Organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club in association with UNCL, Yacht Club de Dinard, Société Nautique de la Baie de St. Malo, and the Royal Yacht Squadron.
198 boats have entered the 2019 Royal Ocean Racing Club’s Cowes-Dinard-St Malo, the largest fleet for the race since 2007. Well over one thousand sailors will be taking part from 20 different countries. The fortified city of Saint-Malo will be celebrating French National Day this weekend, with fireworks and music festivals around the medieval walled-city. 184 teams will contest the overall win, decided by the best corrected time under the IRC rating rule. The winner will be presented with the magnificent King Edward VII Cup, dating back to 1906.
Monohull Line Honours for the the Sandison Memorial Salver are likely to go to one of the seven teams racing in IRC Zero. David Collins Botin IRC 52 Tala has taken the gun in the last two races, and leads the class for the RORC Season’s Points Championship. The monohull race record of 11 hours 57 minutes 53 seconds (2015 – Farr 100 Leopard 3, Mike Slade), will be hard to better by the class of 2019. The duelling Ker 46s; Van Uden skippered by Gerd-Jan Poortman, and Lady Mariposa skippered by Nigel King, will continue their rivalry. New to RORC racing this year will be Cookson 50 Riff Raff, skippered by Sam Matson, and Jean Pierre Dreau’s Mylius 60 Lady First 3, the provisional overall winner for the La Trinité Cowes Race.
IRC One leader for the RORC Season’s Points Championship, Mark Emerson’s A13 Phosphorous II will be in action. Ed Fishwick’s FAST40+ Redshift, and Cowes Race School’s Corby 45 Incisor, skippered by James Gair, complete the current class podium, and are also set for St Malo. Last year’s class winner for the race is back, Maxime de Mareuil’s Xp44 Orange Mecanix, as is 2017 winner James Neville’s FAST40+ Ino XXX. Giles Redpath’s Lombard 46 Pata Negra will have an epic turn around to make the start. Pata Negra is expected to finish the Transatlantic Race 2019, just the day before the start of the race to St Malo.
The entire class podium for the 2018 race will be in action; Pierre Sallenave’s X-442 Ster Wenn is back to defend their class, and overall win last year. Gery Trentesaux’s JPK 11.80 Courrier Recommande and Patrice Vidon’s J/111 J4f both return. The three leading teams for the 2019 RORC Season’s Points Championship will be racing: Tom Kneen’s JPK 11.80 Sunrise, Ross Applebey’s Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster, and Gilles Fournier & Corinne Migraine’s J/133 Pintia. Nine Beneteau First 40s will be on the IRC Two start line. Gavin Howe’s Sunfast 3600 Tigris is back in action after winning class in last month’s Morgan Cup. Francois Lognone’s MC34 Nutmeg Solidaire En Peloton, winner of the 2015 race overall, will be in action, and St Malo is the home port for the team.
With 54 teams entered IRC Three is the largest class in the Cowes-Dinard-St Malo. The top three teams from the class will be in action, including the overall leader for the RORC Season’s Points Championship, Trevor Middleton’s Sun Fat 3600 Black Sheep. Rob Craigie & Deb Fish will be racing Sun Fast 3600 Bellino Two-Handed, and going into the race, Bellino is just 0.2 of a point behind Black Sheep on the overall leaderboard for the season. Third for the season in IRC Three, Marc Alperovitch’s Timeline will be racing fully crewed for this race, Timeline is one of eight JPK 10.80s racing.
A new IRC Four class leader for the season is likely after the Cowes-Dinard-St Malo. The current leader, Chris & Vanessa Choules’ With Alacrity, is enjoying two weeks cruising before the Rolex Fastnet Race. Nigel & Tim Goodhew’s Sun Fast 3200 Cora, racing Two-Handed, is 25.4 points behind. A good result for Cora into St Malo will put the father and son team in pole position. Four time IRC 4 season winner, Noel Racine’s JPK 10.10 Foggy Dew will be racing. Jean Pierre Briand’s J/97 JJ L’Amorosso will be keen to impress, returning to their home port.
44 teams will be taking on the 151nm race Two-Handed, the majority of the teams are racing in IRC 3 and Four. Bellino leads the short handed class for the season, Cora is second and Timeline third. Louis-Marie Dussere’s JPK 10.80 Raging-bee² will be racing, hoping to go one better than class runner up in the race last year. Jean Pierre Kelbert’s JPK 10.30 Léon, will be sailed by 2013 Rolex Fastnet winner, Alexis Loison.
Ian Hoddle’s team racing Manic won their first Class40 race in the Morgan Cup. For the Cowes-Dinard-St Malo, the British team will need to prove their mettle against several top French adversaries including; Luke Berry’s Lamotte – Module Création, and Olivier Roussey’s Obportus 3, which are based in St Malo. 2017 Class40 winner Marc Lepesqueux will be racing Sensation Extreme.
10 multihulls have entered the RORC Cowes-Dinard-St Malo. The smallest multihull in the race is Ross Hobson’s pocket rocket, Seacart 30 Buzz, which is currently tied for second place for the season with Joel Malardel’s Normanni 34 Tancrède. Thibaut Vauchel-Camus Multi50 Solidaires En Peloton-Arsep, which was third for the 2018 Route du Rhum, will also be competing, as will five-time Route du Rhum skipper, Charlie Capelle with Acapella. 2017 race winner Simon Baker’s 1495 Dazcat Hissy Fit will also be on the start line.
The 198 boat fleet will be divided into five starts from the Royal Yacht Squadron Line, Cowes. The first start is scheduled for 0830 on Friday 12th July. The best vantage points will be along Cowes Green and Egypt Esplanade on the Isle of Wight. Follow the race online with YB AIS tracking showing each boat’s position and class ranking. http://yb.tl/stmalo2019
For more information about the world’s largest offshore racing series: www.rorc.org
Reporter: Louay Habib