Displaying items by tag: Royal Western Yacht Club of England
Plymouth’s Royal Western Yacht Club has confirmed that it will run its OSTAR and TWOSTAR transatlantic races in 2020 from Britain’s Ocean City as it has done every four years since the first race in 1960.
“These races from Plymouth to Newport, Rhode Island will continue to be sailed as originally envisaged by Cockleshell hero Blondie Hasler, a test of skipper and boat against the North Atlantic Ocean,” said the club, which will next year celebrate 60 years since it introduced short-handed oceanic racing.
The OSTAR and TWOSTAR events will also be supported by Plymouth City Council as part of next year’s Mayflower 400 celebrations.
“Unfortunately the French organisers of The Transat 2020 have now decided to start their race in Brest rather than Plymouth,” the Plymouth club added. “This deprives the skippers and public of the opportunity to meet and share in the 60th anniversary of the OSTAR.”
The RWYC explained that The Transat was first sailed in 2004 when it decided it could no longer afford the cost or responsibility of running a ‘Grand Prix’ type event for the larger, one-design, highly sponsored and professionally skippered boats.
“The RWYC selected a commercial events organisation to run this part of the race while they continued to run the OSTAR, for professional and experienced skippers alike sailing any class of boat, as the corinthian event envisaged by the original participants 60 years ago.”
This year marks the 14th running of the quadrennial yacht race, which was established in 1966 by the Cockershell hero Major Blondie Hasler.
The race comprises five legs totalling around 2,000 miles, sailed clockwise around the British Isles and Ireland leaving all islands and rocks to starboard.
The race is open to professional and amateur yachtsmen in mono and multi-hulls from 28ft to 55ft overall.
The Round Britain and Ireland race is essentially five races in one with the results decided on accumulated time (IRC corrected). The legs are relatively short stages of three or four days where time spent at the helm and minimum sleep has to be balanced with the need for solo watch keeping and precise navigation.
The race record stands at 15 days, 7 hours but sailors should allow about 23 days to complete the event, including the four 48-hour stopovers in Kinsale, Castle Bay, Lerwick and Lowestoft.
The first leg from Plymouth to Kinsale is 230 miles long, passing outside the Eddystone and Bishop Rock lights to finish at Bulman Rock. Kinsale Yacht Club is at the head of the accessible and safe harbour.
After the 48-hour stopover, competitors set sail on the second leg from Kinsale for Castle Bay on the island of Barra in the Outer Hebrides. The boats keep the Fastnet Rock to starboard at the beginning of the 440-mile second leg past the South and West coasts of Ireland. On arrival, the fleet moors or anchors in Castle Bay.
Leg three covers a distance of 420 miles. The yachts round Barra Head and sail north northwest 70 miles out into the Atlantic, aiming for the isolated volcanic archipelago of St Kilda, after which the competitors round Muckle Flugga and head to Lerwick, 61 degrees north latitude, on the island of Shetland. The Lerwick Boating Club is the host for two days of jollity and warm hospitality.
The longest leg four is 470 miles south from Lerwick to Lowestoft, which is the most easterly point of the British Isles. The Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht Club provides a very hospitable stopover. Family and friends find this port the most convenient to visit being the most accessible by land.
The final leg five of 305 miles is along the South Coast to Plymouth. This leg often proves to be where the podium places are decided due to the many tidal gates. The finish line is in Plymouth Sound off the RWYC Club House.
Meanwhile, the RORC has posted its Pre Notice of Race for the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race run from Cowes on Sunday 12 August. The previous edition in 2014 was won by Irish duo Liam Coyne and Brian Flahive and their First 36.7 Lula Belle.