2014 Press Releases
Record Pace at Muckle Flugga
Written by RORC Tuesday, 12 August 2014 10:29
At their current ballistic pace, Musandam - Oman Sail's estimated finish will be at 10:24 BST, Thursday 14th August. The MOD 70, skippered by Frenchman Sidney Gavignet, is two hours inside the course record set by Banque Populaire 5 in 2011 of 3 days 3 hours, 49 minutes, 14 seconds.
Sidney Gavignet contacted the RORC Media team at 1000 this morning, just 100 miles from the top of the course, having raced approx. 600 miles in 24 hours.
"Right now the wind speed is 20 knots from 230 degrees, Jan Dekker is at the helm and the boat speed is 30 knots," commented Sidney Gavignet. "We blew out our old J1 yesterday, so we have to be very careful with our J2. Record or no record, we try to be gentle with this lady but she is strong. This morning I can see that the crew are starting to get a bit tired but they are doing fine. Sami (Al Shukaili) and Yassir (Al Rahbi) are having an amazing experience and even Jan Dekker says that it is a long time since he has experienced such a high speed for so long. Last night, the sea state was a bit rough so we had to slow down but the night is short at this time of the year and there was a big moon. The night made me reminisce about my last race around the course alone."
With the fast reaching conditions experienced so far, the battle for the overall win for the 20 yachts racing under IRC is looking like it will favour the light displacement carbon fibre flyers. Andrew Budgen and Fred Schwyn's Volvo 70, Monster Project, has been in pole position since the last update and remains so. Monster Project gybed offshore shortly before sunset yesterday to open up a 40 mile lead on the water from Brian Thompson's IMOCA 60, Artemis-Team Endeavour.
Monster Project has been having a tremendous battle with Volvo Ocean 65 Team SCA. Team SCA gybed offshore yesterday at 1630 BST past the entrance to the Thames Estuary but the move didn't pay off. By Lowestoft, Monster Project had pulled out a 30 mile lead on the all-female team. However, Team SCA fought back taking on Monster Project in an all-night gybing duel and by 0800 BST Team SCA was 3 miles ahead of Monster Project.
NEWSFLASH: Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race - Day One Retirements
Written by RORC Monday, 11 August 2014 18:30
Sir Robin Knox-Johnson's Open 60, Grey Power has retired from the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race that started this morning from Cowes at 0900.
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston has been forced to retire from the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race after splitting the mainsail between second and third reefs on his yacht, Grey Power. The mast has also been damaged. Sir Robin and his crew member Simon Clay are now heading for the nearest port which can take the Open 60 which is Calais in France. The race started this morning off the Isle of Wight after being postponed due to bad weather yesterday. Sir Robin said he had had a great sail otherwise and had hit 21 knots, but repairs will take a couple of days so carrying on was not possible. Sir Robin spoke to race organisers RORC at 1830 BST to inform them of his retirement.
At 1925 Concise 8 also phoned the Race Committee to inform them that they would be retiring into Harwich. All of the crew are fine.
At 19:30 the following statement was received from Conrad Humphreys and his crew; "The crew on board Cat® Phone Class 40 are experiencing issues with the lower section of the mainsail track coming away from the mast and are heading for shelter from the strong winds from Hurricane Bertha. The crew are OK and focused on trying to see if they can resolve and resume racing. More news later."
Tough Night in North Sea Expected
Written by RORC Monday, 11 August 2014 15:43
MOD 70 Musandam - Oman Sail, skippered by Frenchman Sidney Gavignet, is now over 40 miles ahead of the Volvo 65 fleet and has averaged an astonishing 27 knots since the start. At that speed, Musandam - Oman Sail will finish the race in 2 days and 18 hours, smashing the race and course record.
The leading monohulls are a trio of Volvo 65s: Team Campos (ESP), skippered by Iker Martinez, holds a slender lead from Azzam (UAE), skippered by Britain's Ian Walker and Dongfeng (CHI), skippered by Frenchman Charles Caudrelier.
The race leader overall under IRC is Andrew Budgen and Fred Schwyn's Volvo 70, Monster Project, having pulled out an 8 mile advantage on the water from Brian Thompson's IMOCA 60, Artemis - Team Endeavour. Brian Thompson contacted the race team at 1230 BST this afternoon; the Vendée Globe winner and solo round the world expert is not prone to exaggeration.
"Blasting past Beachy Head in sight of all the Volvos, Monster Project is just ahead. Musandam-Oman Sail was quite a sight blasting past us. We were happy to be first boat through the Forts and out of the Solent. Lots of water on deck - so much that two of our life jackets self inflated!"
