Royal Ocean Racing Club Brief

Royal Ocean Racing Club Luxury Yacht Charter & Superyacht News

New Trophies for Winners of inaugural RORC Transatlantic Race

July 04, 2014

This November will see the winners of the Royal Ocean Racing Club‘s inaugural Transatlantic Race receive two magnificent perpetual trophies. Departing from Puerto Calero, Lanzarote, the first yacht to complete the course and cross the finish line, 2,800 miles later in the fantastic Caribbean yacht charter destination – Grenada, will be awarded with an exquisite sterling silver trophy. This will be handed over by the International Maxi Association (IMA).

(left to right) RORC Commodore, Mike Greville & Chief Executive, Eddie Warden Owen with the  magnificent antique 1928 RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy for the Overall Winner in IRC  Credit: RORC/onEdition

(left to right) RORC Commodore, Mike Greville & Chief Executive, Eddie Warden Owen with the magnificent antique 1928 RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy for the Overall Winner in IRC Credit: RORC/onEdition

An equally impressive trophy has been sought for the Overall Winner in IRC by the RORC and John Bowles, a specialist in sporting trophies, certainly came up trumps. The race may be new to the club’s offshore racing calendar, but the magnificent antique sterling silver trophy is far from it.

Handmade in London in 1928 by John Parkes during the heyday of craftsmanship for such trophies, the RORC Transatlantic Race 2014 winner will be privileged to accept the 104 troy-ounce trophy that is beautifully chased with intricate decoration.

The magnificent 1928 antique sterling silver trophy will be presented to the first ever winner of the RORC Transatlantic Race under RORC's IRC rating system. The RORC Transatlantic Race starts on 29th November 2014 from Lanzarote and finishes in Grenada Credit: RORC/onEdition

The magnificent 1928 antique sterling silver trophy will be presented to the first ever winner of the RORC Transatlantic Race under RORC's IRC rating system. The RORC Transatlantic Race starts on 29th November 2014 from Lanzarote and finishes in Grenada Credit: RORC/onEdition

Standing a mighty 26 inches on its new, solid mahogany, plinth and measuring 17 inches from handle to handle, this December the silver records band will be engraved with the name of the first ever winner of the RORC Transatlantic Race under RORC’s IRC rating system. The front cartouche is already hand engraved with the title of the race and the RORC Transatlantic Race logo, with the RORC Seahorse crest embellished on the rear.

As is the ‘norm’ for antique trophies of this quality, any previous engraving has been removed so its original purpose or background is unknown. However one thing is for sure, that competitors taking part in this annual east-west race will be battling it out across the Atlantic with their sights firmly set on winning one of these two magnificent prizes.

Both trophies will be awarded at the Prizegiving ceremony, to be held at Camper & Nicholsons Marina Port Louis, on the Spice Island of Grenada with Grenada Tourism Authority on Saturday 20th December 2014.

International Rolex Fastnet Race 2013

August 16, 2013

More than 20 different countries from four continents are represented at this year’s Rolex Fastnet Race. About 40% of fleet and half the sailors are non-British. The biennial event, one of the world’s great ocean races and sponsored by Rolex since 2001, is revered and recognised all over the world.

The Rolex Fastnet Race 2013 record breaking fleet passing by The Needles - Photo by Rolex Kurt Arrigo

The Rolex Fastnet Race 2013 record breaking fleet passing by The Needles - Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo

From the United States to Russia, the United Arab Emirates to Australia, the fleet reflects the continued international reach of the sport of offshore yacht racing pitting together the finest professional sailors and passionate Corinthians. From young Omani female sailor Raiya al Habsi, taking on the event for the first time, to 83-year old Dutchman Piet Vroon making the nautical pilgrimage to the Fastnet rock for a 25th time, the allure is irresistible.

The majority of the record-breaking 336 race starters share two common goals: the first naturally enough is to finish this 611-nautical mile test of skill and character. The second is to win the event overall and to claim the coveted Rolex Fastnet Challenge Cup and Rolex timepiece.

