'A great test of seamanship'

As momentum builds for the OSTAR (Original Single-handed Trans-Atlantic Race), which departs from Plymouth on 25th May, it has been announced that H.R.H. The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, K.G., K.T. will be starting the race.

H.R.H. The Duke of Edinburgh has been a keen yachtsman and is patron of the race. He is eager to support the event, which has become renowned as a stepping stone for up and coming sailors, such as Katie Miller and Oscar Mead. At only 18 years old Oscar is the youngest competitor to have ever taken part in the race.

H.R.H commented: “OSTAR remains a Corinthian event for aspiring professional and amateur yachtsmen, without access to huge sponsorship, and is as much to do with beating the Atlantic as the other competitors. It is a great test of seamanship, but luck also plays a part, so I wish all the competitors the very best of luck.” (Foreword, OSTAR programme 2009)

David Southwood, Race Director of OSTAR 2009, added: “We are greatly enthused about the 2009 race and are honored to have H.R.H The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, K.G., K.T. attending the race start. It is the thirteenth edition and we have some strong competitors signed up from all over the globe. We also have a number of young entrants this year who are sure to become the well known names of the future.”

Dating back to 1960, the OSTAR (Original Single-handed Trans-Atlantic Race) is the world’s oldest solo ocean challenge and has seen sailors departing from Plymouth every four years for nearly five decades. Organised by Plymouth’s Royal Western Yacht Club, the race has generated international attention, drawing competitors from all over the sailing world, and attracting crowds of visitors to Plymouth to see the boats depart. 

Some of the world’s greatest sailors have taken part including; Eric Tabarly, Pete Goss, Loick Peyron, Françis Joyon, Mike Golding, Michel Desjoyeaux and Ellen MacArthur. The 2009 race includes entrants from; Britain, Austria, France, Holland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, and the USA.

The race departs from Plymouth Sound at midday on Bank Holiday Monday, 25th May. All members of the public are welcome to see the boats depart and be a part of the excitement.