Seventeen entries are confirmed for RYA Selection Trials for 2002 Rolex Commodore’ s Cup which starts today

A total of seventeen boats have entered the RYA Selection Trials for the 2002 Rolex Commodore’s Cup, with entries ranging from HOD 35s to Farr 52s.

The selection of the two English teams for the Rolex Commodores’ Cup 2002 will be based upon performance in the Trials Series of races, starting today (Friday 7) June and the final team will be announced on 2 July.

The Trials are made up of three events. The first being the Morgan Cup, run by the Royal Ocean Racing Club which starts today (Friday 7 June) and finishes in Dieppe. The Royal Thames Yacht Club Racing Weekend, based in Cowes on the 15-16 June, makes up the second trials and lastly the Amicus IRC Championships from the 28-30 June, which is organised again by the Royal Ocean Racing Club and is based in Gunwharf Quay, Portsmouth.

The aim of the trials will be to select two English teams, with three boats sailing per team. A team of selectors under the Chair of Ian Macdonald-Smith, including John Derbyshire the RYA Racing Manager, Dave Atkinson, Vice Commodore of the Island Sailing Club and Guy Barron, will choose the two teams that go on to represent England at the Rolex Commodore’s Cup 2002.

The selectors will take note of the results and points gained in the trial races but will not be bound in any way to select all or any of the top six boats. Other factors that may be taken into consideration could include improvement or deterioration in boat performance, as well as incidents leading to protests during the trials.

Since the inaugural event in 1992, the biennial Rolex Commodore’s Cup has firmly imprinted itself on the yachting calendar as one of the most competitive team events in the world. The last event in 2000 attracted seven international teams with the English Blue Team finishing in second place behind the entry from the Channel Islands.

The organisers are hoping that this year they could see as many as 12 teams competing for the Rolex Commodore’s Cup with entries already confirmed from Ireland, France, Holland, Belgium and Spain. The event will take place from the 11-18 August 2002 from Cowes on the Isle of Wight, under the organisation of the Royal Ocean Racing Club, with the support of the Island Sailing Club, the Royal Yacht Squadron and the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club.

Chairman of the Selectors, Iain Macdonald-Smith commented; “The English Trials are shaping up to be a very competitive series. We are very optimistic that we have a high quality entry list and a good spread of boat sizes. The selectors’ job is to choose two English teams, so we know already that six out of the seventeen boats and their crews will go forward to the Rolex Commodore’s Cup in August. If I were a skipper or crewmember, those odds would make me pretty keen to get stuck in and put together a consistent series of race scores.

“We begin on 7 June with a double point offshore race, so those boats who have done enough early season training and tuning, can get a big points score early on and gain some momentum for the two inshore weekends which follow. The objective of the trials is to give the triallists a varied series, which will test all aspects of their ability, and give all the boats enough racing to improve as the trials go on. Hopefully, those who use these trials for maximum benefit will also be good enough to win the IRC Nationals at the end of June, which is also the last trials regatta.”

Triallists for the English Team

Chris Bull, Kerisma, Kerr 11.3

David K Walters Jackdaw J39 MOD

David Ruddiman Twelfth Knight Beneteau 47.7

David Scanlan Fandango Beneteau 40.7

Doug Flynn, Kirribilli, Beneteau 40.7

John Shepard, Fair Do’s V, Kerr 11.3

Jonathan Perry, Firestorm, Prima 38

Julian Bates, Born Slippy, Prima 38

Kit Hobday, Bear of Britain, Farr 52

Mark Heuchen, Fastwave II, Beneteau 40.7

Michael Cover, Blue Belle, Kerr 11.3

Michael Ronson, Carpetbagger, HOD 35

Nick Haigh, Too Steamy, Farr 40

Nick Hartshorn, El Gringo, Kerr 11.3

Nick Hewson, Team Tonic, Farr 52

Paul King, Serendip, Prima 38

Tim Harrington, Capitalism, HOD 35