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Henri-Lloyd 2022 December - SW LEADERBOARD

Teasing Machine wins RORC Myth of Malham Race 2023

by Louay Habib / RORC 30 May 07:24 PDT 27 May 2023
RORC fleet along Cowes Green © Paul Wyeth / RORC

The Royal Ocean Racing Club was saddened to hear that two sailors had been lost at sea this weekend, racing in the English Channel in two separate races organised by JOG and the Sussex Yacht Club. Our thoughts and sincere condolences are with the family and friends of the two sailors at this difficult time.

The Royal Ocean Racing Club's Myth of Malham Race attracted a record entry of 147 boats racing under the IRC Rating Rule for the Myth of Malham Cup. The 235nm race attracted the largest entry for any offshore yacht race, since the 2022 Newport Bermuda.

A downwind start, with spinnakers flying in bright sunshine was spectacular viewing in Cowes. Strategy came straight into play immediately after leaving the Solent. With light wind forecast for the middle of the English Channel, the big decision was whether to play the local breeze on the South Coast of England or venture across the English Channel to gain favourable wind off the French Coast, ever mindful of the Casquettes Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS). Teams in the race reported wind speed as high as 27 knots and as low as a total shut down.

After IRC time correction, RORC Vice Commodore Eric de Turckheim racing NMD 54 Teasing Machine (FRA) was the winner. Runner-up was RORC Commodore James Neville in his debut race with Carkeek 45 Ino Noir (GBR). Third was the Family De Graaf's Ker 43 Baraka GP (NED). Fourth was Jean Pierre Barjon's Botin 65 Spirit of Lorina (GBR). Peter Morton's Maxi 72 Notorious (GBR) took Line Honours, won IRC Super Zero and was fifth overall. Gorm Gondesen's Nica (GER) took Multihull Line Honours.

Congratulations to all of the class winners including (IRC One) Gilles Fournier & Corinne Migraine's Pintia, (IRC Two) Ross Applebey's Scarlet Oyster, (IRC Three) Mike Yates' JAGO, (IRC T-H) Dan & Zeb Fellow's Orbit, and (IRC Four) Scherzo of Cowes raced by Joph Carter & Robbie Southall.

"Well done to Teasing Machine and all of the winners, this was a complex race with many opportunities for gains and losses throughout," commented RORC Racing Manager Steve Cole. "The staying power of the last dozen or so to finish the race was really impressive, the classic yawl Amokura finished after 2 days and 12 hours on the course. All of these teams showed great determination, which will be needed to complete the Rolex Fastnet Race in July."

Eric de Turckheim's Teasing Machine had a close battle with Ino Noir during the 235nm race. Under the IRC Rule, Teasing Machine gives Ino Noir 96 seconds and hour. After the leading boats all raced south of the Casquettes TSS, Teasing Machine rounded the Eddystone Lighthouse 30 minutes before Ino Noir, a lead on corrected time of 22 minutes. On the beat to finish Teasing Machine slightly extended their lead, winning by less than 27 minutes on corrected time from Ino Noir.

"It was an exhausting race; very cold and as it was sort of a sprint, so we did not sleep very much," commented de Turckheim. "The first part of the race was downwind in relatively light breeze and Ino Noir was very fast, we could see them all the time, and they matched us gybe for gybe, even over-taking us for some moments. The return from Eddystone was more difficult for Ino Noir, it was upwind and the sea state was choppy, and this suited Teasing Machine more. We were always aware that we had the threat of Ino behind, but our philosophy is to race our boat as best as we can. We stayed offshore in the best wind but it was very variable, but after St Alban's Head we tacked inshore towards the finish. There was a transition zone between two winds as we came towards the finish, which I think we got through very well. I have not done this race for many years, winning overall is great. It is especially gratifying to see that the work we have done to reduce the weight of Teasing Machine is fantastic for the boat."

Teasing Machine crew: Eric de Turckheim, Bertrand Castelnerac, Christian Ponthieu, Jerome Teillet, Laurent Mahy, Laurent Pages, Paco Lepoutre, Quentin Bouchacourt, Quentin Le Nabour, Tony Brochet.

"I was very nervous before our first race for Ino Noir, but we had no real issues, the boat handled the conditions really well," commented RORC Commodore James Neville. "To be right in the race until the last 20 miles was really satisfying. Unfortunately we fully parked up in the transition zone between and I think that cost us the chance of winning. But coming second in our first race, we can't complain, we were beaten by one of the best boats out there (Teasing Machine). Maybe their taller rig and water line length gave them some advantages when it went light, but it was anybody's game. Well done to Eric and his crew and also Baraka GP, which had a really good second half of the race, the De Graaf family sailed really well."

Forty-Seven pairs started in IRC Two-Handed for the Myth of Malham and there was joy and pain for teams in the race. The winner of IRC Two-Handed after time correction was Dan & Zeb Fellows racing Sun Fast 3300 Orbit (GBR). Second by just 82 seconds after IRC time correction was Ian Hoddle racing Sun Fast 3300 Gameon (GBR), racing with Ollie Wyatt. Third was Christian Teichmann's JPK 1030 Vela Roja (GER) racing with Hugh Brayshaw.

"I hate computers so my 16-year-old son Zeb was the navigator for this race, he has done several virtual Vendee Globes and we went the right way!" smiled Orbit's Dan Fellows. "With so many 3300s in the race, it is very easy to get caught up in the 'bees round the honeypot' and attract to each other but we did what we wanted to do. On the way back we were going to sail north of the TSS but there was no wind there, so we just kept going and got into good wind on the French side. I sail the boat with our kids and my partner, and we have only had Orbit since November. We are Devon bumpkins, we only live 12 miles from the Eddystone in Newton Ferris! I have done a bit of short-handed racing on multihulls and Zeb has higher aspirations in single-handed sailing, but don't big us up. As a father doing great things with his kids, this has been a lot of fun."

Sam White & Sam North racing JPK 1080 Mzungu! felt the pain of being penalised having scored the best corrected time in IRC Two-Handed. Mzungu! showed their honesty and sportsmanship in their Race Declaration by admitting that they had entered the corner of an exclusion zone for which Mzungu! received a 10% penalty. "We understand that even though we had absolutely no advantage, and the mistake was completely unintentional, our win no longer stands," commented Sam North. "Nonetheless it was a great race, and we have put a lot of preparation and ideas into practice, especially for the Rolex Fastnet race."

The RORC Myth of Malham Race is part of the 2023 RORC Season's Points Championship, the world's largest offshore racing series. Race eight of the series will be held in Irish Waters, the 235nm Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race, organised by The National Yacht Club, will start on Wednesday 7 June.

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