The 2018 Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race started from the Royal Yacht Squadron line at noon on Sunday 12th August, immediately after Lendy Cowes Week.
The 1,805 nautical mile race around Britain and Ireland was organized by the Royal Ocean Racing Club every four years and will go down in history as one of the toughest races yet in the quadrennial event.
For the 2018 race, 29 teams with close to 200 professional and Corinthian sailors started the race. Over a dozen dropped out over the course of time due to boat damage, human damage, or electronics failures. In fact, the weather forecast was so rough, the RORC reversed the route to protect the fleet from a potential battering. In layman’s terms, that meant that fast reaching/ running boats would enjoy an enormous advantage for 85% of the race.
The normal course is counter-clockwise, going around Britain first to the east, then around Ireland and back to the finish. The clockwise course meant the fleet sailed in mostly southwesterlies due to a large depression northwest of Ireland- a fast reaching port gybe from southwest Ireland to the northernmost point of the course at Muckle Flugga.
Racing in the IRC 2 Class and the IRC Doublehanded Class was the Dutch duo on Junique Raymarine Sailing Team (Chris Revelman and Pascal Bakker). For most of the race, they lay in fourth place in both IRC Double and IRC 2.
However, as the race progressed, their perseverance produced gains on their much faster offwind competitors. And, as things slowed down on the eastern shore of England, heading back down into the English Channel, they made enough gains to ultimately finish third in IRC Doublehanded, third in IRC 2 Division, and fifth IRC Overall!
Considering Revelman and Bakker were sailing a standard factory-built J/122, that is an extraordinary achievement against some of the world’s top professional sailors all in custom and semi-custom modified boats that beat them. Congratulations to Revelman and Bakker’s tremendous achievement on their J/122 Junique Raymarine Sailing Team!