Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

afloat headers RORC

France's J/133 Pintia Back in Action After Fastnet Race Win for RORC Channel 120-Miler

8th August 2023
Fastnet Race IRC One winner Gilles Fournier and Corinne Migraine’s J/133 Pintia will compete in RORC's Channel Race
Gilles Fournier and Corinne Migraine’s J/133 Pintia Credit: ROLEX/Kurt Arrigo

The Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) Channel Race is set to take place on Saturday, August 12th, as part of the RORC Season's Points Championship.

Although the number of participating boats will be significantly lower than the world record entry for the Rolex Fastnet Race, competition will be intense as sailors compete for points in the world's largest offshore racing series.

After analysing weather forecasts, the RORC Race Team will set a course starting from the Royal Yacht Squadron Line, heading west for approximately 120 nautical miles. Spectators can watch the start from Cowes Parade and along the shore of the Western Solent.

Ross Hobson's Open 50 Pegasus of Northumberland (GBR)Ross Hobson's Open 50 Pegasus of Northumberland (GBR)

IRC Zero

Among the line honours contenders in IRC Zero are Ross Hobson's Open 50 Pegasus of Northumberland (GBR) (that is still seeking a Round Ireland record) and Arto Livorno's Infiniti 52 Tulikettu (FIN). Although both boats have similar IRC ratings and canting keels, Tulikettu is a new concept incorporating DSS side foils, and is significantly lighter than Pegasus, which has more sail area and has been raced by Hobson for many years. Other boats in the class include Mark Emerson's A13 Phosphorous II (GBR) and Henry Bateson's Iceni 39 Andrasta, skippered by Bill Edgerton with the RORC Griffin Youth Team.


In IRC One, Gilles Fournier & Corinne Migraine's J/133 Pintia (FRA) is back in action after winning IRC One for the 2023 Fastnet Race. Tom Scott's X-50 Itma (GBR) is the top-rated boat in the class, skippered by Australian Ben Rahilly, while RORC Treasurer Derek Shakespeare will race J/122 Bulldog (GBR) in the class.

Rob Craigie’s Sun Fast 3600 Bellino Photo: Paul WyethRob Craigie’s Sun Fast 3600 Bellino Photo: Paul Wyeth


Rob Craigie's Sun Fast 3600 Bellino (GBR) is leading IRC Two for the season and is second in IRC Two-Handed. Racing Two-Handed with Deb Fish, Bellino will also be defending their class win in the 2022 RORC Channel Race. Other boats in the class include Jim & Ellie Driver's Sun Fast 3300 Chilli Pepper (GBR), Trevor Middleton's Sun Fast 3600 Black Sheep, skippered by Jake Carter, and Ross Applebey's Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster (GBR).

Nick Lee's Projection 920 Wee Bear (GBR), racing Two-Handed with Kare WoodwardNick Lee's Projection 920 Wee Bear (GBR), racing Two-Handed with Kare Woodward Photo: Rick Tomlinson

IRC Three

In IRC Three, Tim Goodhew & Kelvin Matthews racing Sun Fast 3200 Cora (GBR) will rest for August, but Mike Yates' J/109 Jago, racing Two-Handed, will be looking to close the gap in the RORC Channel Race. Other boats in the class include David McHugh's Just So (GBR) raced Two-Handed by William McHugh and Christian Jeffery, and Chris Burleigh's Jybe Talkin' (GBR). Gavin Howe's Classic Channel 72 Wavetrain (GBR) is the oldest and only wooden boat in the race, while Nick Lee's Projection 920 Wee Bear (GBR), racing Two-Handed with Kare Woodward, is the smallest boat in the race with the lowest IRC rating.

Over a hundred sailors will be competing in the RORC Channel Race, with over 40% of the sailors under 40 years old and a quarter being women in the 18-25 age bracket. Channel Race Trophies and Medallions will be presented on Saturday, September 2nd, at the RORC Cowes Clubhouse.

The Royal Ocean Racing Club's Channel Race is the 14th race of the RORC Season's Points Championship, the largest racing series in the world of offshore racing.

Published in RORC Team

About The Author Team

Email The Author is Ireland's dedicated marine journalism team.

Have you got a story for our reporters? Email us here.

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open. is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button


  • 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