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Offshore boost for John Merricks II

Tuesday, 06 May 2008

The Volvo RYA Keelboat Programme crew of John Merricks II are celebrating after taking line honours in the RORC Cervantes Trophy Race this weekend (3-4 May) – their first ever offshore event onboard the Programme’s new TP52.


John Merricks II  completed the race across the Channel from Cowes to Le Havre in 12 hours 58 minutes and 46 seconds to see her sail into the French port ahead of the 36 other finishers in the fleet.


A corrected time of 17:37.34 saw the Programme sailors claim a respectable 12th spot overall, and second in the IRC SZ class, with the event being won by Frenchmen Philippe Delaporte’s Pen Azen.


Having benefitted from the expert input of Volvo Ocean Race veteran and Programme manager Nigel King in the build up to the race, theJohn Merricks II crew are looking forward to taking yet another leap forward in their next offshore event.


Bowman Henry Foster said: “To take line honours in a prestigious RORC event was something that was a big deal for both myself personally and as a team. As the boat was designed and optimised for inshore racing we had to work hard to get it ready. We had never put sails like the jib-top, genoa staysail and storm sails up before our offshore testing last week so I think everyone was too busy to be nervous!


“After a pleasant kite run to the Needles it was upwind all the way to France, which we knew was going to make our race difficult as the boat much prefers sailing off the wind but we were all resolute and morale remained high across the Channel.


“Everyone wanted to learn and push themselves and the boat as hard as possible. This is something we will take forward and use to improve our boat speed and mechanics in order to be on the podium in the not-too-distant future.”


RORC 2008 IRC Overall Cervantes Trophy Race:

1)     Pen Azen (Philippe Delaporte) 16:17.12 (corrected time)

2)     Fair Do’s VII (John Shepherd) 16:17.16

3)     Erivale III (Mike Greville) 16:44.05

    12)  John Merricks II (Volvo RYA Keelboat Programme) 17:37.34


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