|Date: Friday, 22nd June 2018|
|Course: Cowes/Solent – Channel Markers – Guernsey|
|Distance: 90-120 nautical miles|
|Conditions: 20 – 25 Knots. Sea state Moderate|
|Participation: 100 Yachts|
A simple down channel dash from Cowes to Guernsey is made considerably more complicated by the machinations of the fiendish race committee, who set a number of marks along the route with the aim of testing the navigational nous of competing crew. The Morgan Cup is one of the RORC’s annual down channel races and is a fairly technical race which provides most with more than enough excitement during its weekend long duration. Although in theory the race is a relatively simple bash down the English Channel to picturesque Guernsey, the event is unusual in that competitors can never full know what to expect because the race committee has a choice of four different courses and does not make a final decision on which one will be set until a few minutes before the start of the race.
This can provide a huge headache for navigators and tacticians as no-one even knows which way they will even be departing from the Solent until a couple of minutes prior to departure and you can bet your life that the fiendish race committee will provide a few headaches along the way, while the relatively short hop to Dartmouth is transformed into a more circuitous route of over 100 miles in distance.
Leaving Cowes on a Friday evening, you will be fired out into the English Channel for a spot of night watch and freighter dodging, which is a great way to get your head in the game if nothing else. Despite the intense nature of the race, the Friday evening departure ensures that you should get a bit of time over the weekend to enjoy the delights of Dartmouth, one of the jewels of the Devonshire coastline. This is also a yachting hub in its own right and features spectacular walking and many excellent restaurants and waterside bars.
This is another popular event in the RORC calendar and generally attracts a big fleet. The race has a history stretching back as far as 1929 when the cup was donated by a member of the Morgan family of J P Morgan fame.