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Taking pace every four years, the 1805NM offshore race is one of the most challenging RORC race, taking you up the Irish coast, rounding the Shetland Islands, the shoals, and hazards of the North Sea and the world’s business shipping lanes at Dover before the final beat back to Cowes.
The first ever RORC Round Britain and Ireland started on 5th June 1976 in which boats were split into 2 divisions; Division I was a non-stop race and Division II a race with stops (Southsea – Crookhaven – Stornoway – Blyth – Southsea). In total there were 25 competitors starting the race (15 – Division I, 10 – Division II). The non-stop race was won by Electron II (R.N.S.A) and the stopping race by Morningtown (R G Hill).
In 1980 the race started on 5 July and was run as a completely non-stop race attracting 13 starters with Chica Tica II (Carlo di Mottola Balestra) taking line and overall honours.
Both the 1992 and 1994 race included stops in the race. With the legs consisting of the following: Leg 1 – Cowes to Cork, Leg 2 – Cork to Lerwick, Leg 3 – Lerwick to Hartlepool, Leg 4 – Hartlepool to Cowes. The winner of the 1992 race was Deerstalker (Michael Taylor-Jones) and the 1994 race by Norma (Hans Peter Baum). The 1992 race attracted a higher number of entrants (28) than 1994 (15).
Criterion headlined as title sponsor for the race in 2000 which coincided with the 75th Anniversary of the RORC. Sixteen boats in total set off on 20 August with Incisor of Wight (Windward Sailing) taking overall honour for the race.