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Big Fleet Expected for RORC's Cervantes Trophy

2nd May 2013
Big Fleet Expected for RORC's Cervantes Trophy

104 boats are lining up for the opening race of the RORC domestic offshore racing season, the Cervantes Trophy. Organised by RORC in association with the Société des Régates du Havre and the Royal Yacht Squadron, the Cervantes Trophy race kicks off on Saturday 4th May from the RYS line taking the fleet across the channel to finish in Le Havre.

The weather conditions leading up to the race look uncertain with a complex pressure system over northern Europe which will make it a good test for the international fleet from Belgium, Britain, France, The Netherlands and Russia.

In IRC One Piet Vroon's Dutch Ker 46, Tonnerre de Breskens, is back racing and will relish the opportunity of taking on Laurent Gouy's French Ker 39, Inis Mor, the reigning Season's Points Champion. Inis Mor beat Tonnerre de Breskens in a photo–finish last season and the Tonnerre crew will want to reverse the order this year. Two Ker 40s will also be racing in IRC One: Andrew Pearce's Magnum III and Edward Broadway's Hooligan VII, both experienced offshore racers with an eye on the overall prize.

The Army Sailing Association's brand new J/111, British Soldier, is the scratch boat in IRC Two. Reigning IRC Two champion, Puma Logic sailed by race charter company Sailing Logic, returns to defend their title and last year's runner up, La Réponse skippered by RORC Admiral Andrew McIrvine, will renew the battle they enjoyed last season.

IRC Three has a fleet of 31 yachts ranging from Ben Morris' vintage Swan 55 Yawl, Lulotte, to Noel Racine's proven French pocket-rocket, JPK10.10, Foggy Dew. Last year's IRC Three winner and RORC Yacht of the Year, Diablo-J skippered by Nick Martin, drops a division to race in IRC Four.

IRC Four is the biggest class with 37 entries including the IRC Four 2012 champion, Harry Heijst's S&S 41, Winsome. Harry Heijst has done a big re-fit to his classic yacht and is looking to repeat his class win and determined to win the overall season's points championship.

Four Class40s will be racing under class rules; Al Bucq, Concise 2, Fortissimo and Swish will be using the race as a warm up for their Rolex Fastnet Race campaigns.

Two handed sailing continues to grow with 18 yachts racing, confirming the attractiveness of this discipline. Diablo-J will be defending the IRC Two-Handed title won last year, as Nick Martin explains:

"Here we go again!" smiled Nick. "It's seven months since the last race of the 2012 season, which saw Diablo-J clinch the Two-Handed and IRC Three titles, 3rd in IRC overall and the coveted RORC 'Yacht of the Year'. It's all to play for again, with a clean slate and no advantage! Every race has to be fought hard and won. We've done a lot of pre-season preparation; replacing, fixing, upgrading and ensuring everything works as it should for performance and safety. And for me, a particular feature for the season - ensuring I have a dependable co-skipper for the full season (unlike last year with 5 different guys!). Andy Boyle from Dublin, Ireland, with whom I won the Two-Handed and Team Trophy in the 2012 Round Ireland Race, is fully signed up and we're excited about the season ahead."

A warm welcome is ensured for all competitors when they arrive at Le Havre and for those interested in racing back to Cowes there is the Trophée Guillaume Le Conquérant race organised by the Société des Régates du Havre in association with RORC and the Island Sailing Club, Cowes, starting on Sunday 5th May from Le Havre.

For more information visit the RORC website:

Published in RORC Team

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  • Established in 1925, The Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) became famous for the biennial Fastnet Race and the international team event, the Admiral's Cup. It organises an annual series of domestic offshore races from its base in Cowes as well as inshore regattas including the RORC Easter Challenge and the IRC European Championship (includes the Commodores' Cup) in the Solent
  • The RORC works with other yacht clubs to promote their offshore races and provides marketing and organisational support. The RORC Caribbean 600, based in Antigua and the first offshore race in the Caribbean, has been an instant success. The 10th edition took place in February 2018. The RORC extended its organisational expertise by creating the RORC Transatlantic Race from Lanzarote to Grenada, the first of which was in November 2014
  • The club is based in St James' Place, London, but after a merger with The Royal Corinthian Yacht Club in Cowes now boasts a superb clubhouse facility at the entrance to Cowes Harbour and a membership of over 4,000

At A Glance – RORC 

RORC Race Enquiries:

Royal Ocean Racing Club T: +44 (0) 1983 295144 E: [email protected] W:

Royal Ocean Racing Club:

20 St James's Place, London SW1A 1NN, Tel: 020 7493 2248 E: [email protected] 

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