Biscay Race continues the Atlantic Ocean Racing Series

Royal Yacht Squadron foray into offshore racing

Thursday July 28th 2011, Author: James Boyd, Location: United Kingdom

Organised by the Royal Yacht Squadron with the assistance of Real Club Náutico de Sanxenxo in Northern Spain, the inaugural Biscay Race will start from the RYS line at midday on Sunday 11 September and will finish off the yacht club in Sanxenxo.

The Biscay Race forms part of the Atlantic Ocean Racing Series in which competitors are required to take part in three races to qualify for a series victory. The Series includes the Transatlantic Race 2011, the RORC Caribbean 600, the Pineapple Cup, etc, but the race is also open to any yacht only wishing to compete in this one race.

RYS Commodore Yachting, David Aisher explains the RYS’ foray into offshore racing: “When the New York Yacht Club first announced that they wished to join with RYS, RORC and the Storm Trysail Club to form the AORS, the Royal Yacht Squadron was the only club that did not have a race that was a part of this new circuit. On the east side of the Atlantic, the RORC was the Organising Authority for the Rolex Fastnet and was also a part of the Rolex Middle Sea Race.

"Between the two races was a large gap in the sailing calendar that we felt was an ideal opportunity for the RYS to run its first offshore race. The RYS has for many years been organising some of the best inshore regattas in the UK and for us, to be a true part of this new AORS event, we needed to show that we could also run a first rate offshore event as well. This is not an attempt to compete with the RORC or any other of the excellent offshore clubs, but is our contribution to this exciting racing series.”

Interest has already been received from two yachts who recently competed in the Transatlantic Race 2011: George David’s Rambler 100 (USA) which won line honours and British Soldier, the Army Sailing Association’s A40. Both are due to compete in the Rolex Fastnet Race. Interest has also been received from Alex Thomson’s IMOCA 60 Hugo Boss. A number of the other TR2011 boats are also expected to take part.

Racing for the Biscay Armada Dish, The Biscay Race may also act as a feeder race for competitors in the Rolex Middle Sea Race starting on 22 October; those wishing to sail to the Mediterranean and could also attract yachts taking part in World Cruising Clubs’ Atlantic Rally for Cruisers which sets off from Las Palmas, Gran Canaria for St Lucia on 20 November.

As an added incentive, The Real Club Náutico de Sanxenxo is offering free berthing for a week to competitors on completion of the race and a prize giving dinner will be held by the kind invitation of club on Friday 16 September for all crews.

The minimum crew on any yacht shall be three apart from as allowed under NoR 5.5, Two Handed Class.

- The minimum size for yachts is determined by their rating and their SSS/STIX numbers.
- The minimum LOA for multihulls is 9.15 metres/30ft. There is no maximum size.
- Experience: At least half the crew, including the person in charge, must have completed an offshore race of at least 300 miles in the yacht in which they will race the Biscay Race, in the 12 months preceding the start. Previous legs of the Atlantic Ocean Racing Series, including the Rolex Fastnet Race, will qualify under this requirement.

The Notice of Race and Entry Form can be downloaded on the website here.


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