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Entries now open for West Lancashire Yacht Club's Virtual 24 Hour eRace

by Mike Pickering 10 Jul 09:00 BST 19-20 September 2020
West Lancashire Yacht Club's Virtual 24 Hour eRace © WLYC

Today West Lancashire Yacht Club (WLYC) opened entries to their unique eSailing endurance event, WLYC 24 Hour eRace. This virtual event temporarily takes the place of the on-the-water WLYC 24hr Hour Race which has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 54th on-the-water edition of the West Lancs 24hr Hour Race had been scheduled to take place on 19th & 20th September 2020; the same weekend, WLYC will now host the eRace utilising on the Virtual Regatta Inshore platform.

West Lancashire Yacht Club is inviting other clubs and associations to enter teams into this unique eSailing endurance event. Just like the on-the-water WLYC 24 Hour Race, teams representing clubs or associations will battle it out over 24 hours to compete for not only the overall race winner title, but also an array of other awards and special races.

The format of racing will however differ from the traditional setting. To work within the limitations of Virtual Regatta Inshore, and to give the best chance of fair competition, racing will take place in the form of 72 short races sailed by all teams over the course of 24 hours. With selected races, highlights and social aspects of the event being live streamed on the internet, the race will also retain a high level of spectator appeal, for which the on-the-water event has been become famous for.

Rob Pickering, WLYC Rear Commodore and Head of 24hr Hour Race Committee said, "Virtual Regatta Inshore is a successful, proven package that has the support of both World Sailing and the RYA. Indeed, many UK clubs have used this eRacing platform during lockdown for: regular Club eRaces, inter Club Team eRacing events, plus regional and national RYA championships. While Virtual Regatta Inshore cannot simulate Southport's Marine Lake, we shall take competing Clubs on a tour of some of the world's iconic sailing venues; we'll also give the helms the opportunity to eSail a selection of challenging boats."

Rob added, "54 years ago, when the inaugural 24hr Race was sailed on the Southport's Marine Lake, it was an innovative event. Over the years we have adapted the race to fit an ever-changing sailing landscape. This virtual event is the latest evolution of a legendary event which we hope will continue not only post COVID but long into the future. While this is a temporary step away from the race's traditional format, we are excited about the prospect of hosting a virtual event like no other."

Race entry is £24 per club / association team, and although there is no limit to the number of sailors in each team, entries are limited to 100 teams. Finally, we'd like to thank our event sponsors, Marine Supplies Direct and Kraken Travel without whom running this event would not have been possible.

About the 24 Hour Race

The 24 Hour Race is the premiere opportunity for Sailing Club teams to compete for serious trophies (and status), whilst also enjoying the unique hospitality provided by one of the best social events in the dinghy racing calendar so make sure you join us for the Friday night!

The race is sailed on the relatively safe waters of the Marine Lake at Southport, and racing is continuous for 24 Hours even in extreme weather conditions. Entries are accepted from Sailing Clubs, Class Associations and Universities throughout the UK, with past visits from Eire, France and even the USA. Crew, equipment and sail changes are permitted during the race (but, only in a specially designated docking area).

The 24 Hour Race, now in its 54th year, is sailed in classic dinghies (Enterprise, GP14, Lark and Firefly); and has opportunities for Masters, Ladies and University teams to compete for special prizes, whilst also being on equal terms with all other teams.

About West Lancashire Yacht Club

Located on the Marine Lake at Southport, UK, the club provides safe dinghy sailing waters for sailors of all abilities. Established in 1894, they are a family orientated Club and with a variety of offshore and dinghy sailing and social activities throughout the year.

The Club is proud to be recognised as a Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Training Establishment providing sail training support for our Adult and Youth members. They offer a 'learn to sail' course for the complete beginner and skills development courses for more experienced sailors.

For more information please visit wlyc.org.uk/24-hour-rac.uk

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