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Six months to go to OSTAR and TWOSTAR at Royal Western Yacht Club of England

by Vianney Searle 16 Nov 15:44 GMT 10 May 2020
OSTAR and TWOSTAR Transatlantic Race set for 2020 © Paul Gibbins

With six months to go before the start of the Race at noon on Sunday 10th May 2020 preparations for the 16th edition of the OSTAR and seventh edition of the TWOSTAR are well under way.

The races are run by the Royal Western Yacht Club of England and will start in Plymouth Sound, round the Eddystone lighthouse off Plymouth's beautiful coastline and head transatlantic to a finish line off Newport Rhode Island USA. In between lie adverse currents making daily progress slow at times and adverse winds meaning much of the race is towards the wind and waves.

The 3,000 mile race's final challenge will be to navigate through the often cold and fog bound Grand Banks fishing grounds before arriving in Newport. Entrants need to have completed a minimum of 500 miles offshore sailing in the boat they intend to race before their entry is accepted. This is no 'bucket list' challenge, it requires meticulous preparation, mental focus a good sense of humor amongst many other personal qualities.

The fleet for the 2020 race comprises of a mixture of young and older sailing talent. Some are rookie transatlantic sailors like Charlene Howard from the Isle on Mann who will be attempting her first transatlantic race in her 45ft monohull A J Wanderlust, whilst at the other end of the experience scale Peter Crowther from Devon will be starting for 11th time.

The USA are represented by a number of sailors some of whom have already made the crossing to England this year and are using the race to return home next May - racing style. Additionally Ertan Beskardes a Turkish sailor now resident in England will be using this race as a 'practice run' before he embarks on the single handed Golden Globe Race that starts from France in 2022. Every sailor has many stories to tell either from past oceanic race experiences or merely making the start line for their first attempt.

Entries from Poland, a country full of experienced oceanic sailors who have always supported this event almost since its inception, continue to gather for the 2020 start in both the singlehanded OSTAR and the double-handed TWOSTAR. Two Polish sailors who individually raced in the OSTAR in the 70's are preparing one of their original boats to race together in the TWOSTAR!

Today 17 sailors and their boats have signed up to race whilst others are making their final preparations before filing their entry before the closing date in mid March 2020.

2020 will be an exciting year for Plymouth which will be commemorating 400 years since the sailing of Mayflower to America. The Royal Western's transatlantic races will be a fitting event to complement Mayflower 400 year.

Additionally the Royal Western will be celebrating its 60 years anniversary since the first ever trans oceanic yacht race set sail from Plymouth. Many past OSTAR competitors from around the globe are expected to be in Plymouth to soak up the occasion acknowledging the part they have played in not only Plymouth's maritime heritage but their contribution to global oceanic yacht racing's progress over the past 60 years.

The RWYC welcomes applicants for entry to the 2020 OSTAR / TWOSTAR. Entry Forms, the Notice Of Race and further details are available on the RWYC websites at rwyc.org/ostar and rwyc.org/twostar or by email or

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