Scuttlebutt Europe: Cowes Dinard St Malo

The Royal Ocean Racing Club’s Season’s Points Championship continues this weekend with close to 80 yachts competing in the Cowes- Dinard – St Malo Race. Teams from Belgium, France, Great Britain and The Netherlands will race across the English Channel to St Malo in Brittany, France.

The 175 mile race pre-dates the Royal Ocean Racing Club by almost 20 years, with the overall winner awarded the King Edward VII Cup, which was first presented by the British monarch to the Club Nautique de la Rance at Dinard in 1906.

Andrew Budgen and Fred Schwyn’s Volvo 70, Monster Project, was in fine form during last month’s Round Ireland Yacht Race, taking Line Honours and the win in IRC Canting Keel. Monster Project is favourite to be the first monohull to finish in St Malo although the IMOCA 60, Artemis Team Endeavour skippered by Mikey Ferguson, is also very capable of taking the gun.

In IRC One, Piet Vroon’s Dutch Ker 46, Tonnerre de Breskens 3, returns to RORC racing after a highly successful Caribbean season. Tonnerre de Breskens 3 was class runner-up in last year’s Cowes-Dinard-St Malo Race. The current class leader for the 2014 season, RORC Commodore Mike Greville’s British Ker 39, Erivale III, is not racing this weekend.

Seventeen yachts will be competing in IRC Two including the current class leader, Vincent Willemart and Eric Van Campenhout’s Belgian MC34, Azawakh.

IRC Three will be the largest class for the St Malo Race with twenty three yachts competing, including the overall leader for the 2014 RORC Season’s Points Championship: Louis-Marie Dussere’s JPK 10.10, Raging Bee. In IRC Four, Noel Racine’s JPK 10.10, Foggy Dew, is the current class leader.

Fourteen yachts will be competing in the 175 mile race two-handed Three multihulls will be taking part including Loic Fequet’s Maitre Jacques, which set the multihull record for the race in 2012 with a time of 12 hours 39 minutes. Five Class40s will also be enjoying a close battle including Michel Kleinjans’ Brusails for Belgium, who will be taking part in next month’s Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race. — Louay Habib