57 boats set to start

A former OSTAR winner and one of the five British sailors captured last year by Iran are among those taking part in the double-handed Shetland Round Britain and Ireland Race, which starts on June 6.

57 boats will be on the Plymouth startline, including eight multihulls and 10 Class 40 racers.

But according to race director Peter Taylor ‘the rest of the field are boats and crews without big sponsorship, entered in the true Corinthian spirit of taking part and enjoying one of ocean racing’s biggest challenges and greatest adventures’.

2005 OSTAR winner Nico Budel will race with Clive Lonsdale in sec. Hayai, with ex-hostage Oliver Young racing with Sam Goodchild in their Figaro II, Yogo Racing Izara.

After leaving Plymouth, the clockwise course covers 2000 nautical miles, with compulsory stops at Kinsale, Barra, Lerwick and Lowestoft.

Mary Falk, a veteran of five Round Britain and Ireland Races and three OSTARs, will be sailing with Jerry Freeman in QII, hoping to reach a fundraising target of £100,000 for the Institute of Cancer Research.

As well as the experienced competitors there are also relative newcomers such as Katie Miller, the youngest female sailor to finish the OSTAR 2009, who raised £10,000 for the Ellen MacArthur Trust with a previous circumnavigation of Britain and is joined by Matthew Lingley their Figaro II, bluQube.

Also included in the field for the first time are three VQ32‘s designed by Dutchman Dick Koopmans specifically for double-handed racing.

Every boat is fitted with a satellite tracking device so once the race is under way the progress of every crew can be followed at www.rwyc.org/RBI.