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.
Ian ‘Soapy’ Moore hails from Northern Ireland but has lived in Cowes, Isle of Wight for many years. As a navigator, Ian has a highly impressive record with big event wins literally running off the page: Volvo Ocean Race, Transatlantic Race, Rolex Sydney Hobart, Newport Bermuda Race, RORC Caribbean 600, Transpac, Rolex Middle Sea Race, Rolex Giraglia, HK Vietnam Race, and Round Ireland.
One big overall win has eluded Ian Moore - in nine attempts at the Rolex Fastnet Race Moore’s team has made the podium twice but failed to win the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s flagship race. Ian is fascinated by the Rolex Fastnet Race and is a leading expert on offshore racing tactics and strategy. He analyses the new route, giving expert advice on the nuances of the famous offshore classic scheduled to start on August 8th, 2021.
The live interview with Louay Habib will include stories, pictures and the 2021 Rolex Fastnet course. RORC Facebook page Friday 15th May 1700hrs or the Time Over Distance feed on the club website.
West Cork is a family holiday destination and a trip out to the Fastnet – weather permitting – is a regular adventure at least several times a year. It’s about 15 nautical miles from Baltimore, depending on which route is taken, that usually takes in a visit to Cape Clear where there is a memorial to the ’79 Fastnet Race. I picked this image of Matt Brooks’ S&S 52' Yawl Dorade in the Rolex Fastnet Race for many reasons; the classic yacht in a classic offshore race, not in champagne sailing conditions but on a grey skies day that adds to the allure. Like sailing, marine photography means accepting the conditions even if secretly wishing for clear blue skies and brilliant sunshine.
About David Branigan
“I got my break photographing the Whitbread Round the World Race in 1989 following the NCB Ireland campaign. Another five races followed, plus Olympic Games, Admiral’s and Commodores’ Cups, Round Ireland races, Cork Weeks and championship events at home and abroad. Photography led to writing for three national newspapers as well as radio and video work plus, most recently qualifying as a drone pilot and operator. Covering the Rolex Fastnet Race in West Cork for the national media and individual boats is a personal favourite. It’s a magical part of the world both for scenery and shoreside hospitality.”
Time Over Distance Volume 6: Dee Caffari - Dare, Dream, Discover
Dee Caffari has sailed around the world six times. She is the first woman to have sailed single-handed and non-stop around the world in both directions and the only woman to have sailed non-stop around the world a total of three times. Dee was awarded an MBE in recognition of her achievements.
The live interview with Louay Habib will include stories, pictures and videos of Dee's amazing voyages, and news about her plans for the future.
Arthur Daniel, from the Caribbean island of Grenada, has worked as part of the RORC media team for the past six years. His work captures the beauty of his native country and the triumph of competitors as they complete the longest race in the RORC racing calendar.
The 3,000nm annual battle across the Atlantic for the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy started in 2014. He has also shot some memorable shots, working with the RORC team in Antigua for the start and finish of what has now become one of the world’s great 600nm offshore races – the RORC Caribbean 600.
His images have graced the pages of several yachting magazines and online publications around the world including the above photo of the VO70 Wizard charging from Barbuda to Redonda in the RORC Caribbean 600. It was a rare moment to capture a sail change as we were flying low and backward - the helicopter pilot was outstanding!
“When I got into photography about 9 years ago, I wanted to try different types of camerawork and to challenge myself. Getting into sailing photography I started with our local Workboat Regatta and Grenada Sailing Week - It feels natural. Since I love adventure, a challenge, and capturing beautiful things, sailing is one of my favourite types of photography. I enjoy bringing landscape, sports and photojournalism photography into sailing.”
Lights-Camera-Carlo, Passion and Art in Sailing - Carlo Borlenghi
Carlo Borlenghi was born in 1956 in Bellano on Lake Como, Italy where he still lives today. Carlo started his photographic career following local regattas and since then has become a world-famous photographer working for Rolex nautical events, the America’s Cup and much more. His award-winning photography has been at the heart of the Rolex Fastnet Race for generations. Join Carlo for a voyage through some of his amazing pictures, detailing the techniques used and also the story behind the scenes.
RORC Time Over Distance Volume 5: Lights-Camera-Carlo, Passion and Art in Sailing - Carlo Borlenghi -
With a BA Hons Degree in Sculpture & Photography in her back pocket, Ingrid Abery cut her marine photographic teeth tracking the renowned 18ft skiff fleet powering down Sydney Harbour in a 26 knot Nor’easter from a helicopter. Shifting from 3D to painting with light and form ‘in-camera’, her blank canvas these days is a large expanse of water and a set of race marks. With each wind shift, tack, gybe and close mark rounding she endeavours to frame compelling images to illustrate, inspire and move her audience. Equally at home working from a helicopter as on a white-knuckle RIB ride, a drone has more recently been added to her inventory.
