News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery : Teams ramp-up for Rolex Commodores’ Cup 2008

Teams ramp-up for Rolex Commodores’ Cup 2008

The big guns of recent competitions – Ireland, France and Great Britain - will be expecting the top palces to be decided between them but the teams from Spain and Hong Kong will undoubtedly feel that they are in with a chance too, since you do not take part in this international regatta just to make up the numbers. And, whilst the sixth participating nation, The Netherlands, has never won the Rolex Commodores’ Cup, the Dutch would happily point to their success in the Admiral’s Cup in 1999 together with second overall at this event in 1998 and 2002 as proof that they will be no pushover when the event starts on 29 June.

The Hong Kong and Spanish challenges are one-team affairs. Both countries have been to the event before and whilst Hong Kong participated once in 1992, the Spanish have put together two previous assaults on this three–boat team challenge in 1998 (6th/9) and 2002 (7th/11).

Spanish team manager, Alvaro Basterra, took part in the 1998 event and recalls that although the team put in some very good performances in the strong winds towards the end of the competition, a slow start in the light conditions early on cost them dearly in the eventual overall standings. For this event, the team is entirely from the Bilbao region of northern Spain; the three boats and owners are:

Class 1 Maitena Corel 45 D. Mikel Emaldi
Class 2 Zazpiki L.R. IMX 41 D. Juan Ignacio Gomeza
Class 3 Uso Zuria First 40.7 D. Francisco Aldecoa

According to Basterra, the Spanish team is looking forward to returning to competition in The Solent after an extended absence, 'It's always a pleasure sailing in the UK, and it's a long time now since our last regatta there. We understand The Solent is one of the cradles of sailing, and we love it. Our aim is to achieve a better result than the sixth we got in the 1998 edition. And, of course, to get a medal in each class!'. Rumour has it that Pachi Rivero (one half of Mutua Madrileña in the Barcelona World Race) may be on the team.

Great Britain – overall winners in 1996 and in 2004 – has revised its traditional selection process for the composition of its four-pronged challenge. Following the almost successful Irish model of 2006, two teams were pre-selected without the need for trials. The most experienced of these comprises three Cup stalwarts – John Shepherd with the Ker 46 Fair Do’s VII (Class 1) competed in 2000, 2004 & 2006; Jerry Otter with the Ker 39 Erivale (Class 2) was an overall winner in 2004, and the former RORC Commodore, Peter Rutter with his brand new Corby 39 Quokka (Class 3), took part in 2000 and 2004.

The second declared team from the British stable is slated as representing the north of the country – Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Northwest of England. The runners and riders are:

Class 1 Novus Arca Beneteau First 50 Kelly/Brammall (Scotland)
Class 2 Sail4Cancer Corby 37 Nigel Biggs (NW England)
Class 3 Exaltation X35 David McFarlane (N. Ireland)

The team is headed by Hamish Mackay, Vice-Chairman RYA Scotland (RYAS), who at the time of its launch said: 'It is RYAS' view that this is the most competitive team [we have] put forward in a number of years. On all boats there are a number of people who have participated in the Rolex Commodores’ Cup before and recognise it as the pinnacle of IRC racing in the UK…..all teams are relishing the opportunity of participating in what is looking like it will be the best ever attended Rolex Commodores’ Cup.'

The six yachts required to make up the remaining two British teams have been selected, but the exact composition of the teams will be determined after the IRC Nationals in mid–June, as explained by Iain Macdonald-Smith, chairman of the RYA’s Rolex Commodores’ Cup Selection Committee:

'we have nominated four events, including the RORC De Guingand Bowl offshore event, so that we can go on evaluating, coaching and training and generally work towards raising the performance of all our teams for the Rolex Commodores’ Cup. This process will culminate at the RORC IRC Nationals. With the French and Irish also expected at the IRC Nationals, we will be able to get a much better handle on the strength of the opposition and we will all be trying to win the Nationals to get the upper hand going into the main event a fortnight later.'

The Irish, who appeared to be dominating the 2006 event until everything unwound in the final offshore race of the series, came out of the starting blocks early for this year’s event announcing two strong looking teams. Based broadly on combinations that came close last time around, the interesting twist for 2008 is that Ireland Green is made up of entirely Mills designed yachts and Ireland White, Ker designs:

Ireland White
Class 1 Antix Eile Ker 39 Anthony O’Leary
Class 2 Jump Juice Ker 37 Conor and Denise Phelan
Class 3 Voodoo Chile Ker 32 Eamon Crosbie

Ireland Green
Class 1 Tiamat Mills 43 Tim Costello
Class 2 Blondie 1V Mills 40 (King 40) Eamon Rohan
Class 3 No Naked Flames Mills 37 (Slim 37) Andrew Allen

Antix Eile is Colm Barrington’s Silk Glove and has been chartered for the event, whilst Jump Juice is a modified version of the yacht that competed in 2006. Voodoo Chile is a 2006 build, also recently modified. The Mills-designed yachts are all new to the event.

The French – winners in 2002 and 2006 – have some way to go in their selection process with 24 yachts vying for a potential 12 places spread over four teams. The French selectors are playing their cards close to their chests and are giving nothing away in advance of the final determinations. However, a quick look at the list of participating owners reveals some telltale signs that the eventual teams will be filled with experience and talent.

