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RORC Transatlantic Race: Little and Large

Southern Wind 94, Windfall. Photo: Southern Wind ShipyardThere are 11 days to go until a highly competitive fleet competes in the inaugural RORC Transatlantic Race. The race across the Atlantic will be a very different experience for the crews from 12 different nations taking part. Whatever the size of boat, or whether or not they have crossed the vast Atlantic Ocean before, all have one goal; to make a safe passage and to get to Grenada fast. The race is on!

High Spirited Russians

The 94ft (28m) Southern Wind, Windfall will be trying their best to keep up with the largest boat in the fleet, the 100ft (30m) Finot Conq, Nomad IV, and pushing the crew hard all the way across the Atlantic.

Chartered by passionate Russian sailor, Igor Katalevskiy, some of his High Spirit Sailing Team - a group of Russian friends and sailors - will compete in the RORC Transatlantic Race as the final goal to achieve their Ocean Yacht Master certificate; all part of a special Southern Wind Sailing Academy training program in collaboration with the VMB RYA Training centre that began in Genoa in May and has run throughout the year.

Read the complete article on the RORC Transatlantic Race minisite

Dubai to Muscat Record Smashed!
2014 Dubai to Muscat RaceDoug Hassell's Beneteau 44.7 Diablo comprehensively broke the Royal Ocean Racing Club recognised Dubai to Muscat race record set in 2013 by Adrian Lee's Cookson 50 Lee Overlay Partners when she arrived in Muscat early on Saturday 8 October, taking some 5 hours off the record. Diablo set a new course record of 1 Day 19 hours 52 mins 41 secs for the 340 mile race. Last year's record was also beaten by Phil Ellerby's XC 45 Exodus which arrived just under 2 hours behind Diablo.
Review of the 2014 RORC Race Season

Somerset Memorial Trophy

Anthony O'Leary's Ker 39, Antix, voted RORC Yacht of the Year 2014. Photo: RORC/Rick TomlinsonThe RORC Yacht of the Year, recipient of the Somerset Memorial Trophy for outstanding racing achievement by a RORC Member, has been awarded to Anthony O'Leary's Ker 39, Antix, for 2014. Anthony O'Leary did not do any offshore racing this year but his exceptional season in Antix, winning class in the RORC Easter Challenge, the IRC National Championship overall and being part of the winning Irish team in the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup, was recognised by the RORC Committee as an outstanding achievement. O'Leary was disappointed not to be able to defend the Commodores' Cup victory of 2010 in 2012 but avowed to come back in 2014 with a competitive team and, by enlisting the support of Marc Glimcher's Ker 40, Catapult, and Michael Boyd and Niall Dowling who chartered Quokka 8, O'Leary crowned an already successful season with a consistent performance in Antix to win the Commodores' Cup.

Anthony O'Leary was thrilled with the news: "I must confess to complete surprise - and absolute delight for my crew!"

Review of the 2014 RORC Season's Points Championship

The RORC Season's Points Championship consists of a selection of races, both UK and abroad, that test the skill and endurance of offshore sailors. In addition to the domestic season of 10 races, including the record-breaking Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race, there were three races based overseas in 2014: the RORC Caribbean 600, Round Ireland Yacht Race and the Rolex Middle Sea Race. Whilst these longer races carry the highest points factor for the Championship, boats that do not travel outside of the domestic season still have a chance to win their class as only one high points factored race can count for the class trophies, with all other completed high points factor races reduced to a normal factor of 1.0. With this in place it is notable that this season the boats successfully campaigned to win their class only competed in races with a points factor of 1.0 or 1.2.

Highlight of the domestic offshore season was the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race,a truly record-breaking race with five World and Race Records set in what transpired to be a challenging test of endurance in difficult conditions.

In total 360 boats competed in the RORC Season's Points Championship, a strong testament to the allure of offshore racing even in a year without the RORC's flagship offshore event, the Rolex Fastnet Race.

Read more... [Review of the 2014 RORC Race Season]
The RORC Transatlantic Race Fast Approaching

Finot Conq maxi 100, Nomad IV, entered into the inaugural RORC Transatlantic Race 2014. Photo: Gilles Martin Raget/Finot ConqA varied and international fleet ranging from 40 to 100ft (12.19 to 30.48m) will set off for Grenada on Saturday 29th November from Lanzarote, the most eastern in the Canary Islands chain, in the Royal Ocean Racing Club's new offshore race.

