The main event begins on Sunday 29 June, with the first race scheduled for 10:30 on Monday 30 June, but there has been no shortage of activity since close of challenges for the ninth biennial Rolex Commodores' Cup 2008.
Organizer, the Royal Ocean Racing Club, has had to deal with last minute changes to the British Blue team following the IRC Nationals, the French making their final team selections at the last possible moment and the usual amendments to ratings. The teams are leaving nothing to chance. Every advantage is a good advantage and no detail is being overlooked.
Fifteen teams, comprising a total of 45 yachts spread over six nations will be on the start line next week all fired up in anticipation of a highly competitive event. The full National team listings are available on line at www.rorc.org
, and here are some highlights:
Highest Rating: ESP2000 Bizkaia Maitena, Mikel EMALDI (ESP) Corel 45 - Rating: 1.224
Lowest rating: FRA35547 Lady Courrier, Gèry TRENTESAUX (FRA Blue) First 45 - Rating: 1.124
Largest Yacht: GBR150L Novus Arca, Mike BRAMALL and Kenneth KELLY (GBR Blue) Beneteau 50 - 14.98m
Smallest Yacht: NED1106 Daikin Airco, Frans VAN DE HEIJDEN (NED Blue) Ker 11.3 - 11.3m
Highest Rating: IRL3008 Blondie, Eamon ROHAN (IRL Green) Mills (King) 40 - Rating: 1.118
Lowest Rating: NED6893 Weerga, Wessel and Nety LIEZENGA (NED Blue) IMX40 - Rating: 1.079
Largest Yacht: FRA27909 Courrier de Coeur, Jean Philippe CAU (FRA Green) First 44.7 - 13.68m
Smallest Yacht: IRL2007 Jump Juice, Conor and Denise PHELAN (IRL White) Ker 37 - 11.27m
Highest Rating: GBR5991T Prime Suspect, Dave and Gill RICHARDS (GBR Black) Mills 36 - Rating 1.074
Lowest Rating: HKG1242R Yeoman of Wight, Jamie MCWILLIAM (HKG) J-109 - Rating: 1.026
Largest Yacht: ESP5024 Uso Zuria, Francisco ALDECOA (ESP) First 40.7 - 12.3m
Smallest Yacht: IRL3232 Voodoo Chile, Eamon CROSBIE (IRL White) Ker 32 - 9.75m
If was not for the Dutch Ker 11.3 Daikin Airco in Class 1, Ireland White would have had the smallest boat in each division. Antix Eilie is just 50cm longer.
In the battle of the Designers/Manufacturers, Beneteau, X-Yachts, Mills and Ker come out top with six yachts each, and Archambault have five.
The 15 challenges lodged for the 2008 event matches the previous highest achieved in 1996, when the England Green team won the event. The lowest number of teams was seven in 2000.
The USA has won the event twice (1992 and 1994), GBR once (2004), France twice (2002 and 2006), Germany once (1998), the Channel Islands once (2000), England once (1998).
The Netherlands has entered at least one team in every event except 2000. Hong Kong last competed in 1992. Spain has competed twice before in 1998 and 2002.
Full details of the teams comprising these Challenges have been posted to http://rorc.org/comcup/index.php
The Rolex Commodores' Cup will be held off Cowes, Isle of Wight, from 29 June to 6 July 2008.