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British yacht INO XXX which competes in the Round Ireland Race in less than a fortnight was victorious in this weekend's RORC Myth of Malham Race that featured a number of Irish crews. 

The Cowes-Eddystone-Solent 230nm started last Thursday and saw IRC SZ Zero winner Volvo 70, Telefonica Black, with Dublin Bay sailor Paul Bradley as part of the crew. 

Another tipped Round Ireland contender, Michael O'Donnell's J/121 Darkwood finished second in IRC One and eighth overall. Her Myth of Malham crew is largely the same as that racing the 700-mile Irish ocean classic and included Kenny Rumball, Michael Boyd, Barry Hurley, and Conor Kinsella.

myth of malham fleet68 teams on the downwind start for RORC Myth of Malham Race Photo: Paul Wyeth/RORC

The overall winner racing under IRC for the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s Myth of Malham Race was the British HH42 INO XXX, raced by the RORC Commodore James Neville. Niklas Zennström’s brand new Swedish CF-520 Rán 8 was second overall and took line honours in an elapsed time of just over 26 hours for the 230-mile course. Ed Bell’s British JPK 1180 Dawn Treader had an excellent race, placing third overall and winning IRC One.

 IRC SZ Zero winner - Dublin Bay sailor Paul Bradley (closest to camera) on the Volvo 70, Telefonica Black IRC SZ Zero winner - Dublin Bay sailor Paul Bradley (closest to camera) on the Volvo 70, Telefonica Black

The Myth of Malham Cup was given to the RORC by Captain John Illingworth in 1958 and is named after his famous boat, which won the 1947 and 1949 Fastnet Race. The race mirrors the start of the Rolex Fastnet Race. 68 teams from eight different nations took part in the 2022 edition of the Myth of Malham Race. An unusual downwind start got the fleet away at a fast pace out of the Solent. During the course of the race, the fleet experienced a huge range of conditions from 5-25 knots, and at times a significant sea state.

The start of the Myth of Malham Race was streamed live. Watch the recording with expert commentary from RYA Race Director, and Volvo Ocean Race winning skipper, Ian Walker below.



IRC Class Winners for the Myth of Malham Race

  • IRC SZ Zero Volvo 70 Telefonica Black
  • IRC 0 INO XXX
  • IRC 1 JPK 1180 Dawn Treader
  • IRC 2 & IRC Two-Handed JPK 1080 Mzungu!
  • IRC 3 J/109 JAGO
  • IRC 4 S&S 34 Morning After

    Full Results here 

Niklas Zennström’s brand new Swedish CF-520 Rán 8 was second overall and took line honours Photo: Paul Wyeth/RORCNiklas Zennström’s brand new Swedish CF-520 Rán 8 was second overall and took line honours Photo: Paul Wyeth/RORC

Quotes from the boats

James Neville HH42 INO XXX
“It was great to see so many boats out racing with the RORC making the most of the Jubilee Weekend!” exclaimed INO XXX’s James Neville. “The start was quite difficult, especially to hold a lane. We had to put a few gybes in to hold position on the South Side of the Solent. We were in good shape past The Needles, with tide under us, but it was a tight call getting passed The Shingles. The crucial decision at that point was that pretty much making Portland on one gybe, which gave us our fastest vmg. Rán can sail deeper than us, so they made more progress plus we had more foul tide to the Eddystone Lighthouse and Rán was two hours ahead of us. We knew that on IRC corrected they needed about four hours in the race and the boats behind us had tide with them and could fly Code Zeros with the wind shifting north. Rán did have to foot off as they were on a tighter angle, but INO goes well on a tight reach. The big decision for us was staying quite south on the return past Portland. We had good tide all the way to the Isle of Wight, and with the easterly coming in and tidal relief from the island, that was what did it for us. The wind died for the boats behind, and they had foul tide.”

