In a picturesque and quiet corner of southwest England there is a yacht club whose part in the development of the sport of top-level ocean racing over the last 60 years deservedly earned it worldwide prominence
The role that the Royal Western Yacht Club has played in the development of shorthanded offshore sailing speaks for itself. From founding the Observer Singlehanded Transatlantic Race (OSTAR) in 1960 to the double-handed Round Britain and Ireland Race that kicked off six years later and then the TwoStar transtlantic, three key events that not only shaped the racing world but provided the catalyst for a wide and far-reaching range of events elsewhere. Yet at times, success has brought its own challenges for this West Country club.
‘The OSTAR simply got too big for the club,’ says Rear Commodore Oceanic, Adrian Gray. ‘We might have 700 members, but aside from a handful of full and part-time employees, we’re run by enthusiastic and experienced volunteers. And while we have all loved seeing successful events draw in the professionals and their impressive machines, we also know that the club is and has always been about providing offshore challenges for grassroots sailors.’ Read on.