After a week of preparation and social events hosted at Puerto Calero Marina, the inaugural RORC Transatlantic Race will see competitors from several countries weave their way through the historic archipelago before making landfall 2,800 nautical miles away where they will be welcomed at Camper & Nicholsons' Port Louis Marina.

Ever since Columbus started the trend over 500 years ago, the Canary Islands have remained the jumping-off point for yachts crossing the Atlantic to the Caribbean. The RORC Transatlantic Race will provide RORC members and other highly competitive race boats with the chance to compete in a top-level event during the east-west transatlantic crossing.

Read the complete article on the RORC Transatlantic Race minisite

100 foot limit raised for 2015 Rolex Fastnet Race

Start of the 2013 Rolex Fastnet Race. Photo: Rolex/Kurt ArrigoThe 100 foot (30.47m) LOA monohull limit set by a number of the classic 600 mile races such as the Fastnet, Sydney Hobart and Middle Sea races has been lifted by the Royal Ocean Racing Club and the Royal Malta Yacht Club for the 2015 editions of the Rolex Fastnet and Rolex Middle Sea Races. This will allow superyachts participating in the Atlantic Ocean Racing Series to compete.

The AORS consists of four events: the RORC Caribbean 600, the 2015 Transatlantic Race from Newport to the Lizard, the Rolex Fastnet Race and Rolex Middle Sea Race. Superyachts have always been eligible to race in the RORC Caribbean 600 and a number have entered for the west to east Transatlantic Race at the end of June/July 2015, organised by the Royal Yacht Squadron and New York Yacht Club in association with the Royal Ocean Racing Club and Storm Trysail Club.

Read the complete article on the Rolex Fastnet Race Minisite

International Maxi Association (IMA) announce new Maxi 72 Class and 2015 schedule

Alegre, the 2014 Mini Maxi Rolex World Champion. Copyright: Rolex/Carlo BorlenghiThe IMA and the owners of the Mini Maxi Racers announced during the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup and Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship held in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, the new Maxi 72 CLass.

The Maxi 72 Class will replace the term `Mini Maxi' and makes reference to its `heritage as well as the maximum length'.

The IMA also announced the schedule of races for the 2015 season as follows:

The full 2015 programme will include the RORC Caribbean 600, the Rolex Fastnet Race, the RORC Transatlantic Race and the Rolex Middle Sea Race as well as Key West Race Week, the Voile de St Barth, Palma Vela, Menorca Maxi Regatta, Rolex Giraglia, RYS Bi-Centennial, Copa del Rey, AAM Cowes Week, the Maxi 72 World Championship.

Read more... [International Maxi Association (IMA) announce new Maxi 72 Class and 2015 schedule]
Domestic season finishes on a High (Jinks)

Mike Greville's Ker 39, Erivale III, finishing second in class. Credit: Hamo ThornycraftThe penultimate race of the RORC Season's Points Championship, and the last of the domestic season, to Cherbourg was a light winds affair, as RORC Racing Manager Nick Elliott explains: "The fleet had just enough pressure to get out of the Solent but the light breeze faded during the night. The breeze did not materialise until the morning and this year's race definitely favoured the smaller yachts. The best performers were those that used the tide to their advantage and although it was a long and at times frustrating race, most of the fleet finished."

Winning the Cherbourg Race overall on corrected time was Blair Forsyth's J/97 High Jinks. "The race conditions were great for our boat, and the other smaller boats in the race," commented Blair Forsyth. "The sail plan was straightforward; we had a 1.5 kite that worked really well and we only had to drop it and get the No. 1 jib back up when what wind there was shifted. I don't think we saw more than 10 knots of breeze, and even that was only fleeting. Thankfully our kite was up for most of the crossing!

"On Saturday night, when the tide shifted, we lost nearly all our apparent wind, but we didn't have to drop anchor, and the rest of the pack seemed to drift with us. Once it picked up we had a good run into Cherbourg, with the smaller boats."

