It’s a wrap
The 2018 Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race featured 28 teams with crew from 18 different countries. The non-stop 1,805 nautical mile race is organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club every four years and is regarded as one of the toughest of offshore races, testing skill and endurance. During the 2018 edition of the race, competitors encountered a huge variety of conditions from gale force winds and huge waves, to dead calm conditions and everything in between.
The course includes the famous headlands of the south west of England. The epic adventure continues into the Celtic Sea, past the Fastnet Rock and Mizen Head, onto the wild west coast of Ireland. The Atlantic racing continues past St Kilda, up to the most northerly point of the course, Out Stack at Muckle Flugga on the 61st parallel. Then, turning south through the infamous North Sea, the fleet turn their bows for home. The English Channel and Solent form the final stages of the marathon race.
Overall Winner & IRC One
Lombard 46, Pata Negra – Giles Redpath (GBR)
"To win this race overall is amazing, my greatest racing achievement to date without a doubt. It is a phenomenally interesting race, the conditions change all the time and it is a lot tougher than a transatlantic. It is full-on the whole way round and that increases the level of satisfaction when you do well. I hope that this edition of the race will encourage more people to do it. It is a real challenge and a local race for British boats, a fantastic test of yachting ability,” Giles Redpath.
New World Record (40ft and under) 8 days 4 hours 14 minutes and 49 seconds
Imerys Clean Energy – Phil Sharp (GBR)
“This is definitely the toughest race in the northern hemisphere, harder than a transatlantic and all credit to the team who stuck at it and were exceptional, especially when the going got tough. You don't expect to do a race like this without breaking gear. During the race we saw real extremes of challenging weather conditions, from heavy downwind, to light upwind sailing, and although in our class we had other competitive boats that pushed us, it turned out to be very much a race of attrition. Many thanks to the Royal Ocean Racing Club for organising a fantastic race,” Phil Sharp.
Winner IRC Two-Handed, IRC Two and Second Overall in IRC
Figaro 2, El Velosolex Sl Energies Group - Ben Schwartz & Chen Jin Hao (FRA/CHN)
“Ben told me that this would be a challenge for this size of boat, and it was very tough in the north. We didn't sleep for four days, but we tried to stay safe and be fast. With 100 miles to go I heard that one of the students from my sailing school in Shenzhen had won the Topper Worlds; this gave me the power to push hard to the finish. This is a great and tough race, a nice memory for my life and I will hope to do it again,” Chen Jin Hao.
Winner IRC Three
Sun Fast 3600, Game On - Ian Hoddle & Ollie Wyatt (GBR)
“The winners (El Velosolex Sl Energies Group) are an awesome team and it was a major yardstick to pit ourselves against. At one point they were 110 miles ahead of us, but we got back to within 60 miles of them at the finish and it pushed us to take fourth overall, which was unexpected. We also had a great battle with Scarlet Oyster for the overall podium. A big thank you to Virgin Media Business for supporting our campaign which has raised over £18,000 for the charity SCOPE which gets disabled people back in work,” Ian Hoddle.
Winner IRC Four
Sigma 36, British Beagle - Charles Emmett & Tim Winsey (GBR)
“I haven’t experienced too many conditions like this before; going downwind in 40 knots is horrendous. Getting across the finish was a highlight though, but we’ve had lots in this race. We had some of the nicest conditions at the top of the course when we rounded Muckle Flugga. A gentle breeze, downwind with the spinnaker up for the first and only time in the race. I’ve never been that far north and it’s beautiful up there,” Charles Emmett.
Concise 8 – Jack Trigger (GBR)
Second in Class40 and youngest team in the race
“We are a young team that has done a lot of sailing together, so it is nice to progress together. The guys are solid and we have got a really good thing going. You go through stuff like this race and you come out stronger the other side,” Jack Trigger.
Oyster 48, Scarlet Oyster – Ross Applebey (GBR)
Third Overall in IRC
“Everyone on board has done a Fastnet or equivalent and as a team we did three RORC races to pull ourselves together. If you want to do this race, I would recommend you do the Fastnet first. Essentially this race is three Fastnets; colder at the top and you are very likely to encounter gale force conditions for extended periods - you need to be ready for that,” Ross Applebey
Class40, Region Normandie – Hannah Stodel (GBR)
Paralympian & World Champion with Vendee Globe ambitions
“It's amazing to finish this race! It was so brutal, but I am so proud to prove to myself that I could do it – never under-estimate the power of self-belief! We watched people fall out and retire and it was scary when we saw 52 knots at the top of the course, but we set out to achieve and we have finished one of the toughest RORC races, so we have started pretty big,” Hannah Stodel
Sun Odyssey 45, AJ Wanderlust – Charlene Howard (USA)
17 days 3 hours 13 minutes 3 seconds to complete the race
Never giving up - Last but not least. “This race has been on my radar for the last two or three years. To do it in my own boat is very, very special. Everyone comes back with stories of how difficult it is, but I think the best advice I got was just do it in stages and break it down into manageable chunks. Absolutely do it would be my advice to anyone thinking of competing in this race. I really enjoyed it; we really enjoyed it - it was a big, long sail!”
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