The Cervantes Trophy Race is the first event in the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s offshore domestic calendar. As the world’s largest offshore racing series, and the first event is an incredible one to be a part of, kicking off the season of racing. It’s a cross-channel race from historic Cowes on the Isle the of Wight across to Le Havre, covering approximately 150 miles of varied and exhilarating sailing.  

Round the Island Race

Image: Race in an iconic race this summer

On the history of the race, the Cervantes Trophy was first presented to the Royal Ocean Racing Club in 1972 by Bob Watson who named his host of successful boats Cervantes. Together with Edward Heath and Arthur Slater, Cervantes was part of the 1971 winning British Admiral’s Cup team. 

With the chance to line up alongside hundreds of other boats from all over the UK and Europe at the iconic Royal Yacht Squadron start line, you’ll race from Cowes and tackle a relatively direct course across the Channel to Le Havre. Race markers are set according to the conditions, which being the English Channel, can vary from sunny, downwind racing to beating through storms, to extremely light winds, sometimes with a diverse range of conditions over 48 hours. 

Chief Instructor at Clipper Ventures, Jake Carter, a seasoned racer who has sailed in the Cervantes Trophy Race a number of times, along with other RORC events, said: “I’ve done this race many times. There’s lots of traffic out in the Solent, you might go east or west of the Solent depending on the conditions. It’s the first major race of the RORC calendar, so it’s always great to see all of the teams heading to France. There’s always a fantastic social side to this event too, lunch in the Le Havre yacht club is always top on my priority list before heading back to England. And there’s always a pint waiting for you at the bar when you get to Le Havre!”

“The race is in changeable conditions over in the English Channel. There could be stormy conditions, or light winds, which can make the racecourse like snakes and ladders amongst all the boats. Whatever it will be it will be competitive and it will be really really good fun.” 

Image: The Solent and English Channel can serve up a range of conditions

This event offers the opportunity to experience two iconic ports that are famous in the yacht racing world. Cowes on the Isle of Wight is the start point for some of the world’s most iconic races, including the Rolex Fastnet Race, and then the stop in Le Havre enables crew to be hosted by the oldest yacht club in France Société des Regatés du Havre. 

Racing with Clipper Events on the Cervantes Trophy Race will provide a unique opportunity to sail offshore in a competitive racing environment and tick off a Channel Crossing, whilst sailing alongside an amazing team of crew from different backgrounds and abilities. Led by seasoned professional Skippers and Mates, participants, complete beginners or seasoned sailors are assured a memorable race experience that promises the opportunity for learning or improving skills and experience, as well as teamwork, camaraderie and the joy of sailing in a premier offshore event.

Image: Teamwork, camaraderie and socialising make a weekend with Clipper Events an amazing way to experience offshore sailing

All race entry fees, professional instruction and a pre-race training day, food and accommodation on board and foul weather gear are provided, as well plenty of opportunity to meet and socialise with your crew on board and on shore. Once the race is complete, there will be a relaxed sail/motor back to Gosport HQ before heading home after a long weekend of adventure.   


Friday 19 April Join the Boat at Gosport HQ from 0900  

Saturday 20 April Race Start. First signal at 0850 just off Cowes.

Tuesday 23 April Return to Gosport and depart. 

Find out all the information you need on this page or for any enquiries or bookings, please contact us on +44 (0)2393 382848, complete an online enquiry form or email [email protected]