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

Cervantes Trophy Race Preview

At least 25 teams will be racing in IRC Two-Handed, including Richard Palmer’s JPK 1010 Jangada, racing with Jeremy Waitt. © Rick Tomlinson

Offshore racing with the Royal Ocean Racing Club returns to Europe on the 30th of April with the Cervantes Trophy Race, the traditional opening domestic race of the RORC Season’s Points Championship.

Starting from the Royal Squadron Line Cowes, boats will race across the English Channel bound for Le Havre. Well over 50 teams are expected with a warm welcome waiting at the oldest yacht club in France, Société des Regatés du Havre, established in 1838.

RORC Commodore James Neville will be racing his HH42 INO XXX © Rick TomlinsonRORC Commodore James Neville will be racing his HH42 INO XXX © Rick Tomlinson

RORC Commodore James Neville will be racing his HH42 INO XXX, this will be the first offshore race for Neville’s team, since the 2021 Rolex Middle Sea Race.

“We are excited to get back racing, it has been a long break, but we have had time to focus on this year,” commented James Neville. “We will compete in the RORC series including the Round Ireland Race and culminating inshore with the IRC Europeans in Breskens. The Cervantes is always an interesting race complicated by tide and wind shifts. We would like to have a nice fast reach to stretch our legs, but the long-range forecast is for light winds, so it could become quite tactical."

Gilles Fournier will skipper French J/133 Pintia © Rick TomlinsonGilles Fournier will skipper French J/133 Pintia © Rick Tomlinson

Gilles Fournier will skipper French J/133 Pintia, which will be racing to their home club, the Société des Regatés du Havre. In 2018, Pintia was the overall winner of the race, an impressive third victory in a row. Pintia’s crew includes the creator of the Louis Vuitton Cup, Bruno Troublé.

“Pintia always tries to win every race that enter,” commented Gilles Fournier. “However, we know that there are a few very good teams still to return to Europe for the season, so perhaps this race will not be indicative of the quality of racing we will experience during the year. Recently the standard of racing with RORC has been really rising, the performance of many teams has been increasing. Britain was a major influence in founding Société des Regatés du Havre, the link with our friends in Cowes is very important to us. As the customary first race across the English Channel, if it is windy, it can be quite cold, but the welcome will be warm! The club house has one of the best restaurants in Le Havre and it is reasonably priced. I strongly recommend making an advanced booking.”

Dee Caffari and Shirley Robertson team up on the new Sun Fast 3300 RockIT © Vertigo Films / Tim ButtDee Caffari and Shirley Robertson team up on the new Sun Fast 3300 RockIT © Vertigo Films / Tim Butt

At least 25 teams will be racing in IRC Two-Handed, including Richard Palmer’s JPK 1010 Jangada, racing with Jeremy Waitt. Jangada has taken maximum points so far in the 2022 RORC Season’s Points Championship with class wins in the Rolex Middle Sea Race, the RORC Transatlantic Race, and the RORC Caribbean 600. Seven Sun Fast 3300s are entered in IRC Two-handed for the Cervantes Trophy, including a debut race for Dee Caffari and Shirley Robertson racing Rockit. Sun Fast 3200 Cora, raced by Tim Goodhew and Kelvin Matthews, was second in IRC Two-Handed for the 2021 season. Cora will start their 2022 RORC campaign with the Cervantes Trophy Race. 

Andrew Tseng's Nicholson 55 Quailo III © Pat NorthAndrew Tseng's Nicholson 55 Quailo III © Pat North

Classic yachts racing in the Cervantes Trophy Race include Stuart Greenfield’s S&S 34 Morning After, racing in IRC Two-Handed with Louise Clayton and Janet Hairsine Wilson’s Swan 44 Finnish Line. The Nicholson 55 Quailo III has a long history of racing with the RORC. Originally named Broadsword, she was built by Camper & Nicholson in 1971 for The Admiral’s Cup. Quailo III has been lovingly restored and modified under the ownership of Andrew Tseng.

“Our long-term aim is the 100th anniversary of the Fastnet Race in 2025” commented Quailo III skipper Andrew Tseng. “Clearly if we want a good performance in 2025, we should be doing 2023 and the Cervantes Trophy Race is the start of the whole campaign. Now the rubber hits the road, so to speak, and we are raring to go. The crew are all enthusiasts, a mixed bag of people that I have picked up along the way, it’s a Corinthian team but we have some interest from some well-known sailors from the past. Quailo III has been evolving over the last few seasons, she has a new engine, but most importantly a new fractional carbon rig. What will be really interesting is how well we can sail under IRC. The rule is a great leveller, which lets classics like Quailo III race alongside new designs. The challenge is, can the crew sail the boat to its rating? Boats like Scarlet Oyster and Winsome have managed to achieve that.”

Stuart Greenfield’s S&S 34 Morning After, racing in IRC Two-Handed with Louise Clayton © Rick TomlinsonStuart Greenfield’s S&S 34 Morning After will be racing in IRC 4 © Rick Tomlinson

The Cervantes Trophy Race is part of the 2022 RORC Season’s Points Championship, the world's largest offshore racing series comprising of 16 testing races. Every race had its own coveted prize for the overall winner and famous trophies for IRC class honours.

Class40 Kite will be sailed by Greg Leonard for the Cervantes Trophy Race © Rick TomlinsonClass40 Kite will be sailed by Greg Leonard for the Cervantes Trophy Race © Rick Tomlinson

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

20 St James's Place
London
SW1A 1NN
UK

 +44 (0) 20 7493 2248
 +44 (0) 20 7493 5252
 http://www.rorc.org
Royal Ocean Racing Club
(Racing Enquiries)

82 High Street
Cowes
Isle of Wight
PO31 7AJ
UK

 +44 (0) 1983 295 144
 +44 (0) 20 7493 5252
 http://www.rorc.org
RORC Cowes Clubhouse


The Parade
Cowes
Isle of Wight
PO31 7QU
UK

 +44 (0) 1983 293581
 +44 (0) 20 7493 5252
 http://www.rorc.org
RORC Rating Office
(Seahorse Rating Ltd)

Seahorse Building, Bath Road
Lymington, Hampshire
SO41 3SE
UK

 +44 (0) 1590 677030
 +44 (0) 1590 679478
 http://www.rorcrating.com

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.