Follow the action as Sir Robin Knox-Johnston competes in Round Britain and Ireland Race tomorrow

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The British summer sailing season is in full swing and following a week of on-the-water action in the Solent at Cowes Week, tomorrow sees the start of offshore classic, the 1802 mile, non-stop Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race.

Clipper Race Chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston is competing in his ninth Round Britain and Ireland race on his Open 60 yacht Grey Power, in the two-handed class alongside Simon Clay. At the spritely age of 75, Sir Robin is the oldest, and one of the most experienced entrants of the course, well-known for its notorious changeable weather that can challenge even the most seasoned sailors.

Simon Clay, 38, an associate of WhiteCap sailing, a brokerage and management company for performance sailing yachts, was campaign manager for Sir Robin when he participated in the solo Velux 5 Oceans Race in 2006/7.  

In Cowes ahead of the race start, Sir Robin said: “After all the recent Clipper Race finish excitement, this race is going to bring some welcome relaxation for me, but it is also excellent work up for my Route du Rhum solo race from Saint Malo to Guadeloupe in November.

“The British Isles were made to be raced around and I know these waters pretty well. I’m looking forward to seeing familiar landmarks like Out Stack, just north of Mukkle Flugger, the most northerly of the British Isles.”

Sir Robin has won two of the Royal Western Yacht Club’s two-handed Round Britain and Ireland races; in 1970 with Les Williams on 71 maxi, Ocean Spirit, winning by two days; and in 1974 with Gerry Boxall on maxi-catamaran British Oxygen. 

He also raced in the inaugural Royal Ocean Racing Club’s crewed non-stop round Britain and Ireland race in 1976 and won Class 1, establishing the record in 11 days.

The Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race takes place every four years and starts from Cowes on the Isle of Wight. The course takes the 28 competitors out past Ryde before continuing around the British Isles.

28 entries from 11 countries are competing in this year’s race. The fastest yacht is expected to complete the course in less than a week.

Follow Sir Robin’s daily race blogs via the Clipper Race news page and track his and the rest of the fleet’s progress on the official Race Tracker.

Want to race against big names and be part of this exhilarating race yourself in 2018? Contact our Clipper Events team to charter one or more of our tried and tested fleet of Clipper 68-foot ocean racers and try the challenge yourself. Full training is provided.

To find out more, contact Clipper Events Manager, Emma Eason [email protected]