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2019 RORC Cherbourg Race - Preview

by Louay Habib 4 Sep 15:09 BST 6 September 2018
Nigel & Tim Goodhew's Sun Fast 3200 Cora and Harry Heijst's S&S 41 Winsome. © Rick Tomlinson / RORC

The penultimate race of the 2019 RORC Season's Points Championship will start from the Royal Yacht Squadron Line this weekend bound for Cherbourg.

Whilst the 73-mile dash across the English Channel, via the Wester Solent, maybe the shortest of the 14 race series, the quest for championship points and perhaps the thirst for French produce before the Brexit, has attracted 66 teams.

See the entry list here.

Trevor Middleton's Sun Fast 3600 Black Sheep leads the 2019 RORC Season's Points Championship overall by a narrow margin. Rob Craigie & Deb Fish, racing Sun Fast 3600 Bellino Two-Handed is within striking distance of pole position. At present, neither team is entered for the last race of the series (Rolex Middle Sea Race), suggesting that the RORC Cherbourg Race will decide who has won overall in the world's largest offshore racing series.

In IRC Zero, Lance Shepherd's Volvo 70 Telefonica Black and Windward Sailing's CM60 Venomous are likely to contest for monohull line honours. However, several pocket rockets in IRC One may take the prize, including two FAST40+'s James Neville's Ino XXX and Ed Fishwick's Redshift. Ino XXX leads IRC One for the season by just three points from Mark Emerson's A13 Phosphorus II.

The season's leader in IRC Two, Gery Trentesaux JPK 11.80 Courrier Recommande will be racing. Thomas Kneen's JPK 11.80 Sunrise will be on the start line, as will Gilles Fournier and Corinne Migraine J/133 Pintia, and Ross Applebey's Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster. Sunrise and Scarlet Oyster have a chance of taking over the lead from Courrier Recommande.

In IRC Three Black Sheep and Bellino are tied at the top. The majority of the 24 Two-Handed teams racing to Cherbourg are racing in IRC 3 and IRC 4, including Nigel and Tim Goodhew's Sun Fast 3200 Cora, which is in contention for the short handed class for the 2019 season.

99 teams have competed with the RORC in IRC Two-Handed this year, and the fight for the last podium place looks set for the Cherbourg Race. Gavin Howe's Sun Fast 3600 Tigris is currently third, just 5.5 points ahead of Nick Martin's Sun Fast 3600 Diablo. 120 teams have competed in IRC 4 this season, and the battle for the final podium place looks set for this weekend with two teams tied on points for third: Harry Heijst's S&S 41 Winsome, and Chris and Vanessa Choules' Sigma 38 With Alacrity.

Ross Hobson's Seacart 30 Buzz should enjoy a celebration in Cherbourg with the RORC Season's Points Championship win already sewn up. Two Class40s will also be racing to Cherbourg, Manic skippered by Ian Hoddle and Joerg Riechers' Imagine.

Track the fleet at yb.tl/cherbourg2019. For more information about the RORC Season's Points Championship: rorc.org

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