Offshore from the RYS line

Louay Habib takes a look at the form for this weekend's RORC De Guingand Bowl

Thursday May 15th 2008, Author: Louay Habib, Location: United Kingdom
This coming Saturday sees the start of the RORC's De Guingand Bowl Race from the Royal Yacht Squadron line - with the first warning signal at 0850. The fleet will be sent on a flexi-course into the Channel with the race duration aimed at 24-36 hours.

In Class Super zero, Peter Harrison’s Farr 52, Chernikieff 2, is back to defend her class win from last year but faces stiff opposition from Peter Vroon’s Lutra 56, Formidable 3 which was class winner in this year’s North Sea Race. The young crew from the Volvo RYA Keelboat programme on TP52, John Merrick’s II will also be looking to shine.

In Class Zero, there is a high class field; John Shepherd’s Ker 46, Fair Do’s VII will be looking to add momentum to their season by building on their class win in the Cervantes Trophy, just two weeks ago. Nick Haigh’s DK46, Dark and Steamy is always difficult to beat, as is Jerry Otter’s Ker 39, Erivale 3. Poppy of Portland Marina is David Lancefield’s brand new, First 45 and the new Beneteau has had a fantastic start to the season. All four of these boats will be representing Britain in the forthcoming Rolex Commodore’s Cup.

In Class One, Nicolas Gaumont-Prat’s First 40.7, TFS Philosophie IV is back to defend last year’s class win. But Philippe Delaporte’s J/122, Pen Azen is on form, having won the Cervantes Trophy earlier this month. Sailing Logic’s Reflex 38, Puma Logic will be looking to go one better than their second in class at this month’s Cervantes Trophy Race. The sailing school specializes in race training and is a consistent performer at RORC events. “We are looking to improve our boat speed for this race.” Commented Puma Logic’s skipper, Philippe Falle. “ Pen Azen were very fast in our last race and we see straight line speed as an area where we can improve. Our main goal for the season is the Cowes Maderia-Maderia Cowes Races.”

In Class 2, Noel Racine’s JPK 90, Foggy Dew, is another consistent performer. A new comer to RORC racing is J/109, Jaguar of Burnham who will be looking to build on their podium position in the Cervantes Trophy Race. The East Coast boat has been selected for the British Rolex Commodore’s Cup Team, much to the delight of owner, Adrian Lowers, as he explains; “Both myself and all of the crew are over the moon about selection, we have put a lot of hard work in and will continue to do so during the RORC offshore points series. Whilst, Jaguar is an east coast based yacht it is worth mentioning that all of the crew are members of the London Corinthian Sailing Club, based on the Thames in Hammersmith.”

Class 3, also features an east coast boat on form, Russell Walker’s Baltic 37, Cosmic Dancer III, was narrowly beaten into second place overall in this month’s North Sea Race. David Lees High Tension 36, Hephzibah should be hard to beat having won class in the Cervantes Trophy race.

There are eight entries in the two-handed division, John Loden’s HOD 35, Psipsina will be looking to defend last year’s class win in the De Guingand Bowl. Michael Boyd & Niall Dowling’s J/105, Slingshot could prove tough competition, having won class in this month’s Cervantes Trophy. Also competing for the first time, in the two handed division, are husband and wife team, Suzi and Nick Jones with their First 34.7, Astarte. “It is an area of sailing that I really think is on the up.” Explains, Nick Jones. “This is our first RORC race two-handed and we haven’t made many changes to the boat. Our long term goal is to compete in the 2009 Fastnet in the two handed class but it is early days yet, hopefully we will get some decent weather for our first outing.”

Chris Dunning’s Clarionet is one of many famous names that have been etched on the De Guingand Bowl Trophy. In 1977, Clarionet won the trophy and went on to retain the Admiral’s Cup for Britain against 18 other nations.

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