At the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s St James clubhouse, the 2016 Commodores’ Cup has been formally launched, with the British investment management and financial planning company Brewin Dolphin continuing its sponsorship of the club’s biennial flagship event for national three boat teams with amateur crews. The Brewin Dolphin Commodores’ Cup will next take place out of Cowes, Isle of Wight over 23rd-30th July 2016.
Something of a surprise was the first team officially to enter the 2016 event being not one of the regulars – France, Ireland or the UK – but Israel.
In addition to the Israelis, and the four UK teams, France is expected to mount a strong entry, having not won the event since 2006. The defending champion, Ireland, is expected to return, plus at least one Dutch team and possibly another composite Benelux team. Hong Kong has shown interest and there remains the strong possibility of a team from Canada.
The Israeli campaign is being spearheaded by British sailor Richard Loftus,, a veteran of Cork week and well known for campaigning his Swan 65, Desperado. Under Brewin Dolphin Commodores’ Cup rules, 50% of the crew must be Israeli nationals and Loftus has arranged with the Israeli Sailing Association to run a trials to select the best sailors.
The race format will include an offshore race and around the Isle of Wight, but the number of scheduled inshores has increased from six to ten.
Whilst the rules for the 2016 event once again only allow teams to have one ‘big boat’ (i.e. IRC TCC between 1.150 and 1.049) each team must now have a ‘small boat’ (i.e. IRC TCC between 1.000 and 1.049) to increase the range of the boats taking part and make it easier for teams to create a team of three boats.