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GP Zero - the Magnificent Seven at Cowes Week 2022

by Louay Habib 28 Jul 07:15 PDT 30 July - 5 August 2022
Seven GP Zero Boats will be racing at Cowes Week © Paul Wyeth

Cowes Week beckons (30 July - 5 August) and the entire big boat IRC Zero Class at the world-famous regatta will be composed of GP Zero Class. The fastest boats at Cowes Week with crew from the Olympics, America's Cup, Volvo Ocean Race and World Championships.

Saturday 30th July will mark the start of racing, from the Royal Yacht Squadron Line at 1100 BST. Seven days of racing are scheduled with the final day on Friday 5th August. The GP Zero Class will be racing for the big boat class win and the overall Black Group title.

Two of the Cowers Week's most famous trophies will be awarded to winning GP Zero boats for individual races. The Britannia Cup on Wednesday 3rd of August, and the NYYC Challenge Cup on Thursday 4th of August.

Dutch Ker 46 Van Uden, skippered by three-time Volvo Ocean Race and Admiral's Cup winner Gerd Jan Poortman, will be racing with a crew from the Rotterdam Offshore Sailing Team. Van Uden is the highest rated boat under IRC. With the longest water line length of the class, Van Uden is a real weapon upwind.

US-based German skipper Christian Zugel will be racing Ker 40+ Tchuss at Cowes Week. Tchuss won class at Antigua Sailing Week in May and will be competing in their first GP Zero Class event. Tchuss crew includes world champions, America's Cup and round the world sailors: Johnny Mordaunt, Nicholas O'Leary, Tristan Seal, Tom McWilliam, and Chris Mason.

Guy Gillon and Christian Hamilton will be racing Reichel Pugh GP42 Khumbu, which was runner up for IRC Zero at Cowes Week last year, and second overall for the 2022 Round the Island Race. The top class Khumbu crew for Cowes Week includes America's Cup and Volvo Ocean Race navigator Steve Hayles, Luke Cross on trim, Gurnard's Robbie Southwell, Corinthian Moth World Champion Tom Offer, America's Cup sailor Freddie Carr, Jacintha Hamilton, and Arden Tomison.

RORC Commodore James Neville will race his Judel Vrolijk designed HH42 INO XXX which has been in fine form offshore for the RORC Season's Points Championship. However, INO XXX suffered damage in the Round Ireland Race. "Crew members George Bridge and Mark Devereux have been working round the clock and INO XXX is ready for Cowes Week," confirmed James Neville. The INO XXX crew includes Mike Henning, Martin Watts, Jack Trigger, John Hunter-Hamilton, and Huw Neville.

Two turbo-charged IC37 designs from Mark Mills will be racing in IRC Zero for Cowes Week. Nick Griffith's ICY will have Kiwi Chris Bake on the helm with Team Aqua. The RC44 Team Aqua races with tactician Cameron Appleton, main trimmer Andy Estcourt and grinder Ben Graham. Four-time Finn Gold Cup winner and two-time Olympic gold medallist, Giles Scott is expected to be racing on ICY.

Bertie Bicket's turboed IC37 Fargo will be racing under the burgee of the Royal Yacht Squadron. With three starts off the RYS Line, and both the Britannia Cup and NYYC Challenge Cup to race for. Fargo has an added incentive to fair well at Cowes Week. RYS Rear Commodore, Bertie Bicket won the Britannia Cup in 2018. For the 2022 edition of Cowes Week Fargo will have Isle of Wight resident Ian Moore as navigator, plus Bertie has hinted that there will be other guest appearances across both IC37 boats during the week!

GP 42 Dark 'N' Stormy, campaigned by Ian Atkins, President of the new Grand Prix Zero class will be in action. Dark 'N' Stormy performed the hattrick for this year's Round the Island Race winning Line Honours, IRC Overall and the big boat class. Two-time Olympic silver medallist Ian Walker is on tactics and is joined by Gurnard's Jules Salter as navigator, both have won the Volvo Ocean Race. Nick Bonner and Jono MacBeth are part of top class crew on Dark 'N' Stormy.

To follow the GP Zero Class racing at Cowes Week, go to: cowesweek.com
To stay tuned to the GP Zero Class visit Facebook page.

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