Two GBR Rolex Commodores' Cup teams announced
After careful consideration and in depth discussions with boat owners and crews, the RYA has announced which entries will make up two of the four potential GBR teams who will compete at the 2010 Rolex Commodores’ Cup in August.
As in 2008, RYA Team GBR can enter four teams in the event, with each team comprising one boat in three specified IRC class Rating bands. The RYA is aiming to select four teams from the UK naming them, Team GBR Red, Blue, White and Black.
The Brits will be going into the race as defending champions, with GBR Red holding the 2008 title, and the RYA’s selectors have taken care to ensure the best possible combination of boats and crews have been put together for the first teams announced; the country’s best two prospects for defending the cup.
GBR Red will comprise White Heat (King 40, Class One), Quokka 8 (Grand Soleil 43, Class Two) and Premier Flair (Elan 410, Class Three). GBR White’s lineup is: Alice II (Farr 45, Class One), La Reponse (pictured above - Beneteau First 40, Class Two) and No Chance (Beneteau First 35, Class Three).
Head of selectors, Roger Wilson, explained their decision: “The selectors’ view was that it was very important to produce three boat teams where the three boats and owners were very happy and committed to working together and prepared to put in the same level of commitment; without that it was unlikely they would be successful.
“The decision was difficult and controversial but the selectors spent a lot of time discussing, with everybody involved, all the issues before making their final decision,” he continued.
GBR Red boasts the most team experience of the event with Premier Flair’s owner, Jim Macgregor having competed in both the ’08 and ’04 events and Quokka 8’s owner Peter Rutter having five previous events experience under his belt including a win as part of GBR Red in 2008. Event experience however is all their Class One partner White Heat appears to be lacking having notched up some great results on the world stage including winning their class at the 2009 IRC East Coast Championships in America last year as well as picking up the event title at Key West Week in Florida in January.
Red Team Captain Peter Rutter commented: “We have a highly experienced and very professionally organised team in White Heat. Jim [Premier Flair] is very very gifted; he’s not at the high corinthian end but his skills and knowledge overcome the fact the boat might not be quite as well funded as the other boats in the campaign.Therefore what we’re hoping to do is put as much time and effort into pre-prepping the team making sure the boats all pull together at the event itself and support each other.
“Good team spirit we discovered from Team GBR Red last time was key to our success. It’s critical it’s three boats part of one team rather than three boats that happen to be in the same team.
“Team Red is definitely in a strong position to really defend the cup. It’s going to be a strong tussle i think as there are some very strong teams out there. It’s my sixth Commodores Cup now so I’m possibly feeling a bit old but I’m still feeling young and refreshed in spirit and I’m really looking forward to the challenge,” Rutter concluded.
GBR White comprises event veterans, Chris and Hannah Neve on No Doubt, bringing valuable event knowledge to the team. Alice 2 has posted some great results on the Farr 45 circuit lately including winning the Royal Thames YC David Diehl Trophy in April and together with her highly experienced crew is a great compliment to No Doubt. Rounding off another great prospective title winning team, RORC Commodore Andrew McIrvine will be offering his expert guidance as team captain on board La Reponse. The Class Two partner won all but one of the Warsash Spring Series selection event races and all the Royal Southern YC Summer Series selection event races, comfortably demonstrating they are top of their game in the class.
Wilson concludes; “We are very excited about the two teams selected; they are both fully committed to medaling at the event, they are made up of different sorts of boats who will approach the competition in a different way, both of which are very complimentary and it’ll be interesting to see which team does better.”
“Certainly from our point of view we are very proud and pleased that they have all agreed to take part and the amount and level of commitment from each of the teams is outstanding.”
The RYA is in discussions with the remaining boats and crews involved in the selection trials and will announce the final teams in the coming weeks.
A tough mix of inshore and offshore racing, the biennial Rolex Commodores’ Cup is an intense seven-day racing programme for IRC (endorsed) rated yachts that will take place on the testing waters in and around the Solent from Saturday 15 August to Saturday 21 August 2010.
The three class band are
Class 1 1.110 – 1.230 (DLR not exceeding 200)
Class 2 1.075 – 1.119 (DLR not exceeding 200)
Class 3 1.025 – 1.074 (DLR not exceeding 215)