The race to St. Malo from Cowes is one of the oldest yacht races in the world and has always been a popular event with competitors racing with the Royal Ocean Racing Club. The timing of the race coincides with the celebration of the storming of the Bastille in 1789, a symbol of the uprising of the modern French nation. Bastille Day is one of the biggest celebrations throughout France and the fortress village of St Malo will be a hive of festivities and cultural celebrations culminating in an impressive firework display.
However, despite the fact that it can be a fast reaching race for many, this edition may very well go down into the history books as one of the toughest, slowest and lightest on record for a vast majority of the fleet. What appears to be a record number of DNF's were scored for the fleet, with approximately 25% of the fleet actually finishing the race while all others simply dropped out. "It was a race of super concentration," commented a competitor. "We were so pleased with the crew, we kedged near the start and in the Channel in very deep water but we were determined to finish, at no time did we even talk about giving up." Kedging to win?! Hmmm, didn't see where that was permissible under the ISAF regs, but then again, it is an old race with perhaps old rules!
Surviving were a number of J crews that managed to get across "La Manche" and grab some silverware, hopefully with bowls to throw in a few rum punches to calm the frazzled nerves! In IRC 2 Class, Francois Lognone's J/122 NUTMEG IV was second boat to cross the line and took third on corrected time. Meanwhile, her sistership sailed by Rob Craigie- the J/122 J-BELLINO- took fifth in IRC 2 Class and seventh in IRC Double class. Also sailing quite well in this challenging race was Robin Taunt's J/109 JIBE (skippered by Fergus Roper), scoring a second in IRC 3 Class. For more RORC Cowes-St Malo Race sailing information