The Rolex Fastnet Race fleet in the spectacular UK yacht charter destination - the Solent - Photo by Rolex Kurt Arrigo

The Rolex Fastnet Race fleet in the spectacular UK yacht charter destination - the Solent - Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo

American influence
At the inaugural Fastnet in 1925 – a race inspired by the United States’ classic Newport-Bermuda Race created in 1906 – all seven of the competing yachts flew British flags. A touch of foreign influence was still prevalent: Saladwin was sailed by Ingo Simon, a Spaniard, and the race’s first winner Jolie Brise was constructed in Le Havre, France. A year later the race welcomed its first official overseas entry, the American schooner Primrose. Her participation was announced in the New York Times, a sign of the event’s instant reputation across the Atlantic.

American boats have defined eras in the race. In 1928, Paul Hammond’s Nina was the country’s first winner, causing some controversy for its pursuit of speed and ruthless desire to win in an era where a more gentile sailing was considered ‘appropriate’. American yachts, typically faster and more sophisticated than their British counterparts of the time, dominated the 1930s. Dorade – designed and sailed by Rod and Olin Stephens – claimed victories in 1931 and 1933, Stormy Weather in 1935, Elizabeth McCaw took line honours in 1937. In the 1950s, it was the turn of Carina who secured back-to-back handicap successes in 1955 and 1957. A decade later and Ted Turner came to prominence with his groundbreaking American Eagle, claiming line honours in 1969 and 1971 with a race record to boot. Turner also triumphed with Tenacious in the tragic 1979 race. Only one American boat – Great News – has won the Rolex Fastnet Challenge Cup since although Nirvana set a race record in 1985.

A clutch of American boats have entered again this year, including the extremely competitive 72-ft sailing yacht Bella Mente, owned by Hap Fauth current Mini Maxi Rolex World Champion. This is Fauth’s first Rolex Fastnet, and he happily concedes he is the ‘senior rookie’ in his crew: “The Rolex Fastnet is an iconic race noted for very difficult conditions. It’s tactically and strategically challenging. It has very dangerous and frustrating moments. That’s why we are here. It’s extraordinary to put this many boats in a race: from 130-ft down to 30-ft. Its a great statement by the organizers.”

The 1960s marked a new era of the event and the globalisation extended to Australia whose sailors brought heightened professionalism and dedication. Australian success arrived in the shape of the legendary Syd Fischer’s Ragamuffin the winner in 1971, a year marked by the participation of acting British Prime Minister Edward Heath.

Superyacht Esimit Europa 2 at the start of the 2013 Rolex Fastnet Race - Photo by Rolex Daniel Forster

Superyacht Esimit Europa 2 at the start of the 2013 Rolex Fastnet Race - Photo by Rolex Daniel Forster

Channel hoppers
The largest overseas contingent comes from France with in excess of 50 boats at this year’s Rolex Fastnet. Back in 1928 L’Oiseau Bleu was the first French-owned vessel to start the race, although it wasn’t until Guerveur appeared in 1929 that a French boat completed the course. In 1965, Baron de Rothschild’s Gitana IV – one of the last heavy yawls to win the race – broke the 26-year race record. The crew were said to change attire each evening for a sit down dinner served to them. Overall French victory eventually arrived two years later under the guise of Pen-Duick III skippered by the legendary Eric Tabarly. Three French winners have followed, most recently the 33-ft Iromiguy in 2005.

François Gabart, this year’s Vendée Globe winner and co-skippering the IMOCA 60 Macif in 2013, is one of the latest generation of top French offshore sailors. “The Rolex Fastnet is very famous and prestigious in France. Since I was a kid I have thought about competing in this race. For a professional sailor to sail against non-professional sailors is nice, mixing with people who just love sailing. I’m proud to be part of this event.”

