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Calling all GBR big boats

RYA selectors on the hunt for two more Class One (ie 1.110+ rating) boats for Rolex Commodores' Cup team

Thursday April 22nd 2010, Author: James Boyd, Location: United Kingdom

With the 2010 Rolex Commodores’ Cup taking place later in the season - in August rather than end of June - the RYA is putting a final call out for Class One entries for RYA Team GBR, as the selection trials for the team's Class Two and Three entries get underway this weekend at the closing round of the Warsash Spring Series.

As in 2008, RYA Team GBR can enter up to four teams in the Rolex Commodores' Cup. This year the RYA is aiming to select three teams from the south and one from the north of the UK naming them, Team GBR Red, Blue, White and Black.

Looking to sign up more Class One entries, the RYA is holding open the door to interested parties making an exception to the selection trials allowing for any final Class one entries. Chair of Selectors Roger Wilson explains: “We are delighted with the response we’ve had to our call for entries to the trials and our Class two and three prospects for 2010’s Team look to be in good shape. However we are still looking for two more Class one boats, even if they are unable to take part in the present trial races."

At present the Class one boats that have made themselves available are Michael Williamson’s Summit 40 White Heat and Crackling Rosie, the familar Corby 40 owned by Brian Wilkinson.

For Class two and three entries the opening trials event this weekend will see the 13 boats go head-to-head for the first time, each vying to impress RYA Team GBR’s selectors with their performance and results.

Eager to select the crews who will give RYA Team GBR the best possible chance of defending their Rolex Commodores’ Cup crown, won by RYA Team GBR Red at the last event, selectors will be looking for crews who show a desire to improve as a team and winning potential over the selection events.

With a mix of new entries and experienced competitors in the crews entered for the trials, competition looks to be tough for the eight Class two and three places up for grabs.

In the former Rolex Commodores’ Cup veteran and 2008 GBR Red defending champion, Peter Rutter will be looking to secure a berth within the team for the sixth time and to do this has a new Grand Soleil 43, Quokka 8. Fellow class two entrant RORC Commodore Andrew McIrvine however, will be keen to give his fellow 58-year-old surgeon a run for his money during the trials aboard his and Peter Morton's newly acquired Beneteau First 40.7 (formerly Gery Trentesaux's Courrier Zen) as will Paul Turner and his Grand Soleil 43, Artemis.

Jim Macgregor, father of Skandia Team GBR’s world number one women’s match racer, Lucy Macgregor, will be battling it out for another spot on RYA Team GBR as he re-enters his Elan 410 Premier Flair for the trials, having competed as part of GBR White at the 2004 and 2008 events. Fellow event veterans Chris and Hannah Neve, who are making a comeback to the event after having competed at the 2006 regatta on their boat No Doubt, will be taking on Macgregor in their aptly named new boat No Chance, along with a raft of fresh talent in the other Class three entrants all eager to clinch one of the four prestigious places on RYA Team GBR.

Once the selections have been made Roger Wilson (who is Pippa Wilson's dad) tells thedailysail that coaching will be provided to the British team from Chris Simon and Mike Hart.

The three class bands are
Class 3 – 1.025 – 1.074 (Displacement Length Ratio (DLR) not exceeding 215)
Class 2 – 1.075 – 1.119 (DLR not exceeding 200)
Class 1 – 1.110 – 1.230 (DLR not exceeding 200)
The selection trials are scheduled as follows.

Inshore Races
24-25 April: Warsash SC Spring Series
22-23 May: Royal Southern YC Summer Series One

Offshore Race
15 May: RORC De Guingard Bowl

Entrants will also be required to compete in the RORC’s UK IRC Championships over 25-27 June.

Once the selectors Ian MacDonald Smith, Nick Ryley and Tim Thubron have made their choices, then it will be a case of them teaming up the boats – for unlike 2008 there has no team that has presented itself en masse as GBR Red, the winners did that year.

“They had set them up with a goal, with a large budget plan of new sails, training with coaches and for the three boats working together to build the team,” says Wilson of how GBR Red approached the 2008 regatta. “The plan they put to the selectors - with these guys we haven’t had anyone do that this time. No one said in November 'we are going out to win this'.”

The techniques for putting teams together varies but according to Roger Wilson he aims to have the top performing boats from each class together in one team. “I will take quite a lot of persuading to do otherwise. It would be nice to get the ‘best of the best’, but people have to be put with other people they get on with well.”

To submit a late entry for the class one trials, please complete the entry form located here and forward to Jessica Beecher Jessica.Beecher@rya.org.uk.

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