Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race 2006 - Preview
19 July, 2006 2:10:00 PM BST
The countdown to the start of the Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race on Monday, 7 August 2006 is well underway with 25 confirmed entries for this non-stop coastal classic run under the auspices of the Royal Ocean Racing Club, and more expected. The 1789 mile Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race 2006 will be fully crewed and is open to IRC, IRM, Open 60s and multihulls and is designated as a Category 1 race under ISAF Special Regulations.
This sixth running of the race will, for the first time, see all competing yachts fitted with tracking devices to allow for greater viewer participation across the media channels. Commodore of the RORC David Aisher, speaking ahead of the start, commented: 'Embracing modern communication tools is vital to the ongoing success of the RORC's classic offshore races and it's certainly something we have pursued and will continue to pursue vigorously. By fitting tracking devices to all the yachts competing in the Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland we hope to achieve an even greater reach and interaction for audiences around the world.'
On the water, competition will be tight for overall line honours. Robert Lutener and Martin Elwood's Volvo 60 'Cutting Edge on Venom' and Marcelle von Wendland's Whitbread 60 'Zest of Belgium' will certainly be looking to renew their rivalry towards the front of the fleet with Jean-Philippe Chomette's Nacira 60 'Solune' looking for favourable conditions to try and better their course record of 7 days and 4 hours.
This year the race will be sailed clockwise around Britain and Ireland starting from the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes so competitors will be keenly eyeing the weather data to try and eclipse the record set in 2000. 'When we set the record it was pretty much perfect conditions for the first three days,' says Jean-Philippe Chomette, 'so this year, especially going clockwise, it will be difficult to get close unless we get unusual weather for August which, knowing Britain, could happen!'
Other entries to look out for include the late Kit Hobday's Farr 52 'Bear of Britain' and Ger O'Rourke's Cookson 50 'Kingspan - Chieftain' who will push the larger front-runners all the way. RORC Committee member and Director of Sevenstar Shipping Harry Heijst has entered his much travelled and beautiful Sparkman & Stephens 41 'Winsome' and says that for him the race 'will be the highlight of my year for sure!'
The bulk of the fleet comprises many seasoned RORC race veterans whilst for one all-female team onboard the First 47.7 'Global Yacht Racing' just getting to the start-line is an achievement in itself as they are trying hard to raise up to '100,000 for their chosen charity Sail4Cancer by holding all manner of fundraising events. 'The ladies have been rattling buckets at Waterloo Train Station as well as sourcing corporate sponsors and getting their qualifying sea miles by competing in several 2006 RORC races so we wish them well for the race and applaud their achievements to date,' commented RORC's General Manager Peter Wykeham-Martin.
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Sevenstar specialises in yacht and motor-yacht transportation around Europe, the USA and the Caribbean and recently undertook one of the largest sea transportations across the Atlantic when the carrier 'Stadiongracht' shipped some 60 yachts to the Caribbean including TP52's, Swan 45's and a charter fleet.
Sevenstar has also been heavily involved with moving the International America's Cup Class yachts around Europe during the recent regattas and is one of the most trusted companies in the yacht transportation business.