Please select your home edition
Edition
Predictwind - Iridium

Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - Racing begins this Sunday

by James Boyd on 18 Jul 2014
Father and son team, Michael & Seb Blair are returning to the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup with their King 40, Cobra (GBR Red) Rick Tomlinson © http://www.rick-tomlinson.com
Britain returns to the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup as the defending champion following the victory of GBR Red in 2012. Like the French, the home nation will be fielding four teams, including a team from Scotland, when racing gets underway this Sunday 20th July in the Royal Ocean Racing Club's biennial week long regatta for amateur national three boat teams.

Compared to previous years the form of the 2014 British teams is harder to judge with many first time competitors. In fact, of the 12 boats, only two competed in 2012. Father and son team, Michael and Seb Blair, are returning with their King 40, Cobra, in GBR Red and David Aisher's J/109, Yeoman of Wight, is back in GBR Blue. One reason for this is due to many boats changing hands - all three of the 2012 GBR Red line-up are in new ownership. However Jonathan Goring, owner of GBR Red's winning Ker 40 Keronimo in 2012, has returned as a Team GBR selector.

The Blairs are excited to be in GBR Red: 'We are feeling quietly confident,' says son Seb. 'Hopefully it will be another win for a GBR team and we will stay in the top three somewhere, hopefully first. We are a very strong boat this year. We have been modifying bits and pieces over the season between the races.'

Cobra will sail with a similar line-up to 2012 with core crew including helmsman Chris Warmsley, Nick Piper and Freddie Hall, but with a new tactician in Tim Thubron. While last time they were new to their King 40, having only acquired it four months beforehand, this time they are much better acquainted with her.

The Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup is the premier event in Cobra's sailing program, says Blair. 'This is what we have been training for and put everything into this year and where all my work holiday is going. It is a very prestigious event and we love the fact that it has a wonderful heritage behind it. It blows everything else out of the water. It is the Formula 1 of sailing in England, the best that's going on and with wonderful sponsors.'

Cobra is joined in GBR Red by the Ker 40, Cutting Edge, which was the top placed boat in the Benelux team in 2012 when she was campaigned as Baraka GP by the de Graaf family. Robert Lutener's team has Stacey Clark helming, and with North Sails' Sam Richmond and Figaro sailor Nick Cherry as its Group 3 professionals. The lowest rated boat in GBR Red is Iain Kirkpatrick's X 37, Fatjax, one of the most successful race boats on the East Coast, also a four time Cowes Week class winner.

'It is a privilege and exciting to be given the opportunity to represent GBR,' says Kirkpatrick. 'For us as a team it is a unique opportunity to demonstrate all the hard work put in over a number of years.' Fatjax's crew has been travelling to the Solent from Edinburgh, Norwich, Ipswich and London on a weekly basis to train.

GBR Red is traditionally the RYA's top team and in previous years has been the stand out British team overall but this year, as RYA Team Manager Nigel King says, GBR White is at the same level. 'As it's panned out GBR Red and GBR White are two very even teams with similar boats. It is fair to say the GBR Blue is the least experienced, but if they have the right weather and they sail well, they will be okay too.'


GBR White comprises another Ker 40 - Ed Broadway's Hooligan VII, sailed by a young and enthusiastic crew, and James Neville's Corby 36, INO (ex Inga from Sweden), which has former pro big boat navigator Nat Ives onboard, who has come out of retirement and now onboard as a Group 1 amateur. The third boat in the team is Localletterbox Zero II, the Mills 39 now skippered by James Gair, that as marinerscove.ie was part of the 2010 winning Irish team.

Gair typically campaigns the boat through his Cowes Race School, but not this time; instead the line-up includes former crew from Neil Kipling's J/122, Joopster, and the Artemis Offshore Academy's Alex Gardiner.

Helmsman on board is Admiral of the RORC, Andrew McIrvine, who reckons that this time GBR White may prove as strong, if not stronger, than GBR Red. 'I think our team is at least competitive. I would be surprised if we won, but I would be disappointed if we didn't come out best British team or best English team.'

Part of the GBR four is Scotland featuring as its highest rated boat, James McGarry's Swan 45, Eala of Rhu, plus Rod Stuart and Bill Ram's Corby 37, Aurora, and Steve Cowie's First 40, Zephyr. They are all strong teams and with pro sailors including Eala of Rhu tactician Kevin Sproul, who competed on GBR Red's winning boat Keronimo in 2012 and Volvo Ocean Race sailor Ian Budgen on Zephyr.

The fourth GBR team is GBR Blue, featuring two J/109s - Robert Stiles' team from Brighton on Diamond Jem, David Aisher's Yeoman of Wight and Richard Patrick's First 40 Dusty P.

