RORC Cervantes - Offshore Race Weekend

Other Events

Other Events

RORC Cervantes - Offshore Race Weekend

 Girls for Sail Verdict

This three day race weekend is the first of a series of UK offshore RORC races of the season. This is a great first offshore race for anyone who hasn’t taken part in a longer weekend race before because we start the race on a Saturday which means you have the whole day to settle into the rythm of racing before you get into the night watch.  

What the Girls Had to Say

"I LOVED my first offshore race! The adrenaline at the start was really flowing - and knowing we would be racing across the channel to France was really exciting, especially flying the spinnaker in the dark!"

Starts: 19:30 Friday, Shepards Wharf Marina 

Finishes: Ends Monday time TBC


About The Event

Usually the race starts on Saturday morning, so expect a Friday evening meet (7.30pm) to allow time for a crew get-together and dinner. The race usually heads to Le Havre in France, allowing for some time ashore before sailing back to Cowes to arrive on Bank Holiday Monday May.  On the water here are challenges enough to keep your skills well honed, not least a race through the night which will give any novice to offshore racing a great taste of the thrill and spills of this exciting sport. 

For many boats that are competing in the RORC Fastnet race (**NEXT ONE 2017 - join us now!) the RORCCervantes Trophy Cup is a good shake down sail for the team to get ready for the forthcoming season – dependent on the course the miles range from 95-140nm If you are considering a Fastnet in the future – or just want to see how much fun they are then this is a great race to try out that desire!

What to expect

Offshore races are exciting especially at the start and success relies on the team working together and creating a watch system if you are unable to stay awake for the estimated sailing time, which is likely. This, and sailing at night are the main challenges for the skipper and crew as well as maintaining that all important concentration. Expect to be active for periods and involved in all aspects of looking after fellow crew onboard.

Last year we had a hard fought race which required more than a little skill to succeed in. As we raced across the Channel we enjoyed a close fought race with our rivals all the while keeping a weather eye on the tides and the tricky Traffic Separation Scheme along the way.  Even without separation schemes to keep you busy, there are plenty of challenges to keep your skills well honed, not least a race through the night which will give any novice to offshore racing a great taste of the thrill and spills of this exciting sport. 

We like to think we will go ashore at the end of a race although we cannot always promise this if the weather forecast doesn’t allow. We do have to get back to Cowes and this may mean we turn around straight away. The skipper will make this decision based on weather forecast and crew capability as safety of the yacht and crew is the priority.

Pre Course Requirements

None. Any sailing experience is of benefit and previous night sailing is a great advantage for all concerned. Good awareness of sea sickness is advisable before a channel crossing – if you do suspect you may get sick it is advisable to read our info about precautions in our joining instructions and start taking tablets before you step onboard.

Whilst it is not a requirement, we recommend that you ensure that you have an up-to-date RYA Sea Survival and ISAF Offshore Safety certificate, before taking part in these races. 

You can undertake a DAY SAIL or a weekend or even a course to be ready for this adventure but it's not essential.

Got the offshore racing bug? Why not join us for the holy grail of offshore races - the biannual Rolex Fastnet Race

The boat

We mostly coach on yachts of between 37 and 41ft. Our yachts have been specifically chosen as they are easy to handle, great for learning! There is no denying us girls sometimes don't have the physical strength of the boys but with our technical ability and a well-chosen yacht we can do just as well. You will usually find yourself aboard an Élan 37, Jeanneau 37 or a Beneteau 40.7. All of your time will be spent living as crew-mates on your yacht.  Most of the yachts have 9/10 berths with 3 cabins and a saloon so the boats will normally have 2 persons in each cabin i.e. 6 - this is always the case for an RYA course, MAX 6 persons on-board. On some events e.g. races we use the saloon which can sleep an additional 2-4 person. 

About Cowes 

Cowes is widely credited as being the birthplace of UK yachting, seeing hundreds of 'yachties' descend every year on the seaside town and swelling its resident population multifold!

With a wealth of activities on and off the water and a year-round mild, sunny climate the island attracts loyal visitors and second home owners alike all year round but especially during the spring and summer months when the world class sailing conditions attract professional sailors from around the world to take part in famous regattas and races - as well as thousands of spectators who gather shoreside to watch the dramas unfold.

Easily reached by high speed passenger ferry, car ferry or even hovercraft (the island has the last remaining hovercraft service in the world) from Lymington, Southampton or Portsmouth on the mainland, the island is the perfect destination for young and old alike with plenty to see, eat and do.

Additional Info

What's included?

  • Fully coded yacht with safety equipment
  • Fully qualified RYA skipper
  • All safety equipment
  • Accommodation on board*
  • Diesel, water, electricity
  • FUN, FUN, FUN!!

What's excluded?

  • Transport to and from meeting points
  • Flights
  • Alcoholic drinks and evening meals
  • Mooring fees
  • Departure taxes/customs entries per person
  • Any clothing
  • *Accommodation upgrades where available

Why choose Girls for Sail?

  • First of all we want to give you some freedom, we want you to feel absolutely able to do anything onboard, so we will greet you, make you feel welcome, confident and safe, and of course you won't have anyone rushing you! You can learn at your own pace with our skippers and feel the benefit of this in your handling of our yacht!
  • We pride ourselves on our levels of tuition.  There's no such thing as a 'silly' question!  There's no shouting onboard and as it's also your holiday, we want you to have fun and go home relaxed and satisfied with your time here! Not to mention you get to meet new lifelong friends! 

Our values are simple: Encourage, Support, Challenge and Respect!

How to book?

Click on the link above to view available dates - or if you have any questions please feel free to get in touch with us!

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