The fleet passing hurst castle on the approach to The Needles - Phoro by Rolex Kurt Arrigo

The fleet passing hurst castle on the approach to The Needles - Phoro by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo

Going global
No yacht has travelled further to the 2013 Rolex Fastnet than Australian Geoff Boettcher’s 51-ft Secret Men’s Business 3.5 from Adelaide. Given the logistical challenge it has taken to transport his yacht 16,000 miles to the UK, Boettcher is not here to simply make up the numbers. “As an Australian to come and do a Rolex Fastnet is huge. We’ve done so many Rolex Sydney Hobarts (the world’s other great 600-nautical mile offshore race which Secret Men’s Business 3.5 won in 2010), this is a great add-on to the crew’s career in sailing. We’re looking for a podium finish.” Boettcher is not the only former Australian Rolex Sydney Hobart winner in attendance. Andrew Saies (whose Two True won in 2009) is competing with a largely Australian crew on Two True Tarka.

Southern hemisphere success has not been confined to Australia. New Zealand with Ross Field’s RF Yachting took line honours and a race record in 1999. Neville Crichton won line honours in 2003 with Alfa Romeo and one of the country’s greatest sailors is back this year. “The Rolex Fastnet is one of the classics of our sport. It’s very tactical, challenging and great competition, all facets that we love. I’ve got wonderful memories of the race,” revealed Mike Sanderson, ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year in 2006, tactician on Bella Mente.

South America’s one and only victory arrived courtesy of Saga from Brazil in 1973. The Middle East has confirmed its blossoming emergence in competitive sailing with Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, skippered by British Olympian Ian Walker, winning line honours and claiming the monohull race record in 2011. This year, Middle Eastern interest is extended with the participation of Oman Air Musandam.

Spindrift 2 Yacht at the start of the 2013 Rolex Fastnet Race - Photo by Rolex Kurt Arrigo

Spindrift 2 Yacht at the start of the 2013 Rolex Fastnet Race - Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo

Swedish heritage
Sweden is another country with a particular affiliation with the Rolex Fastnet. Success first arrived in the 1950s. Circe (1951) and Anna Marina (1959) claimed line honours while Sven Hansen’s Sparkman & Stephens Anitra was overall winner in 1959.

In the late 1990s, Sweden was again a dominant force at the front end of the fleet with the same boat, originally named Nicorette and then Royal Blue, achieving line honours in 1995 and then again in 1997. The link with the event remains strong. Overall winner in 2009 and 2011 the Mini Maxi yacht Rán 2 sails under the British flag with predominantly British crew. Owner Niklas Zennström, however, is a Swede, and Rán 2 carries the initials of the Royal Swedish Yacht Club on its stern. The history of the race has had a marked impact on Zennström. “You take that trophy (the Rolex Fastnet Challenge Cup) and you see the plaques with all of the names of the yachts. There is a lot of history there, you see all the names, a lot of classic boats, boats that as a kid you watched and read about it.”

Oman Air Musadam flies two hulls on approach to the Fastnet Rock - Photo by Rolex Daniel Forster

Oman Air Musadam flies two hulls on approach to the Fastnet Rock - Photo by Rolex Daniel Forster

Homeward bound
Among this myriad of international yachting powers is Ireland, home to the race’s emblematic symbol – the Fastnet Rock. Only one Irish boat – Chieftain in 2007 – has ever won the event. Trying to improve upon that statistic is this year’s 12-strong Emerald Isle contingent including Ker 39 Antix, whose crew includes Anthony O’Leary and his son Peter. “The Rolex Fastnet is on the bucket list,” explained Peter, who competed at the 2012 Olympics. “I learnt to sail in Baltimore as a youngster and used to go out and watch the boats going around the Fastnet Rock. I grew up wanting to do the race. My father has done it and my mother did it in ’79. A good few boats will come out in Baltimore to see us pass the Rock although it will be strange disappearing and returning back to England.”