Volvo Ocean 65s neck and neck in Solent
Written by RORC Monday, 11 August 2014 15:00
Our fleet of Volvo Ocean 65s is leading the monohulls as they exit the English Channel. Currently in front is the Spanish team - whose title sponsor has yet to be announced - skippered by Iker Martínez, and Charles Caudrelier's Dongfeng Race Team are a close runner-up. In third place, Ian Walker's Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing are pushing the front two hard, and being pursued by the all-female Team SCA. Rhode Island's Team Alvimedica, skippered by Charlie Enright, currently find themselves some way behind their rivals in fifth position.
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race: Speed and Power Combine for Epic Start
Written by RORC Monday, 11 August 2014 11:45
The 2014 Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race, organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club, started at 0900 BST August 11.
All 28 yachts are now heading east along the Solent having now started the 1800 mile race around Britain and Ireland. A large crowd of spectators outside the Royal Yacht Squadron saw the fleet away. In bright sunshine, with a stiff southwesterly wind and a significant positive tide, it was a magnificent start with yachts flying through the surf under spinnakers.
At 1130 BST, all of the fleet are now past Selsey Bill, experiencing over 30 knots of breeze as they reach at top speed along the south coast of England. Musandam-OmanSail, skippered by Sidney Gavignet, has averaged 30 knots of boat speed since the start. If the MOD70 keeps that up the team will finish the course in two and a half days, smashing the course record.
"We could be very close to the record but I am not sure at this stage that we will break it," commented Sidney Gavignet. "The computer says we can, but the reality is that the sea state will probably slow us down a bit - and we will still have 40 knots overnight, so for this we don't want to rush as the quicker we go the more wind we will have."
Nick Elliott RORC interview: Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race Postponed
Written by RORC Sunday, 10 August 2014 17:50
Race Postponement: Quotes from the fleet
Written by RORC Sunday, 10 August 2014 11:37
The Race Committee took this decision after receiving advice that the low pressure system known as Bertha is moving more slowly than previously predicted, with the result that the forecast winds for the start and the immediate period afterwards include sustained winds of 40 knots, with gusts in excess of 50 knots in the English Channel.
The advice is that this delay will allow time for the severe winds to abate as the low pressure system moves North East.
Katrin Hilbert speaking on behalf of the Custom JV 52, Haspa Hamburg, commented, "the adrenaline was pumping, we were ready to go but we realise that the decision was made for all the right reasons; our hearts were saying let's go! But our heads were looking at the bigger picture. Some of the younger crew are disappointed but we will sit down and talk about it in a coffee shop. Cowes is a nice place, it is better to have the discussion there than in terrible weather in the English Channel.
Newsflash: Race Postponement Announced
Written by RORC Sunday, 10 August 2014 09:32
The Race Committee took this decision after receiving advice that the low pressure system known as Bertha is moving more slowly than previously predicted, with the result that the forecast winds for the start and the immediate period afterwards includes sustained winds of 40 knots with gusts in excess of 50 knots in the English Channel.
The advice is that this delay will allow time for the severe winds to abate as the low pressure system moves North East.
Running with Bertha
Written by RORC Saturday, 09 August 2014 19:03
"In consideration of the weather forecast for the foreseeable future, showing a low pressure moving through The Channel in the early hours of the morning and eventually becoming stationary over Northern Scotland, bringing a strong Westerly to North Westerly airflow for the first days of the race, it has been decided by the Race Committee to reverse the course to sail anticlockwise around Great Britain and Ireland. The decision was based on aiming to provide a more enjoyable race for all the yachts in the fleet. The start will still be from the Royal Yacht Squadron to the East."
News that the course would be reversed drew a packed house to the Press Conference and Skippers' Briefing. It was standing room only, as world-class professional sailors and experienced offshore Corinthians listened in.
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston was a panellist at the Press Conference, made up of a broad cross-section of the 200 sailors from all over the world who will be taking part in the race. Sir Robin will be competing two handed at 75 years old. The offshore legend has raced around Britain and Ireland eight times before and was the first man to race around the world non-stop, single-handed.
Ballistic Start Predicted
Written by RORC Saturday, 09 August 2014 11:37
Over 200 competitors are spending their last day ashore before the start of the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race at 1200 BST Sunday 10th August. The weather conditions for the race have been the main topic of conversation and it looks like it will be a ballistic start to the 1800 mile non-stop race.
Last night's closing firework display for AAM Cowes Week was a damp affair, a precursor for the days ahead as the remnant of Hurricane Bertha is set to arrive today. Severe weather warnings have been issued for torrential downpours across England and Wales, and the weather forecast for tomorrow is predicting a feisty start to the race.
"The two weather models we are looking at don't quite agree but it is definitely going to be a windy start," commented Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing's navigator, Simon Fisher. "At the moment we could see as much as 30 knots of wind from the southwest at the start, with gusts even higher. The other scenario would put the direction more to the west and have slightly less wind, maybe 25 knots. However, the wind angle at the start will be right on the sweet spot for the VO65s and we could easily see 25 knots of boat speed as we fly downwind off the start line. It is the first time five of the boats have lined up and we are all eager to get going."
