Organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club, the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race will commence at noon Sunday 10th August from the Royal Yacht Squadron line, Cowes, Isle of Wight.
The most northerly point on the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race course, Muckle Flugga
The fleet will set off down the Solent to the east and turn west around the south side of the Isle of Wight. After that the course is simple: leave Ireland and Great Britain to starboard all the way to the northern tip of the Shetland Isles, a point known as Outer Stack just north of Muckle Flugga, then return down the eastern side of the UK back to where the race started in Cowes, a non-stop 1800 mile race. The fastest yachts may complete the course in under a week. For the slower yachts, nearly two weeks is likely.
The RORC held the first race in 1976 and since then it has established itself as a global sporting event. This year yachts flying the flags of 11 nations will be taking part: China, France, Germany, Great Britain, The Netherlands, Ireland, Oman, Spain, Sweden, United Arab Emirates and the United States of America.
Round Britain and Ireland Race map
'This race is another step up from the offshore races organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club. The course is three times longer than the Rolex Fastnet Race and it takes the competitors through a myriad of different conditions. Crews will have to cope with a huge number of elements and that is what makes this race so compelling,' commented RORC CEO Eddie Warden Owen.
'Most sailors agree that this race is one of the toughest tests of them all. It is nearly as long as an Atlantic crossing, but the changes of direction at headlands, navigating wind farms and oil rigs, will mean constant breaks in the watch system for sail changes and sail trim. The race is only run every four years and is a highly regarded fixture on the yacht racing calendar; experienced amateurs and seasoned professionals alike aspire to compete in a race that is real challenge.'
Following the success of a tracking system for the entire fleet in 2010, all yachts will be fitted with a similar device. Track here.
Armchair experts around the world can test their skills against the sailors racing on the yachts in the 2014 Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race. The Virtual Round Britain and Ireland Race game mirrors the 1802 nautical mile race known to all as a true test of offshore sailing skill. The course makes for a difficult race, testing inshore and offshore skills, preparation and speed potential. The virtual race is no different! Virtual Race.