Winner IRC 2 & IRC Two-Handed JPK 1080 Mzungu! sailed by Sam White & Sam North Photo: Paul Wyeth/RORCWinner IRC 2 & IRC Two-Handed JPK 1080 Mzungu! sailed by Sam White & Sam North Photo: Paul Wyeth/RORC

For quite a few years, racing on a Sun Fast 3200, we couldn’t understand why we were not getting good results as we had been racing well. We realised we just didn’t have the boat speed,” commented Mzungu!‘s Sam White. “At the tail end of 2021 (in the Rolex Fastnet Race) we sort of fixed that problem, and now with our new boat (JPK 1080), we have the boat speed we desire. We are now trying to find that extra 5% to get onto the podium. We are now putting in a huge amount of prep. work including proper race brief and debrief via Zoom. All of this is paying off; to use an analogy, I feel like I am good carpenter but no longer using blunt chisels! For Sam (North) and I, the big one this season is the Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland, which will be a different dynamic, very much a change of pace where we will need to make our downtime count, but we have a stable platform, and a good all-round boat.”

Mike Yates J/109 JAGO winner of IRC Three, racing Two-Handed with 19-year-old Hamish Pimm Photo: Paul Wyeth/RORCMike Yates J/109 JAGO winner of IRC Three, racing Two-Handed with 19-year-old Hamish Pimm Photo: Paul Wyeth/RORC

Mike Yates J/109 JAGO 

“We went deep south after leaving the Solent, because there was more pressure offshore,” commented JAGO’s Mike Yates. “We were never going to make Portland Bill before the tide would turn and we wanted to avoid Lyme Bay with a forecast of light winds. JAGO is a different type of boat to say a Sun Fast 3300, they have to sail hotter angles. JAGO doesn’t have to go quite as deep, so we gybed earlier to head back inshore. Coming back in Anvil Point was tricky. The wind was due to go west, and we had to be careful not to get headed. After Eddystone the breeze died just around Portland Bill, but there were bands of ten knots in it, so it was very snakes and ladders. We kept an eye on boats inshore and elected to stay offshore for better pressure. We tacked when the tide turned to get the lee bow effect. This was Hamish’s first Two-Handed offshore, he is JAGO’s inshore bowman, and he was absolutely brilliant!”

RORC Fleet after the start in the 2022 Myth of Malham Race Photo: Paul Wyeth/RORCRORC Fleet after the start in the 2022 Myth of Malham Race Photo: Paul Wyeth/RORC

Christina Wolfe, racing in IRC Two-Handed with husband Justin on Ruby Red, was the top Sun Fast 3300 with 14 racing.

“We are over the moon; it was just a great time! RORC racing is just incredible,” commented Christina who hails from Washington on the North Pacific Coast, USA. “We are very aware that there are some amazing sailors racing with RORC and it was a fantastic experience. Congratulations to Mzungu!, they had a great race. We got close to them, but they negotiated a tricky transition very well. This has been a huge opportunity to learn, especially as we plan to do the Rolex Fastnet next year. We will be returning to racing in the pacific this summer, but we will be back for the Double Handed Nationals in September.” 

RORC CEO Jeremy Wilton watched the start of the Myth of Malham from the Royal Squadron Line: “One thing that is great about the RORC Season’s Points Championship is the breadth of the boats we have racing, boats from 30ft to 70ft, both fully crewed and a large number of two-handed teams. What supports all that is our IRC Rating system, which is the best rating system for bringing all these boats together to race competitively.”

The Royal Ocean Racing Club RORC Season’s Points Championship continues with the 8th race of the series, the Morgan Cup Race. Starting from the Royal Yacht Squadron Line at 1800 BST on the 17th of June. The 110 to 160 mile race course will be finalised close to the race start. The final destination will be Dartmouth where a warm welcome awaits from the Royal Dart Yacht Club.

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One hundred and twenty five boats started the 230 nautical-mile RORC Myth of Malham, held over the Bank Holiday Weekend. High pressure at the start of the race, delivered light to moderate conditions with brilliant sunshine for a magnificent spinnaker run down the South Coast of England. On the morning of Day Two, as the majority of the fleet were rounding the Eddystone Lighthouse, the wind speed increased to over 20 knots from the northeast. A feisty beat in confused seas lasted for about seven hours. The wind faltered later in the race creating calm seas, which combined with a strong unfavourable tide, to slow the progress of the smaller boats.