Professional British sailors who have sailed throughout the world still find the draw of the race irresistible. “The Rolex Fastnet Race is the one of the top offshore races in the world,” revealed Sam Davies, navigator on Volvo 70 Team SCA, a predominantly female crew. “I remember when I was young watching all the boats prepare for the Fastnet Race thinking there is no way I could ever sail 600 miles! For me just sailing the Channel was a long way. Now I am here doing my fifth Rolex Fastnet Race and really looking forward to it. I love sailing along the British coast. It’s beautiful and there are lots of tactical and navigational challenges.”

The international attraction of the race is unquestionable. The race organizers, the Royal Ocean Racing Club and in particular its CEO, Eddie Warden Owen who has 7 races under his belt are quick to recognize the status the race has achieved and its widespread popularity. “It’s the people’s Everest of the ocean,” says Warden Owen. “It’s a tough challenge but one people enjoy.” A view plainly echoed by the some 3,000 sailors drawn to the contest every two years and the intrepid yachtsmen who have gone before.

Rolex Fastnet Race 2013 to host the largest number of participants in its 89-year history

May 24, 2013

Since 1925, the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s legendary 608-mile race around the Fastnet Rock has captured the hearts and souls of millions of people. To be held this August, the 2013 Rolex Fastnet Race will host the largest number of participants in its 89-year history. More than 350 yachts, and as many as 380 yachts, from five continents and more than 22 different nations will attend.

Celebrating her centenary, the winner of the first Fastnet Race in 1925, Pilot Cutter, Jolie Brise now sailed by pupils from Dauntsey's School in Wiltshire. Credit: Rick Tomlinson

Celebrating her centenary, the winner of the first Fastnet Race in 1925, Pilot Cutter, Jolie Brise now sailed by pupils from Dauntsey's School in Wiltshire. Credit: Rick Tomlinson

The diversity of the yachts and participants is truly extraordinary. The maxi trimaran Spindrift 2 is the holder of the Jules Verne Trophy for the fastest circumnavigation, sailing around the world in just over 45 days. Internet entrepreneur Niklas Zennström’s 72′ mini maxi yacht Rán 2 is hoping to win the Rolex Fastnet Race for an unprecedented third time in a row. Plus the original winner of the first race in 1925, the Pilot Cutter Jolie Brise, celebrating her centenary, is also competing and this diversity is the reason why the Rolex Fastnet Race is so special.

Built in 1913, Jolie Brise has participated in the Fastnet race four times, winning three races including the inaugural race in 1925. Her career as a pilot boat was short-lived, owing to steam replacing sail, she became a fishing boat for a time before being bought by E.G Martin in 1923, a founder member of the Royal Ocean Racing Club. Evelyn George Martin met with a group of distinguished sailors, including Algernon Maudsley, to discuss an ocean race. Martin pulled a ten shilling note from his pocket, placed it on the desk and asked Maudsley if he would do the same. In that moment, the Ocean Racing Club was formed. After some discussion a race ‘from Cowes round the Fastnet and back to Plymouth’ was announced for yachts not exceeding a waterline length of 50ft. Jolie Brise won the first race and also won in 1929 and 1930 and to this day, she is the only yacht to have won the race three times.

Since 1977, Dauntsey’s School Sailing Club has sailed and maintained Jolie Brise, as skipper Toby Marris explains: “Since Dauntsey’s School started to sail Jolie Brise, over 9000 pupils have sailed on her. She sails about 220 days each year, clocking up about 10,000 miles. We have raced across the Atlantic with The Tall Ships Race, as far north as inside the Arctic Circle, east as far as Russia and south as far as The Cape Verde Islands. Jolie Brise is available for charter but during Dauntsey’s School’s holidays, the pupils have priority. For the Fastnet, we will have seven girls and boys from Dauntsey’s School, all under 18 and two crew selected by The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust. This year’s race will be a once in a lifetime experience. Our goal is always to enjoy sailing her, but this race will become part of her history, so it is very special.”

