Salcombe Gin Morgan Cup: Scarlet Oyster & Bellino celebrate in Dartmouth

Salcombe Gin Morgan Cup: Scarlet Oyster & Bellino celebrate in Dartmouth

Salcombe Gin Morgan Cup Race - IRC 2H Nationals Race 2

Image: Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster © Rick Tomlinson/RORC

Organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club in association with the Royal Thames YC, the Royal Dart YC, and the Royal Yacht Squadron. The Salcombe Gin Morgan Cup Race was held in fantastic conditions. Ross Applebey’s Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster was the overall winner after IRC time correction lifting the Morgan Cup. After a nail-biting finish, the 2024 IRC National Champion is Rob Craigie’s Sun Fast 3600 Bellino, racing with RORC Commodore Deb Fish.


Second overall for the Salcombe Gin Morgan Cup Race was the Army Sailing Association’s Sun Fast 3600 Fujitsu British Soldier and third, notably representing the owners of The Morgan Cup, the Royal Thames YC, was Tim Webb’s Swan 45 Luna.


Eric de Turckheim’s NMD54 Teasing Machine took Line Honours for the second race this season. Congratulations to all of the IRC Class winners including Mark Emerson’s A13  Phosphorus II, Swan 45 Luna, Sun Fast 3200 Cora raced double-handed by Tim Goodhew & Kelvin Matthews and François Charles’ Dehler 33 Sun Hill III.


“Being the fastest boat upwind in our class, we knew we had a chance to do well in the race, which was predominantly upwind to Dartmouth,” commented Scarlet Oyster’s Ross Applebey. “Having said that we did have a downwind leg against the tide from Peveril Ledge to Needles Fairway. We took a conservative approach, delaying the spinnaker hoist to get a good angle, and then dropping the kite a little early approaching the overfalls at Needles Fairway. Although the next mark was the Line of Latitude offshore, we started by going inshore to get out of the tide, which worked really well. Later in the race, it became apparent that British Soldier was our main competition. They sailed very well and if it had not been for a wind shift coming later than expected, they might have beaten us. All in all, a great race and one that the team thoroughly enjoyed.”


The Salcombe Gin Morgan Cup Race was the final race to decide the IRC Two-Handed National Championship and it produced a photo-finish. After two races, the first being the RORC Guingand Bowl Race held in May, the championship was decided on countback after a tie on points for victory.


For the Salcombe Gin Morgan Cup Race, Rob Craigie’s Sun Fast 3600 Bellino, racing with RORC Commodore Deb Fish, won IRC Two-Handed. Second was Dan Fellows’ Sun Fast 3300 Orbit, racing with his teenage son Zeb. Gareth Edmondson’s JPK 1030 Insert Coin, racing with Ocean Race winner Will Harris was third. In fourth place, by just six seconds, was Sun Fast 3200 Cora, raced by Tim Goodhew & Kelvin Matthews.


The results for the series ended with Bellino tied on points with Cora. Orbit was less than four points behind in third. By virtue of winning the last race and Cora missing out on additional points by six seconds. Rob Craigie’s Sun Fast 3600 Bellino, racing with RORC Commodore Deb Fish, is the 2024 IRC Two-Handed National Champion.


“It couldn’t be closer than that!” commented Bellino’s Deb Fish. “It’s unbelievable to win by just six seconds!.” Cora’s Tim Goodhew agreed adding: “A brutal way to lose it, but what close racing!”


Rob Craigie commented; “We really feel sorry for Cora, it was a hard point of sail for them, but we worked really hard on Bellino and the aches and pains go away when you get the results! We got no more than an hour and a half sleep in the whole race, but I am old enough to cope, especially with Deb pushing all the time.”


“The competition is astonishing,” continued Deb Fish. “To have Bellino, Cora and Orbit so close after two very different types of races is just amazing. A shout out to the RORC Race Team for putting on some very good courses which have been exciting, tactical and very interesting. Also the variety of boats and crew in that top three, shows that this racing is for absolutely anybody.”


The Royal Ocean Racing Club has chartered two Sun Fast 30 ODs for the season, crewed by members of the RORC’s Griffin24Youth Programme. Griffin 011, skippered by Charlie Muldoon, took the match race by just under six minutes after 24-hours of racing from Griffin 007, skippered by Andrea Cupaioli.


“It was incredibly close throughout - really good racing,” commented Griffin skipper Charlie Muldoon. “The lead changing continuously, we ducked close behind Griffin 007 in the middle of the night which was cool. Now we have one race win each for Andrea and me, so it’s all down to the Drheam Cup for bragging rights!”


The Salcombe Gin Morgan Cup Race also marked a new era for the Royal Ocean Racing Club. After substantial redevelopment, the RORC Cowes Clubhouse has now re-opened. A crew BBQ was held before the start of the Salcombe Gin Morgan Cup Race with sailors enjoying the new facilities as well as Salcombe Gin Cocktails before supper on the Terrace.


The RORC Season’s Points Championship is the world’s largest offshore racing series. The next race will be the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race, organised by the Wicklow Sailing Club in association with the Royal Ocean Racing Club and Royal Irish Yacht Club. The 704 NM race starts on Saturday 22nd June.