St Malo bound
Last year’s line honours went to the Open 60, Artemis Ocean Racing and they will be racing again this year, if conditions are favourable the Open 60 may have a chance of beating the race record set by Mike Slade’s Leopard of London eight years ago.
In Class Zero, Gery Trentesaux’s First 45 Lady Courrier will be looking to retain the overall title and lift the Edward VII Cup. However Jean-Claude Nicoleau's IMX 45, Codiam and Mike Greville’s Ker 39 Erivale III, are competing and pushed Trentesaux’s team all the way last year. Erivale III is also currently leading the RORC overall season’s points championship and the Ker 39 is in scintillating form having won the 2008 Rolex Commodores’ Cup, last week, as part of the GBR Red team.
Philippe Delaporte’s J/122 Pen Azen will be looking to continue their impressive season. They are currently leading Class one overall and hot on the heels of Erivale III for the overall title. However, with nearly a hundred boats racing, there will be many other battles going on. A classic example is the three Prima 38s entered for the race; Tom Hayhoe’s Mostly Harmless, Rob Bottomley’s Sailplane and Tony Harwood’s Talisman are well sailed, identical boats and should enjoy a close battle across the English Channel.
Eric Mordret’sJPK 960 Leonardo is back to defend their class win last year, but competition in the class is very hot indeed, with a huge variety of yachts that will prefer different conditions. There are also six teams racing double-handed, most of whom are also racing in IRC Class 2. Michael Boyd & Niall Dowling’s J/105 Slingshot is racing to St.Malo and they are having an incredible debut season. They currently are leading the Two Handed Class, Class Two (fully crewed) and an amazing 7th overall in the RORC Season points championship.
A strong fleet of over 26 boats will be racing in Class 3 and Paul March’s S&S designed Clarionet is entered and currently leading the class for the season. David Cooper’s Dehler 38 Longue Pierre was well placed last year and as the boat originally hales from Guernsey, it should know this race course well. On the subject of Guernsey; the RORC Cowes-Dinard-St.Malo race passes The Channel Islands, this area has one of the greatest tidal ranges in the world which will have navigator’s scratching their heads from the very start of this race. Once the competitors reach St.Malo, it will be difficult for them to leave without enjoying the delights of a beautiful walled city with one of the highest concentration of seafood restaurants in Europe.
See the entry list -