Niklas Zennström's 72' mini maxi Rán 2 is hoping to win the Rolex Fastnet Race for an unprecedented third time in a row Credit: Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Niklas Zennström's 72' mini maxi Rán 2 is hoping to win the Rolex Fastnet Race for an unprecedented third time in a row Credit: Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Since 1930, four yachts have come close to equalling Jolie Brise’s three overall victories, but none have yet to succeed. Olin Stephens’ Dorade (1931 & 1933), Capt. J.H.Illingworth’s Myth of Malham (1947 & 1949), Dick Nye’s Carina (1955 & 1957) and Niklas Zennström’s Rán 2 (2009 & 2011). This year, the mini maxi Rán 2 will be attempting to win the trophy for an unprecedented third consecutive year.

Tim Powell, Rán 2 yacht’s Team Manager, has competed in four round the world races and spoke about the Rolex Fastnet Race: “Having the chance to win the race for a third time in a row is amazing. It is always tough just to win your class, but to win overall you also need to have the weather conditions in your favour and I have to say that we have had our share of luck in the last two races. This year, sailing yacht Bella Mente (Hap Fauth’s American Mini Maxi) will be a big threat. Rán 2 is now four years old and I think it would be fair to describe Bella Mente as a more modern version of Rán 2. If we have a 25-knot reach to the Rock and back, we should be the slower boat. If we have a more tactical race then perhaps that will be in our favour. Bella Mente has an excellent crew but then we know the Fastnet Race really well and maybe that is an advantage.”

Experiencing the start of the Fastnet is unlike any other offshore race and this year with a record entry it will be a special moment for everybody in the race. I would especially like to wish the young crew of Jolie Brise a great race. I started racing offshore with The Youth Challenge and if you told me then that I would have the chance of winning it three times, I wouldn’t have believed you. For me, The Fastnet will always be a very special race.”

Rolex Fastnet Race 2013: 300 Yacht Entry Limit Reached in 24 hours

January 09, 2013

By midday, the Royal Ocean Racing Club announced online entries for the upcoming Rolex Fastnet Race had reached capacity. Less than 24 hours after the online entry system was officially available, 300 yachts had registered for this classic competition. This sets a new record previously smashed by the last race in 2011 when the limit was reached after 10 days.

Rolex Fastnet Fleet at Sutton Harbour Marina in Plymouth, UK - Photo by Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

Rolex Fastnet Fleet at Sutton Harbour Marina in Plymouth, UK - Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Henny Abbenhues’ First 42s7 sailing yacht Blondie was the first boat to enter, only 7 seconds after entries opened.

Nick Elliott, RORC Racing Manager confirmed: “It’s been an astonishing 24 hours with the 300 boat entry limit for the Rolex Fastnet Race being reached in record time. We are delighted that the race is so popular and that the places have once again been taken up faster than ever before.”

All is not necessarily lost for yachts that have not been so quick off the mark to enter, as a waiting list can be still joined online. Past experience shows that approximately 10 to 15% of the yachts entered do not go on to compete in the race, so it is very likely that places will become available.

Rolex to support Fastnet Race until 2021

September 28, 2012

The Swiss watchmaker Rolex will support the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s blue riband event, the biennial 608-nautical mile Fastnet Race, for further five editions, until 2021. The highly successful collaboration started in 2001.

The magnificent Fastnet Rock captured during the 2011 Rolex Fastnet Race Credit: Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

The magnificent Fastnet Rock captured during the 2011 Rolex Fastnet Race Credit: Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

“We are delighted with the continuation of our association with Rolex,” said RORC Commodore Mike Greville. “Our relationship with Rolex is a true partnership and in the past 11 years, we have seen the Rolex Fastnet grow in international stature, strength and popularity. Together with Rolex, we look forward to further developing one of the toughest challenges in offshore yacht-racing for the benefit of the participants and spectators alike.”

