Myth of Malham sets sail today

Strong line-up for the RORC race to the Eddystone

Friday May 28th 2010, Author: Louay Habib, Location: United Kingdom

This Bank Holiday weekend hundreds of competitors will be pushing themselves to new limits in the 230 mile race around Eddystone Lighthouse in the RORC's Myth of Malham Race, starting today at 1150.

One of the most challenging races, in a busy season of sailing with the Royal Ocean Racing Club, the race also carries a weighted points factor, making it even more important for the RORC Season’s Points Championship.

IRC Super Zero includes Derek Saunders’ CM 60, Venemous competing for the first time this season and Christophe Bullens IMOCA 60, Ocean of Smiles which will be racing two handed. Nigel Passmore’s TP52 Apollo will be looking to continue their impressive form and the aspiring young sailors on the British Keelboat Academy’s TP52 John Merricks II are always highly motivated.

IRC Zero has Piet Vroon’s Ker 46 Tonnerre de Breskens back in action after their win in the North Sea Race, Charles Ivill’s Grand Soleil 54, John B and Chris Radford and George James’ Corby 45 Relentless on Incisor. All three boats are entered for the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race in August, as is John Shepherd’s Ker 46 Fair Do’s VII, winner of the 2008 Rolex Commodores’ Cup, making a welcome return to racing for 2010.

John Shepherd is a long time RORC member and one of the most experienced yacht owners on the circuit including numerous Rolex Fastnet campaigns. He loves his offshore racing and having competed in the 2009 ARC, he was looking for another challenge. This year, Fair Do’s VII is one of the latest entries in the 2010 RORC flagship offshore race. The 1760 mile Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland.

“It is a tough race around Britain and Ireland,” commented Shepherd, “a lot longer than the Fastnet and with even more twists and turns. The main reason for competing is that I wanted a new challenge and so did my crew, the core of which has been together for a long time. We wanted one last big important milestone in offshore racing before I sell the boat. This weekend, The Myth of Malham is the start of our campaign and whilst it is not long enough to get us into a proper watch system, it will give us the navigational challenges of headlands and tidal gates that we will encounter all the way around the UK and get the crew mentally attuned to offshore racing.”

In IRC One, Neil Kipling’s J/122 Joopster is the in form boat having won class in the Cervantes Trophy but there is plenty of good competition including; the Army Association’s A 40 British Soldier, Marc de St Denis and Gerry Trentesaux’s First 40 Coup de Coeur and RORC Yacht of the Year for 2009, Visit Malta Puma, skippered by Philippe Falle.

IRC Two contains many of the boats that are racing 230 miles in the Two Handed division competing for the Ville D'Hyeres Trophy. Racing Two Handed is proving to be very popular with the Royal Ocean Racing Club and the discipline extols a different set of virtues to full crewed campaigns. Perseverance, stamina and mental resolve are qualities that often determine success. Racing amonge the two-handers are fully crewed proven winners including, Noel Racine’s JPK 10.10, Foggy Dew and Harry Heijst’s S&S 41 Winsome.

IRC Three Class favourite may well be Jean Yves Chateau's Fastnet race winning Nicholson 33 Iromiguy which is defending the class win last year. The 2009 edition of the race proved to be an epic with a wide variety of wind and sea conditions to contend with. Weather models for the weekend have been on the change, keeping concentration levels at the highest is always a crucial factor in this race as well as managing the intricate tides of the English coast.

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