Popular offshore sailing race off Isle of Wight was quite a spectacle

Close to 100 boats were expected at the start line from the Royal Yacht Squadron Line in Cowes, to take on a course of between 110 and 160 naautical miles, depending on which one was set, with a target time to complete it inside 24 hours.

One of the best vantage points to watch the race, in glorious late spring weather, was Ventnor.

Isle of Wight County Press: Peter Morton sailing his Mills 72, Notorious.Peter Morton sailing his Mills 72, Notorious. (Image: Mark Lloyd)

The De Guingand Bowl Race is the fifth of the RORC Season’s Points Championship, the world’s largest offshore racing series.

The bowl will be awarded to the boat with the best corrected time under IRC rating rules.

Among the Islanders taking part in it is Cowes resident, Peter Morton, who is back racing offshore after decades of enjoying huge success with the inshore discipline.

In IRC Super Zero, Morton — also known as ‘Morty’ — will be racing his Mills 72, Notorious, which is the scratch boat for the race.

Isle of Wight County Press: Start of the RORC De Guingand Bowl Race from the Royal Yacht Squadron line in Cowes.Start of the RORC De Guingand Bowl Race from the Royal Yacht Squadron line in Cowes. (Image: Paul Wyeth)

Morty intends to race Notorious in the 2023 Rolex Fastnet Race — 20 years after winning the Fastnet Challenge Cup on Charles Dunstone’s Enigma.

A staunch supporter of yacht racing in Cowes, Peter Morton’s star-studded team has a number of world class sailors from the Island, including Jules Salter, Brett Aarons, Tom Dawson, Sam Haines, Dominic James and Kelvin Rawlings, plus some of the finest sailors on the South Coast of England.

The impressive RORC fleet included race crews from not ony Great Britain, but also Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland and, as far afield as the United States and India.

Isle of Wight County Press: The RORC De Guingand Bowl Race off Ventnor.The RORC De Guingand Bowl Race off Ventnor. (Image: Lori Little)

Over a third of the entries for the RORC De Guingand Bowl Race are racing in IRC Two-Handed, with last year’s RORC Yacht of the Year and overall IRC champion, Richard Palmer, on his JPK 1010, Jangada, returns to RORC racing this season.

The RORC Season’s Points Championship, a ten-month series comprising 15 testing offshore races, will feature more than 600 international teams.

Every race had its own famous prize for the overall winner, after IRC time correction, with more trophies for class honours.

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