The Royal Ocean Racing Club, together with Rolex UK, is pleased to confirm details for the 2004 Rolex Commodores' Cup to be held in Cowes, Isle of Wight.
Commencing on Sunday 25 July, with the final prizegiving on Sunday 1 August, the competition is spread over seven days with the usual mixture of inshore and offshore races. As in 2002 the rating system will be IRC (Endorsed), although for this event the fleet has been split into three classes.
Teams must consist of three boats, one from each of the following Bands:
Class 3 0.995 - 1.059
Class 2 1.060 - 1.149
Class 1 1.150 - 1.325
Within these classes, each boat must also comply with both SSS (Stability and Safety Screening) and DLR (Displacement Length Ratio) requirements.
The return to this three-class format reflects the continued proactive development of the RCC following the substantial reforms of 2000. Reintroducing banding will ease certain Race Management issues with the prospect of even better racing throughout the fleet.
Another significant change for 2004 is that only National Authorities may lodge Challenges. Each National Authority may enter up to four teams, which will allow sufficient scope for NAs to pick from recognised regions (e.g. in the case of the RYA, from Scotland and Wales) or to join forces with other NAs, if appropriate. The intention of requiring such teams to be endorsed by relevant NAs is to reinforce the Organiser's desire for quality of competition over quantity.
With regard to Nationality, the crew of each boat entered needs to comprise at least 50% nationals or residents.
The Pro/Am Crew Rule, which has worked well since the 2000 event, is retained. Once again each crew will consist of a minimum 50% Group 1 sailors under the ISAF Competitor Classification Code. Group 1 sailors will continue to play an integral role, with a person from this Group required to helm throughout the inshore series and at the start of the offshore race.
The Organising Committee has also timetabled the traditional Long Offshore Race to coincide with the RORC's annual Channel Race. One intention is to open the experience of competing in the Rolex Commodores Cup environment to a wider audience. Although the RCC and Channel Race fleets will have separate starts, the boats will be double scored, enabling the non-RCC participants to measure themselves against this high standard of competition. The race will also carry RORC points for RCC participants.
Sunday 25 July Registration
Monday 26 July 2 x inshore races
Tuesday 27 July 2 x inshore races
Wednesday 28 July Short passage/Coastal Race
Thursday 29 July 2 x inshore races
Friday 30 July 1 x inshore race in the morning, Offshore (Channel) Race starts
Saturday 31 July Offshore Race continues
Sunday 1 August Prize Giving (Royal Yacht Squadron) 1700
The full notice of race will be available in November