New St Malo race record

Another one on the mantlepiece for Mike Slade and ICAP Leopard in the RORC's Cowes-Dinard-St Malo race

Sunday July 13th 2008, Author: Louay Habib, Location: United Kingdom
Bright sunshine was the order of the day at the start on Friday 11th and a brisk south westerly breeze meant that the RORC fleet enjoyed a proper beat down the Western Solent. Into the Channel, conditions conspired against the bigger boats and they were hard on the wind for a good deal of the race, whilst the smaller boats had the opportunity to benefit from a wind shift to the north west, which meant they could crack off earlier in the race.

Mike Slade's 30m serupmaxi, ICAP Leopard was the first to finish the race in the early hours of Saturday morning (12th July), breaking the race record with an elapsed time of 14 hours, 7 minutes and 42 seconds and an average speed of 11.61 knots (previous speed record in 2000 was 10.97 knots).

After a few hours sleep, a jubilant Mike Slade was enjoying a good lunch in St.Malo of moules mariniere and chips and toasting his team's fourth record of an impressive season, with a glass of rosé: "I know it is a bit of a corny choice of fayre, but it was just what I fancied after a great race to St.Malo. I can't believe it is eight years since we broke the record but all credit must go to the crew, it was a lumpy beat all the way to Les Hanois but the boat is strong, we have proved that. However, we did have a big issue when the webbing between the top of the main and the headboard failed. It took about an hour to make good a temporary repair and we were well behind record time at that stage. Two reefs was not an ideal sail plan, but thankfully the wind kept up at about 15 knots. Any less and it would have been a major issue.

"In all it took us about ten hours to cover the first half of the course, but once we cleared Guernsey, we were power-reaching at 18-20 knots and covered the last half of the race in under four hours. It was a magnificent finish to a great race. Thanks to the Royal Ocean Racing Club for the event."

ICAP Leopard may have beaten the race record, but Class Super Zero was won on corrected time by the Open 60, Artemis Ocean Racing, with Jonny Malbon on board.
Gery Trenteseaux's First 45, Lady Courrier, claimed the overall prize, winning the Edward VII Cup. Gery, like Mike Slade was also enjoying a meal in St.Malo and was very satisfied to find out that they had won the race overall.

"Perhaps it is a bit of revenge for not keeping the Rolex Commodores’ Cup!" He joked with a cheeky grin. "We had a new boom to replace the one we broke last week and the boat was very fast. Also our tactical navigation was good. We decided to go to the west of the course and we had a very good lay line to Les Hanois and flew our spinnaker all the way to the finish." When asked how his team would celebrate, Gery commented; "We have some beef and a very good Chateauneuf du Pape, at exactly 40.5 degrees."

In Class One, Fransois Lognone's J/122, Nutmeg IV, came out on top, beating the RORC Points Series Class leader; Philippe Delaporte's J122, Pen Azen. There were plenty of Rolex Commodores' Cup boats entered for this race, including Quentin Le Nabour's Archambault A40, Batistyl, who was third in class.

Class Two saw a clean sweep of podium finishes for French boats. In first place was François René Carluer's A35, Agence Directe, who will be delighted with the win, having come second in Class last year. In second place was Gaudoux Didier's JPK 110, Lann Ael and in third place on corrected time, was Marc Noel's J/105, Moon Tiger.
Class Three was won by Thierry Fremont's Romanée, Saint Sébastien III, by just under 11 minutes on corrected time from David Cooper's Dehler 38, Longue Pierre, with Jean-Francois Demay X-95, Fletcher Lynd in third overall.

The Two-Handed Class enjoyed the closest racing of the entire fleet, Michael Boyd's J/105, Slingshot winning it by a very close margin from Tancrede's French J/105, Just A J. Mike West Marc Lombard designed, Class 40, Kerlaria, was third on corrected time.

A Prizegiving will be held on Sunday 13 July at 1200 (local time) at the Société Nautique de la Baie de St. Malo. RORC medallions will be presented on Tuesday 22nd July, 1930 at the Clubhouse, 20 St James's Place, London, SW1. All crews welcome.

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