The RNLI has been chosen as charity partners for the legendary Round Britain and Ireland Race by Plymouth’s Royal Western Yacht Club.
The two-handed event, which is run every four years and first began back in 1966, starts and ends in Plymouth with stop overs in four ports – each with an RNLI lifeboat station.
Entries are now being accepted for tough race which starts on June 1 and is open to all yachts and multihulls from 30-50ft. The event has become an international classic, attracting many famous names over the years.
Race director Alan Nichols said: “The course runs clockwise around all of Great Britain and Ireland with compulsory stops at Kinsale, Barra, Lerwick and Lowestoft where the hospitality is legendary.
“It is a huge test of endurance and seamanship and definitely not for the faint hearted. In fact we require entrants to complete a qualifying voyage before their final entry is accepted.
“The RNLI has a vital presence in Plymouth and each of the stop over ports and it seemed entirely appropriate that we should invite the charity to join us as our partner for the 2014 event.
“Their volunteers are our guardians, if you like, and those of us who enjoy such racing appreciate knowing that they are on standby to help us 24 hours a day and seven days a week.
“The RNLI also believe in prevention rather than cure and we hope our joint belief in safety at sea will be reinforced by this liaison.
RNLI community fundraising manager Guy Botterill said the benefits of the partnership between the race and the charity were clear.
He added: “There’s the RNLI presence at each of the ports the race goes to, the obvious belief on both sides that safety at sea is paramount and the fact the RNLI will be there if anyone does get into trouble.
“What’s more the race has in the past attracted entries from RNLI people including Pip Hare, who works for our coastal safety department in Poole, and Adam Littlejohn who is based in the South West and works for our Shoreworks department.
“I’d like to thank the Royal Western Yacht Club for this very kind invitation to be the charity partner and we look forward to a successful association before, during and after the 2014 event.”
Early entries have already been tabled for the iconic event. Further details are available on the Internet at http://rwyc.org/RB&I. Potential business sponsors can contact the Royal Western Yacht Club on 01752 660077.