Crew of Beelzebuth 3 win Cowes to St.Malo race

This year’s race to St Malo race proved to be a fast and tactical affair with French yachts dominating through virtually all of the classes. Olivier Pesci and his crew on Grand Soleil 40, Beelzebuth 3 were overjoyed to learn that they had won the King Edward VII Cup for the best corrected time in all IRC classes.
Olivier Pesci was tired but elated to have won the race. He believes it was the team’s tactical decisions that won the race. “Many of our competitors tacked earlier than us because the wind started to swing to the east but we held on a little bit more and, as we thought, the wind eventually went to the west,” he said. “This gave us a better angle to The Casquets.”
“For a crew who come from Brittany, it was a fantastic experience to win this race. Although the firework display at St.Malo was to celebrate our national day, the 14th July, we enjoyed it even more because we were celebrating our victory in the St.Malo Race! For a Breton to win the King Edward VII Cup is a dream come true and our next dream is to win the Brewin Dolphin Commodore Cup for France.”
Beelzebuth 3 was top of the class in IRC Two and of the 28 in the division the first seven places all went to French teams. UNCL President Marc de Saint Denis and Géry Trentesaux MC34 Patton, Courrier Vintage was just seven minutes behind Beelzebuth 3 and Philippe Delaporte’s J/122, Pen Azen was third. These three yachts also took the podium for the race overall.
In IRC One, French domination continued with Loday & Nicoleau’s Grand Soleil 43, Codiam taking the class win but only just RORC Commodore, Mike Greville skipper of Erivale III was less than seven minutes behind on corrected time. Erivale was the top scoring British yacht overall. Hervé Borgoltz’s Grand Soleil 44, Eleuthera was third and Laurent Gouy’s Ker 39, Inis Mor scored fourth, which was good enough to lift the French team to the top spot for the RORC Season’s Points Championship.
In IRC Three, Franck-Yves Escoffier A 35, Ame-Hasle came out on top beating the highly experienced team on Foggy Dew skippered by Noel Racine into second place. Francois Carluer’s A35, Agence Directe sailed by Bruno Bessac was third
IRC 4, Jean-pierre Bonnet J/105, Moontiger was the victor, Eric Mordret’s JPK 9.60 Leonardo was second with Harry Heijst’s S&S 41, Winsome taking third place and as a result now leads IRC 4 overall for the RORC Season’s Points Championship.
In the Multihull Class, Fequet Loic’s Multi 50, Maitre Jaques literally flew around the track, completing the 155-mile course in an astonishing 12 hours and 39 minutes. Chaz Ivill’s Grande Soleil 54, John B took nearly twice as long but Ivill was racing John B Two-handed for the first time and was delighted to win the Two-Handed division. Chaz was racing with Shaun ‘spud’ Murphy who donated the Slingshot Trophy for the Two Handed class racing to St.Malo.
“Although we were allowed to use the autopilot, we decided not to and helmed 12 hours each, so we have virtually had no sleep. It was incredibly tiring but I am chuffed to bits to have won the Two Handed Class” explained Chaz Ivill. “Preparation was very important as John B is not normally sailed in this way but during practice we worked out how to sail and gybe three kites with just the two of us and that was very important. It was great to do the race with Spud but it was a lot quieter on board without a full crew but we had a few giggles on the way round, especially when I was getting a salt water bath up on the bow and I turned round to see Spud desperately trying to keep a straight face. We really missed Timmy Mills’ special pork in Cider, may be next year we will get him to bring it out to us piping hot half way!”
The RORC Season’s Points Championship continues with The Channel Race, starting on August 4th after the showcase event of the season. The Brewin Dolphin Commodores’ Cup in Cowes, which starts 23 July.