A Sporting Institution Since 1925
The race has been a sporting institution since it was first held in 1925 and the title sponsorship of Rolex over the past six editions has raised the race’s profile even higher. In the previous two editions, the limit of 300 boats was reached within a few weeks of the entry process opening. Coping with burgeoning demand and ensuring the interests of all competitors are properly catered for have been priorities for both the Royal Ocean Racing Club and Rolex.

Dockside in Plymouth, Sutton Harbour Marina

Dockside in Plymouth, Sutton Harbour Marina- Photo credit: Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

RORC has introduced a fully automated online entry and crew management system to simplify and speed up the formal registration in procedure. Classes such as the IMOCA 60s, VO 70′s and multihulls are treated separately from the main fleet to maximise room within the 300-place entry limit. At the finish in Plymouth, a purpose-built race village in the historic Barbican area, offers crews all the facilities required on completing a race of this nature, while helping expose the Rolex Fastnet race to a wider public audience. Satellite tracking of the entire fleet allows shore-based followers to stay informed at every stage of the race.

“Our ambition for future editions of the Rolex Fastnet is to continue to improve the experience in every way possible for competitors before and after the race, while leaving it to the weather and to chance to enhance the thrill of the competition itself,” said Commodore Greville. “We also aim to enhance reporting of the action so friends, family and the public have access to all the information they need and want, in the manner deserving of this great sporting occasion.”

The next Rolex Fastnet Race will start on Sunday, 11 August 2013 from the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes. Entries for the race open in January 2013.

Henri Lloyd official clothing supplier of the RORC

June 08, 2012

Henri Lloyd has been appointed as the Official Clothing Supplier of the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) on a long term basis, as announced by the Club.

The crew of 2011 RORC Yacht of the Year & Rolex Fastnet Race winner, Niklas Zennström's JV 72, Rán wear Henri Lloyd - Credit- Rolex:Carlo Borlenghi

The crew of 2011 RORC Yacht of the Year & Rolex Fastnet Race winner, Niklas Zennström's JV 72, Rán wear Henri Lloyd - Credit- Rolex:Carlo Borlenghi

Henri Lloyd is widely regarded as a world leader in technical sailing and lifestyle apparel and have pioneered the development of fabrics, garment design and product development for nearly 50 years.

This partnership covers the production of RORC & event merchandise and branded sailing clothing for the 2012 Brewin Dolphin Commodores’ Cup and the 2013 Rolex Fastnet Race.

“We are delighted to have the backing of the world’s best producer of sailing clothing,” said RORC Chief Executive, Eddie Warden Owen. “Henri Lloyd’s no compromise approach to the production of foul weather gear is perfectly aligned to the requirements of our members who are all offshore sailors. The relationship will also benefit the large number of volunteers that support the RORC’s racing programme.”

RORC members will receive a range of privilege benefits on Henri Lloyd products and a specialist service in the production of branded team clothing for their crew.

Henri Lloyd’s Joint CEO Paul Strzelecki comments: “We are very excited and proud to have the Henri Lloyd brand associated with one of the world’s foremost clubs. The RORC reflects some of the same heritage qualities as Henri Lloyd and with its large membership of experienced offshore racers and calendar of events, is a great club to be associated with. We are especially excited to be the merchandise provider for the Brewin Dolphin Commodores’ Cup and the Rolex Fastnet Race in 2013 and look forward to a long relationship with RORC, their members and events.

2011 RORC Season’s Points Championship Winners

October 12, 2011

When the 300 places for the Rolex Fastnet Race were filled within 10 days of the entries opening, it became obvious that 2011 would be a notable year for offshore racing with the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC). With 300 miles of offshore racing required from each boat before the start of the Fastnet, the early season races were well subscribed with entries and over 100 boats entered three of the qualifying races. Hopes of an easy qualification for the main race of the season (Rolex Fastnet) were dashed by the weather early on. Strong winds and lumpy seas characterised the races and tested the crews and their yachts thoroughly.

