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Video: Day 1 of the Brewin Dolphin Commdores' Cup
France Blue, Brewin Dolphin Commodores’ Cup favourite?
Calling form on the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup is hard, as for a team to be successful, all three of its boats must perform. This, plus the event's week-long duration and diverse race format, make the Royal Ocean Racing Club's biennial championship for Corinthian crews one of the pinnacle racing events internationally held under a rating rule
Teams gather for Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup
Sunday sees the start of racing at the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup, where eight teams will be competing in this the 13th edition of the Royal Ocean Racing Club's biennial championship for three boat teams with Corinthian crews.
This year the most sizeable entries are from Britain and France, the latter fielding three teams while Britain has two. In addition to this there are two 'regional' teams - the Celts, with two boats from Scotland and one from France and 'Flanders North Sea', comprising a boat from the Netherlands, Belgium and northeast France.
Team GBR's Turn?
Looking at the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup results for the last eight years, GBR won in 2008, Ireland in 2010, then GBR again in 2012 and Ireland in 2014. Given this sequence it should be Britain's turn to prevail once more in the Royal Ocean Racing Club's biennial event for three boat teams with Corinthian crews, that starts on the Solent on Sunday.
This year, Team GBR has two teams:
La Réponse - First 40 - Andrew McIrvine
Alice - Mumm 36 - Simon Henning
Bengal Magic - J/35 - James Chalmers
Ino - HH42 - James Neville
Cobra - King 40 - Michael Blair
Sunrise - JPK 1080 - Tom Kneen
Brewin Dolphin Commodores’ Cup Secret Eighth Team Revealed
With the deadline for entries into the 2016 Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup now passed, eight three boat teams are set to contest the Royal Ocean Racing Club's biennial championship for Corinthian crews, taking place out of Cowes over 23-30th July. Teams for the 13th Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup, comprise three from Team France, two from Team GBR and others from Flanders North Sea and, for the first time, Israel. The last to raise its head above the parapet is the Celtic Team, comprising two boats from Scotland and one from France.
France gunning for further 'roast beef' silverware
After another commanding performance in last year's Rolex Fastnet Race, France is lining up to claim further silverware from the Royal Ocean Racing Club's trophy cabinet - this time the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup. A win for France would mark the tenth anniversary of their last victory in the RORC's biennial event for three boat teams with Corinthian crews, that this year takes place over 23-30th July.
Commodores’ Cup call up for six GBR teams
The Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup is a biennial team event organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC), comprising inshore and offshore events over a seven day competition.
Teams comprise of three boats within the IRC rating 1.000 - 1.230, their combined points are added up as one to crown the overall winner. This is one of the only international events for national teams in big boats and was first held in 1992.
Israel optimistic for Brewin Dolphin Commodores’ Cup
In the Volvo Ocean Race they say that the first team to announce often wins the race. If this proves true of this year's Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup then it will the fledgling Israeli team that takes home the trophy on 30th July from the Royal Ocean Racing Club's premier biennial event for Corinthian three boat teams.
Since last October when Richard Loftus, well-known owner of the Swan 65 Desperado, announced their participation in this year's Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup, it has been a busy time for the Israeli team. Omer Brand, one of Israel's few professional big boat sailors was recruited as Team Captain.
Flanders enters the Brewin Dolphin Commodores’ Cup
Up against powerful multiple team entries from France and Britain in July's Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup, will be the newly announced Flanders North Sea. This will comprise three leading race boats from the continental North Sea coast: Frans Rodenburg's Elke from the Netherlands, Philippe Bourgeois' Dunkerque - Les Dunes de Flandre from northeasternmost France and François Goubau's well-travelled Moana from Belgium.
While the large British and French contingent is a little daunting, the Flanders team can relax slightly in the knowledge the defending champion, Ireland, won with a single team in 2014. Plus, many of the crew in the Flanders North Sea team have past experience of the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup.
Heavyweight of Flanders North Sea, with what could be the longest boat competing this year, is François Goubau's 2001 generation Beneteau First 47.7, Moana. Goubau, who is Commodore of the Royal Belgian Sailing Club, has campaigned Moana in three previous Commodores' Cups, first with the Belgium team in 2002 and most recently with Team Benelux in 2012.
