Royal Ocean Racing Club Ltd.
20 St James's Place, London, SW1A 1NN | +44 (0) 20 7493 2248

Channel Race

DATE: Saturday 23rd July
COURSE: Cowes – Solent finish, around marks
DISTANCE (nm): 24-36 hours

Often forgotten is that the Channel Race is one of the Club’s oldest events, designed by the Ocean Racing Club (as it was then) in 1928 to be the second ‘ocean race’ after the Fastnet.

Date: Saturday 23rd July

Course: Cowes – Solent finish, around marks

Distance (nm): 24-36 hours

The first Channel Race took place in 1928 with just 12 entries, including the Club’s first German entry – Mona Lisa, sailed by J H Molzier. At the time, the Fastnet Race was known as the Ocean Race and so the new Channel Race gained the name of the Junior Ocean Race.

The race has never been a destination race, but always a designed course, originally running from Cowes to Royal Sovereign light vessel, round Cherbourg breakwater and back to Cowes via the Nab Tower, with a distance of some 251 miles. It was designed for smaller boats with a minimum LWL of 27ft (those entering the Fastnet Race at the time had to exceed 35ft, but not exceed 60ft).

Winner of the first race was Penboch, owned by Robert Somerset, a 34ft cutter built at St Servan in Brittany in 1901. Somerset himself went on to be Commodore from 1951-2. Thus the Channel Race has been a regular, long-standing fixture in the RORC programme and has, over the years even formed part of the Admiral’s Cup, as well as the Commodores’ Cup.

Race Documents

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Race Tracking

2021 Channel Race Tracking

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RORC Office Locations Map
Royal Ocean Racing Club
(General Enquiries, Membership, House)

20 St James's Place

 +44 (0) 20 7493 2248
 +44 (0) 20 7493 5252
Royal Ocean Racing Club
(Racing Enquiries)

82 High Street
Isle of Wight
PO31 7AJ

 +44 (0) 1983 295 144
 +44 (0) 20 7493 5252
RORC Cowes Clubhouse

The Parade
Isle of Wight
PO31 7QU

 +44 (0) 1983 293581
 +44 (0) 20 7493 5252
RORC Rating Office
(Seahorse Rating Ltd)

Seahorse Building, Bath Road
Lymington, Hampshire
SO41 3SE

 +44 (0) 1590 677030
 +44 (0) 1590 679478

Royal Ocean Racing Club - since 1925

The RORC was founded in 1925 to encourage long distance yacht racing and the design, building and navigation of sailing vessels in which speed and seaworthiness are combined. Today the club encourages ocean, long distance and other forms of yacht racing and yachting activity.