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Ireland is Among Record Entry of 159 Boats for RORC's Myth of Malham Race

25th May 2023
De Guingand Bowl race winner, Ireland's Gavin Doyle in the Corby 25 Duff Lite is the smallest boat in the 2023 Myth of Malham race
De Guingand Bowl race winner, Ireland's Gavin Doyle in the Corby 25 Duff Lite is the smallest boat in the 2023 Myth of Malham race Credit: Rick Tomlinson

A record entry of 159 boats is entered for the RORC Myth of Malham Race. The overall winner of the Myth of Malham Cup will be decided after time correction under the IRC Rating Rule. The impressive RORC fleet is expected to have over 850 race crew from 19 different nations: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Nigeria, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, and the United States.

"The Myth of Malham is a mini-Fastnet Race"

From 8 a.m. on Saturday, 27th May, there will be multiple starts from the Royal Yacht Squadron Line, Cowes IOW. The 235nm race is set to have the largest fleet for an offshore race, anywhere in the world this year, and the largest fleet in the Myth of Malham Race since records began. Spectators can watch the start from Cowes Parade and along the shore of the Western Solent.

The Myth of Malham Race can be compared to a mini-Fastnet Race. The course mirrors the first hundred miles of the Rolex Fastnet Race, which will be held in July with a record 500 boats expected.

Myth of Malham Race Entry List

James Harayda’s IMOCA Gentoo will be racing with a crew of seven Photo: James TomlinsonJames Harayda’s IMOCA Gentoo will be racing with a crew of seven Photo: James Tomlinson

Cowes resident Peter Morton will be racing his Maxi 72 Notorious, which took Line Honours in this month’s De Guingand Bowl Race. Notorious will be favourite to be the first monohull to finish the Myth of Malham. James Harayda’s IMOCA Gentoo will be racing with a crew of seven and poses the biggest threat to Notorious. Two Multihulls will be in action, James Holder’s Dazcat 1295 Slinky Malinki and the Roger Hill designed Nica, skippered by Gorm Gondesen.

RORC Commodore James Neville's Carkeek 45 Ino Noir Photo: Georgie LathamRORC Commodore James Neville's Carkeek 45 Ino Noir Photo: Georgie Latham

Hot Competition in IRC Zero

RORC Commodore James Neville will be racing his brand new charge Ino Noir, this will be the debut race for the one-off Carkeek 45. However, James Neville’s team will be defending their overall victory in the Myth of Malham, won on GP42 Ino XXX in 2022, Ino XXX also won the 2017 race. The new boat's colour scheme of crimson red matches the Commodore's Aston Martin, as Afloat reports here

NMD54 Teasing Machine returns to Europe after the Caribbean circuit  Photo: Tim Wright NMD54 Teasing Machine returns to Europe after the Caribbean circuit  Photo: Tim Wright 

RORC Vice Commodore Eric de Turckheim will be racing NMD54 Teasing Machine, which is now back from the Caribbean. Teasing Machine leads the RORC Season’s Points Championship having scored overall victories in the Rolex Middle Sea Race and RORC Transatlantic Race, plus second overall for the RORC Caribbean 600. Also racing will be Jean Pierre Barjon’s Botin 65 Spirit of Lorina from the Yacht Club de France. Spirit of Lorina was second overall to Teasing Machine in the Rolex Middle Sea Race.

Andrew Hall’s Lombard 46 Pata Negra Photo: Tim Wright Andrew Hall’s Lombard 46 Pata Negra Photo: Tim Wright 

Corinthian Experts in IRC One

Thirty-nine boats are entered in IRC One, including four or the top five for 2023. After six races, Andrew Hall’s Lombard 46 Pata Negra is in pole position and back from the Caribbean. Michael O’Donnell’s J/121 Darkwood is in third. Sport Nautique Club’s XP-44 Orange Mecanix II is in fourth and Derek Shakespeare’s J/122 Bulldog is in fifth. From France, Gilles Fournier & Corinne Migraine’s J/133 Pintia returns after winning the Cervantes Trophy overall, Pintia was second overall in the 2021 Myth of Malham and won the race in 2016. Ed Ball’s Dawn Treader will be in action, the JPK 1180 won IRC One for the 2023 De Guingand Bowl Race and was third overall in the 2022 Myth of Malham.

SunFast 3600 Bellino leads the charge Photo: Paul WyethSunFast 3600 Bellino leads the charge Photo: Paul Wyeth

Double-Handed Warriors

49 entries for the RORC Myth of Malham Race will be racing in IRC Two-Handed, mainly in IRC Three and Four. The top eight double-handed teams, so far for 2023, will be in action this weekend. The season leader for the double-handers is Rob Craigie’s Sun Fast 3600 Bellino, racing with Deb Fish. Second for the season is Sun Fast 3600 Gavin Howe’s Tigris, racing with Maggie Adamson, and third is Tim Goodhew and Kelvin Matthews racing Sun Fast 3200 Cora. In Fourth for 2023 is Nick Martin’s Sun Fast 3600 Diablo, racing with Cal Ferguson and in fifth is Mike & Susie Yates’ J/109 JAGO, which won IRC Three for the 2022 Myth of Malham. In sixth place for the season is Christian Teichmann’s JPK 1030 Vela Roja. Seventh is the leading Sun Fast 3300 for the season, Jim & Ellie Driver’s Chilli Pepper. There are 13 Sun Fast 3300s entered for the RORC Myth of Malham, including Nigel Colley’s Fastrak XII, racing with Matt Smith and Peter & Duncan Bacon back from their Caribbean adventures with Sea Bear. Sam White & Sam North will be racing Tony White’s JPK 1080 Mzungu! The two-Sams were the top two-handed team for the 2022 Myth of Malham.

