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176 to start Cowes Dinard St Malo Race

The largest RORC fleet since the 2015 Rolex Fastnet Race, comprising of 176 yachts will be starting Friday morning in the 2017 Cowes Dinard St Malo Race.

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With a wind direction expected in the westerly quadrant, combined with midsummer air temperature, a glorious downwind race is the likely outcome.

The 176 yacht fleet will be divided into four starts, with the first warning signal at 09:50 BST from the Royal Yacht Squadron Line.

As a qualifier for the Rolex Fastnet Race, the race is very popular this year, but it stands alone, it is one of the oldest races in the RORC calendar and St Malo is a wonderful destination.

IRC Zero
George David's American Maxi Rambler 88 will be racing with one eye on the clock hoping to better the race record set by Mike Slade's Leopard 3 in 2015 (11 hours 57 minutes and 53 seconds).

Rambler 88 is one of ten yachts competing in a highly competitive IRC Zero Class, including the current leader for the season, Derek Saunders CM60 Venomous.

IRC One
James Neville's HH42 Ino XXX, will be hoping to emulate their overall win in the 2017 Myth of Malham.

Whilst Edward Broadway's Ker 40 Hooligan VII, and Giles Redpath's Lombard IRC 46 Pata Negra, have the opportunity to take the class lead for the season.

IRC Two
Nick & Suzi Jones's First 44.7 Lisa, skippered by RORC Commodore Michael Boyd, lead the class for the season, and won the Morgan Cup overall in their last race.

However, Gilles Fournier's J/133 Pintia is within striking distance of overtaking Lisa, for both the class and overall lead for the RORC Season's Points Championship. Pintia also won IRC Two in last year's St Malo Race.

IRC Three
44 yachts are entered, with the vast majority running asymmetric spinnakers, ideal for the predicted reaching conditions.

The majority of the 22 Two-Handed teams will be racing in IRC Three including Rob Craigie's Sun Fast 3600 Bellino, which leads the class for the season. Bellino faces stiff opposition from fully crewed teams, including three well sailed JPK 1080s.

IRC Four
With 51 entries IRC Four will form an impressive line up as the first to start on the Royal Yacht Squadron Line.

The largest class racing to St Malo includes Noel Racine's JPK 10.10 Foggy Dew; class leader for the season and defending class champion for the St Malo Race.

Robert Nelson's J/105 Bigfoot, and Chris Choules Sigma 38 With Alacrity, will be racing and have been in impressive form this season. Alacrity will be one of six Sigma 38s in the race.

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Louay Habib
7 July 2017 8:49 GMT


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