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2021 RORC Cowes Dinard St Malo Race - Spectacular fleet bound for St Malo

by Louay Habib 7 Jul 04:45 PDT 9 July 2021
IRC Zero start - RORC Cowes Dinard St Malo Race © Paul Wyeth / RORC

The Royal Ocean Racing Club's Season's Points Championship continues this weekend with a spectacular fleet of over 130 boats of all shapes and sizes, racing from Cowes to St Malo.

The 151 nautical mile race is steeped in history, pre-dating the Royal Ocean Racing Club by almost 20 years. The overall winner under IRC will be awarded the magnificent King Edward VII Cup, presented by the British Monarch in 1906. Two of the world's fastest multihulls will be racing in the MOCRA Class, Francis Joyon's IDEC and Yves Le Blevec's Actual Ultim 3. The race will feature a fleet of Class40s racing with the RORC under class rules.

MOCRA Class

Francis Joyon's IDEC is the reigning Jules Verne Trophy holder, having circumnavigated the world with his crew in 40 days 23 hours 30 minutes 30 seconds. Racing solo, Joyon has held all of the major offshore sailing records, including the fastest single-handed sailing circumnavigation from 2008 to 2016. Bernard Stamm will be on IDEC for the race - the Swiss sailor has recorded four round the world records and race wins.

IDEC's immediate competition for the race to St Malo will come from Yves Le Blevec's Actual, which was sailed by François Gabart as Macif, setting the current world record for solo around the world. Whilst IDEC and Actual will be odds-on to take Multihull Line Honours, a total of five multihulls are entered for the Yachts and Yachting Cauldron for the best corrected time under the MOCRA rule.

IRC Zero

The big boat division will race for the Lloyds of London Salver and will be favourites for the Sandison Memorial Salver for the first Monohull Yacht Home. Eric de Turkheim's French NMYD54 Teasing Machine will be in action for the second race of the championship, after third in class for the Rolex Middle Sea Race. Volvo 70 Telefonica Black, Open 50 Pegasus of Northumberland, and the Mylius 60 Lady First 3, will be hoping for strong downwind conditions for the race.

IRC One

Seventeen teams, racing 17 different kinds of boat, will be looking to score the best corrected time under IRC for the Noryema Trophy. RORC Commodore James Neville, racing his HH42 Ino XXX is the top rated boat in class and was second overall in 2017. Ino's immediate rival will be Ed Fishwick's GP42 Redshift. Four French teams will be racing in IRC One including Didier Gaudoux's JND 39 Lann Ael 2, overall winner of the 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race, and Jacques Pelletier's Milon 41 L'Ange De Milon, winner of IRC One for the 2019 Rolex Fastnet Race. Irish owner/skipper Michael O'Donnell will be racing to retain the class lead for the 2021 season with J/121 Darkwood.

IRC Two

Twenty-five teams will be racing for the Yeoman Bowl including the current holder of the King Edward VII Trophy, Ross Applebey's Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster, which won the race overall in 2019. Six French teams will be racing including Pierre Sallenave's X-442 Ster Wenn 5, the overall winner in 2018, and Francois Lognone's MC34 Nutmeg Solidaire En Peloton, the overall winner in 2015. Eight Beneteau First 40s will enjoy a battle within the class, the majority will be crewed by paying guests under the guidance of professional charter skippers.

IRC Three

Forty-two teams will be racing for the Yacht Club de Dinard Trophy. About half of the boats racing in IRC Three will be racing Two-Handed. Fully crewed entries include seven J/109s having their own private battle. Seasoned competition includes Richard Oswald's much travelled Elan 450 Emily of Cowes and the overall winner of the 2019 RORC Season's Points Championship, Trevor Middleton's Sun Fast 3600 Black Sheep, skippered by Jake Carter. Top French opposition includes Louis-Marie Dussere's JPK 1080 Raging-bee" and Noel Racine's JPK 1030 Foggy Dew. The beautiful classic Swan 55 yawl Lulotte, skippered by Ben Morris, will also be racing.

IRC Two-handed

Forty-one teams have entered racing in IRC Two-Handed, the majority racing in IRC Three and Four. The largest short-handed fleet racing with the RORC since the 2019 Rolex Fastnet Race. Richard Palmer's JPK 1010 Jangada, racing with Jeremy Waitt, is on for a hat trick of class victories, following triumphs in the Morgan Cup and De Guingand Bowl. However, competition in the class is so intense that Jangada is only third for the season. James Harayda's Sun Fast 3300 Gentoo, racing with Dee Caffari, and Rob Craigie's Bellino, racing with Deb Fish, are the two leading boats. Over a dozen teams from France will be racing, many making their RORC debuts of the season. Francois Moriceau was the Two-Handed champion for the race in 2019 and is back with a new JPK 1030 Mary-3. IRC Two Handed will be a fascinating encounter for this famous race.

IRC Four

34 teams have entered, racing for the IR Trophy. Jonathan Rolls' Swan 38 Xara, overall winner of last month's De Guingand Bowl Race, is one of a number of classic yachts competing. Six Sun Fast 3200 will be competing, as will the class leader for the season J/109 Just So, sailed Two-Handed by William McGough & Christian Jeffery. Eleven French teams have entered, including Emmanuel Pinteaux's JPK 1010 Gioia, second in class for the 2019 Rolex Fastnet Race. The oldest boat among the impressive RORC fleet is Amokura, the 50ft yawl built by Moodys in 1939.

An optional return course has been organised by the RORC, especially for teams looking to gain additional race miles towards qualification for the 2021 Rolex Fastnet Race. Details can be found in the Sailing Instructions for the Cowes - Dinard - St Malo Race. All boats taking part in the race will gather off Cowes Parade from around 0900 on Friday 9th July.

The full entry list and AIS tracking link can be found at yb.tl/stmalo2021 and also via smartphones with the YB App. Results will be available with live updates at www.rorc.org

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