 Sun Fast 3200 Cora Photo: Paul WyethSun Fast 3200 Cora Photo: Paul Wyeth

IRC Two & IRC Three

47 entries are in IRC Two, including many of the double-handers. Fully crewed boats scoring well this season are Astrid de Vin’s JPK 1030 Il Corvo, Ross Applebey’s Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster, Trevor Middleton’s Sun Fast 3600 Black Sheep, and the British Sailing Association’s Sun Fast 3600 Fujitsu British Soldier. 31 teams are entered for IRC Three including six J/109s, and another six Sun Fast 3200s. The Two-Handed Sun Fast 3200 Cora is the IRC Three leader for 2023, Tim Goodhew will race with Matt Beecher for the Myth of Malham. The leading J/109 is Rob Cotterill’s Mojo Risin’ after a podium finish overall in the De Guingand Bowl. Mike Yates racing JAGO two-handed is second for the season so far, less than seven points behind. Chris Burleigh’s Jybe Talkin’ is also in the pack of six J/109s racing in the Myth of Malham.

Afloat readers will also note the Dublin Bay Sunfast, YoYo in IRC Two is now in new hands as the Royal Navy Sailing Association (RNSA) compete for the first time in their newly purchased Sunfast 3600.

159 boats have entered the RORC Myth of Malham © Paul Wyeth/RORC159 boats have entered the RORC Myth of Malham Photo Paul Wyeth

IRC Four Flyers

20 entries are set for IRC Four, Ireland's Gavin Doyle’s Corby 25 Duff Lite is the smallest boat in the race and punched well above their weight in this month’s De Guingand Bowl, winning the race overall under IRC in a field of 83 boats. Another minnow for the race is Samuel Duménil’s JPK 960 Casamyas, which is third in IRC Four for the season after a class win in The Cervantes Trophy.

 Shepherd yawl Amokura Photo: Rick TomlinsonShepherd yawl Amokura Photo: Rick Tomlinson

Classics in the Myth of Malham

The Myth of Malham Race has attracted a significant number of classic yachts. Racing under the IRC Rating Rule, traditional designs can compete, and win, against production and high performance yachts.

The 1939 Shepherd-designed 55 yawl Amokura is the oldest boat in the race, owner Paul Moxon will race with a crew of six. Andrew Tseng’s Nicholson 55 sloop Quailo III will be taking part in her third RORC race of the season, Quailo III came second in the 1971 Fastnet Race and was part of the 1973 British Admiral’s Cup team. Harry Heijst’s S&S 41 Winsome is a familiar and highly successful classic. Harry has raced Winsome since 1996 and has enjoyed IRC Class wins in the Rolex Fastnet Race and Rolex Sydney Hobart. Three of the smallest classics racing in the Myth of Malham are Henry & Edward Clay’s Contessa 38 Flycatcher of Yar, which was an impressive sixth overall under IRC in the Cervantes Trophy Race. George Beevor & Olly Bewes’ Sagitta 35 Ugly Duckling was launched in 1972 and under their ownership, Ugly Duckling has won her IRC Class for the JOG Inshore Series. Ugly Duckling maybe 50 years old but her modifications include a fuel cell for the main source of electricity on board.

Joph Carter & Robbie Southwell Photo: Scherzo of CowesJoph Carter & Robbie Southwell Photo: Scherzo of Cowes

Two professional sailors enjoying a beer in Cowes got talking, and as a result the 1968 Swan 36 Scherzo of Cowes will be racing! Joph Carter, skipper of Swan 90 Freya, and Gurnard Pro’ sailor Robbie Southwell will be racing Scherzo two-handed for the Myth of Malham and the Rolex Fastnet Race. Scherzo of Cowes is owned by Joph’s in-laws, Peter and Alison Morton. The classic Swan was the 2022 Overall Cowes Week winner - No pressure Joph & Robbie!

JPK 1080 Il Corvo Photo: Paul WyethJPK 1080 Il Corvo Photo: Paul Wyeth

The Myth of Malham Cup was presented to the RORC by Captain John Illingworth in 1958 and is named after his famous boat, which won the 1947 and 1949 Fastnet Race. The Myth of Malham Race is part of the 2023 RORC Season's Points Championship, the ten-month series comprises of 15 testing offshore races. Over 600 international teams are expected to compete this year. Every race had its own famous prize for the overall winner after IRC time correction with more coveted trophies for class honours.

Published in RORC
Louay Habib

About The Author

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