"We like the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup because its organisation is very professional and the level of competition is so high," says Moana's trimmer/tactician Luc Geirnaert. He adds that they also enjoy the unique `team' aspect to the event and try to make a point of racing in the Solent at least once each season.
RORC drums up International competition for 2016 Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup
Last night at the Royal Ocean Racing Club's St James's clubhouse, the 2016 Commodores' Cup was formally launched, with the British investment management and financial planning company Brewin Dolphin continuing its sponsorship of the club's biennial flagship event for national three boat teams with amateur crews. The Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup will next take place out of Cowes, Isle of Wight over 23rd-30th July 2016.
First Israeli team
Something of a surprise was the first team officially to enter the 2016 event being not one of the regulars - France, Ireland or the UK - but Israel. Alongside judo, sailing is Israel's top Olympic sport, but to date this hasn't extended to big boats.
In addition to the Israelis, and the four UK teams, France is expected to mount a strong entry, having not won the event since 2006. The defending champion, Ireland, is expected to return, plus at least one Dutch team and possibly another composite Benelux team. Hong Kong has shown interest and there remains the strong possibility of a team from Canada.
This is the result of the RORC putting in extra effort to drum up more international competition, says RORC CEO, Eddie Warden Owen. "We have been more proactive about advertising the race worldwide, that it is a really international event and as a Corinthian, amateur event, it is worth winning."
The Israeli campaign is being spearheaded by British sailor Richard Loftus, well known for campaigning his Swan 65, Desperado. Under Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup rules, 50% of the crew must be Israeli nationals and Loftus has arranged with the Israeli Sailing Association to run a trials to select the best sailors. The intention is to start with 50 and whittle them down to the top 20, who will then train from March onwards.
New Look for Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup 2016
The Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup is the Royal Ocean Racing Club's (RORC) biennial flagship event for national teams with amateur crews. The international offshore regatta comprises a tough mix of inshore and offshore racing and is an intense seven-day programme that pits three-boat teams against one another to accrue overall team points.
For the next edition, The RORC Committee have agreed to a number of changes that will have a positive impact on the number of teams taking part in the event held at Cowes, Isle of Wight between 23 and 30 July 2016.
The first is the requirement of every team to have a small boat with a rating between 1.000 and 1.049. "Many teams in the last event believed that it was hard to be competitive without having three boats that were close to the top of the allowable rating band, as was the case of last year's winning Irish team," commented RORC CEO, Eddie Warden Owen.
"Lowering the rating band to 1.000 will make it easier for J109s to enter, to include boats like the JPK10.10, A35 and the new Sunfast 3200, and reduce the cost of competing. This group of boats will have their own starts, but if a team has more than one boat within this rating band, and it is possible to have three 'small' boats, it will have to nominate which boat will compete in this division. The maximum rating is still 1.230 and there has been no change to the rule that only allows one boat in each team with a rating between 1.150 and 1.230," continues Warden Owen.
Video: Highlights from the 2014 Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup
Ireland’s Brewin Dolphin Commodores’ Cup whitewash
Ireland's three boat team, comprising Anthony O'Leary's Ker 39 Antix, Marc Glimcher's Ker 40 Catapult and Michael Boyd and Niall Dowling's Grand Soleil 43 Quokka 8, today scored the most comprehensive victory in the 22 year history of the Commodores' Cup.
The Irish previously won the Royal Ocean Racing Club's biennial flagship event for national teams with amateur crews in 2010, but were unable to defend in 2012. This year they returned with a vengeance finishing the regatta on 268 points, with an unprecedented lead of 173.5 points.
After a disappointing result in yesterday's race around the Isle of Wight, Ireland bounced back strongly in today's double points scoring inshore held on a round the cans course in the central Solent in a light northerly. Impressively the Irish boats claimed three of the top four places on corrected time. Antix put in a particularly powerful performance following the damage she sustained when she hit the rocks close to St Catherine's Point yesterday that bent the aft end of her keel and split the bottom 1ft of her rudder. Lifting the boat out in Cowes yesterday evening, her shore crew worked through the night to ensure she was ready for racing today.
