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Malice wins RORC Cherbourg Race

Start of RORC Cherbourg Race © Rick Tomlinson/RORC

The 2022 RORC Season’s Championship concluded on Saturday 3rd September with the finish of the 75-mile Cherbourg Race. A light southerly wind, oscillating both to the east and the west, giving a strategic edge to the race. The overall winner after IRC time correction was Mike Moxley’s HOD 35 Malice, racing in IRC Two-Handed with Tom Bridge.

Tim Goodhew & Kelvin Matthews, also racing in IRC Two-Handed, was runner-up with Sun Fast 3200 Cora. Noel Racine’s JPK 1030 Foggy Dew with a crew from Le Havre completed the podium.

Malice © Rick TomlinsonMalice © Rick Tomlinson

76 teams from Great Britain, France, the Netherlands, Poland, and the United States started the Cherbourg Race, congratulations to all of the class winners including: Lance Shepherd’s Volvo 70 Telefonica Black, RORC Commodore James Neville’s HH42 INO XXX, Jean-Eudes Renier & Rob Bottomley’s MAT12 Sailplane, Samuel Dumenil & Maxime Lemesle’s JPK 960
Casamyas and Mussulo 40 skippered by James Stableford for the Class40 Division win.

Full Results: 

Telefonica Black © Rick TomlinsonTelefonica Black © Rick Tomlinson

Mussulo 40  © Rick Tomlinson

Mike Moxley has been racing with the RORC for decades, but this was his first overall race win with his 20-year-old HOD 35 Malice. What is more, to win in a 76-strong fleet and against a huge number of modern Two-Handed boats was exceptional.

“It was ideal conditions for the HOD especially for our overlapping headsails,” commented Mike Moxley. “Upwind we can sheet on and create a slot with the main to increase the apparent wind. The same can be produced by Code Zero but that is limited by the apparent wind angle. Boats flying Code Zero could not be close hauled, but we could, and it worked like a dream! My co-skipper Tom Bridge is only 19, and I have converted him to two-handed sailing, as Huw (Phillips) can’t sail offshore at the moment.

We looked at the forecasts and they just didn’t agree, we sort of new the wind was going to go around to the west, but the models disagreed as to whether it would back or veer. The wind went from the south east to the south west four or five times during the race. In The Channel the plan was to go west with the tide until the tide changed and then to tack. However, the wind went back to the south east freeing is up. There were a number of shifts, so you had to be on your toes; taking the lifts worked well and we managed to get ahead of a lot of boats. We probably lost 20 minutes coming into Cherbourg, I was determined not to get below the tide as I have been there before! But the wind started to back and drop, and that caution meant we had over-cooked it to the west by at least a mile. I thought we might have lost the race there and instead of being in the chocolates we wouldn’t even make the prize giving! It was fantastic to finish the race and we enjoyed a great steak in Cherbourg!”

Runner-up overall for the Cherbourg Race was Tim Goodhew & Kelvin Matthews racing Sun Fast 3200 Cora. “I can’t pinpoint and mistake by us but well done to Malice, they had a great race. We are a bit disappointed that we didn’t get our first overall win, we have never won one but come second many times,” commented Tim Goodhew. “We have done just five races this season and we are proud of our performance, we have been consistent, especially as we came so close to winning IRC Three and IRC Two-Handed. Next year we plan to do the full RORC Season including the Rolex Fastnet Race. Personally, it was also nice for me to come to Cherbourg for this race. I couldn’t after last year’s Fastnet because I wasn’t double vaccinated.”

 © Rick Tomlinson © Rick Tomlinson

 The 2023 RORC Season’s Points Championship starts next month with the 43rd edition of the Rolex Middle Sea Race starting from Grand Harbour, Malta on the 22nd October. For a full schedule for 2023 and more information about the Royal Ocean Racing Club:


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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.