With confirmed entries already in excess of the 2000 fleet, this year’s event, which will take place in August, looks guaranteed to be one of the fiercest competitions yet.
Strong foreign participation is set to prove once again that the Rolex Commodores' Cup is International Corinthian yacht racing at its best.
Concentrated efforts made by the RORC over recent months have ensured continued, positive interest in this team competition. The modification in the choice of handicap rule and the removal of the banding structure for team composition have certainly motivated a number of nations not present last time around. Currently, the RORC knows of 6 nations with well advanced plans to enter and a further 3 countries working on teams.
Belgium were the first to confirm entry, with Moana (First 47.7), Cohiba (First 40.7) and Oxygene (IMX 40) owned/skippered by François Goubau, Yves Delacolette and Axel De Cock respectively.
The French have stated their intention to field two teams, yachts to include Clin d'Oreil (X442 - J.Y. Legoff), Courier Nord (IMX 40 - Gery Trenteseaux), Fastwave 3 (IMX40 - E.Fries), Lobelia (IMX 40 - M. De St Denis), Meta Baron (IMX 40 - J.Y. Chomette) and Stir Wenn (X442 - G. Salnave). Gery Trenteseaux is believed to be the team manager.
The planned Dutch team includes Checkmate 3 (BH41) owned by Peter de Ridder who is also team captain, Salty Dog (IMX 40) and Satori (Grand Soleil 40).
Plans for an Irish Team from Cork managed by Donal Mc Clement are well advanced with yachts yet to be announced.
Spain have yet to submit yacht names but team plans are also well advanced.
Trials for the British teams continue in Britain with the Morgan Cup (RORC) 7th June, Cowes, followed by the Solent Series 1 (RTYC) 15-16th June, Cowes, with the final round at the IRC Nationals at Gunwharf Quay, Portsmouth 29-30th June. With 17 yachts battling it out the RYA hope to make the announcement of teams on 2nd July.
Peter Rutter, Commodore of the RORC and two time competitor at the Rolex Commodores' Cup stated: "I am delighted not only with the strong interest in this years competition, but also with the quality of entries representing a truly international fleet. The high quality of the planned entries is setting the scene for some superb racing. With the closing date for challenges still one month away, the Race Management team will continue to work with interested parties to ensure maximum potential is reached."