115 yachts have entered the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s Cervantes Trophy Race, with more than 600 sailors registered to take part. The 110nm to 160nm race from the Solent to Le Havre will start from the Royal Yacht Squadron Line on Saturday 4th May at 0900 BST. Spectators can watch the spectacle from the Cowes Parade and The Green, and also follow the progress of the fleet via the RORC website. Competitors will receive a warm welcome at Société des Regates du Havre, founded in 1838; it is the oldest yacht club in continental Europe.
The opening European fixture of the 2019 RORC Season’s Points Championship, is the third race of the world’s largest offshore racing championship, with in excess of 600 yachts expected to take part over the course of the season. The majority of the teams racing are Corinthian sailors, who will be taking on some top professional teams during the series. More often than not, an amateur team, with the skill, tenacity, and determination to succeed, wins the championship.
Teams will be racing for the Cervantes Trophy for the best-corrected time under IRC. Gilles Fournier and Corinne Migraine’s J/133 PINTIA will be attempting to win the Cervantes Trophy for the fourth year in a row. The race to Le Havre is a special one for PINTIA; Gilles has been a member of the Société des Regates du Havre for over 60 years.
“We really do not know if we will win, but we will compete for sure,” smiled Gilles Fournier. “We have a good crew and we will do our best, but we know that the competition will be very good. It is wonderful to hear that so many sailors will be racing to Le Havre, and we hope that many of them will enjoy the facilities at the club.”
In the fifteen-boat IRC 1 Class will be two J/121s, Mike O’Donnell’s DARKWOOD and Nick Angel’s ROCK LOBSTER. They are up against a formidable contingent of the offshore European wars, such as the custom Ker 40s Keronimo and Hooligan VII.
The eighteen-boat IRC 2 Class features Fournier’s J/133 PINTIA as well as two J/111s- Simon Grier-Jones’ British crew on SNOW LEOPARD and Patrice Vidon’s French team on J4F.
The very large IRC 3 Class of thirty-three boats features a cast of villains and characters in both the French and English offshore community. Six J/109s are ready to do battle (such as Christopher Preston’s JUBILEE, the Royal Air Force RED ARROW, and Chris Burleigh’s JYBE TALKIN’) as well as two J/105s (Tom Hayhoe & Natalie Jobling’s MOSTLY HARMLESS and Ross Farrow’s JACANA).
Similarly, the also very big thirty-six boat IRC 4 Class has just Robert Nelson’s J/105 BIGFOOT hoping to carry the day for J/sailors…which they have done before, winning class in the past!
The third class with 30+ entries includes the IRC Doublehanded class of thirty-five boats. J/duets include Chris Preston’s J/109 JUBILEE, Alistair Doughty’s J/109 JELENKO, Jerry Freeman’s J/105 JULIETTE, and Robert Nelson’s J/105 BIGFOOT. Sailing photo credits- Rick Tomlinson / Paul Wyeth For more RORC Cervantes Trophy sailing information