by Louay Habib
At 245 nautical miles, the Myth of Malham race around the Eddystone Lighthouse can take the smaller yachts about 48 hours. The race is a test of physical and mental endurance for the fleet with every likelihood of two nights at sea.
If last weekend’s racing is anything to go by, this will be a very tactical race. Getting a good start is always important in any yacht race and the fleet will have many options open to them as they make their way from the Squadron Line on Saturday 24 May, East up the Solent.
Heading down the south side of the Isle of Wight, tacticians will be looking at sailing angles, to clear St. Catherine’s’ Point and head towards the south west of England. Each boat will need to work out the effects of tide and wind to decide which is the quickest path to the Eddystone Lighthouse, close to Plymouth. Rounding the lighthouse to port, the fleet will turn back towards the Solent. The course could result in an Olympic triangle with a windward and leeward leg and a reach to finish which would create a interesting race, at every point of sail to test the competitors.
From France: Philippe Delaporte’s J/122, Pen Azen has been in scintillating form this season and will be looking to better their second overall last year. Noel Racine’s JPK 9.60, Foggy Dew, was well placed overall last year and won class.
From Britain: John Shepherd’s Ker 46, Fair Do’s VII could feature and the Army Sailing Association’s A40RS, British Soldier is in consistent form. Piet Vroon’s Breskens based, Lutra 56, Formidable 3 could also be one to watch. In the two handed division, Michael Boyd & Niall Dowling’s J/105, Slingshot will be looking to continue a solid start to their 2008 campaign.
Myth of Malham was built for John Illingworth in 1947, to exploit the RORC rule. Many consider Illingworth to be the founder of modern yacht racing and his use of sail plan measurement is, to some extent, echoed by bowsprits being fitted to TP52s today. Myth of Malham went on to compete in five Admiral’s Cups, a record that has been achieved by no other yacht.
For the full RORC racing programme go to: http://www.rorc.org