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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.

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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

Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race: 11 Nations to Race Around Britain and Ireland

Muckle Flugga, the most northerly point of the courseOrganised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club, the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race will start at noon Sunday 10th August from the Royal Yacht Squadron line, Cowes, Isle of Wight.

The fleet will set off down the Solent to the east and turn west around the south side of the Isle of Wight. After that the course is simple: leave Ireland and Great Britain to starboard all the way to the northern tip of the Shetland Isles, a point known as Outer Stack just north of Muckle Flugga, then return down the eastern side of the UK back to where the race started in Cowes, a non-stop 1800 mile race. The fastest yachts may complete the course in under a week. For the slower yachts, nearly two weeks is more likely.

For the full article see the race minisite

Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race: Tactics, Endurance, Achievement

The Cowes Yacht Haven bedecked with Sevenstar flags pre-event.Organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club, the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race is undoubtedly one of the toughest yacht races in the world. While other ocean races are longer, racing 1,800 miles around a coastline notorious for highly changeable weather and wicked tides and currents, puts the race amongst the most difficult to complete, let alone win. The 2014 entries include an amazing variety of yachts and sailors; exceptional people who come together as a team to attempt to climb one of offshore racing's biggest mountains.

To read the full article see the minisite

RORC Channel Race Report - Winsome Victorious

Winsome racing hard during the 2014 IRC National Championship - photo RORC/Paul WyethOne of the closest races of the RORC Season's Points Championship took place over the weekend with side by side battles right through the fleet of seven classes racing in the 10th fixture of the series. The race started on the Royal Yacht Squadron Line, with the RORC fleet beating into a light southwesterly wind helped on by a positive tide. After leaving the Solent, the wind was enhanced by sea breeze, giving the fleet a tactical dead beat to a DZB buoy south of Anvil Point followed by a run to a virtual mark south of the Isle of Wight, before beating up to Poole. The course then took the competitors around the south of the Isle of Wight bringing them into the finish at Gilkicker via the Nab Tower.

Harry Heijst's S&S 41, Winsome was the overall winner, the Dutch team claiming their first winner's trophy of the 2014 season, as well as their first win in IRC Four. Winsome had a tremendous battle with Noel Racine's French JPK 10.10, Foggy Dew, taking the victory by just 2 minutes after 24 hours of racing.

Read more... [RORC Channel Race Report - Winsome Victorious]
Ireland’s Brewin Dolphin Commodores’ Cup Whitewash

Victory for Team Ireland: Anthony O'Leary left, Stephen Ford, Executive Director of Brewin Dolphin, Marc Glimcher, Michael Boyd and Niall Dowling. Photo: RORC/Rick Tomlinson rick-tomlinson.comIreland's three boat team, comprising Anthony O'Leary's Ker 39 Antix, Marc Glimcher's Ker 40 Catapult and Michael Boyd and Niall Dowling's Grand Soleil 43 Quokka 8, today scored the most comprehensive victory in the 22 year history of the Commodores' Cup.

The Irish previously won the Royal Ocean Racing Club's biennial flagship event for national teams with amateur crews in 2010, but were unable to defend in 2012. This year they returned with a vengeance finishing the regatta on 268 points, with an unprecedented lead of 173.5 points.

After a disappointing result in yesterday's race around the Isle of Wight, Ireland bounced back strongly in today's double points scoring inshore held on a round the cans course in the central Solent in a light northerly. Impressively the Irish boats claimed three of the top four places on corrected time. Antix put in a particularly powerful performance following the damage she sustained when she hit the rocks close to St Catherine's Point yesterday that bent the aft end of her keel and split the bottom 1ft of her rudder. Lifting the boat out in Cowes yesterday evening, her shore crew worked through the night to ensure she was ready for racing today.

"We were determined after yesterday's fiasco to finish stronger, which thankfully we did," said Anthony O'Leary. Today Antix led around the weather mark and ultimately claimed her third bullet of this Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup.

"The amount of work that all 31 people have put in over the last five or six months has been considerable," said O'Leary of the Irish team's victory. "We are very lucky that it all paid off in the end. There is a lot of experience with three boats and it gelled very well and there was great encouragement from one boat to the other. You don't often get a chance to sail as a team - which is the really good thing about this event."

Read the complete article on the Brewin Dolphin Commdores' Cup minisite [Ireland’s Brewin Dolphin Commodores’ Cup Whitewash]

Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup 2014: The last shall be first and the first shall be last

The start of the second offshore race, the Round the Isle of Wight Race, from the RYS. Credit: Rick Tomlinson/www.rick-tomlinson.comThroughout this Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup the racing has been blessed with Mediterranean conditions - scorching temperatures and generally light to moderate winds. This has favoured the big boats which have cleaned up in the windward-leewards and Monday's offshore race. But today this all changed.

The Race Committee stuck to the schedule and sent the nine 3-boat teams on a course anti-clockwise around the Isle of Wight. The start was at 09:30 BST from the Royal Yacht Squadron line, and the Blair family's King 40 Cobra in GBR Red and Jamie McGarry's Swan 45 Eala of Rhu in GBR Scotland were called OCS and had to return.

There were two schools of thought among the boats heading west down the Solent and it was the group closer to the mainland shore which prevailed, including the five `fast boats' - the three Ker 40s, the new A13, Teasing Machine, and Swan 45, Eala of Rhu, over the boats closer to the island shore. American Marc Glimcher's turboed Ker 40 Catapult pulled ahead on the water in the Solent leading around the South West Shingles buoy off the Needles.

For the full article see the minisite [Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup 2014: The last shall be first and the first shall be last]

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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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