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Royal Irish's Boyd Aiming to Defend RORC Crown in Cherbourg Race

31st August 2017
Nick & Suzi Jones' First 44.7 Lisa, skippered by RORC Commodore Michael Boyd Nick & Suzi Jones' First 44.7 Lisa, skippered by RORC Commodore Michael Boyd Photo: Paul Wyeth

The RORC Cherbourg Race is the penultimate race of the RORC Season's Points Championship, between the record breaking entry for the Fastnet Race, and the highly acclaimed Middle Sea Race. The 75 nautical mile race from Cowes to Cherbourg is the last of the UK-based races for the RORC Season’s Points Championship, and for many teams this will be the swan song for their 2017 racing season.

In IRC Two, Gilles Fournier's French J/133 Pintia, has secured class victory for the season, which is decided by the best five results. Nick & Suzi Jones' First 44.7 Lisa, is second in class, but leading the RORC Season's Points Championship overall, which counts all races. Lisa won the championship last year, and has once again been chartered to RORC Commodore Michael Boyd of Dublin's Royal Irish Yacht Club. 

“We are in a great position to win overall for the second year, but we must finish the Cherbourg Race, and even then, it depends on the results from the Rolex Middle Sea Race” commented Michael Boyd. “It has been a thoroughly enjoyable season, made all the more so by the close competition with Pintia. We have barely been out of sight of each other, and ashore we have become close friends. Gilles Fournier, his charming daughter, his grandson, and all of the Pintia crew, are wonderful people. Neither Lisa nor Pintia are stripped out racing boats, and I believe it says a lot about racing with the RORC, that anyone is capable of winning the championship. Nick and Suzi Jones have been fantastic to sail with, and Lisa is very well prepared, a big part of the reason for our success.”

Gilles Fournier is also full of praise for their rivals: “Having such close racing with Lisa, has definitely improved our performance, and we have enjoyed every battle in every race. After the Fastnet, we met for lunch, and we both worked out the same mathematics. Pintia wins the class, and Lisa wins overall. So we will have a race of honour to Cherbourg - the final decider!”

In IRC Zero, the class leader for the season is Windward Sailing's, CM 60 Venomous, skippered by Derek Saunders. For the Cherbourg Race that lead will be under pressure from Ker 46 Lady Mariposa, skippered by Daniel Hardy. In IRC One, the class leader is Giles Redpath's Lombard 46 Pata Negra, which will be under similar pressure from James Neville's HH42 Ino XXX.

In IRC Three, the season's leader, Delamare & Mordret's fully crewed French JPK 10.80 Dream Pearls, will have one last match with a trio of Two Handed teams. Three British Sunfast 3600s that have provided close competition all year, Rob Craigie's Bellino, Ian Hoddle's Game On, and Ed Fishwick's Redshift Reloaded. Bellino leads the IRC Two Handed Class for the season. Nick Martin's British J/105 Diablo-j will also be racing Two Handed to Cherbourg, and will be looking to better their 2016 Cherbourg Race result; second in class.

In IRC Four, Noel Racine's French JPK 10.10 Foggy Dew, has been in scintillating form all season, and has secured the class win with two races to spare. However for the Cherbourg Race, two yachts are vying for a podium finish for the season; French Norlin 37 China Girl, skippered by Marc Noel, and Paul Kavanagh's Swan 44 Pomeroy Swan.

62 yachts are expected to start the race, and as with all RORC offshore races, the participants are an eclectic mix of professionals, experienced Corinthian sailors, and newcomers to the sport. Thus far, 438 yachts have competed in the RORC Season's Points Championship.

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