15 Jan Round Britain & Ireland Race 2018
The Royal Western Yacht Club is pleased to announce that the Round Britain and Ireland, two handed race, will start from Plymouth on Sunday 3 June 2018. This will be the 14th running of the legendary four yearly yacht race which was established in 1966 by the Cockershell hero Major Blondie Hasler. The race comprises five legs totalling approximately 2000 miles. The course is sailed clockwise around the British Isles and Ireland leaving all islands and rocks to starboard. The race is open to professional and amateur yachtsmen in mono and multi-hulls from twenty eight feet up to fifty feet length overall.
The Round Britain and Ireland race is essentially five races in one with the results decided on accumulated time (IRC corrected). The legs are relatively short stages of three or four days where time spent at the helm and minimum sleep has to be balanced with the need for solo watch keeping and precise navigation. The race record stands at fifteen days seven hours but sailors should allow about twenty three days to complete the event, including the four forty eight hour stopovers in Kinsale, Castle Bay, Lerwick and Lowestoft.
The first leg from Plymouth to Kinsale in Southern Island is 230 miles long passing outside the Eddystone and Bishop Rock lights to finish at Bulman Rock. Kinsale Yacht Club is at the head of the accessible and safe harbour.
After the 48hr stopover, competitors set sail on the second leg from Kinsale for Castle Bay on the island of Barra in the Outer Hebrides. The boats keep the Fastnet Rock to starboard at the beginning of the 440 mile second leg past the south and west coasts of Ireland. On arrival the fleet moors or anchors in Castle Bay.
Leg three covers a distance of 420 miles. The yachts round Barra Head and sail north nor’ west 70 miles out into the Atlantic, aiming for the isolated volcanic archipelago of St Kilda. After St Kilda the competitors round Muckle Flugga and head to Lerwick, 61 degrees north latitude, on the island of Shetland. The Lerwick Boating Club is the host for two days of jollity and warm hospitality.
The longest leg four is 470 miles south from Lerwick to Lowestoft which is the most easterly point of the British Isles. The Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht Club provides a very hospitable stop-over. Family and friends find this port the most convenient to visit being the most accessible by land.
The final leg five of 305 miles is along the South Coast to Plymouth. This leg often proves to be where the podium places are decided due to the many tidal gates. The finish line is in Plymouth Sound off the RWYC Club House.