David Collins’ Botin IRC 52 Tala. Photo: Paul WyethDavid Collins’ Botin IRC 52 Tala. Photo: Paul Wyeth

David Collins’ Botin IRC52 Tala took Line Honours and the Myth of Malham Cup for the best corrected time under IRC. Congratulations to all of the class winners including Orange Mecanix2 skippered by Maxime de Mareuil, Gilles Fournier & Corinne Migraine’s Pintia, Louis-Marie Dussere’s Raging-bee², Tim Goodhew & Kelvin Matthews racing Cora, James Harayda & Dee Caffari racing Gentoo, Charles Emmett’s Virgin Media Business, and James Holder’s Slinky Malinki.

Full Results

“It’s been a long time and great to be back, the last distance race I did was the Fastnet 2019,” commented Tala’s navigator Campbell Field. “Thankfully the South Coast turned on some beautiful weather with a little bit of bash and crash on the way back to the finish. Tala is not putting much emphasis from this result towards the Fastnet in August. If the Myth of Malham had been run seven days earlier, the systems coming through would have created a different story. It was nice to sharpen our act a little, get the team together for some beautiful sailing, and we have found a few things to improve our performance.”

James Harayda’s Sun Fast 3300 Gentoo, racing with Dee Caffari. Photo: Paul Wyeth/RORC   James Harayda’s Sun Fast 3300 Gentoo, racing with Dee Caffari. Photo: Paul Wyeth/RORC  

IRC Two-Handed

Thirty-Eight Two-Handed teams competed in the race, James Harayda’s Sun Fast 3300 Gentoo, racing with Dee Caffari, was the winner of the Ville D’Hyeres Trophy. Kelvin Rawlings’ Sun Fast 3300 Aries, racing with Stuart Childerley, was second. Henry Bomby & Shirley Robertson racing their Sun Fast 3300 were third. The first IRC Two-Handed team to finish the race was Rob Craigie’s Sun Fast 3600 Bellino, racing with Deb Fish. Bellino was fourth after IRC time correction.

Tired but elated, James Harayda and Dee Caffari spoke dockside: “The race was delayed by about 30 minutes because of a ship coming through the Solent, which threw off our plans for the tidal gates. We got a good start and there was a big transition at The Needles but the big boats in front of us gave a good indication of what was to come.” After tight racing all the way down the South Coast, there was little separating the leaders. “It was literally a traffic jam as we rounded the Eddystone Lighthouse. We made sure we got our manoeuvres right and then the fun really started. After a wonderful ride downwind, we had a really messy sea state and 20 knots of wind as we beat back. Approaching Portland, we stayed offshore a little, hoping for more breeze which worked. It is never over until you cross the finish line, anything can happen, and at the end of a long race you can get tired and make a mistake, we had to race-clever all the way to the end.”

IRC One

The French xP44 Orange Mecanix2 skippered by Maxime de Mareuil, has won the Loujaine Cup. Orange Mecanix2 pulled off a tremendous finish to win IRC One from Michael O'Donnell’s J/121 Darkwood. Andrew Hall’s Lombard 46 Pata Negra made a big gain going into Lyme Bay on the return leg, finishing third after IRC time correction. Class Line Honours went to Ed Fishwick’s Farr 42 Redshift, after a close battle with RORC Commodore James Neville racing HH42 Ino XXX.

Gilles Fournier & Corinne Migraine’s French J/133 Pintia. Photo: Paul Wyeth/RORC   Gilles Fournier & Corinne Migraine’s French J/133 Pintia. Photo: Paul Wyeth/RORC  

IRC Two

Gilles Fournier & Corinne Migraine’s French J/133 Pintia won the class winning the Jamarella Trophy and placed second overall for the fleet. Thomas Kneen’s JPK 1180 Sunrise took Class Line Honours, was second in IRC Two, and third overall. Christopher Daniel’s J/122E Juno was third in class. IRC Two produced the most competitive contest for the podium with less than 20 minutes separating the Pintia, Sunrise and Juno, after 36 hours of racing.

