Morgan Cup Race Preview
Organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club in association with the Royal Thames Yacht Club and the Royal Dart Yacht Club. The 2018 Morgan Cup Race will finish in Dartmouth, Devon. One of South Devon's most popular destinations, and home to the Royal Naval College, since 1863.
Over 40 teams from Great Britain, France and the Netherlands will be taking part in the Morgan Cup, racing in IRC Classes, IRC Two Handed and Class40s. The seventh race of the 2018 RORC Season's Points Championship will feature a course from the Solent, west along the south coast of England.
In IRC Zero, Ker 46 Lady Mariposa, skippered by Nigel King, will be back in action having won last month's Myth of Malham overall. A good result in the Morgan Cup will lift Lady Mariposa to the top of IRC Zero for the season. Harmen De Graaf's Dutch Ker 43 Baraka Gp will also be racing, prior to their start in the Volvo Round Ireland Race at the end of the month.
In IRC One, three teams will be hoping for a good result to take the class lead for the RORC Season's Points Championship. Mark Emerson's A13 Phosphorus II, Edward Broadway's Hooligan VII and Maxime de Mareuil's Xp44 Orange Mecanix2.
“It looks like we might have a light airs race, and as the top rated boat in our class, that may not be an advantage for Hooligan.” commented Edward Broadway. “We will see what the course is and how the weather develops. We will be putting into Dartmouth for a pasty and a beer, and after that some of the crew will carry straight on to Ireland to deliver Hooligan for the start of the Round Ireland Race.”
In IRC Two, the class leader for the season, X-41 British Soldier, will be skippered by Lt Col Paul Macro. The Army Sailing Academy team will face stiff competition in the race, especially from last year's IRC Two winner Pintia, skippered by Gilles Fournier, as well as Ed Fishwick's Sun Fast 3600 Redshift Reloaded and Ross Applebey's much campaigned Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster.
13 teams will be racing in IRC Three, Nicolas Gaumont-Prat's First 40.7 Philosophie IV returns to racing after their class win in the Myth of Malham. Many of the teams in IRC Three will be racing two-handed including Richard Palmer's JPK 10.10 Jangada, which is the overall leader for the 2018 RORC Season's Points Championship. Also racing two-handed will be Ian Hoddle's Game On and Rob Craigie's Bellino.
“This will be my first two-handed race with my 19-year old daughter Sophie, which I am really looking forward to.” confirmed Richard Palmer. “The weather is looking very light and unstable, the tides on the other hand can be relied upon. In a light airs race concentration becomes a big factor to success. We do have a kedge and 100 metres of line but I hope that it will not come to that.”
In IRC Four, class leader for the season, Noel Racine's JPK 10.10 Foggy Dew, will be in action. As one of the smallest yachts in the race, Foggy Dew will be racing in the same class as two of the biggest; Harry Heijst's S&S 41 Winsome with a full crew, and Paul Kavanagh's Swan 44 Pomeroy Swan, racing two-handed.
Two French Class40s will be racing in The Morgan Cup. Last year's RORC Class40 champion, Halvard Mabire & Miranda Merron's Campagne de France, will race against Morgane Poupon's UP Sailing. Morgane is the daughter of Philippe Poupon, one of France's most famous sailors. For the Morgan Cup Morgane will be racing with a crew of three including Vendee Globe skipper, Tanguy de Lamotte. “I am at the beginning of my sailing career, and this is part of my preparation for the Route du Rhum in November. I am looking forward to visiting Cowes, which I have visited before, but this will be my first race to Dartmouth.”