Around 70 yachts expected to take part in this year's championship

Around 70 yachts are expected to take part in the MeesPierson Yachting IRC Championship – the highly competitive inshore series organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC). Starting in Cowes, Isle of Wight on Friday 18 June 2004, the series will consist of eight inshore races finishing on Sunday 20 June 2004. The Championship attracts the very best of the IRC racing fleet, and this year it has the added spice of being one of the events being watched by the selectors for the GBR teams for the forthcoming Rolex Commodores’ Cup.

Amongst those trying to catch the selector’s eye are Kit Hobday’s Farr 52 Bear of Britain which was top boat in the inshore trials and Nick Jones’ First 40.7 Tarka which was the overall winner of the recent Myth of Malham Trophy – the offshore trial event.

Other boats to watch who are hoping for a place in the GBR teams include Peter Rutter’s Elan 37 Quokka, Shaun Frohlich’s IMX 45 Exabyte III, and Jerry Otter’s IMX40 Exabyte II, all of which did well in last week’s Myth of Malham Race. In Class Zero, up to six Ker 11.3’s will be battling it out, including Nick Hartshorn in El Gringo and Robbie Cameron-Davies in I-Site, along with Adam Gosling’s First 44.7 Yes!, Mike Greville’s DK46 Erivale and Richard Matthews’s Corby 50 Flirt.

In IRC Class 1, Nick Jones’ Tarka is racing 3 other 40.7s with Pete Newlands Anticipation, Paul and Joanna Dentskevich’s Euphorix and Nick Lutte’s Shockwave.

A numerically strong Class 2 includes three HOD 35s and four J109s. Class 3 has two notable overseas entries with the French X312 Exile owned by Nicolas de la Fourniere and Giovanni Belgrano in his 1939 Laurent Giles design Whooper.

Two of the strong Irish Rolex Commodores’ Cup team, Colm Barrington’s new Ker 39 Flying Glove and Eamon Crosbie’s Ker 32 Voodoo Chile will be measuring themselves up against the GBR hopefuls. Alex McBarnet Yacht Manager of MeesPierson Yachting commented: “MeesPierson Yachting are delighted to be sponsoring the IRC Championship and working alongside the RORC again for the second year running following the success of the 2003 event. We look forward to some competitive and exciting racing but most of all hope that everyone involved, whether racing, organising or simply spectating, have a great time.”

Full details available on the RORC website: