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J133 Pintia Celebrate RORC Cervantes Trophy Race Win in Le Havre

1st May 2023
Gilles Fournier & Corinne Migraine’s J/133 Pintia
Credit: James Tomlinson

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
Louay Habib

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Louay Habib

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Louay Habib is a Maritime Journalist & Broadcaster based in Hamble, United Kingdom

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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