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Tala wins RORC Myth of Malham Cup

by Louay Habib 31 May 23:21 PDT 29-30 May 2021

One hundred and twenty five boats started the 230 nautical-mile RORC Myth of Malham, held over the Bank Holiday Weekend. High pressure at the start of the race, delivered light to moderate conditions with brilliant sunshine for a magnificent spinnaker run down the South Coast of England. On the morning of Day Two, as the majority of the fleet were rounding the Eddystone Lighthouse, the wind speed increased to over 20 knots from the northeast. A feisty beat in confused seas lasted for about seven hours. The wind faltered later in the race creating calm seas, which combined with a strong unfavourable tide, to slow the progress of the smaller boats.

David Collins' Botin IRC52 Tala took Line Honours and the Myth of Malham Cup for the best corrected time under IRC. Congratulations to all of the class winners including Orange Mecanix2 skippered by Maxime de Mareuil, Gilles Fournier & Corinne Migraine's Pintia, Louis-Marie Dussere's Raging-bee", Tim Goodhew & Kelvin Matthews racing Cora, James Harayda & Dee Caffari racing Gentoo, Charles Emmett's Virgin Media Business, and James Holder's Slinky Malinki.

"It's been a long time and great to be back, the last distance race I did was the Fastnet 2019," commented Tala's navigator Campbell Field. "Thankfully the South Coast turned on some beautiful weather with a little bit of bash and crash on the way back to the finish. Tala is not putting much emphasis from this result towards the Fastnet in August. If the Myth of Malham had been run seven days earlier, the systems coming through would have created a different story. It was nice to sharpen our act a little, get the team together for some beautiful sailing, and we have found a few things to improve our performance."

IRC Two-Handed

Thirty-Eight Two-Handed teams competed in the race, James Harayda's Sun Fast 3300 Gentoo, racing with Dee Caffari, was the winner of the Ville D'Hyeres Trophy. Kelvin Rawlings' Sun Fast 3300 Aries, racing with Stuart Childerley, was second. Henry Bomby & Shirley Robertson racing their Sun Fast 3300 were third. The first IRC Two-Handed team to finish the race was Rob Craigie's Sun Fast 3600 Bellino, racing with Deb Fish. Bellino was fourth after IRC time correction.

Tired but elated, James Harayda and Dee Caffari spoke dockside: "The race was delayed by about 30 minutes because of a ship coming through the Solent, which threw off our plans for the tidal gates. We got a good start and there was a big transition at The Needles but the big boats in front of us gave a good indication of what was to come." After tight racing all the way down the South Coast, there was little separating the leaders. "It was literally a traffic jam as we rounded the Eddystone Lighthouse. We made sure we got our manoeuvres right and then the fun really started. After a wonderful ride downwind, we had a really messy sea state and 20 knots of wind as we beat back. Approaching Portland, we stayed offshore a little, hoping for more breeze which worked. It is never over until you cross the finish line, anything can happen, and at the end of a long race you can get tired and make a mistake, we had to race-clever all the way to the end."

IRC One

The French xP44 Orange Mecanix2 skippered by Maxime de Mareuil, has won the Loujaine Cup. Orange Mecanix2 pulled off a tremendous finish to win IRC One from Michael O'Donnell's J/121 Darkwood. Andrew Hall's Lombard 46 Pata Negra made a big gain going into Lyme Bay on the return leg, finishing third after IRC time correction. Class Line Honours went to Ed Fishwick's Farr 42 Redshift, after a close battle with RORC Commodore James Neville racing HH42 Ino XXX.

IRC Two

Gilles Fournier & Corinne Migraine's French J/133 Pintia won the class winning the Jamarella Trophy and placed second overall for the fleet. Thomas Kneen's JPK 1180 Sunrise took Class Line Honours, was second in IRC Two, and third overall. Christopher Daniel's J/122E Juno was third in class. IRC Two produced the most competitive contest for the podium with less than 20 minutes separating the Pintia, Sunrise and Juno, after 36 hours of racing.

"We are very pleased to race the Myth of Malham, our first race since Cherbourg in 2019," commented Pintia's Gilles Fournier. "We were very eager to come to England in spite of the pandemic. Even with all the safety measures in place, we received a good welcome in Cowes. For the race, we had friendly and well-sailed competitors, and Pintia is delighted to have won our class. On the way back, Portland Bill was tough with a lot of tide, and we were overtaken by our competitors, but we got back, which was so nice. Thank you to the RORC for a great race!"

IRC Three

French boats filled the class podium with Louis-Marie Dussere's JPK 1180 Raging-bee" winning the taking Class Line Honours and the win after IRC time correction from the legendary Noel Racine racing his new JPK 1030 Foggy Dew. Maxime Mesnil's J/99 Axe Sail, taking part in their debut race, was third by just 19 seconds. Raging-bee" wins the Maid of Malham Cup.

IRC Four

Tim Goodhew & Kelvin Matthews won a tight finish racing Two-Handed on Sun Fast 3200 Cora to win the Ernest Moore Plate. Emmanuel Pinteaux's fully crewed French JPK 10.10 Gioia was second. The Two-Handed team of William McGough & Christian Jeffery, racing J/109 Just So was third, only three minutes behind after time correction.

Myth of Malham Trophies and Medallions will be presented on Saturday 11th September at the RORC Cowes Clubhouse at 1930 hrs. All skippers and crews are most welcome.

The Royal Ocean Racing Club 2021 Season's Points Championship continues with the East Coast Race, starting on Saturday 5th June. The race starting and finishing in Harwich, will pitch the RORC fleet in the North Sea on a course of approximately 125nm. For more information: www.rorc.org

Full results available here.

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