Through the Lens: Rick Tomlinson - 2014 Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race
Exceptional weather conditions resulted in the 2014 edition of the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race becoming an astonishing record-breaking edition!
Sidney Gavignet's MOD 70, Musandam - Oman Sail completed the non-stop 1804nm race in just over 3 days and 3 hours in one of the RORC’s most tactically challenging offshore races. The race set an unprecedented five new world records due to an intense low pressure system settling over northern UK and making the race a downwind ride for the faster boats. Photographer, Rick Tomlinson captured all the action at the start:-
“From 10 days out during the run-up to the start, the forecast had been for very strong south westerly winds. The options were to delay the start or change the direction of the race and a few days before the start in Cowes, RORC changed the direction to anticlockwise round Britain. I always look forward to shooting from a helicopter - even now I still get a real kick out of it - and I knew this was going to be a good one!
“There was a great mix of boats that year, including a MOD70, the Volvo 65s, Open 60, Class 40s etc. The only way to keep up with these boats and be able to shoot is from a helicopter. Just seeing a MOD70 or a VOR65 ‘sending it’ from a heli is an awesome experience.
“With budget retrains we only had a limited amount of flying time and within an hour of the start, the leading boats were already past Selsey Bill. It was with some reluctance that I gave the call to the heli pilot to start heading back, and to photograph the slower boats during our return to Cowes,” recalls RORC event photographer, Rick Tomlinson.
5 World records smashed in the 2014 SRBIR (Ratified by the World Sailing Speed Record Council):-
Around Britain and Ireland/Outright record - Musandam-Oman Sail/Sidney Gavignet - 3 days 03:32:36
Around Britain and Ireland Monohull - Azzam Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing/Ian Walker - 4 days 13:10:28
Around Britain and Ireland. All Women - SCA Team SCA/Samantha Davies - 4 days 21:00:39
Around Britain and Ireland. 60 foot - Artemis - Team Endeavour/Artemis Ocean Racing/Brian Thompson - 5 days 14:00:54
Around Britain and Ireland. 40 ft - Swish/Roderick Knowles - 8 days 19:06:49
(NB: Superseded by Imerys Clean Energy/ Phil Sharp in the 2018 race: 8 days 04:14:49)
More about Rick Tomlinson
Rick Tomlinson made his name capturing the Southern Ocean at its most treacherous from the decks of various yachts in the Whitbread Round the World Race. He started with freelance pictures published in Yachting World and Seahorse from Drum in 1985, and finished his 4 Race Whitbread career with a commission from National Geographic onboard Team EF.
Born in 1958, Rick grew up on the Isle of Man, where he established a serious interest in sailing, spending much of his time on the water racing dinghies, dreaming of one day competing in the Whitbread Race. Rick's enthusiasm for photography began whilst he was boatbuilding and sailing, particularly with his friend Nick Keig, who campaigned the Three Legs of Mann and VSD multihulls. Veteran yachting photographers Alistair Black and Christian Fevrier came to photograph the boat, inspiring Rick into the world of professional yachting photography.