As Tough As It Gets
Written by RORC Thursday, 07 August 2014 14:40
In the 2010 Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race, Damian Foxall was watch leader on Volvo 70, Groupama. Taking Line Honours and setting a race record of 5 days, 21 hours, 26 minutes and 55 seconds, the Volvo 70 went on to win the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race with Foxall achieving cult status in his native Ireland.
For the 2014 Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland, Foxall is back, as watch leader on MOD 70, Musandam-Oman Sail, skippered by Sidney Gavignet with three crew from the elite squad of sailors from the Sultanate of Oman.
"This race is an absolute classic," commented Damian Foxall. "Like the round the world races, the Route du Rhum, this is one of them. When Groupama was getting ready for the last Volvo Ocean Race, this was one of the best things we did; a real test. We always talk about the first leg winner of the Volvo but maybe it's now the Round Britain and Ireland Race, maybe this is the one to look at?
11 Nations to Race Around Britain and Ireland
Written by RORC Wednesday, 06 August 2014 11:12
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 more likely.
Tactics, Endurance, Achievement: Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race Preview
Written by RORC Wednesday, 30 July 2014 11:59
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.
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race Update: Test of Endurance
Written by RORC Wednesday, 14 May 2014 13:44The Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race will set off in less than three months and, to date, the RORC's toughest offshore race of the year 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 in the non-stop race.
Known as the ultimate test of endurance, the 1802nm course, starting on Sunday 10th August from Cowes, takes competitors non-stop around the breathtaking coastline of Britain and Ireland including the most northerly point, the island and lighthouse of Muckle Flugga.
The motivation for the teams taking part may vary, but the ultimate aim is the same. To race well and to get round the course using the determination and tenacity this endurance race demands from competitors.
Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing - First Entry in the Non-Stop 1802nm Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race 2014
Written by RORC Thursday, 16 January 2014 10:30
Online entry for The Royal Ocean Racing Club's 2014 season is now open and Ian Walker's Volvo Ocean 65 Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing was quick off the mark to confirm its participation with Azzam (Determination) in the RORC's toughest race of the year - The Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race.
The 1802nm course, starting on Sunday 10th August, is the ultimate test of endurance for sailors and has been supported by leading Dutch specialist yacht transport company Sevenstar since 2006. Starting and finishing in Cowes, Isle of Wight, the race takes competitors non-stop around the breathtaking coastline of Britain and Ireland. Memorable landmarks include the most northerly lighthouse - Muckle Flugga, a small rocky island north of Unst in the Shetland Islands, Scotland.
Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing First to Sign Up
Britain's twice Olympic silver medallist Ian Walker will skipper the Volvo Ocean 65, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing in the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race prior to their second successive Volvo Ocean Race 2014-2015:
"This will be my first Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race and I can't wait to take part in our new Volvo 65. It will be an excellent training run just before the start of the Volvo Ocean Race which starts in October. Racing is always more demanding closer to land with headlands, tidal issues, wind effects and all the resulting sail changes. This will be a tough test for Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing at just the right time," comments Skipper, Ian Walker.
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 all 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.
RORC Entry System to open for 2014 season
Written by RORC Thursday, 09 January 2014 15:51
The RORC is pleased to announce that REMUS will be open for entries for the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race from midday Monday 13th January 2014.
The ultimate test of endurance, the 1802nm course, starting and finishing in Cowes, takes the competitor nonstop around the breaktaking coastline of Britain and Ireland.
Notice of Race
You can start planning for the race now as Parts 1 and 2 of the 2014 Notice of Race, which include information on this race and the rest of the season, are available to download here.
The Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race is an OSR Category 1 race, with RORC Prescriptions. ISAF Special Regulations (with RORC Prescriptions) will be added to the RORC Notice of Race in due course, but you can also find them now on the ISAF website here.
You can view the full RORC schedule here.
Sevenstar Commit to RORC Round Britain & Ireland Race 2014
Written by RORC Thursday, 08 November 2012 09:26
At the UK (Southampton) offices of Sevenstar, the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) confirmed the leading Dutch specialist yacht transport company as title sponsor of the 1,802 nautical mile non-stop race starting from Cowes, Isle of Wight on 10th August 2014.
Sevenstar sponsored the race in 2006 and 2010 when 30 yachts from nine different nations competed in a thrilling and world record breaking event. Three records were broken in what was a very memorable race, highlighted by the monohull record set by Franck Cammas' French team aboard the Volvo 70 Groupama, completing the course in 5 days 21hrs 2mins and 55 seconds, breaking Dee Caffari's 2009 record on Aviva by over half a day.
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