New Round Iceland Yacht Race to depart from Plymouth

The Royal Western Yacht Club has announced a new Round Iceland Yacht Race (RIR) for 2023. The event is a new addition to the club’s four-year cycle of oceanic events.

The RIR will start on Sunday 14 May, 2023, departing from Plymouth Sound National Marine Park. The course will head past the Eddystone Lighthouse off Cornwall and loop around Iceland, before finishing on the Royal Western Yacht Club line in Plymouth.

This Category 1 race will be open to solo, double-handed and fully crewed yachts. Classes will be open to multi and monohulls from 27ft to 65ft. IRC, MOCRA and non-rated yachts may enter, along with Open60s pre-2014 and Open40s who will be offered their own class subject to entry numbers.

The club has confirmed that, as partner to the Global Solo Challenge (GSC), the race will act as qualifying miles for the 2023-24 GSC event.

Image courtesy of Royal Western Yacht Club

Royal Western Yacht Club rear commodore oceanic, Adrian Gray, says: “We are really excited to offer the RIR. The concept came from recent covid contingency plans and wanting to offer a challenge equal to that of the OSTAR but starting and finishing in Plymouth. Fortunately, covid has reduced sufficiently for us to run the OSTAR in two weeks, but the intrigue and appeal we have seen for this race has encouraged us to offer it as part of our four-year cycle moving forwards.

“We are also very pleased to announce the race as a GSC mile builder, particularly as its founder, Marco Nannini, has such a strong history with the RWYC. We hope that the race will feature a number of entrants to the GSC as it is a great comparison to the challenge, they will be taking on later in the year. Whether you are into oceanic racing or simply wanting to experience something unique with the safety factor our races provide and in the company of others, this has to be a future bucket list race.”

Founder of the Global Solo Challenge, Marco Nannini adds: “Although we do not require that GSC competitors qualify in a race, we do encourage it. Preparing and planning for an event such as the newly launched Round Iceland Race provides an excellent framework whereby skippers will have a precise goal and will have to face the weather they find rather than be able to plan a passage over a good weather window. Sailing as far north as Iceland will also give them a taste of sailing in cold and damp conditions. We are very pleased about our partnership with the RWYC and with the creation of this race which can become a new classic.”

Further information about entry is available by email.

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This article was written and/or edited by the UK-based MIN team.

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