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Ireland’s Atlantic Coast is Providing Speed Sailing for leaders in Round Britain & Ireland Race

14th August 2018
The new Class 40 Corum takes the lead at this year’s Volvo Round Ireland Race start on June 30th. She is currently fleet leader leader off the coast of Kerry in the RORC Sevenstar RB & I Race The new Class 40 Corum takes the lead at this year’s Volvo Round Ireland Race start on June 30th. She is currently fleet leader leader off the coast of Kerry in the RORC Sevenstar RB & I Race Credit: David O’Brien/Afloat.ie

Heading into the third night of the 1805-mile RORC Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race, Ireland’s Atlantic seaboard is starting to provide the kind of speed sailing in which the pace-setters in Class 40 excel writes W M Nixon.

With a vigorous southwest wind developing, the leader-on-the-water Corum (Nicolas Troussel) has seen the numbers rising as she makes a finely-tuned approach to the major headlands of the Kerry coast, and at 1800 hrs was clocking 13.7 knots, a good knot faster than Phil Sharp’s Imerys Clean Energy three miles astern.

Once they’ve passed the Blaskets, the kites will be out, and then the speeds will become stratospheric provided that everything holds together, for torn sails and damaged rigs have wiped out many a promising performance along this Wild Atlantic Way.

Meanwhile, back in the Celtic Sea and still slugging northwestward from the Isle of Scilly, Conor Fogerty and Simon Knowles in the Sunfast 36000 Bam! look to be well placed on the west wing of the fleet, provided the wind doesn’t back even more to life everyone up past Dursey Head.

Off the Irish coast, the Class 40 Colombre XL is now putting in some painful windward work south of Baltimore to make up for taking a leeward track in search of speed. But in the same area the Lombard 46 Pata Negra (Giles Redpath) has been freed just enough to give her a course which will enable her to lay past the Fastnet separation zone and hold onto her IRC overall lead.

If that backing of the wind favours Bam’s closest contenders El Velosolex and Game On in the same way, then Bam will still find herself in third place of this close-fighting two-handed trio. But with the way the wind is weaving around, things might yet pan out very nicely overnight for the Howth boat, which is powering along at 7.2 knots, rather better than Game On’s 6.4.

Race tracker here http://yb.tl/rbni2018

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The Round Britain & Ireland Race

The 2022 Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race will feature a wide variety of yachts racing under the IRC rating rule as well as one design and open classes, such as IMOCA, Class40 and Multihulls. The majority of the fleet will race fully crewed, but with the popularity of the Two-Handed class in recent years, the race is expected to have a record entry.

The Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race starts on Sunday 7th August 2022 from Cowes, Isle of Wight, UK.

The 2022 Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race is organised by The Royal Ocean Racing Club in association with The Royal Yacht Squadron.

It is run every four years. There have been nine editions of the Round Britain and Ireland Race which started in 1976 Sevenstar has sponsored the race four times - 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018 and has committed to a longterm partnership with the RORC

The 2022 Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race is a fully crewed non-stop race covering 1,805 nautical miles and is open to IRC, IRC Two Handed, IMOCA 60s, Class40s, Volvo 65s and Multihulls that will race around Britain and Ireland, starting from the Royal Yacht Squadron line in Cowes on the Isle of Wight starting after Cowes Week on Sunday 7 August 2022

The last edition of the race in 2018 attracted 28 teams with crews from 18 nations. Giles Redpath's British Lombard 46 saw over victory and Phil Sharp's Class40 Imerys Clean Energy established a new world record for 40ft and under, completing the course in 8 days 4 hrs 14 mins 49 secs.

The 1,805nm course will take competitors around some of the busiest and most tactically challenging sailing waters in the world. It attracts a diverse range of yachts and crew, most of which are enticed by the challenge it offers as well as the diversity and beauty of the route around Britain and Ireland with spectacular scenery and wildlife.

Most sailors agree that this race is one of the toughest tests as it is nearly as long as an Atlantic crossing, but the changes of direction at headlands will mean constant breaks in the watch system for sail changes and sail trim

Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race Records:

  • Outright - OMA07 Musandam-Oman Sail, MOD 70, Sidney Gavignet, 2014: 3 days 03:32:36
  • Monohull - Azzam Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, VO 65, Ian Walker, 2014: 4 days 13:10:28
  • Monohull All-Female - Team SCA, VO 65, Samantha Davies, 2014: 4 days 21:00:39
  • Monohull 60ft or less - Artemis Team Endeavour, IMOCA 60, Brian Thompson/Artemis Ocean Racing, 2014: 5 days 14:00:54
  • Monohull 40ft or less – Imerys Clean Energy, Class40, Phil Sharp, 2018: 8 days 4:14:49

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