Round Britain and Ireland Race Postponed

Published on August 10th, 2014

(August 10, 2014) – This past weekend kicks off the 1,800-mile Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race, attended by sailors from eleven different nations, and which was due to start August 10, 2014 from Cowes, on the Isle of Wight. ‘This race is another step up from the offshore races organized by the Royal Ocean Racing Club,’ said RORC CEO Eddie Warden Owen. ‘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.’

Attending sailors can expect to see a wide range of sailing hardware, but the eyes of the world will be riveted to the five Volvo Ocean 65s-Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Team Alvimedica, Team Dongfeng, Team SCA, and the Spanish-flagged team-that are competing, as this will be our first real chance to see the new Volvo Ocean Race (VOR) boats in action and get a pulse on the different teams’ levels of preparation, prior to the VOR’s October start.

The Race Committee took the decision to postpone the start of the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race 2014 by 21 hours after receiving advice that the low pressure system known as Bertha was moving more slowly than previously predicted, with the result that the forecast winds for the start and the immediate period afterwards includes sustained winds of 40 knots with gusts in excess of 50 knots in the English Channel. The new start time will be 0900 on Monday, August 11, 2014. The advice is that this delay will allow time for the severe winds to abate as the low pressure system moves North East.

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 more likely.

The decision to postpone the Round Britain and Ireland race leaves the 1880 mile course and race record wide open, according to the co-skipper of Ireland’s Damian Foxall, a former Volvo Ocean Race winner. Foxall says the routing shows a possible three day circumnavigation time, opening up all sorts of record possibilities for the marathon course. The postponement means anti–clockwise winds for the whole voyage and possibly no upwind sailing at all. He believes it will be reaching conditions all the way to Scotland. Then the wind is to clock north–easterly at the most northerly point of the course opening up further fast sailing times later next week.


Race Tracker:

Play the Game – Virtual Regatta
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.

Social Media
Twitter: @OffshoreOne – #rorcsrbi

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