Biscay 2012 Offshore Race, hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club, is being held off the Solent from 16th to 29th September. Entries are now open with early bird entries closing on 1st March 2012.
The Race, created as a legacy to members from the Royal Southern in its 175th Anniversary year and to be run as a biennial event, looks set to be a truly international event with expressions of interest already received from some 20 entries including crews from several overseas yacht clubs from Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Norway, Sweden and the USA.
The Club has teamed up with Sunsail Racing and has access to its fleet of Beneteau F40 cruiser/racing boats, which may be chartered by Members and other interested crews.
Biscay 2012's Race Ambassador is the British yachtswoman Samantha Davies who, having recently announced her newly sponsored Vendée Globe campaign for 2012, commented,
'The Biscay 2012 Race is the perfect offshore race for amateurs and I would recommend anyone interested in offshore racing to participate. The Race provides a challenging opportunity for taking in the wonderful ports of La Rochelle and Brest and allowing for a competitive offshore race.'
Members of the Race organising committee at the Royal Southern in Hamble, Hampshire, are working closely with the Société des Régates Rochelaises in La Rochelle and the Société des Régates de Brest to plan the shoreside and logistical details required to accommodate a fleet of up to 50 boats when in port, co-ordinate the Race finishes and re-starts and plan a schedule of social and media functions.
The Biscay 2012 Race is divided into three legs, over 950 nautical miles, allowing for challenging and competitive racing, with crews racing from the Solent, UK to La Rochelle, France, onwards to Brest, France and back to the Solent with stopovers in La Rochelle and Brest.
• Leg 1 takes the fleet from a Solent start line to La Rochelle and competitors will navigate their way down The Solent towards the Needles and cross the challenging waters of the Bay of Biscay towards the charming, fortified port of La Rochelle.
• Leg 2 is from La Rochelle to Brest giving crews a race up the stunning west coast of France to arrive in the historic port of Brest.
• Leg 3 returns the fleet from Brest to Hamble, sailing past Bembridge Ledge off the east coast of the Isle of Wight and back across The Solent to the Royal Southern's Clubhouse in Hamble for the prizegiving.
A supplementary race for Cruisers, both IRC and Club Class White Sail, will run concurrently with Leg 3 of the Biscay 2012, over a distance of approximately 265 nautical miles, between Brest and the Solent, carrying its own unique classification.
Entry details: Crew qualification for the Biscay 2012 Offshore Race will include Sunsail Racing events and the Royal Southern Yacht Club’s 2012 summer race regattas.
Competitors should apply for entry using the Expression of Interest Form available from the event website with the Early Bird entry rate closing on 01 March 2012.
The Notice of Races is also available to view and download on the event website.
Biscay Offshore Race website
by Peta Stuart-Hunt
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9:31 AM Thu 1 Mar 2012GMT
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