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RORC Cervantes Race

by Louay Habib 6 May 20:45 BST 5-6 May 2018
Pintia wins the RORC Cervantes Race © RORC / Hamo Thornycroft / www.yacht-photos.co.uk

  • Organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club, in association with the Société des Régates du Havre, and the Royal Yacht Squadron.
  • Start: Saturday 05 May, 2018
  • Course: RYS Cowes, to the eas. Approx. 75 miles.

The overall winner of the 2018 Cervantes Trophy Race after IRC time correction is Gilles Fournier's French J/133 Pintia, winning the Cervantes Trophy for a third year in a row. The top three overall after IRC time correction are all yachts racing in IRC Two. Thomas Kneen's brand new British JPK 11.80 Sunrise took second, after a close battle with the Army Sailing Association's X-41 British Soldier, third overall by just under five minutes.

47 yachts competed in the Cervantes Trophy Race, the first domestic race of the 2018 RORC Season's Points Championship. It was a glassy start to the race, with a light breeze a warm sunshine bathing the Solent. The Royal Ocean Racing Club chose to select a course of approximately 130 nautical miles, with strategic and tactical decision required for the Solent start, crossing the English Channel, the North Coast of France, and a reaching finish into Le Havre. After a light airs downwind start, the fleet experienced a building breeze overnight in the English Channel from the north east, increasing boat speed towards Cussy Buoy, nine miles off the Normandy Coast. A light wind 23 mile beat to navigational buoy A5, was followed by a fresh broad reach to the finish, giving the fleet a variety of wind angles in which to maximize their performance.

Gilles Fournier was delighted to win the Cervantes Trophy and celebrated in his home club Société des Régates du Havre. Speaking to RORC Racing Manager, Chris Stone, Gilles commented. "It was a tactical race, but I have to admit a lucky one for us as well. Staying in the best breeze was the key, and we found breeze west of the rhum line in the Channel, and for the last beat we managed to keep boat speed up by heading east after Cussy Buoy."

Edward Broadway's British Ker 40 Hooligan VII took Line Honours in an elapsed time of 25 hours 18 mins and 08 seconds. Hooligan VII was just over a minute ahead of Campagne De France sailed by Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron, which won the Class40 Division.

In IRC One, Maxime de Mareuil's French Xp44 Orange Mecanix2 was the winner, Nick Angel's brand new British J/121 Rock Lobster was second and Mark Emerson's British A13 Phosphorus II, was third.

British yachts filled the podium in IRC Three and IRC Two Handed. In IRC Three, Ian Hoddle's Sunfast 3600 Game On had a fantastic result taking Line Honours and the win for IRC Three, and also winning the 17-strong IRC Two-Handed Class. Second in IRC Three was Rob Cotterill's J/109 Mojo Risin', and third was Sunfast 3600 Jellyfish, sailed by Kevin Armstrong. Game On won the IRC Two-handed Class by over 30 minutes from father and son duo, Tim & Nigel Goodhew racing Sunfast 3200 Cora. Jerry Freeman's J/105 Juliette was third.

"We got a great start out of the Solent, even leading the whole fleet at one stage." smiled Ian Hoddle. "We did have a few park ups when the wind shutdown, which meant that boats caught us up and eventually passed us but we kept concentrating on keeping the boat going, by having both of us on deck when we started to slow down, to get the momentum back. A lot of the race was off the breeze, our A2 and Code Zero were the main two sails for those angles, but we were extremely happy with our speed upwind on the beat near the finish. This is a great start to the season, and I am sure it is going to be a really competitive one."

In IRC Four, Noel Racine's French JPK 10.10 Foggy Dew took line honours and the class win, and was just off the pace for the overall podium by under two minutes. Marc Noel's French Norlin 37 China Girl was second with Cora third.

The RORC Season's Points Championship continues Friday 11 May with the North Sea Race, approximately 180 nautical miles from Harwich to Scheveningen. For full results and more information about the Royal Ocean Racing Club please visit www.rorc.org

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