Members of the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) have elected Dr Deborah Fish, OBE as the new Commodore of the London and Cowes based Club, with effect from 1st January 2024.
She will take up the prestigious role from James Neville. Richard Palmer will take up the role of Vice Commodore from Eric de Turckheim, and Andrew Tseng and Joe Lacey will become Rear Commodores.
Under James and Eric’s leadership, RORC has further strengthened its position as a global leader in offshore racing, successfully introducing the RORC Nelson’s Cup series in Antigua and the new 635nm Roschier Baltic Sea Race. They have also set the foundations for the return of the Admiral’s Cup in 2025, as well as initiating the exciting redevelopment of our Cowes Clubhouse. Both have enjoyed tremendous racing success during their tenure. Eric de Turckheim’s Teasing Machine was awarded 2023 RORC Yacht of the Year after overall wins in the Rolex Middle Sea Race and RORC Transatlantic Race. James Neville’s INO XXX enjoyed many victories and was second overall in the 2021 Rolex Fastnet Race; the best result for a Commodore in office since John Illingworth’s Myth of Malham won the Fastnet Race in 1949.
Deb is the first woman to be elected Commodore of the Royal Ocean Racing Club, which will celebrate its centenary in 2025. She has been very active in her role as a Rear Commodore, chairing the Membership Committee and championing youth sailing through her leadership of RORC’s Griffin initiative. Deb also has a strong offshore racing background having raced with the RORC since 1999 and completed the Rolex Fastnet Yacht Race 11 times. Deb and Rob Craigie sailed Bellino, Rob’s Sun Fast 3600, double handed to overall victory in the 2023 RORC Season’s Points Championship. This was the first time Bellino has won the RORC Championship overall after coming third in 2022 and second in 2019.