This is High Jinks' first RORC offshore season during which the boat had been principally sailed two-handed. The Cherbourg Race was their first fully crewed RORC race of 2014 and the additional crew played their part in the success as Blair recounted: "This time we had four crew onboard, making the night watches much easier - particularly given the conditions! Altogether a fantastic way to end our first offshore season, made particularly enjoyable by the great welcome form the Cherbourg Yacht Club, and the rest of the fleet."

Read more... [Domestic season finishes on a High (Jinks)]
Cherbourg Race Preview
Starts Friday 5 September
Cowes - Cherbourg 75 nm

The Army Sailing Association's J/111, British Soldier. Photo: RORC/Rick Tomlinson rick-tomlinson.comThe Royal Ocean Racing Club's Cherbourg Race is the penultimate race of the RORC Season's Points Championship and the last race of the season across the English Channel. For many of the competing yachts, the 75-mile dash to Cherbourg will be the final race of the RORC season and several class winners are likely to be decided this weekend.

In excess of 60 yachts will be competing from Belgium, France, Great Britain and the Netherlands. Following a spectacular Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race, there are new challengers to the overall title for the RORC Season's Points Championship.

Following a gutsy performance in the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race, the Army Sailing Association's J/111, British Soldier, is the current overall leader for the championship.

"It came as a bit of a surprise to us to be leading for the season but we are not getting carried away with that," commented British Soldier's skipper, Will Naylor. "Several competitors will be taking part in the Rolex Middle Sea Race in October, so it is unlikely that we can retain the lead but you never know, we might just get to Malta as well!

"For the Cherbourg Race we are especially looking forward to a battle with Relentless on Jellyfish, which was our big rival in the last race and they are just ahead of us in IRC Two. However, we will just concentrate on our own performance, as it is the only thing we can influence. For the Cherbourg Race we will be back to a full crew of eight. Unlike the Round Britain and Ireland Race, we will be able to load up the rail and as it's a much shorter race, we will probably keep the crew there for the duration. British Soldier performs much better with a full crew hiking out."

Read more... [Cherbourg Race Preview]
Royal Ocean Racing Club and Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, Cowes agree merger

Royal Ocean Racing Club and Royal Corinthian Yacht ClubMembers of the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) and the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, Cowes (RCYC) have confirmed that the two clubs will merge to form one club. At Extraordinary General Meetings of RCYC (held on 24th August) and RORC (held on 28th August) an overwhelming majority of members voted in favour of the merger; in the case of RORC 93% and in the case of RCYC (Cowes) 87% of members who voted.

"This is an important milestone in the history and development of the RORC, which celebrates its 90th year in 2015," explained RORC Commodore Mike Greville. "The proposal to combine the two clubs evolved from a shared vision about what they could create together, which neither could achieve alone. For RORC this gives a permanent base and clubhouse facility at the very heart of UK yachting and for RCYC this creates a strong club at the forefront of international yachting, which can support its development as a pre-eminent Solent club. We are very encouraged by the huge level of support which this proposal has generated from members of both clubs. "

Read more... [Royal Ocean Racing Club and Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, Cowes agree merger]
2014 Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race

Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race 2014

The 2014 Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race is now over. The race has been record breaking with 5 World Records set and the winner under IRC Overall announced as Ker 51, Varuna. See a highlights video of the race here. Before the 2014 Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race, a Two-Handed team had never completed the 1800-mile course. However three teams from Ireland, Britain and Germany have now accomplished that magnificent achievement.

The Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race 2014 started on Monday 11th August. The Prize Giving will take place on Tuesday 23rd September at the Royal Ocean Racing Club, 20 St. James's Place, London at 19.30.

Visit the event minisite

We have uploaded race updates, press releases as well as blogs from participating boats. There are videos and photos from both our press team and the competitors themselves from around the course. You can replay the progress using the YB Tracking page here.

Facebook and Twitter

You can keep an eye on the race through social media - see our Facebook page and follow our Twitter account: OffshoreOne and #rorcsrbi

Check the Event Minisite here

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Event Minisites

Rolex Fastnet Race
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup
RORC Caribbean 600 Race
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race
RORC Transatlantic Race
Transatlantic Race 2015

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