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2024 RORC De Guingand Bowl Race - Preview

by Louay Habib, RORC 15 May 03:17 PDT 18 May 2024
2023 RORC De Guingand Bowl Race © Paul Wyeth / RORC

Start: 0900 Saturday 18 May. RYS Line, Cowes IOW Course: Cowes-Around Marks (110-160 NM)

The Royal Ocean Racing Club's North Sea Race, hosted by the Royal Harwich Yacht Club, has attracted over 50 boats. The North Sea Race is one of the oldest in the RORC Racing Calendar dating back to 1931. The race is run in association with the East Anglian Offshore Racing Association, the Yacht Club Scheveningen and the North Sea Regatta. The North Sea Race is the sixth race of the 2024 RORC Season's Points Championship, the world's largest offshore racing series.

Almost uniquely in the RORC series, the De Guingand Bowl Race starts and finishes in The Solent. This allows the RORC Race team to devise a course that is both tactical and strategic without the influence of a pre-determined route. The racetrack will be decided just 24 hours from the start, depending on weather conditions.

Nineteen teams will be competing for Race One of the 2024 IRC Two Handed National Championship. Tim Goodhew & Kelvin Matthews racing Sun Fast 3200 Cora (GB) are the reigning champions, having won both races for the championship last year. Tough British opposition to Cora includes Rob Craigie & RORC Commodore Deb Fish racing Sun Fast 3600 Bellino and Ian Hoddle's Sun Fast 3300 Game On, racing with Ollie Wyatt. Top overseas competition includes Astrid de Vin & Roeland Franssens with JPK 1030 Il Corvo (NED) and two French Sun Fast 3200s: Philippe Benaben's Platypus and Oliver Hays Kia Ora. Hamish Pimm's pocket-rocket Dehler 30 Black Betty (GBR) is the highest rated double-handed entry, all be it the smallest boat in the race.

The fastest boat on rating for this year's De Guingand Bowl Race is Eric de Turckheim's NMD 54 Teasing Machine (FRA) which was second overall for the 2023 RORC Season's Points Championship.

Competition in IRC Zero will come from Mark Emerson's A13 Phosphorous II (GBR) which is the current leader for IRC Zero for 2024. The De Graaf family's Ker 43 Barak GP (NED) will be taking part in their second race of the season.

In IRC One, Sport Nautique Club's Xp44 Orange Mecanix 2 (FRA) will be once again skippered by Maxime de Mareuil. Two J/122s will do battle with RORC Treasurer Derek Shakespeare's Bulldog (GBR) up against Tim Tolcher's Raging Bull 4 (GBR).

Racing fully-crewed in IRC Two are three highly successful RORC regulars: Trevor Middleton's Sun Fast 3600 Black Sheep (GBR), overall winner of the Cervantes Trophy Race. Multiple season class champion, Ross Applebey's Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster (GBR) and the Army Sailing Association's Sun Fast 3600 Fujitsu British Soldier (GBR). The oldest boat in the race is the 1973 Admiral's Cupper, Nicholson 55 Quailo III, owned by Andrew Tseng.

Three Sun Fast 30 One Designs will have their own personal battle in IRC Two. Kevin Armstrong's Cap Altair will be racing Two-Handed with Joza Cic. Their one design opposition will be two Sun Fast 30s chartered to the RORC and fully-crewed by the Griffin Youth Squad. Charlie Muldoon skippers Cap Polaris and Matt Beecher skippers Cap Sela.

IRC Three has eleven entries with Sun Fast 3200 Cora as one of the favourites. Rob Cotterill's J/109 Mojo Risin (GBR) pushed Cora all the way last year, claiming runner-up on IRC corrected time and third overall by just under seven minutes. Two J/99s will also be in the mix: Jean-Lin Flipo's Yalla! (FRA) and Mark Kendall's Jiro (GBR).

As with all RORC Offshore races, the overall winner will be decided by the best elapsed time after IRC time correction. The De Guingand Bowl is the prize, named after E.P. Buster de Guingand. A RORC Vice Commodore in the 1960s, Buster played an integral part in steering the American CCA and RORC rules into a combined IOR rule in 1969.

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