Yacht of the Year – Somerset Memorial Trophy:

Rán, JV 72 – Niklas Zennström (GBR)

Yacht of the Year for 2011 has been awarded to Niklas Zennström's JV 72, sailing yacht Rán Credit RolexCarlo Borlenghi

Yacht of the Year for 2011 has been awarded to Niklas Zennström's JV 72, sailing yacht Rán Credit RolexCarlo Borlenghi

The Somerset Memorial Trophy for the Yacht of the Year for 2011 has been awarded to Niklas Zennström’s JV 72, Rán. Niklas and his crew have had an outstanding season, winning IRC Overall in the Rolex Fastnet Race in consecutive years, the first time this has been achieved since Carina II in 1955 and 1957. Rán also won the Rolex Mini Maxi World Series for the second year in the row as well as obtaining a good result in the Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race. Rán is currently planning to head to the Caribbean over the winter to race and the team are looking forward to competing in the RORC Caribbean 600.

Best Performance of a British Yacht Overseas – Dennis P Miller Trophy:

British Soldier, A 40 – Army Sailing Association (GBR)

The Dennis P Miller Trophy for the performance of a British Yacht Overseas, has been awarded to British Soldier. Skippered by Lt Col Nick Bate, the yacht travelled from the UK to the Caribbean to compete in the RORC Caribbean 600 as the first race of the Atlantic Ocean Racing Series in which it was the smallest yacht. They then competed in the Annapolis-Newport Race, Transatlantic Race (Newport to Lizard) and Rolex Fastnet Race, covering 11,000 miles. The yacht had a different crew for each race, including an injured soldier/amputee in each event. In total, 69 soldiers took part, only four of whom had ever crossed an ocean before.

Sail yacht British Soldier, the Army Sailing Association's yacht wins the Dennis P Miller Trophy for best performance of a British yacht overseas Credit Tim Wright - www.photoaction.com

Sail yacht British Soldier, the Army Sailing Association's yacht wins the Dennis P Miller Trophy for best performance of a British yacht overseas Credit Tim Wright - www.photoaction.com

In the IRC Classes the best five offshore races are counted towards the RORC Season’s Points Championship. These were heavily contested and in some of the classes, the results were undecided until after the Cherbourg Race, the last race of the season.

IRC Overall – Jazz Trophy: Tonnerre de Breskens 3, Ker 46 – Piet Vroon (NED)

2011 IRC Overall Winners - Piet Vroon's Tonnerre de Breskens 3 Credit Owen Buggy - www.plugphotography.com

2011 IRC Overall Winners - Piet Vroon's Tonnerre de Breskens 3 Credit Owen Buggy - www.plugphotography.com

As in 2010, Piet Vroon’s Ker 46, Tonnerre de Breskens 3 swept the board in IRC Overall, finishing the season 62.5 points ahead of Niall Dowling’s J/111 Arabella. As well as the trophies for IRC Overall and IRC One, Tonnerre will also collect the Stradivarius Trophy for the best overseas yacht.

Alan Paul Trophy – Consistent High Performance in IRC Overall:

Arabella, J/111 – Niall Dowling (GBR)

The Overall results in IRC, with all races to count, were dominated by a few intrepid boats travelling around the country to also take part in the RORC races not run from the Solent. Niall Dowling’s J/111, Arabella was one of these boats, competing in 10 races over the course of the season and winning the Alan Paul Trophy for consistent high performance in IRC Overall.

Europeans Trophy – IRC Zero: Venomous, CM 60 – Derek Saunders (GBR)

IRC Zero went to Derek Saunders and the CM 60, Venomous. By completing five races, they secured their victory from Bob, Rob Gray and Sam Laidlaw’s Farr 52, who came in second.

Bob also win the Peter Harrison Youth Trophy for the season having taken part in all their races with at least 45% of crew under the age of 25.

