The Royal Ocean Racing Club's race to Dieppe for the Morgan Cup started in the Solent on midsummer's day in superb conditions. The RORC fleet enjoyed a spectacular downwind start off the Royal Yacht Squadron Line, heading east for the English Channel. During the night, the wind evaporated and as high pressure enveloped the race course, competitors were searching for the best of the breeze and tidal conditions. By morning, clear skies and an early sunrise conspired to enhance sea breeze conditions, giving a fantastic downwind finish for the fleet into Dieppe. The slow-down during the night meant that the race to the finish was a close one, with many classes being decided by minutes, even seconds. The 2019 Morgan Cup Race was notable for British yachts which won all seven classes.
William McGoughand Christian Jeffrey, racing J/109 Just So in IRC Two Handed, won the 2019 Morgan Cup Race, winning overall in a fleet of 86 yachts racing under the IRC Rating System. McGough and Jeffrey are both corinthian sailors in their 30s, and this is their first season racing Two-Handed. Monohull Line Honours for the race went to Botin IRC 52 Tala, skippered by Robbie Southall. After time correction, IRC Zero was won by Ker 46 Lady Mariposa, skippered by Nigel King. Joel Malardel's Normanni 34 Tancrède took Multihull Line Honours.
The top three yachts in IRC Overall for the Morgan Cup Race were all racing Two-Handed. Just So won by 27 minutes from Sun Fast 3200 Cora, sailed by Nigel & Tim Goodhew. Sun Fast 3600 Bellino, sailed by Rob Craigie & Deb Fish, was third by less than a minute.
“We have been sailing together for 11 years with fully crewed teams in RORC races but this is the first time we have won a RORC trophy so we are absolutely delighted,” agreed McGough and Jeffrey, the Two-Handed team racing Just So. “We got one of the best starts along with Bellino and we were going well out of the Solent. Probably the biggest tactical decision that paid off was to go east. If you look at the results of the pack of boats that went that way, they have all done well. When we finished the race, we looked at the boats around us and knew we had done well, but to win overall is amazing! Just So will be competing in the Cowes-Dinard-St Malo Race fully crewed but this was the last race before we take on the Rolex Fastnet Race Two-Handed.”
In IRC One, Corby 45 Incisor, skippered by James Gair and sailed by the Cowes Race School, was the winner. Didier Gaudoux's 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race champion, JND 39 Lann Ael 2 was second and proven winner Maxime de Mareuil's XP-44 Orange Mecanix2 was third.
In IRC Two, Gavin Howe's Hamble, UK based Sun Fast 3600 Tigris was the winner racing Two-Handed with Sam Cooper. After IRC time correction, Tigris was ahead of 2015 Rolex Fastnet champion Gery Trentesaux racing JPK 11.80 Courrier Recommande, and 2017 IRC Two champion, Gilles Fournier's J/133 Pintia.
The podium for IRC Three was all British yachts, Bellino was the winner. Trevor Middleton's Sun Fast 3600 Black Sheep, sailed by Jake Carter, continue to lead the RORC Season's Points Championship with second in class for the Morgan Cup. The Royal Navy Association's J/109 Jolly Jack Tar, skippered by Tom Thicknesse, was third in class for the Morgan Cup. In IRC Four, Just so, and Cora took the top two places. Cooper & England's Dehler 38 Longue Pierre was third in class, and just four seconds off the podium for the Morgan Cup.
The eighth race of the 2019 RORC Season's Points Championship will be the East Coast Race, organised by the West Mersea Yacht Club and the Royal Ocean Racing Club. The 125nm race across the North Sea finishing in Ostend, Belgium will start on Friday 28th June 2019.