A new offshore race will set a fleet of boats on a sprint to Rockall, a lonely rock around 270 miles north-west of Donegal. The 750-mile race will be timed to coincide with the arrival of boats in the Volvo Ocean Race in Galway. The Round Rockall Race is the brainchild of Larry Hynes, who sailed around Ireland solo in 2005.
"We originally wanted to do it last in 2011," he said, "which was the 200th anniversary of the first landing on Rockall."
However, Hynes said that when he heard the VOR was coming back to Galway, it made sense to postpone the event to make it more palatable to travelling boats from France and elsewhere.
Hynes says he wants to keep the race 'fairly Corinthian' and is welcoming all comers. With Galway being twinned with Lorient in France, Hynes hopes to tap into the offshore sailing spirit of the French and tempt some French offshore boats north with the Volvo Ocean Race Fleet for the finish and a race in Irish waters.
The site already has a web presence, which puts many of the more established races to shame. He is working with former Round Ireland winner Aodhan Fitzgerald on a Notice of Race and says that he is steadfastly committed to running the event, whether he gets two or two hundred entries.
The Round Rockall website is at www.roundrockallrace.com