There has been some terrific news recently from Great Britain’s Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) with the announcement of the planned revival of the once glorious Admiral’s Cup regatta in 2025.
Those who competed in – or simply witnessed – the Admiral’s Cup in its heyday will remember just how special the international event truly was.
First staged in 1957 from Cowes on the Isle of Wight this unique inshore/offshore regatta took place biennially until 1999. At its peak it attracted national three-boat teams representing 19 countries from across the world.
However, dwindling entry numbers saw the 2001 event cancelled and since the 2003 event, which could only muster a fleet of just 16 boats across eight teams – four of which were British, with two Spanish, one French and one Australian – no further editions have been held.
Now, though, RORC believes it is time for the Admiral’s Cup to return, with the club well advanced on plans to run the event biennially in Cowes beginning in the summer of 2025.
In its glory days the Admiral’s Cup was universally dubbed the unofficial world cup of offshore racing. As such it attracted all the major stars in the professional yachting firmament – including Olympians, America’s Cup, and Volvo Ocean Race protagonists.
The Admiral’s Cup format has always combined inshore day racing in the tricky confines of the Solent – the narrow, shallow strip of waterway that divides the Isle of Wight from the English south coast – with longer offshore heats that took the crews out into the English Channel.
Up until 1999 the event’s finale saw the Admiral’s Cup teams take on the 600+ mile RORC Fastnet Race where often the final standings were resolved.
RORC are looking to continue with this tradition for the 2025 event with plans in place for three days of inshore racing, two shorter offshore races, with the regatta culminating in 2025 Rolex Fastnet Race, which starts on 26 July.
Teams will consist of two boats, representing either a yacht club or a country, with Class 1 being made up of yachts in the 44 to 56-foot range, with Class 2 yachts ranging in length from 36 to 44 feet.
“Bringing back the Admiral’s Cup is a wonderful way to celebrate the centenary of the Royal Ocean Racing Club,” said RORC commodore James Neville.
“The chosen format for the 2025 Admiral’s Cup respects the tradition of the regatta, as well as choosing IRC Classes for boats that are competing offshore at the top level internationally.
“By announcing over two years before the start of the Admiral’s Cup, teams will have time to prepare for a fantastic event. The RORC aim is to attract teams from all over the world for the 2025 Admiral’s Cup.”
RORC is hoping that having made their announcement two years in advance of the regatta dates will give club and national teams plenty of time to make plans financially and logistically to be on the startline in 2025.
The London-based club founded in 1925 will be writing to the world’s major yacht clubs inviting them to participate and hopes to receive a number of expressions of interest before the publication of the 2025 event’s pre-notice of race – which is scheduled for July 19 this year.
Here’s hoping they receive a positive response.
Main image © Rick Tomlinson