from the past two years with the boat into another Fastnet campaign and then improving some more!"

Ino Noir Photo: Carkeek Design PartnersIno Noir Photo: Carkeek Design Partners

RORC Commodore James Neville has been racing with the RORC for over 30 years and joined the Club after completing the 1993 Fastnet Race. Neville’s former boat, HH42 Ino XXX, has won class in the championship on several occasions and was second overall under IRC for the 2021 Rolex Fastnet Race. This year, James Neville will be racing his new Carkeek 45 Ino Noir in IRC Zero for the RORC Season’s Points Championship.

“IRC Zero is looking super competitive this year with boats such as Rán and Teasing Machine at the larger end and Phosphorus II at the other, all getting their miles in prior to the Rolex Fastnet Race,” commented James Neville. “It is going to be an amazing season with classic Channel based races followed by the 50th Fastnet Race. Every race is going to be a real challenge with large fleets making any podium finishes a true test.”

RORC Cowes Clubhouse Photo: Paul Wyeth/RORCRORC Cowes Clubhouse Photo: Paul Wyeth/RORC

RORC Racing Manager Steve Cole and his team are hard at work preparing and planning logistics for the world’s biggest offshore racing series.

“The RORC Season's Points Championship takes a huge amount of planning, especially as this year, we have several races that will attract well over 200 boats and close to 500 are expected for the Rolex Fastnet Race,” commented Steve Cole. “The Race Management team is just as excited about the championship as the competitors. RORC races have always attracted hi-tech boats, crewed by top professionals, but the vast majority of the sailors are passionate amateurs, and every boat and crew member is treated in the same way. Despite the challenges that the crews take on, all they want to know when they cross the finish line is their result. The new SailRaceHQ system updates as the boats cross the line, so every team knows if they have had a cracking race or there is room for improvement for the next one.”

In excess of 100 boats are expected for the next race in the RORC Season’s Points Championship; The Cervantes Trophy Race starts on 29th of April from the Royal Yacht Squadron Line Cowes, bound for Le Havre, France. 

Published in RORC
Tagged under
Page 4 of 55