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O'Donnell's 'Darkwood' Round Ireland Race Crew Are Ready for RORC's Myth of Malham Race

2nd June 2022
Michael O'Donnell's J121 Darkwood is racing in the Myth of Malham Race on the Solent before heading to Ireland this month for the Round Ireland Race
Michael O'Donnell's J121 Darkwood is racing in the Myth of Malham Race on the Solent before heading to Ireland this month for the Round Ireland Race Credit: Paul Wyeth

Ireland is among 70 teams from eight different nations that have entered this weekend's Royal Ocean Racing Club Myth of Malham Race.

Irish crews include Michael O'Donnells's team on the J121 Darkwood that are now officially entered for the Round Ireland Race in just over two weeks' time. 

As regular Afloat readers know, O'Donnell is sailing with Michael Boyd, Kenny Rumball, and a crew some of Ireland's top offshore sailors in the 700-miler from Wicklow. The crew first raced this season on Darkwood for last month's Cervantes Trophy. 

Also on Myth of Malham duty this weekend is Dublin Bay's Paul Bradley who swaps his berth on the Cruisers One Mills 33 Raptor for the somewhat larger V70 Telefonica Black, pictured below.

The first start is at 1300 BST from the Royal Yacht Squadron Line on Thursday 02 June.

The course mirrors the start of the Rolex Fastnet Race, taking the fleet around notable headlands with complex tides, including Portland Bill and Start Point. The Eddystone Lighthouse, nine miles off the Cornish Coast, is the turning point for the 230-mile race with a finish just outside the Solent. This weekend, celebrations will take place all over the United Kingdom for Her Majesty the Queen's Platinum Jubilee. After IRC time correction, class winners and the overall winner of the Myth of Malham, will have their own cause for celebration.

IRC SZ & Zero

Lance Shepherd's Volvo 70 Telefonica Black will be making its first Squadron Line start for the RORC Season's Points Championship and on paper the pro-am crew have the fastest IRC rated boat. However, Racing in IRC Zero, the favourites for Line Honours must include the long-awaited debut for the Swedish CF-520 Rán 8. Niklas Zennström's Rán Racing team returns to offshore racing with the RORC with a stunning new design. RORC Commodore James Neville will be racing his HH42 INO XXX , a solid performance in the Myth of Malham will put INO XXX into the season lead for IRC Zero. VME Racing's CM60 Venomous is the largest boat in IRC Zero, skippered by James Gair.


Jean-Eudes Renier & Rob Bottomley's MAT12 Sailplane and Michael O'Donnell's J/121 Darkwood with a top Irish crew, will both be in action. Both teams are challenging for the season lead in class. Ed Bell's JPK 1180 Dawn Treader returns to racing in the UK after a great performance in the RORC Caribbean 600. In form teams in IRC One include Astrid de Vin's Dutch JPK 1180 Il Corvo, overall winner of the North Sea Race, and Derek Shakespeare's J/122 Bulldog, class winner for the de Guingand Bowl Race. Four British First 40s will be in action including Ronan Banim's Galahad Of Cowes, the London Corinthian Sailing Club's Tango and two entries from Hamble based race training school, Sailing Logic: Lancelot II and Arthur.

Published in RORC, Round Ireland 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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