RORC Europeans & Commodore’s Cup
The third edition of the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s European Championship brought top race teams from across Europe to compete on the Solent. An innovative new format for a revived Commodore’s Cup encouraged a bumper entry.
The new format saw the two championships combined into a single regatta, so boosting entries into both events. The Commodores’ Cup also – for this, its 14th edition – relaxed entry regulations, minimising the number of pro sailors permitted and dissolving the nationality rule. Combining the two different events involved significant organisation but all those we have spoken to that competed in the event deemed it a huge success.
This three-week long dinghy-racing bonanza at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy brought 1300 dinghy sailors together to celebrate 25 years of the RS Sailing family.
Top class racing on the water in some of this summer’s most challenging conditions saw world, European and national titles decided across the various RS classes competing. Ashore, the reputation of RS fleets in general having a big social scene was maintained with a variety of onshore activities and big parties to celebrate.
Sailing World Championships
The Hempel Sailing World Championships in Aarhus, was one of the largest sporting events ever hosted in Denmark, with sailors from 90 nations racing in all 10 Olympic classes.
Besides the interest and excitement that a combined worlds for all Olympic classes can bring, the event was also the first chance that nations had to qualify for places in each Olympic class, so the pressure was on.
Not only that but away from the direct competition side of things, this event has been widely billed as an opportunity for World Sailing to show what could be done in terms of delivering media and communications from an event through he use of tracking, drones and live delivery online. It is hoped the good example set here (even if the weather did not exactly play ball) can convince the IOC to film and promote the sport differently come the Olympics.
Squibs 50th anniversary nationals
Over one hundred sets of distinctive red sails (and blue spinnakers which where included in the entry fee) cut a memorable sight on the race course at Lendy Cowes Week, as the Squib fleet gathered for a special 50th National Championship, incorporated alongside the main regatta series.
The AQL sponsored event was just one part of a whole year celebrating the milestone. Also in Cowes, visitors to Sheppards Marina would be able to see the brand new Squib which, come the end of the season, will be given to one luck sailor, selected at random from all the people who have competed in a Squib event in 2018.
Volvo Ocean Race
The epic 45,000nm offshore known as the ‘Everest of sailing’ concluded its 10 month long circumnavigation with a nail biting finish in The Hague in June, the last time the race will be run as the Volvo Ocean Race. In fact the finish of the event was the closest it has ever been with a three-way tie going into the last leg, a sprint from Gothenburg to the Hague.
Topping all expectation of on the water action, the event also pioneered new standards in gender equality and youth opportunity, which were certainly popular with followers of the race and seem to have convinced the new race owners that it is something worth keeping for the next edition of the race.