“We are very pleased to race the Myth of Malham, our first race since Cherbourg in 2019,” commented Pintia’s Gilles Fournier. “We were very eager to come to England in spite of the pandemic. Even with all the safety measures in place, we received a good welcome in Cowes. For the race, we had friendly and well-sailed competitors, and Pintia is delighted to have won our class. On the way back, Portland Bill was tough with a lot of tide, and we were overtaken by our competitors, but we got back, which was so nice. Thank you to the RORC for a great race!”

IRC Three

French boats filled the class podium with Louis-Marie Dussere’s JPK 1180 Raging-bee² winning the taking Class Line Honours and the win after IRC time correction from the legendary Noel Racine racing his new JPK 1030 Foggy Dew. Maxime Mesnil’s J/99 Axe Sail, taking part in their debut race, was third by just 19 seconds. Raging-bee² wins the Maid of Malham Cup.

IRC Four

Tim Goodhew & Kelvin Matthews won a tight finish racing Two-Handed on Sun Fast 3200 Cora to win the Ernest Moore Plate. Emmanuel Pinteaux’s fully crewed French JPK 10.10 Gioia was second. The Two-Handed team of William McGough & Christian Jeffery, racing J/109 Just So was third, only three minutes behind after time correction. 

Myth of Malham Trophies and Medallions will be presented on Saturday 11th September at the RORC Cowes Clubhouse at 1930 hrs. All skippers and crews are most welcome.

The Royal Ocean Racing Club 2021 Season’s Points Championship continues with the East Coast Race, starting on Saturday 5th June. The race starting and finishing in Harwich, will pitch the RORC fleet in the North Sea on a course of approximately 125nm.

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#rorc – Royal Cork's Anthony O'Leary at the helm of Antix rounded Eddystone Lighthouse this morning in RORC's 259–mile Myth of Malham Race. The Cork Harbour yacht is currently seven miles offshore at Salcombe. Unofficially, Antix is leading the 141 yacht fleet overall, after IRC time correction, and expected to finish the race tonight. 

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#rorc – The RORC Season's Points Championship continues this May Bank Holiday with the challenging 230-mile Myth of Malham Race. A fleet of approximately 40 yachts, from five different nations, will take part with 10 yachts racing in the Two-Handed Class. The race is of great significance in the RORC Season's Points Championship, as the route mirrors the start of the 2014 Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race and has a weighted points factor for teams looking to increase their overall score for the season.

The course can be a described as a long windward leeward, starting from Cowes with the top mark as the Eddystone Lighthouse, approximately 12 miles SSW of Plymouth Sound, and finishing in the Solent. The lighthouse was built between 1878 and 1892 and is mentioned in Herman Melville's epic novel Moby-Dick. At 49 metres (161ft) high, Eddystone's light is visible from 22 miles and, along with Bishop Rock, it is the tallest lighthouse managed by Trinity House.

The end of May is typically a time of changeable weather in the UK and the Myth of Malham Race is shaping up to be a real tactical challenge. The south coast of England has complex and significant tidal flows, measuring as much as five metres at the Eddystone Lighthouse and weather forecasts are predicting varied wind speed and direction along the route. Correctly anticipating whether to stay offshore or come inshore will be a big factor in any teams performance.

Jean Yves Chateau's Iromiguy won IRC Four in last year's Myth of Malham Race; the Nicholson 33 is one of the legendary yachts of RORC racing, having won the Fastnet Trophy in 2005.

"I really enjoy RORC races, especially the Fastnet and Myth of Malham because they are very well organised and the course is very tactical," commented Jean Yves Chateau. "I have owned Iromiguy since 1976 and I will never sell her - like the name of her next race, she is a myth! We have won so many races in Iromiguy and most of the crew have been the same for all those years. The route for the Myth of Malham is so interesting, it is the reason I prefer offshore racing to regattas. The overall tidal flow is well documented but there are local effects that can really change your approach. Timing is everything, you have to look forward and anticipate when you will be at a certain point on the course to decide what you will do immediately and that is an ever changing position - it fascinates me. We will sail Iromiguy from Boulogne to Cowes several days before the start and, after the race, we will sail her back to France. It is a lot of miles but we know well in advance when the race will take place and that it will be well organised - that makes it easy for us to plan and prepare for the best."

