OSTAR Start 2017

PRESS RELEASE – 01/05/19

Worldwide Entries and Interest for the OSTAR and TWOSTAR 2020


It is now only a year until The Royal Western Yacht Club of England celebrate the 60th anniversary of the first OSTAR (The Original Single Handed Transatlantic Race), this being the first organised singlehanded transoceanic race.   2020 is 16th edition of the OSTAR and the 7th edition of the TWOSTAR and will start in Plymouth Sound on Sunday 10th May 2020.


The OSTAR has been run every four years since 1960 when Blondie Hasler and four other intrepid sailors crossed the start line in Plymouth Sound to race across the Atlantic to New York. The entire fleet arrived safely a month later and the race was won by Sir Francis Chichester in Gipsy Moth III.  The OSTAR now finishes at Newport, Rhode Island.  There were a group of sailors who preferred to race the new larger boats two handed and the first TWOSTAR was raced in 1981 with Chay Blyth and Rob James winning in just over two weeks.


The OSTAR and the TWOSTAR are open to any boat and skipper from 27ft – 60ft and the RWYC is receiving entries from all around the world including Peter Bourke from the USA sailing RUBICON and Krystian Szypka from Poland sailing HALLELUJAH.  Amongst the growing entry list are two sailors with unfinished business.  Kass Schmitt USA/UK on ZEST and Mervyn Wheatley UK, on his new boat, ARETHUSA had their races cut short in 2017 by an unusually violent storm.  2020 will be RWYC member Mervyn Wheatley’s 6th OSTAR and we hope that he will not need to enlist the help of the Queen Mary during his 2020 race!


2020 is a busy year for Plymouth as the City is celebrating 400 years since the sailing of the Mayflower. The TRANSAT, which is the ‘grand prix’ element of the original OSTAR, will also

be starting on the 10th May 2020 and many other waterside events are planned for that week. Clean Ocean Management will be a major theme.  Competitor’s berthing at Queen Anne’s Battery Marina and on the Barbican in Sutton Harbour.


For further information please contact the Race Director Neil Dunkley on:   ostar@rwyc.org or twostar@rwyc.org


Also check out the OSTAR / TWOSTAR Facebook pages.