Published: Friday, 08 August 2014

Organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club, the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race will start at noon on Aug 10 from the Royal Yacht Squadron line, Cowes, Isle of Wight.

RORC held the first race in 1976 and since then it has established itself as a global sporting event. This year yachts flying the flags of 11 nations will be taking part: China, Oman, United Arab Emirates, France, Germany, Great Britain, The Netherlands, Ireland, Spain, Sweden and the United States of America.

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The organisers of Volvo Ocean Race confirmed that the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race is part of their pre-race programme. This will give teams the chance to compete for the first time against each other, offering valuable crew training and boat preparation before the start of their round the world race from Alicante, Spain in October 2014.

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Five Volvo Ocean Race 2014-2015 boats will compete in the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race: Dongfeng Race Team, Team SCA, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Team Alvimedica, and Iker Martinez's Spanish crew. 

Sevenstar Round Britain And Ireland Race To Begin

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 likely.

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“This race is another step up from the offshore races organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club. The course is three times longer than the Rolex Fastnet Race and it takes the competitors through a myriad of different conditions,” says RORC CEO Eddie Warden Owen. “Crews will have cope with a huge number of elements and that is what makes this race so compelling.”

“Most sailors agree that this race is one of the toughest tests of them all. It is nearly as long as an Atlantic crossing, but the changes of direction at headlands, navigating wind farms and oil rigs, will mean constant breaks in the watch system for sail changes and sail trim. The race is only run every four years and is a highly regarded fixture on the yacht racing calendar; experienced amateurs and seasoned professionals alike aspire to compete in a race that is a real challenge.”