Yachts run by Sailing Logic have won the RORC Sailing School Yacht of the Year for the last nine years. This year, the Hamble based racing school have added two First 40s to their fleet: Arthur and Galahad Of Cowes will be making their offshore racing debut in the Myth of Malham Race.

Orthopaedic surgeon, Ronan Banim, will be racing on Galahad this season. "Until last year, I had done very little offshore sailing but after competing in the Round Ireland Race I decided to do a Fastnet campaign with Sailing Logic and it was absolutely tremendous. So much so that I will be racing with the RORC for much of this season on Galahad and I am in the process of joining the club. I find offshore sailing mesmerising, there is something new to learn every race. The first RORC race we did last year was the Myth of Malham and it was a very changeable race with the wind dying near Eddystone, then picking up for a fast sail back to the finish - it was really exciting. This year I am looking forward to what I hope to be a fantastic and challenging race and to enjoy it with a group of people that I probably haven't even met before but who all share the same interest in offshore racing."

Line Honours for the Myth of Malham is likely to come down to a duel between two IMOCA 60s: Chris Le Prevost's Rosalba, and the new Artemis Ocean Racing 2. Led by Mike Ferguson, the team behind Artemis Ocean Racing 2 won the 2010 Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race overall onboard the first Artemis Ocean Racing. "This year we will be taking part in a number of RORC races in partnership with Team Endeavour," explained Mike, who will skipper Artemis for the race.

"For the Myth of Malham Race, half of the crew will be injured servicemen and we will be racing a full season with RORC as Artemis Team Endeavour. These guys are getting the opportunity of racing with professionals for six of the RORC races in the Channel and one of them will be lucky enough to be selected for the Round Britain and Ireland with Brian Thompson as skipper. For the Myth of Malham Race, we are expecting a close battle with Rosalba and we know we will be up for the challenge. Two of the injured servicemen raced the Fastnet on board last year and their attitude was top notch. The only real problem was making them take a break, their enthusiasm was amazing and that has a positive impact for the whole team."

The Myth of Malham Race is the third race of the 2014 RORC Season's Points Championship. The Myth of Malham Cup will be awarded to the yacht with the best corrected time racing under the Spinlock IRC Rule. The trophy and race are named after the yacht Myth of Malham which was a 37'6" sloop built in 1947 by Hugh McClean & Co at Greenock and designed by John Laurent Giles for John Illingworth. Myth of Malham won the 1947 and 1949 Fastnet Races and in 1957 was part of the winning team for the first Admiral's Cup.

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THE RORC:

  • Established in 1925, The Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) became famous for the biennial Fastnet Race and the international team event, the Admiral's Cup. It organises an annual series of domestic offshore races from its base in Cowes as well as inshore regattas including the RORC Easter Challenge and the IRC European Championship (includes the Commodores' Cup) in the Solent
  • The RORC works with other yacht clubs to promote their offshore races and provides marketing and organisational support. The RORC Caribbean 600, based in Antigua and the first offshore race in the Caribbean, has been an instant success. The 10th edition took place in February 2018. The RORC extended its organisational expertise by creating the RORC Transatlantic Race from Lanzarote to Grenada, the first of which was in November 2014
  • The club is based in St James' Place, London, but after a merger with The Royal Corinthian Yacht Club in Cowes now boasts a superb clubhouse facility at the entrance to Cowes Harbour and a membership of over 4,000

At A Glance – RORC 

RORC Race Enquiries:

Royal Ocean Racing Club T: +44 (0) 1983 295144 E: [email protected] W: http://www.rorc.org/

Royal Ocean Racing Club:

20 St James's Place, London SW1A 1NN, Tel: 020 7493 2248 E: [email protected] 

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