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140 yachts for the RORC Myth of Malham Race

by Louay Habib 23 May 13:40 BST 25 May 2019
140 yachts will be competing in the Royal Ocean Racing Club's 2019 Myth of Malham Race. © Paul Wyeth / RORC

This bank holiday weekend, 140 yachts, with over 900 crew from all over the world, will be competing in the Royal Ocean Racing Club's Myth of Malham Race.

A huge variety of yachts will be taking part including; hi-tech racing yachts and multihulls, performance cruising yachts and classic designs. World Class professional sailors and passionate corinthians will be taking part, and 36 teams will be taking on the offshore race Two-Handed.

A notable entry for the Myth of Malham Race is the 53ft ketch Gipsy Moth IV, which will be raced by Ricky Chalmers. In 1966-67, Sir Francis Chichester circumnavigated with Gipsy Moth IV in 274 days, setting the fastest voyage around the world by any small vessel. Aptly for the Myth of Malham Race, Gipsy Moth IV was co-designed by John Illingworth, who commissioned the Laurent Giles 37'6" sloop Myth of Malham, winning the Fastnet Race in 1947 and 1949, and in 1957 was part of the winning team for the first Admiral's Cup.

The overall and class winners are decided by the IRC Rating Rule and this year's impressive fleet has many successful teams from previous editions of the Myth of Malham Race. 2017 IRC Zero winner, Windward Sailing's CM60 Venomous, will once again be sailed by Derek Saunders. In IRC One, the 2017 overall race winner James Neville's FAST40+ Ino XXX will be racing, and will have strong opposition from 2018 overall race runner-up, Edward Broadway's Ker 40 Hooligan VII and this year's Cervantes Trophy race winner Ed Fishwick's Redshift. Botin IRC 52 Tala was second overall in this year's RORC Caribbean 600, and will make their UK debut in the Myth of Malham, skippered by Robbie Southwell.

In IRC Two, French teams will provide formidable opposition in the form of 2015 Rolex Fastnet Race winner Gery Trentesaux, in his JPK 11.80 Courrier Recommande, and Gilles Fournier and Corinne Migrain's J/133 Pintia, which won the Myth of Malham Race overall in 2016. Reigning RORC Season's Points Champion, the Army Sailing Association's X-41 British Soldier, is back in action.

The majority of the teams racing Two-Handed are in IRC Three, including Rob Craigie's Bellino, which won Two-Handed and IRC Three for the race in 2017. Bellino is one of seven Sun Fast 3600s racing. IRC Three also contains all but one of the 15 J/109s in the Myth of Malham Race.

With 47 entries, IRC Four is the largest class racing in the Myth of Malham, Sun Fast 3200 All or Nothing, sailed by Chris Blackburn and Simon Dipple, is back to defend her 2018 class win. 2017 Myth of Malham class winner, Chris Choules' Sigma 38 With Alacrity, and 2017 runner-up, Noel Racine's JPK 10.10 Foggy Dew, will also be racing.

The 2019 Myth of Malham Race will start from the Royal Yacht Squadron Line on Saturday 25 May 0800 BST. Spectators can watch the spectacle from the Cowes Parade and The Green, and fans can also follow the progress of the fleet via YB Tracking on the RORC website.

"The forecasts for the Myth of Malham Race are predicting light winds at the start," commented RORC Racing Manager Chris Stone. "Unfortunately, the tidal conditions may favour the faster boats out of the Solent, but without starting the race at 5 a.m. that cannot be avoided. The forecasts are suggesting that the wind will go to the west later in the race and strengthen, which should give some good results in the small to medium size and boats and good conditions for the sail back from the Eddystone Light."

For more information: rorc.org

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