Organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club, the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race is undoubtedly one of the toughest yacht races in the world. While other ocean races are longer, racing 1,800 miles around a coastline notorious for highly changeable weather and wicked tides and currents, puts the race amongst the most difficult to complete, let alone win. The 2014 entries include an amazing variety of yachts and sailors; exceptional people who come together as a team to attempt to climb one of offshore racing's biggest mountains.
All the teams will be trying to beat the course record of 2011 where Loïck Peyron's Banque Populaire 5 completed the course in 3 days, 3 hours, 49 minutes and 14 seconds, at an astonishing average speed of 23.38 knots!
The first ever RORC Round Britain and Ireland started on 5th June 1976 in which boats were split into 2 divisions; Division I was a non-stop race and Division II a race with stops (Southsea - Crookhaven -Stornoway - Blyth - Southsea). In total there were 25 competitors starting the race. The non-stop race was won by Electron II (R.N.S.A) and the stopping race by Morningtown (R G Hill).
The format of the race changed in 1980 when it was run as a completely non-stop race attracting 13 starters with Chica Tica II (Carlo di Mottola Balestra) taking line and overall honours. Again in 1992 and 1994 the race format changed to include stops with the legs consisting of the following: Leg 1 - Cowes to Cork, Leg 2 - Cork to Lerwick, Leg 3 - Lerwick to Hartlepool, Leg 4 - Hartlepool to Cowes. The winner of the 1992 race was Deerstalker (Michael Taylor-Jones) and the 1994 race by Norma (Hans Peter Baum).
This years race has attracted 20 yachts from 11 nations (China, Sweden, United Arab Emirates, USA, France, Ireland, The Netherlands, Oman, Russia, Germany and the UK) to participate. The fleet will start on Sunday 10th August from Cowes, 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.
Each yacht will have a Yellowbrick installed onboard which will wake up at pre determined intervals. Once awake the tracker will collect and transfer several packets of information including speed, direction and gps coordinates.
The race organisers along with friends, family and supporters left on land will be able to follow all the action of this contest as the data collected is transmitted through the Iridium satellite network to YB Tracking HQ servers and then visualised onto our race tracker. For more information on the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race please follow this link.