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Scarlet Oyster wins 2019 RORC Cowes Dinard St Malo Race

by Louay Habib 14 Jul 19:11 BST 12 July 2019
Ross Applebey's Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster has won the Royal Ocean Racing Club Cowes-Dinard-St Malo Race © RORC

Ross Applebey's Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster has won the Royal Ocean Racing Club Cowes-Dinard-St Malo Race, having scored the best corrected time of the 170 yachts racing under IRC. In all 185 yachts raced to St Malo from 20 different countries. The largest fleet for a RORC race since the 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race.

Multihull Line Honours, and the win under the MOCRA rating rule, went to Thibaut Vauchel-Camus' Multi50 Solidaires En Peloton-Arsep. In the Class40 Division, Luke Berry's Lamotte - Module Création was the winner. David Collins' Botin IRC 52 Tala took Monohull Line Honours.

In a close and thrilling encounter, six Two-Handed teams made the top ten overall, dominating IRC Three and IRC Four. Winner of the Two-Handed class, by just 58 seconds after 21 hours of racing, was Francois Moriceau's JPK 10.10 Mary, which was also second overall. Jean Pierre Kelbert's JPK 10.30 Léon, was second in class, and third overall. Louis-Marie Dussere's JPK 10.80 Raging-bee2 was third in the Two-Handed Class, and fourth overall, just 81 seconds from class victory.

Built in 1987 Scarlet Oyster was one of the oldest boats racing in the Cowes-Dinard-St Malo Race. However, Scarlet Oyster was the stand-out performer, beating top opposition both in class and overall, to win the King Edward VII Cup. The entire Scarlet Oyster team celebrated in St Malo, with more than a glass or two of red wine.

"My wife Sarah is expecting our first baby in two weeks, and was not on board, but she started getting some sensations back home, which was a bit of an incentive to sail faster! However, all is well, and the baby hasn't been born yet!" smiled skipper Ross Applebey. "Coming out of the Solent we went over the Shingles Bank, I am not sure if it worked tactically, but the strategy put us in a clear lane, avoiding the dirt from the huge fleet. The wind did go aft during the race which really suited Scarlet Oyster, as we could pole back, while the asymmetric boats had to sail a lot more miles. Pintia showed us the way leaving the Channel Islands, with some favourable tide we were very fast towards St Malo. The final icing on the cake was the tide turning foul just after we finished. Our best result in previous races to St Malo has been third in class. To win overall, against very good opposition, is a real thrill. Jules White did a great job, allowing me to concentrate more on tactics, and Jules will be the skipper for the Rolex Fastnet Race, as our baby should have arrived before the race start."

In IRC Zero, Dutch Ker 46 Van Uden, skippered by Gerd-Jan Poortman, corrected out to win the class ahead of Ker 46 Lady Mariposa, skippered by Nigel King, Tala was third. In IRC One, Didier Gaudoux's JND39 Lann Ael 2, had a fantastic tussle with Jacques Pelletier's Milon 41 L'Ange De Milon. Lann Ael 2 crossed the finish line 27 seconds ahead, but after time correction, L'Ange De Milon was the winner by less than a minute. Ed Fishwick's FAST40+ Redshift was third, making the class podium for the third time this season.

In IRC Two, Scarlet Oyster was the winner. Second by just over four minutes after time correction was Francois Lognone's MC34 Nutmeg Solidaire En Peloton. Herve Benic's First 40 Iritis was third.

In IRC Three, Jean Pierre Kelbert's JPK 10.30 Léon, sailed by Alexis Loison, had an epic battle with Louis-Marie Dussere's JPK 10.80 Raging-bee2. Both racing Two-Handed, the teams had a fantastic duel during the race. Raging-bee2 was the first to finish, but after time correction Léon won the class by just 23 seconds, placing third overall for the race. Antoine Croyere's A35 Hey Joe, also racing Two-handed, put in a stellar performance to take third in class, and sixth overall.

IRC Four had a photo-finish for Line Honours between two French JPK 10.10s racing Two-Handed. Francois Moriceau's Mary crossed the line just one second ahead of Alain Peron's Un Papillon Contre L'Eczéma. Mary won the class after IRC time correction, and placed second overall for the race. Un Papillon Contre L'Eczéma was fifth overall under IRC. Nigel & Tim Goodhew, racing Sun Fast 3200 Cora, was third in class, and seventh overall for the race. Cora is now first in IRC 4 for the RORC Season's Points Championship.

In the Multihull Class, Solidaires En Peloton-Arsep revelled in the downwind conditions to be the first into St Malo by over five hours. Charlie Capelle's Acapella - Proludic was second, and James Holder's Dazcat 1295 Slinky Malinki was third. A special mention should go to Michael Butterfield, completing the race in his Dazcat 46 Dazzla. Michael is celebrating his 88th birthday this year.

Australian RORC Racing Manager Chris Stone commented on a memorable race. "This is the biggest RORC fleet I have seen since taking the position as racing manager over a year ago, and it is very rare to witness a fleet of this size. All of the RORC Race Team did a fantastic job, especially between 3a.m. - 9 a.m., where there was not a gap for rest as so many boats were finishing. For the competitors, the race proved to be a fast one, full of opportunities. The teams that took their chances, to maximize their performance, got their rewards."

The 2019 RORC Season's Points Championship continues with the Channel Race, starting on Saturday 27 July from the Royal Yacht Squadron Line. The Channel Race will be the final race before the 2019 Rolex Fastnet Race, starting on Saturday 03 August.

www.rorc.org

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