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.
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