Trenchemer Cup – IRC One: Tonnerre de Breskens 3, Ker 46 – Piet Vroon (NED)

IRC One was led from the start by Piet Vroon’s Ker 46, Tonnerre de Breskens 3 and despite good attempts from two other Ker designs: Jonathan Goring’s Ker 40, Keronimo and Mike Greville’s Ker 39, Erivale III, they could not be knocked off the top spot.

Keronimo came second in IRC One with Erivale in third. Freddie Neville-Jones, sailing on Erivale was awarded the Duncan Munro Kerr Youth Challenge Trophy for the crew member under 25 who has sailed the greatest number of offshore miles in the season. In total he raced 1,338 nautical miles, including the Rolex Fastnet Race.

Emily Verger Plate – IRC Two: Joopster, J/122 – Neil Kipling (GBR)

In IRC Two Neil Kipling’s J/122, Joopster came in first with a consistent set of results. Second and third place were close with Ross Applebey’s Oyster 48, Scarlet Oyster coming in ahead of Peter Rutter’s Grand Soleil 43, Quokka 8. Scarlet Oyster relished the heavier conditions, especially in the Myth of Malham and Morgan Cup races where she came first in class.

Quokka was crewed by a team from Sailing Logic who missed winning the Roger Justice Trophy for the best sailing school yacht in IRC Overall, after a good result in the Cherbourg Race allowed their fellow Sailing Logic yacht, Visit Malta Puma, to move ahead in the points.

Grenade Goblet – IRC Three: Foggy Dew, JPK 10.10 – Noel Racine (FRA)

IRC Three was won for the second year in a row by Frenchman Noel Racine’s JPK 10.10, Foggy Dew. With four race wins in class this season, the boat was going to be hard to beat from the very beginning. Foggy Dew was raced fully crewed, but the next four boats in the class were all Two-Handed boats, showing the continual increase in popularity of this discipline. Peter Olden and Nigel Pipe, sailing the A 35, Solan Goose of Hamble and Nikki Curwen and Alex Adams, sailing the J/105, Voador came in second and third respectively.

Cowland Trophy – IRC Four: Jean Yves Chateau’s Nicholson 33, Iromiguy (FRA)

IRC Four was also won for the second year in a row by the same French sailor: Jean Yves Chateau’s Nicholson 33, Iromiguy. They had a good finish to the year winning their class in the Rolex Fastnet Race. This result put them ahead of the next two boats in class: Matthias Kracht’s JPK 9.60, Ultreia! and Ian Braham’s MG 346, Engima. Only 5.4 points separated the second and third places at the end of the season.

Psispina Trophy – Two Handed Winners: Ultreia!, JPK 9.60 – Matthias Kracht (FRA)

Ultreia! was beaten to first place in IRC Four, but managed to hold an unbeatable lead in the Two-Handed Class by the final race in the season. They were so confident of the win in this class that they raced fully crewed in the Cherbourg Race to try and win IRC Four as well. Unfortunately for them, Iromiguy held them off for the victory. Nicolas de la Fourniere and Martin Imbert’s X34, Exile/Mirabaud came back from their win in the 2009 season to try to reclaim the Two-Handed trophy, but could only manage second place with Solan Goose coming in third.

The Assuage Trophy: La Réponse, First 40 – Andrew McIrvine (GBR)

The Assuage Trophy is a championship for RORC members and is awarded to the yacht with the best results from the Cherbourg Race plus 3 other races from the Cervantes Trophy, Morgan Cup, Myth of Malham and Cowes-Dinard-St Malo races. This year the trophy has been won by the RORC Commodore, Andrew McIrvine, with his First 40, La Réponse. Much to the joy of the crew who were disappointed to come fourth in IRC Two, only half a point behind Quokka, after retiring with gear failure from the Rolex Fastnet Race.

A full list of the annual trophies and awards can be found HERE.  These will be presented at the RORC Annual Dinner held at the Banqueting House in Whitehall on Saturday 19th November.