High Tension in Morgan Cup

A report from the RORC's race to Cherbourg

Saturday June 7th 2008, Author: Louay Habib, Location: United Kingdom
Start: Friday 4 June. Course: Trinity House (S), Snowden (S), Horse Sand Fort (P), Bembridge Ledge (S), Ocean Safety (S), RORC (P), Cherbourg. Approximately 132 miles

The 2008 Morgan Cup Race was won by David Lees on his High Tension 36, Hephzibah, in a lightening quick race to Cherbourg from the Solent.

“It was a picturesque start at Cowes as the fleet unfurled spinnakers in a west, north westerly, breeze of about 14 knots and sped off east out of the Solent.” commented RORC Racing Manager, Ian Loffhagen. “The last boat finished just before midday on Saturday. It was a race of high speed sailing for the competitors.”

Once the fleet left the Solent the breeze picked up further and the yachts enjoyed downwind surfing conditions making their way to the first Channel mark, Ocean Safety. The fetch from Ocean Safety west to the RORC Channel buoy proved the decisive leg of the race.

“It was a fast race for sure,” said, Formidable 3 Boat Captain, Matt Trautman. “We hit a top speed of about 18 knots on the run down to Ocean Safety, but then we were virtually beating into tide for about three hours which really knocked our VMG. There were a few squalls coming into Cherbourg but we carried the same kite all the way through to the finish from RORC.”

Piet Vroon’s Lutra 56 was the first to cross the line in Cherbourg covering the 132 mile course in a rapid 11 hours 23 minutes and 31 seconds.

In Class Zero, Mike Greville’s Ker 39, Erivale III continued to be impressive, winning class Zero by a handsome margin. Global Yacht Racing’s new Stimson 42 was second, on her first ever offshore race and Edward Broadway’s Farr 40 Hooligan VI, was third.

Erivale III now leads Class Zero in the Season’s Points Championship by some distance.

Class One was probably the most competitive fleet with less than 40 minutes separating the winner from tenth place. Phillippe Delaporte's boat was the first in Class one over the line and also won on handicap from Peter Rutter’s Corby 36 Quokka 7. The Army Sailing Association’s A40RS British Soldier posted yet another podium finish, to take third in class.

Class Two was won by Pascal Loison’s J/105 Night and Day with Michael Boyd & Niall Dowling’s J/105 Slingshot second by just nine minutes on corrected time. In third place was Adrian Lower’s J/109 Jaguar of Burnham who had a great start off the Squadron line. Slingshot are currently leading the Season’s Points Championship for Class Two but by a slender margin from Jaguar of Burnham.

Winner of Class Three and the overall winner of the Morgan Cup race was David Lees and his crew on Hephzibah. “It has been a delight to return to RORC racing after being absent for over 20 years.” commented Lees. Second in class was David Crawforth’s Sigma 33 Sigress and third was Julian Berney’s Sigma 41, Houdalinqua II.

Hepphzibah’s win has moved them up into second in class for the RORC Season’s Points Championship behind Clarione t.

The Two-Handed Division was won by Night and Day with Slingshot second. In third place was Nick Martin’s J/105 Diablo-J. Slingshot now leads the Two-Handed Season’s Points Championship by some margin.

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