The RORC has announced further changes to some of its key events during June and July due the COVID-19 pandemic.
Three events are cancelled and one, the IRC National Championships, is rescheduled to September 2020.
The RORC has also looked at August and the traditional Channel Race and the quadrennial favourite of the L’Île d’Ouessant Race (or Ushant race), where it’s hoped club racing can begin again.
Morgan Cup – Cancelled
This year’s Morgan Cup was to finish in Cork harbour for the first time – to coincide with the Cork 300 celebrations for the 300th anniversary of the oldest yacht club in the world – the Royal Cork Yacht Club.
SNT La Trinité to Cowes By Actual – Cancelled
Unfortunately the new COVID restrictions in France and the restrictions in the UK are not favourable for the regatta in July.
Cowes-Dinard-St Malo – Cancelled
The Club looks forward to 2021 which should see another large fleet in the lead up to the Rolex Fastnet Race, which finishes in nearby Cherbourg.
IRC National Championship – move to September confirmed
The RORC Committee have confirmed the move of the IRC National Championships from its scheduled June date to the 11 to 13 September 2020.
The move sees the IRC Nationals being run together with the IRC Double-Handed National Championship scheduled for the same weekend.
RORC Racing Manager Chris Stone discusses some of the complexities and considerations in getting racing under way:
“We are working to provide information as early as possible for all races, with a view to giving members and competitors an update about races no later than 30 days (4 weeks) before the scheduled race date.”
“We will continue to ensure these updates come as early as possible to limit the disruption to those competing. There are many areas to monitor and consider, including the safety of the RORC staff and volunteers before we simply set off and go racing.”
“With the cancellation of the July events, we now look more seriously at the Channel Race and the L’Île d’Ouessant Race,” continues Stone. “Will Government regulations allow yachts to sail fully crewed? Current social distancing measures make it difficult for that to happen safely.” ”
“Regulations also currently don’t permit people to stay away from their primary residence, so we eagerly await some changes before overnight races can return to normal.”
“There is also more serious border and immigration issues that need to be resolved. At present, sailing into foreign waters in a recreational capacity is against regulations, but potentially, there may also be some quarantine issues to consider going forward.”
“And lastly, we need to be extremely aware of the situation with our search and rescue authorities and examine their willingness to have events start up again. They are, after all, crucial to our sport, especially in maintaining the safety of all those competing.”