Being at the sharp end of numerous RORC races as a fleet cross-tacks towards a dramatic weather mark rounding keeps Ingrid Abery’s heart beating as a photographer. This selection depicts a smorgasbord of races from the Rolex Fastnet Race, IRC Championship to the Rolex Middle Sea Race.
IRC National Championships
IRC Championship fleet sailing through a building storm
“A feisty Solent welcomed day two of the IRC Championship. Breakages had caused several boats to limp home early. With 30+ knots and building, the fleet catapulted off the start line of race two. For me this fleet start image epitomises the Solent on a good day. Complex weather and tidal systems generating a highly charged platform for our race-hungry sailors.”
As well as the RORC racing calendar, Two Olympic Games, America’s Cups, Grand Prix, Superyacht, Classic and World Championship circuits have been documented through her lenses. This high-octane environment has served her well as event photographer for a diversity of international regattas and assignments over the past 20 years.
More about Ingrid:
A member of the Royal Photographic Society, Sports Journalists’ Association and Yachting Journalists’ Association, Ingrid’s work has been exhibited across continents. Meanwhile, as the yachting circuit waits to re-engage gear, Ingrid is showing a virtual weekly Exhibition offering Limited Edition prints and occasional deals. The photos can be enjoyed online at : www.ingridabery.com and on Instagram: studio_abery
Whitbread Racer, Antarctic Explorer & Real Life Legend - Skip Novak
Born in Chicago in 1952, Skip Novak is best known for his participation in four Whitbread Round the World Yacht Races, including three as skipper with Alaska Eagle, Drum and Fazisi. Simon Le Bon’s Drum famously capsized in the 1985 Fastnet Race but went on to compete in the Whitbread Round the World Race, finishing third. In 1989 Skip Novak project-managed the build of the first Soviet entry in the Whitbread Race - as the Iron Curtain was coming down, Novak skippered Fazisi in the round the world race. Wishing to combine his mountaineering skills with sailing, Novak built his first expedition yacht Pelagic in 1987 and has since spent every season in Antarctic waters.
RORC Time Over Distance Volume 4: Skip Novak - Whitbread Racer and Antarctic Explorer - Friday 24 April 1700 BST: Live interactive interview with Skip Novak check the RORC Facebook page from 1700hrs or the Time Over Distance feed on the on the club website.
The RORC Caribbean 600 celebrated its 12th edition back in February and since the first race in 2009, yachting photographer Tim Wright has captured the spirt and essence of the race as yachts compete around the 600nm course.
“One of the challenges of photographing the RORC Caribbean 600 is how to cover the fleet effectively on a sensible budget. In 2016 I had the idea of following the race on my own (very modest) 43 foot ketch Seascape, instead of chasing them in a fast powerboat and/or helicopter. This involved stops at Barbuda, St. Barths and, finally, Redonda. The latter required anchoring on a narrow strip of black sand at the foot of a 300 metre cliff, but once settled in, I was able to go out in the dinghy and shoot passing race boats with Redonda majestically in the background. This shot of Jethou stands out to me because all the elements aligned - a boat sailing on the limit, spectacular wave action, perfect light and dramatic background.”
About Tim Wright In 1993 Tim Wright was living on his 34 ft sailing boat in the Caribbean and started to photograph yachts as a means of survival. Today he still spends much of the year afloat in the Caribbean where he is now considered the leading practitioner of marine photography in the region. He now splits his time between the Caribbean and regattas in the UK and the Mediterranean.
Many sailors will instantly recognize his unique style. Where other photographers shoot from larger boats, Tim works from a tiny 12 foot inflatable which serves double duty as his yacht tender. This gives him incredible manoeuvrability, allowing him to get frighteningly close to the action.
Time Over Distance Volume 3 – Keelboat Masterclass with Andrew ‘Dog’ Palfrey
Two-time Etchells World Champion, 5.5 Metre World Champion and Olympic sailor - Andrew Palfrey delivers a keelboat masterclass. Andrew has coached World Championship winning teams in the Farr40, Farr30, RC44, Etchells and Star class. In recent years Palfrey has coached a wide variety of teams from Maxis to Quarter Tonners.
For the RORC Time Over Distance Series Andrew will present a live hour-long interactive show covering planning, goal setting, teamwork and equipment. The presentation will also cover increasing performance through speed, starts, and also upwind and downwind techniques.
Time Over Distance Volume 3 - Friday 17th April 1700hrs (BST): Live interactive interview with 'Dog' Palfrey check the RORC Facebook page from 1700hrs or the Time Over Distance feed on the on the club website.
The RORC was founded in 1925 to encourage long distance yacht racing and the design, building and navigation of sailing vessels in which speed and seaworthiness are combined. Today the club encourages ocean, long distance and other forms of yacht racing and yachting activity.