Sailors prepare for toughest of all yacht races, the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race

Spare a thought from noon on Sunday for the 30 entries taking part in one of the toughest yacht races ever – the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race – as it leaves Cowes and heads clockwise around the Isle of Wight in the first stage of this record-breaking race.


Suzanne and Alan share this latest news. Ed

As previewed at the start of 2018 the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) begins off Cowes on Sunday 12th August, with the first start at 12 noon.

All boats will carry trackers and full coverage of the race is available by visiting the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race Website.

For 2018 an amazing variety of yachts have entered, with world-class professional and passionate Corinthian sailors racing together.

A treat for those in the east and south
For this year’s race the fleet will travel in a clockwise direction thus leaving the Solent towards the Needles.

In other years the start has been towards the East with boats departing the Solent via Ryde.

Five new world records in last race
IMOCA 60s have tasted tremendous success in the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race. In 2010, Artemis Ocean Racing was the overall winner and returned in 2014 as Artemis – Team Endeavour, skippered by Cowes resident Brian Thompson, setting a new 60ft Around Britain and Ireland world record of five days, 14 hours, 0 minutes and 54 seconds.

In 2014, the last running of this race, the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race set an unprecedented five new world records because an intense low- pressure system settled over the northern UK making the race a downwind ride for the faster boats.

The MOD70 Musandam-Oman Sail did not tack once in the whole of the 1,805nm, as she sped around the outside of the low- pressure system with the wind behind her. This effort with Sidney Gavignet as skipper, set a new overall record of three days, three hours, 32 minutes and 36 seconds.

One other record that was set in 2014 was the monohull record which was set by Azzam Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing with skipper Ian Walker completing the course in four days, 13 hours, ten minutes and 28 seconds.

One of toughest of all yacht races
This Race is undoubtedly one of the toughest of all yacht races. First organised by the RORC in 1995, the 1,805nm course is reputedly tougher than a transatlantic race as it negotiates headlands with tidal challenges all around the UK, as well as the notorious British weather.

Starting and finishing in the Solent off Cowes, it is on a four-year cycle because of the toughness of the race, which is a step up from a typical RORC offshore and even the Rolex Fastnet Race.

Three times longer than Fastnet Race
It attracts the serious RORC racer looking for a tougher than usual challenge and this race is special, as it is three times longer than a Fastnet Race as it circumnavigates all the islands of the UK, including Muckle Flugga, the most northerly point, which is a momentous place for any sailor as it is so far North.

30 entries to date
To date there are some 30 entries including some well-known boat names which are regular visitors to Cowes. Included in the list is MOD 70 Concise 10 entered by Tony Lawson and skippered by Ned Collier Wakefield, as she was in this year’s Round the Island Race – Just a voyage round a few more islands this time Ned!

Of course Concise 10 and the majority of the fleet will race fully crewed, but there are over ten entries for the IRC Two Handed Class- a record entry for Two Handed challengers.

Friday, 10th August, 2018 8:06am



Filed under: Cowes, Island-wide, Sailing, Sports

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