Andrew McIrvine sums up why he's returning for his third Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup: 'It is a fantastic event - international and very high pressure. It is unique in that there is a high standard of racing, where you need the whole team all to do well - you can't just have one flash boat. The combination of relentlessness, no discard, and inshore and offshore races for a whole week is one of the toughest mixtures.'

The Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup 2014 will be held between 19-26 July 2014 at Cowes, Isle of Event website

Barz Optics - San Juan Worlds Best EyewearZhik Yachting 660x82Protector - 660 x 82

Related Articles

Trofeo Princesa Sofía IBEROSTAR – FX Girls running away With the title
In the driving seat in the Womens Skiff, 49er FX, Germany’s Victoria Jurcoz and Anika Lorenz currently look unstoppable The Finn class sailors holding counsel, not making any premature judgements about the format innovation which responds to the need to deliver easily understood, exciting, televisual finales to the Olympic events.
Posted on 30 Mar
Trofeo Princesa Sofía IBEROSTAR – A day of snakes and ladders in Palma
Rising stars James Peters-Fynn Sterritt continued their consistent form at the front of the 49er fleet on Thursday It’s been a day of mixed feelings in the Nacra 17. Ben Saxton-Steph Orton, who paired up for this regatta after just a week training together, were pleased with their day. The duo now sit in fifth place overall, but remain focused that the regatta is still about learning and enjoying it.
Posted on 30 Mar
Scrub Island Invitational at BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival
There's nothing like a good party at the finish to entice a fleet of enthusiastic racers to focus on the task at hand Today's course for the Scrub Island Invitational started off Nanny Cay with a light breeze of seven knots from the west which built to 10+ later in the morning. The fleet got to enjoy another dose of the BVI's exquisite warm turquoise waters and stunning views as it made its way to Scrub Island for the afternoon celebrations.
Posted on 30 Mar
Para World Sailing Strategic Plan heading in the right direction
Sir Philip Craven receiving an update on progress world governing body is making in Para World Sailing Strategic Plan Sir Philip Craven, International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President met with senior World Sailing officials, receiving an update on the progress the world governing body is making in its Para World Sailing Strategic Plan.
Posted on 30 Mar
America's Cup Hall of Fame - Syd Fischer one of three to be inducted
The America's Cup Hall of Fame to induct three personalities in 2017 - Syd Fischer, John K. Marshall, and Doug Peterson The America's Cup Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place on October 5, 2017 in San Diego, California, aboard the U.S.S. Midway. Three personalities will be inducted - Syd Fischer (AUS), John K. Marshall (USA), and Doug Peterson (USA). The America's Cup Hall of Fame was founded in 1992, as an arm of the Herreshoff Marine Museum by Halsey Herreshoff, a four-time America's Cup defender
Posted on 30 Mar
Second annual Scrub Island Invitational - A fun race to a great party!
There's nothing like a good party at the finish to entice a fleet of enthusiastic racers to focus on the task at hand There's nothing like a good party at the finish to entice a fleet of enthusiastic racers to focus on the task at hand, and the Scrub Island Resort laid it on for racers today. Scrub Island Resort, Spa and Marina, a private-island resort in the BVI, lies approximately 13 km to the north east of Tortola. Today's course for the Scrub Island Invitational started off Nanny Cay with a light breeze
Posted on 30 Mar
Trofeo Princesa Sofía IBEROSTAR – Perfect day of three wins
Making the difference so far is the Germans' superior strength and experience, as one of the crews in Palma Hungry to make their mark at the 49er FX European Championships when they come to their home water of Kiel in June, the duo who have sailed together since 2011 have been a class apart so far at the European season opener.
Posted on 29 Mar
Willy Altadill to return for his second edition of Volvo Ocean Race
Willy Altadill, who made his debut with MAPFRE last race, is the son of round-the-world veteran Guillermo Altadill. Willy Altadill, the 24-year-old from Barcelona, who made his debut with MAPFRE last race, is the son of round-the-world veteran Guillermo Altadill.
Posted on 29 Mar
Trofeo Princesa Sofía Iberostar - Back to business
It was a return to business as usual for the second day of competition at Trofeo Princesa Sofía Iberostar regatta. From a funky first day of racing when the promising solid morning breeze evaporated to become difficult, shifty and unsettled and then disappeared, it was a return to business as usual for the second day of competition at the 48th edition of the Trofeo Princesa Sofía Iberostar regatta.
Posted on 29 Mar
BVI Spring Regatta - Nanny Cay Cup sailed in light breezes
A tauntingly light breeze of five - seven knots out of the south was enough to get 50+ boats starting in Nanny Cay Cup A tauntingly light breeze of five - seven knots out of the south was enough to get 50+ boats starting in the Nanny Cay Cup, the first event of the 2017 BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival. Rather than the usual Round Tortola race, conditions favoured a 16 NM course starting in the channel off Nanny Cay and taking the fleet around Pelican and Flanagan Islands.
Posted on 29 Mar