OSTAR & TWOSTAR 2020 – Press Release

With 6 months to go before the start at midday 10th May 2020, preparations for the 16th edition of the OSTAR and 7th edition of the TWOSTAR are well underway. The races run by the Royal Western Yacht Club of England will start in Plymouth Sound, then round the Eddystone Lighthouse off Plymouth’s beautiful coastline and head transatlantic to a finish line off Newport, Rhode Island, USA. In between lie adverse currents making daily progress slow at times and adverse winds meaning much of the race is towards the wind and waves. The 3,000 mile race’s final challenge will be to navigate through the often cold and fog bound Grand Banks fishing grounds before arriving in Newport.  Entrants need to have completed a minimum of 500miles offshore sailing in the boat they intend to race with before their entry is accepted. This is no ‘bucket list’ challenge, it requires meticulous preparation, mental focus and a good sense of humour.

The fleet for the 2020 race comprises of a real mixture of younger and older sailing talent. Some are rookie transatlantic sailors like Charlene Howard from the Isle on Man who will be attempting her first transatlantic race in her 45ft monohull, A J Wanderlust, whilst at the other end of the experience scale Peter Crowther from Devon will be starting for 11th time. The USA are represented by a number of sailors some of whom have already made the crossing to England this year, using the race to return home next May – racing style. Additionally Ertan Beskardes, a Turkish sailor now resident in England, will be using this race as a ‘practise run’ before he embarks on the single handed Golden Globe Race that starts from France in 2022. Every sailor has many stories to tell either from past oceanic race experiences or merely making the start line for their first attempt.

Entries from Poland, a country full of experienced oceanic sailors that have always supported this event almost since its inception, continue to gather for the 2020 start in both the singlehanded OSTAR race and the doublehanded TWOSTAR Race. Two Polish sailors who individually raced in the OSTAR in the 70’s are preparing one of their original boats to race together in the TWOSTAR!

Today 17 skippers and their boats have signed up to race whilst others are making their final preparations to commit before filing their entry which closes mid March 2020.

2020 will be an exciting year for Plymouth which will be commemorating 400 years since the sailing of Mayflower to America. The Royal Western’s transatlantic race will be a fitting event to complement the Mayflower 400 year. Additionally the Royal Western Yacht Club will be celebrating its 60 years anniversary since the first ever trans oceanic yacht race set sail from Plymouth. Many past OSTAR competitors from around the globe are expected to be in Plymouth to soak up the occasion acknowledging the part they have played in not only Plymouth’s maritime heritage but their contribution to global oceanic yacht racing’s progress over the past 60 years.

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