Video - The Marathon Has Begun
The 2022 Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race started on time from the Royal Yacht Squadron Line in Cowes at midday on Sunday 7th August.
The international fleet got away for the non-stop 1,805-mile race without incident. The infamous Solent tide changed favourably just before the start and coupled with light headwinds the fleet raced to the east. The major decision after the start was which way to go; the majority of the fleet went for deep water rather than the island shore where the tide would have turned earlier. After rounding No Man’s Land Fort, the game was to get into a fresh southerly breeze of over 13 knots. Considering the light airs forecast, progress was above expectation, with the boats fully powered-up into open water.
Ian Walker, as skipper of VO 65 Azzam holds the Monohull Record for the race and was a live commentator for the start: “All the teams, especially the double-handed, are going to have to manage their energy for this race; that is going to be absolutely crucial as this is a marathon. It is going to be nip and tuck at every headland and every tidal gate it will be very tough, mentally and physically for many days ahead.”
Ollie Heer’s IMOCA Oliver Heer Ocean Racing was the first to round Bembridge Ledge Buoy, stealing a march on their IMOCA rival, Pip Hare’s Medallia. As the two IMOCAs approached St Catherine’s Point, Medallia was faster in the new breeze, hauling in the leader.