"We were determined after yesterday's fiasco to finish stronger, which thankfully we did," said Anthony O'Leary. Today Antix led around the weather mark and ultimately claimed her third bullet of this Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup.
"The amount of work that all 31 people have put in over the last five or six months has been considerable," said O'Leary of the Irish team's victory. "We are very lucky that it all paid off in the end. There is a lot of experience with three boats and it gelled very well and there was great encouragement from one boat to the other. You don't often get a chance to sail as a team - which is the really good thing about this event."
Making his debut at the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup in the Irish team was American Marc Glimcher who had brought his `turboed' Ker 40 Catapult over from the USA. Rating-wise Catapult was the fastest boat at this year's regatta and across the 27 boat fleet finished highest placed individual boat.
"What a great week - this is absolutely my number one regatta," enthused Glimcher. "And what an unbelievable team! We had the `surgeon' - Antix - telling us what to do and the `clean-up crew' - Quokka - which would always come to the rescue. It was a great group and we sailed the boat better than we ever have. Next time we need to bring a bunch more Americans!"
Being the lowest rated boat in the Irish team, Quokka 8, co-skippered by Royal Ocean Racing Club Vice Commodore Michael Boyd and Niall Dowling, had the hardest job among the trio of attaining consistent results.
"It has been a very long campaign this," admitted Boyd. "We are newcomers to the event, but we have had fantastic leadership from team captain Anthony O'Leary and we were very fortunate to choose Quokka. It is just very satisfying to have mission accomplished and to do it in a such a comprehensive way today is a huge bonus. At our level as amateurs, the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup is the pinnacle of racing."
The last shall be first and the first shall be last
Throughout this Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup the racing has been blessed with Mediterranean conditions - scorching temperatures and generally light to moderate winds. This has favoured the big boats which have cleaned up in the windward-leewards and Monday's offshore race. But today this all changed.
The Race Committee stuck to the schedule and sent the nine 3-boat teams on a course anti-clockwise around the Isle of Wight. The start was at 09:30 BST from the Royal Yacht Squadron line, and the Blair family's King 40 Cobra in GBR Red and Jamie McGarry's Swan 45 Eala of Rhu in GBR Scotland were called OCS and had to return.
There were two schools of thought among the boats heading west down the Solent and it was the group closer to the mainland shore which prevailed, including the five `fast boats' - the three Ker 40s, the new A13, Teasing Machine, and Swan 45, Eala of Rhu, over the boats closer to the island shore. American Marc Glimcher's turboed Ker 40 Catapult pulled ahead on the water in the Solent leading around the South West Shingles buoy off the Needles.
Unlucky race four
With the best wind forecast for early morning, the 27 boats in nine teams started an hour early from a line off Peel Bank. The plan was for them to sail north to the North Ryde Middle mark and then east out of the Solent and into Hayling Bay onto a windward-leeward course.
Childerley recounted: "The boats started reaching out towards the Forts and there were a few big holes there and then six of the boats got to St Helens [mark in Hayling Bay]. Meanwhile the rest of the fleet was being affected badly by big holes in the wind, so we had a situation where probably over half of the fleet wouldn't have finished within the time limit. So we had to abandon that one."
There followed a long wait for the boats in the Solent to reach the new start area in Hayling Bay before a second attempt at race four of the series could be made - this time a windward-leeward in an offshore northeasterly breeze of 6-7 knots. Unfortunately as the boats were approaching the leeward mark the wind shifted hard right, by more than 90
2014 Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup Notice of Race
The Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup 2014 is an international offshore regatta for national teams racing under the IRC (Endorsed) rating rule (but not under team racing rules). The event will be held between Saturday 19th and Saturday 26th July 2014 at Cowes, Isle of Wight. The event is held within UK waters biennially.
2012 Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup Teams
2012 Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup: Provisional Team Listing as of 12th June 2012
Please click the Read more... link to view the list of boats in each national team.
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