The Shetland Round Britain & Ireland 2010

The Shetland Round Britain & Ireland 2010 race is to be officially launched on Wednesday 23rd September at the Royal Western Yacht Club, Plymouth.Mervyn Wheatley, who competed in the OSTAR 2009 earlier this year, will be enthralling race-goers with the challenges he has faced over the many times he has competed in the race. The 2010 edition will be his sixth attempt at competing, so few know the race better than he.

Still four months from the entry deadline (31st January 2010), 26 teams have already signed up for the two-handed race, including the winner of the OSTAR 2009, Jankees Lampe. Jankees broke the record for a 40ft vessel when he completed the trans-Atlantic race earlier this year in just 17 days, 17 hours and 40 minutes; making him the one to watch in next year’s race.

The SRB&I race has the support of many sailing greats, including Pete Goss MBE. A mix of past competitors, and those looking to try their luck in 2010, will be attending the launch next week.

Shetland Islands Council announced its sponsorship of the race in June and is now gearing up to promote the race and welcome the crews to Lerwick, one of the four compulsory stops during the race. Shetland is the ideal sponsor of the race due to its maritime links and history, as well as its 35 marinas.

The race will depart from Plymouth on 6th June 2010 and see the competitors sail 2000 nautical miles around the UK coastline. The race has been hosted by the Royal Western Yacht Club every four years since 1966.

Douglas Irvine, Business Development Manager for Shetland Islands Council, commented: “We are looking forward to the race’s official launch next month and are pleased to once again support this great race. We have a number of beautiful marinas across the Shetland Islands and Lerwick is one of our most popular. The crews are guaranteed a real Shetland welcome when they arrive!”

Peter Taylor, Race Director of SRB&I 2010, added: “We have already received a huge amount of interest for the 2010 race and hope to see a mix of old and new faces taking part. Shetland Islands Council is a great fit with the race and we are delighted to welcome them onboard once again as title sponsor. This is a tough race and the competitors have to be prepared for some very testing conditions.  Entries will be limited to 50 boats so competitors should get in touch as soon as possible as nearly half of the spaces have already been taken.”

The launch event will take place at the RWYC on 23rd September at 3pm. This is an invitation only event and will be attended by the race sponsors, Shetland Islands Council, the RB&I 2010 race committee, members of the press and past and present competitors of the race, including Mervyn Wheatley and David Southwood (race director of OSTAR 2009).

For further information about the Round Britain & Ireland 2010 race and those taking part, go to here