Over one hundred and forty yachts, representing nine different countries, have entered the RORC Myth of Malham Race, the largest RORC fleet to race since the 2015 Rolex Fastnet Race. The Myth of Malham Race starts from the Royal Yacht Squadron Line, Cowes with the first mark at the Eddystone Lighthouse, off Plymouth.
In essence the first 130 miles of the race mirrors the start of the Rolex Fastnet Race, with tactical and strategic decisions to be made along the tidal headlands of the south coast of England.
The RORC fleet is as diverse as it is sizeable with world record breaking offshore yachts, racing against Corinthian Two-Handed teams, production racer cruisers and just about everything in between. The race also carries a points factor of 1.2, increasing its value for teams looking to stack up points for the RORC Season’s Points Championship. Rambler 88 project manager Mick Harvey confirms that George David’s American Maxi, Rambler 88, will be taking part in a full RORC programme, leading up to the 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race.
“George is a RORC member and a long-standing supporter of the club, and he is spending some time in Europe this year and thought it would be great to support the RORC with a full campaign in the Season’s Points Championship” commented Mick Harvey. “Rambler 88 will be competing in five RORC races; the Myth of Malham, Morgan Cup, St. Malo Race, the Channel Race and the Rolex Fastnet Race. Another factor that has influenced the decision is that we are likely to get more wind in the RORC races than we have experienced in the Mediterranean, and the boat just loves the breeze. The RORC races, especially the Myth of Malham, are great preparation for the Rolex Fastnet, which for us is definitely unfinished business. Rambler 88 will be racing with their full team including Brad Butterworth and Andrew Cape in the afterguard.”
The smallest yacht taking part in the Myth of Malham will be Stuart Greenfield’s Ron Holland Half Tonner, Silver Shamrock, racing Two Handed with co-skipper Nathan Steffenoni. Last year Silver Shamrock won the Two Handed Class and IRC 4 in the Myth of Malham Race.
“I managed to snap the rudder after the Cervantes Race at the end of April, my good friend John Corby is building a new one and I am sure we will make the race start “ commented Stuart Greenfield. “With 140 bigger and faster boats, the main thing for us at the start is to stay clear or we will just park up in disturbed air. Before Portland Bill, we will be making sure we have a good kedge anchor ready to go, as we are unlikely to make the tide. Last year, we were there for four hours but it paid to kedge rather than go offshore. The Rambler crew will probably finish this race and be home in bed before we get near Eddystone Lighthouse but I don’t see that as a disadvantage. I love the challenge of racing shorthanded in a small boat that is over 40 years old and 230 miles doesn’t bother me. We did the 400-mile RORC Ushant Race last year, the longer the better, as we get more time to enjoy ourselves.’
A clutch of well sailed Class40 will be taking part in the Myth of Malham, including Harvard Mabire Campagne de France racing with Miranda Merron and Ronan de Kersauzon.
One of our priorities for the season is to win the RORC Championship, and the Myth of Malham is an important race for that and also as a practice start for the Fastnet.” commented Miranda Merron. “For a Class40, a 230-mile race is a sprint and especially as we are three up, I doubt if we will really get any proper sleep. With water ballast we hardly ever have crew on the rail but with stacking permitted, short tacking is physically exhausting, as we move everything to the windward side of the boat. This is often done very enthusiastically, so I tend to wear a crash helmet when the kit is flying around. There is a very competitive fleet for the Myth of Malham, and we expect the result to be very close.”
Spectators will get a great view of the fleet from The Green at Cowes or vantage points at the Hurst Narrows.
RORC Myth of Malham Race
Saturday 27th May, 2017
Cowes – Eddystone – Solent (256 Miles)
by Louay Habib