by Paul Gibbins
Despite the OSTAR 2013 having less than four weeks to start, over 20 yachtsmen have entered this prestigious international ocean sailing event. Organised by the Royal Western Yacht Club of England, in Plymouth, this will be the 14th time the Club has hosted the race. The event covers in excess of 2,700 miles of ocean racing. Many previous competitors have gone onto compete in other high profile events such as the Vendée Globe.
Vento di Sardengna, to be skippered by the Italian Yachtsman Andrea Mura - OSTAR 2013
David Southwood, Chairman of the Race Committee and the Race Director said, 'We’re really looking forward to the arrival of the competitors in Plymouth, from where a mix of amateur and professional sailors will set off from Plymouth Sound for the challenges of sailing across the Atlantic.'
David, a keen yachtsman and also Race Director for the 2009 event continued, 'The ‘Corinthian’ spirit of the OSTAR, which began in 1960 as a race for keen amateurs, remains strong and this year’s fleet, comprising boats between 30ft and 50ft, provides a real mix of highly experienced international sailors, one or two of which will be raced by professionals but most are amateurs. We have always stressed that this is a yacht race open to all yachtsmen and yachtswomen of any nation.'
'It's an amazing event, and in a way the Corinthian element makes it more exciting than the professional races, and I am really looking forward to it. We receive a lot of support from our friends in Rhode Island; they are very supportive of this great classic event.'
John Lewis, Commodore of the Royal Western Yacht Club, also stated, 'We are absolutely delighted to welcome the OSTAR competitors here to the city of Plymouth once again. The OSTAR has come to mean all that is best and most exciting in short-handed sailing. The Race Committee, Club Members and Admin Staff look forward to their arrival in Plymouth and in facilitating a safe transit to Newport, Rhode Island.'
The Mayor of Newport, Harry F. Winthrop, said, 'I am delighted to welcome competitors in the 2013 Original Singlehanded Transatlantic Race from Plymouth, England to Newport, Rhode Island -The City by The Sea.'
He continued, ' Since the Royal Western Yacht Club of England brought this race to Newport in 1964 (the first race in 1960 finished in New York), we have witnessed some incredibly exciting and historic singlehanded races across the Atlantic in a fascinating variety of yachts. Many of the competitors have gone on to excel in other singlehanded races and the Newport Yacht Club keeps this style of racing alive and well on the east coast of the United States.'
And, 'The OSTAR is a wonderful experience for those in New England who appreciate solo racing. Newport looks forward to congratulating you at the end of your adventure and I wish you a safe passage from Plymouth to Newport.'