Ross Hobson finishing the RB&I

The Round Britain and Ireland race 2022 (RB&I 2022)

Start Date: Sunday 29th May 2022

The Royal Western Yacht Club is delighted announce that the entry process is now open for the RB&I 2022.

Following an extensive review of this established race, numerous enhancements are made to embrace the recent surge of interest in short-handed offshore racing. A more balanced course is set, to encourage those aiming to participate in the double-handed offshore event of the Paris Olympics, 2024. The number of stopovers is reduced to permit a more time-effective and challenging event. Starting and finishing in Plymouth, the clockwise course will have three compulsory 48-hour stop overs in Galway, Lerwick and Blyth.

Acting Rear Commodore Oceanic and Race Director, Adrian Gray said, “We are excited to announce the new format for this classic, well known race. We are also delighted to announce our stop over hosts; the Galway Bay Sailing Club, the Royal Northumberland Yacht Club, our long-term friends in Shetland and those at the Lerwick Boating Club. This new course provides safer harbour entries and a better race balance. The legs will be of a similar length to the 2024 Olympic double-handed offshore event, so it is a fantastic training opportunity for those who have their sights set on Olympic Gold.”

Galway Bay, host of the 2009 Volvo Ocean Race stop over and home of the Green Dragon Irish entry in that race, is perfectly placed on the West coast of Ireland to provide a welcome respite before taking on the leg to the Shetland Isles. Double Handed Round Britain and Ireland Race, which will be entering its 56th year, will benefit from this new stop over and will receive the very best Galway welcome as competitors visit the fabulous Galway Bay.

Johnny Shorten, Commodore of Galway Bay Sailing Club commented, Galway and Galway Bay have a history of firsts, the landing place for the first flight across the Atlantic, winners of the first All-Ireland Hurling championship, providing the first female orchestra conductor at the Oscar’s ceremony, hosting the first Irish Volvo Ocean race stopover and finish and now we are proud and excited to be hosting the Round Britain and Ireland race’s Irish stop over for the first time. A warm welcome and great Craic is awaiting all involved during the first stopover of the event.

“Bí Linn Don Ceiliúir”

Mike Bradburn, vice commodore of the Royal Northumberland Yacht Club also commented, “The Royal Northumberland Yacht Club is delighted to be welcoming the fleet of the Round Britain and Ireland race in 2022. This race has a long and prestigious history going back to 1966, but this is the first time that Blyth has had the opportunity to welcome the competitors. We will ensure a warm Northumberland welcome.

Adrian Gray continued, “The RB&I 2022 will also permit changes of crew, providing for those who wish to start testing themselves in the world of short-handed racing and also recognising that time away from home and work can be a deterrent to entering. There is clearly a real appetite for this type of racing, with each member of the crew having more responsibility and more impact on the overall performance of the boat. Crew changes will be allowed at each stopover within this new format: One of the crew, the boats designated ‘skipper’, will be required to be aboard for a minimum of two consecutive legs”.

One the early pioneers of solo sailing and RWYC member, Blondie Hasler, proposed the very first RB&I back in 1966. The 2000-mile course was originally split into five legs, but with modern yacht designs and time-pressures, today the course lends itself to a shorter overall length whilst maintaining the same oceanic challenges.

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