Two-time winner and perennial competitor Géry Trentesaux is campaigning for a Class 1 slot, as are previous participants Alain Foulquier (‘06), Gonzague Dubois (‘04), Jean-Claude Nicoleau (‘04 & ‘06) and Jacques Pelletier (‘04 & ‘06). Stephane Névè and Cyrille Legloahac, winners alongside Trentesaux in 2006, are also in the trials although this time both are campaigning for a Class 2 berth.

The Dutch have put forward three teams comprising:

Team 1
Class 1 Holmatro ING Swan 42
Class 2 Roark Grand Soleil 43
Class 3 Rossetta from the Rocks Dehler 36

Team 2
Class 1 Daikin Airco Ker 11.3
Class 2 Weega IMX40
Class 3 XX Dehler 34

Team 3
Class 1 Checkmate Swan 45
Class 2 Connect Lesonal Sinergia 40
Class 3 Slainte Salona 37

More details are awaited from the Dutch, but some of the boat names and owners are familiar combinations having competed at previous Rolex Commodores’ Cups – Peter de Ridder and Checkmate in 2004; Frans van der Heijden and Daikin Airco along with Kees Kan and Roark in 2006; and, of course, the Holmatro team.

The Rolex Commodores' Cup will be held off Cowes, Isle of Wight, from 29 June to 6 July 2008. Entries, which must be made by Member National Authorities, close on Monday 26 May.

Further information about the Rolex Commodores' Cup may be found at:

by Trish Jenkins


Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

3:37 PM Thu 15 May 2008 GMT

Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on

Related News Stories:

18 Jun 2013  Sail the Northwest Passage on your iPad
17 Jun 2012  IRC National Championship - Ballistic conditions on Day 2 + Video
28 Mar 2012  Solo Offshore Racing - Truant wins first race
19 Jun 2011  Audi Melges 32 Sailing Series overall
08 Apr 2011  Audi Sydney to Newcastle images by Andrea Francolini
06 Apr 2011  RORC Easter Challenge ­- A golden opportunity for sailors
26 Feb 2011  RORC Caribbean 600 coming of age
14 Nov 2010  OPA Offshore Racing Series 2010 - Versus to broadcast series
15 Oct 2009  Rolex Middle Sea warm up Race
21 Jun 2009  Spain's Calima - Javier Pujol winner of the Giraglia Race

News - USA and the World

Audi Melges 20 U.S. Nationals - Oleander takes early lead by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,

2014 Detroit Cup - Sam Gilmour leads by Dobbs Davis, Detroit, Michigan

Audi Hamilton Island Race Week: Riding the AC45 - VIDEO by Crosbie Lorimer, Hamilton Island

America's Cup: Five Challengers sign-on for 35th Match by Richard Gladwell/,

Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad talks Time and Money (Part II) *Feature by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team,

J/111 World Championships - British Teams take early lead on day 1
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Jellyfish stings British Soldier
International Cadet World Championship – Day 4 at Weymouth, England
Nanjing Youth Olympic Games - Light wind plagues Lake Jinniu
2014 Formula Kite World Championships - Bridges strike back on day 2
AWT Quatro Desert Showdown at Punta San Carlos
SAP 505 World Championship - Holt and Woelfel on top
2014 IFDS Disabled Sailing World Championship - Day 2
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week; MC38s Lindeman Island Race VIDEO
2014 Audi Melges 20 U.S. National Championship - Ready to rock
IFDS Worlds - Wind delays, but racing continues in Halifax
IFDS World Championships - Day 2 images by Jude Robertson
MS Cup - Three days until the start
America's Cup: Rod Davis - Time for a change after ten years with team *Feature
ISAF seeking hosting bids for Nations Cup
Laser 4.7 Youth Worlds - Luvisetto and Alexadr Boite victorious +Video
IFDS World Championships - Action shots by Tim Wilkes
Maxi yacht rendezvous this September in Sardinia
World Yacht Racing Forum 2014: 'Growing the business of Yacht Racing'
Clipper Race: 2015-16 edition of world's longest ocean race 70% full
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland - Swish smash 5th World Record   
Leaderboards take shape at the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games 2014   
IFDS Worlds - Hot competition on first day of racing   
Challenging Conditions - CORK OCR   
IFDS World Championship - Day 1 for the US Sailing Team   
2014 Melges 20 World Championship - Countdown begins   
2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games - Day 3   
America's Cup: Team NZ wish Davis well with new team *Feature   
Fisher's View: Sailing perfection at Hamilton Island- Day 3   
Roble and Wilson still number one match racers in the U.S.   
2014 Formula Kite World Championship Day 1   
IFDS World Championship - Day 1 images by Jude Robertson   
Volvo Ocean Race: Forget the f-word - Team SCA profiled   
52 Super Series - Fleet grows, 2015 dates revealed   
420 and 470 Junior Europeans - Teams from 9 nations on the podium   
IFDS Worlds - Former president presented with ISAF awards medal   
Nanjing Youth Olympic Games - Improvements aplenty in Byte CII fleets   
America's Cup: New Zealand loses top coach to Artemis Racing   
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 CEO Knut Frostad talks (Part I) *Feature   
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race Day 9 - Swish on record pace   

For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News  

Switch Default Region to:

Social Media





New Zealand

United Kingdom

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World






Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text


Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery


Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery





Privacy Policy



Cookie Policy



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT