The only Mini race in the UK
The course sees the boats start in Plymouth Sound before heading out to sea and leaving the Eddystone Light 14 miles offshore to starboard. They then sail the 90 miles towards the Isles of Scilly, where they must also leave the Bishop Rock Lighthouse to starboard, after which the course runs 160 miles to the Fastnet Rock. The return course is via the exact same route, and the competitors are expected to take four days to complete the 500 miles.
So often at the forefront of shorthanded offshore racing, the Royal Western YC took the plunge into Minis three years ago, following an appeal from the UK Mini Association to help them develop the class at home.
Race Director and Commodore of the Royal Western YC, Chris Arscott, said: “Although the Royal Western has considerable expertise in organising high profile events, it wasn’t until quite recently that we had any involvement with the Mini Class. A pilot event for a small number of boats took place in 2006 and following last year’s success, this years sees a second full race. We expect the UK Fastnet 6.50 to become one of the major international events for the Mini Class in years to come.”
The race is sponsored by Barratt Homes who have supported sailing in the South West of England for some years. Managing Director of Barratt, Exeter, Tim Larner, said: “Barratt is delighted to be supporting sailing once again by becoming the title sponsor of the UK Fastnet 6.50. These exciting yachts bring another premier event to Plymouth and help cement it’s position as one of the UK’s top waterfront locations.”
The race starts at 12.00pm on Saturday 17 May 2008