A Calderdale businessman has been selected to represent Great Britain in one of the most prestigious events on the international yachting calendar.
Robert Lutener of Ripponden is to take part in the Royal Yachting Associations Brewin Dolphin Commodores’ Cup which is being held in Cowes, Isle of Wight.
The biennial event, organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club, is a mix of inshore and offshore racing across a tense seven-day programme on the testing waters of the Solent.
The Cup, which started in 1992, is an international three-boat team event and nine teams are taking part this year from Great Britain, Scotland, Ireland and France. Robert is in team GBR Red with his boat Cutting Edge.
He had to undergo numerous trials under the watchful eyes of Chris Mason, Chair of the RYA Selection Panel and Jonathan Goring, a member of the selection panel and a previous winner of the Commodores Cup, and has spent the last few months at sea training for the event, which takes place between 19-26 July.
Rob took up sailing 15 years ago after giving up rugby. He played for Old Crossleyans RUFC, Halifax, for many years. He got into yachting because his wife Jo worked for an airline and the company put a team in a regatta in the British Virgin Islands and the couple competed . He then read a book by Peter Goss, MBE, a British yachtsman who has sailed more than 250,000 nautical miles, and says he was hooked.
In 1999 he signed up to compete in the Fastnet race and has taken part in several offshore races in various parts of the world and won several awards. The Fastnet is a difficult contest because it tests both inshore and offshore skills, boat and crew preparation and speed potential. The Fastnet Race is a famous biennial offshore race organised by the RORC over a course of 608 nautical miles .
Rob said today being selected to represent Great Britain was an honour and the pinnacle of his sailing career “There is no other event like the Brewin Dolphin Commodores’ Cup on the calendar and I am excited to be working alongside the best British sailors around. As well as the competitive edge and being out at sea I enjoy the camaraderie. There is a great mutual trust, respect and friendship among teams.”
Great Britain has three teams in the race, Red, White and Blue. GBR Red won the event in 2012 so the pressure is really on, said Rob.