Image: Cape 31 Class © Paul Wyeth/RORC
Organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club - 19-21 May 2023 - Cowes, IOW
The 2023 RORC Vice Admiral’s Cup will feature fifty boats racing with the Royal Ocean Racing Club. The Cape 31, J/111 and J/109 Classes will race under one-design rules with the HP30+ and Quarter Tonner Classes racing under the IRC Rating Rule. Three days of action are scheduled with multiple races per day on windward leeward courses and tight round the cans racing. Weather forecasts are predicting superb conditions for Saturday and Sunday for the regatta.
Over 300 sailors are expected for the RORC Vice Admiral’s Cup with corinthian sailors rubbing shoulders with top professionals. The Vice Admiral’s Cup has always featured a full social programme. The RORC Cowes Clubhouse will be regatta central for fun filled evening entertainment, especially the Prize Giving, held at the RORC Clubhouse on Sunday 21 May.
Cape 31 Class
This year is the third Vice Admiral’s Cup featuring the Cape 31 Class and with 25 entries it will be the biggest collection of Cape 31s in the history of the class. Last year’s winner, Michael Bartholomew’s Tokoloshe 4 returns to defend the title with son David on the tiller.
Third in 2022, Tony Dickin’s Jubilee will also be in action. While the majority of the Cape 31 entrants have UK based owners, there are four Irish teams joining the fray including Anthony O'Leary’s Antix. From The Netherlands, Lennard van Oeveren, past Swan 45 World Champion will be racing Motions, and from the United States, Sandra Askew’s Flying Jenny will be in action.
Seven one-design 36ft J/111s will be in action, the World Sailing international class keelboats enjoy close racing with seconds deciding the race winners. Tony & Sally Mack’s McFly has been the top J/111 at the last three editions Vice Admiral’s Cup and McFly will be looking to make it four in a row. Stiff competition as always will come from Louise Makin & Chris Jones’ JourneyMaker II, which has been runner-up or on the podium for the last four editions. Cornel Riklen’s Jitterbug has made the podium for the last two editions. Bermudian Paul Wollmann is new to the J/111 Class racing Frequent Flyer.
The pocket rocket HP30 Class are enjoying their seventh season, the class follows a tight box rule under IRC measurement. The Vice Admiral’s Cup has attracted Fareast 28s, Farr 280, and MC31 designs. Jamie Rankin’s Farr 280 Pandemonium has been on the Vice Admiral’s podium on two occasions. The scratch boat in the HP30 Class is Swede Sture Wikman’s Modified MC31. A posse of Fareast 28s will be racing including Geoff Poore’s Mako, Andrew Peake’s Resolute, and Timon Robson’s Sea Dragon.
The J/109 Class features in both inshore and offshore RORC races and close racing is expected for the 35ft keelboat. In the 2021 Rolex Fastnet Race, 16 J/109 competed under IRC and also for their own J/109 RORC Trophy. David Richard’s Jumping Jellyfish will be going for a hat-trick of victories having won class at the last two editions of the Vice Admiral’s Cup. Mike Yates’ JAGO has been on the podium in the last two editions, and Chris Burleigh’s Jybe Talkin’ was runner up in 2021. John Smart’s Jukebox is the reigning Class Three IRC National Champion. Rob Cotterill’s Mojo Risin’ was in fine form at last weekend’s 120nm offshore De Guingand Bowl Race; Mojo Risin’ was third overall under IRC.
Quarter Ton Class
Sam Laidlaw’s BLT is on for a hat-trick of victories having won the past two editions of the RORC Vice Admiral’s Cup. The origins of the Vice Admiral’s Cup date back to 2005, when it was first held by the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, the Quarter Ton Class has always been part of the event. Louise Morton has competed at nearly every regatta and as Secretary of the RCYC, started the regatta with husband Peter. Louise Morton will be racing Bullet as always with an all-women crew. The Bullet squad includes world class sailors; Nicky, Lucy and Kate MacGregor, Annabel Vose, Katie Archer, Bethan Carden, Colette Richmond, and Sophie Heritage.
Text & Image: Royal Ocean Racing Club