Momentum builds for July’s Royal Yacht Squadron Bicentenary International Regatta

Clubs are committing from around the world to send teams to next July’s Royal Yacht Squadron Bicentenary International Regatta. Entries are being received in all classes including the One-Design Fleet which will be locally chartered, evenly matched Beneteau First 40s, designed by Bruce Farr.

Included in the line-up are The New York Yacht Club, Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, Gran Canaria Yacht Club and the UK’s own Royal Thames Yacht Club, Royal Ocean Racing Club and of course the Royal Yacht Squadron.

Martin Jones, who has been appointed RYS team captain said, “One design racing is a particular passion of mine and I believe the combination of these identical Beneteau 40s and high quality Corinthian teams from clubs around the world are a recipe for some of the best racing since our club was founded 200 years ago.”

In the five-day Solent event, entries are also increasing in the IRC divisions. Classic and modern yachts will compete under IRC, many of which will have arrived in Cowes at the end of the Transatlantic Race from New York. Other classics are expected to make their way from the Mediterranean.

The Judel Vrolijk IRC 60 Jethou owned by Squadron member Sir Peter Ogden is also set to be a Royal Yacht Squadron entry, while Swan 56 Noonmark will represent the Royal Thames Yacht Club. Sir Peter commented, “We are looking forward to be back, racing in Cowes. We have had a lot of success at Cowes with the Spirit of Jethou yachts but this is the first time we have raced the new Jethou in the Solent”.

The bottom rating limit of the IRC class is now reduced for some classic yachts so as to include a number of additional yachts such as the majestic eight metre class.

In addition to highly competitive racing around the buoys, yachts can also enter for a clockwise Round the Island race. Several clubs have already committed to sending younger crews, all aged under 30, for the J70 class team racing event.

Adding to the spectacle will be the participation of the magnificent J Class yachts which have also confirmed that they will be coming to the Solent for the event. Louise Morton, secretary of the J Class commented, “It is exciting to be able to welcome the J Class here once again to take part in this historic event. We expect five J Class yachts to take part in the RYS Bicentenary and if all goes to plan it will be the first time we will have welcomed that number here for nearly 80 years.”

Rolex is a key sponsor of the event as well as Aberdeen Asset Management and Hiscox. A busy social programme for sailors and attractions for visitors alike is being organised with displays from both the Red Arrows RAF team and the Red Devils parachute team during the event culminating in a grand party sponsored by UBS held at the historic Osborne House, once the private home of Queen Victoria.

For more information visit The Royal Yacht Squadron website.

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