Phillipe Delaporte wins Cervantes Trophy

The Cervantes Trophy was won by Phillipe Delaporte’s, J/122, Pen Azen but only just, after correction, an agonising 4 seconds separating them from John Shepherd’s Ker 46, Fair Do’s VII.

Pen Azen had a fantastic 2007 with their new boat, winning the Myth of Malham and the Eddystone Race and best overseas yacht in IRC overall. Francois Delaporte, the owner’s son was the primary trimmer on board for the Cervantes Trophy and was delighted to get their season off to such a good start:

'We have a very good team spirit and we work well together. Pen Azen will be competing in many RORC races including the Cowes to Madeira Race and the return to Cowes. This was a great start to our campaign.'

Peter Harrison’s Farr 52, Chernikeeff 2 won by beating the Volvo RYA Keelboat Programmes TP52, John Merricks II by over 20 minutes on corrected time. The UK Sailing Academy are running Chernikeeff 2 and they are made up of non-professional sailors, aged 18-25.

Seb Cassiba was trimming the main and helming Chernikeeff 2: 'This was our first offshore of the season and we plan to do several more. We would love to get racing further afield, especially the Cowes-Madeira or Middle Sea Race but we need more funding and perhaps, this year is a little too soon.'

John Shepherd’s Ker 46, Fair Do’s VII, came out on top with Mike Greville’s Ker 39, Erivale III, second by over 27 minutes on corrected time. Erivale III was also third in IRC overall.

John Greenland, principle helmsman on Fair Do’s VII was happy with the course set by the RORC but a shade disappointed to have missed out on the Cervantes Trophy by just four seconds:

'I think the race committee were spot on choosing the shorter course. It did add an element of tactics into a straight line run from the Needles to Le Havre and also when we were motoring back, there was virtually no wind, so the longer course would have been a problem. Looking back at where we could have made up those four seconds, well, we probably went to the wrong end of the finish line. We should have gone to the committee boat end, but we couldn’t see it due to the background lights of Le Havre.'

Philippe Delaporte’s J/122, Pen Azen, won the class by a healthy margin but there was a close race for second place. Shortly after midnight, Sailing Logic’s Reflex 38, Puma Logic, beat the Army Sailing Association’s, A40, British Soldier by a mere 41 seconds on corrected time.

Noel Racine’s JPK 9.6, Foggy Dew, won the class and once again their was a close battle for second place, Peter Hodgkinson’s X-362, Xcitable, beating Adrian Lower’s J/109, Jaguar of Burnham, into third place by less than five minutes, after correction.

After the race, Foggy Dew’s owner, Noel Racine was delighted to win the class and commented; 'We had a good downwind run in the Solent at the start and after that we had ideal conditions for the boat, 18-20 knots is just what we like. Also for us Le Havre is our back garden, so we knew just when to tack for tide at the finish.'

David Lees won the class in his High Tension 36, Hephzibah, with a veteran race boat, Paul March’s S&S Clarionet second and David Crawforth’s well campaigned Sigma 33 Sigrees was third.

Michael Boyd & Niall Dowling’s J105, Slingshot won the two handed race with John Loden’s HOD 35, Psipsina in second place.

Full results can be found on