2014 Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race

1,800-mile race is underway with five divisions, including five Volvo 65s that plan to compete in the Volvo Ocean Race next year.

1,800-mile Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race is underway with five divisions, including five of the Volvo 65s that plan to compete in the Volvo Ocean Race next year- Team SCA, Team Alvimedica, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Dongfeng Race Team and the Spanish-flagged team.

The race began off Cowes with the fleet sailing to the east, followed by a turn north and up into the English channel. Then, its a straight shot, leaving Great Britain to port all the way to the northern tip of the Shetland Isles, past famous Muckle Flugga island and the most northern point of Great Britain, the smaller islet of Out Stack. The fleet then returns down the western side of the UK, past Ireland and back to where the race started. The faster classes are expected to finish in about seven days, while the smaller boats could be racing for up to two weeks.

Team Alvimedica and skipper Charlie Enright had a rough passage the first day of the race heading up the eastern side of the UK. Onboard reporter Amory Ross wrote, "This is agonizing. I feel absolutely horrible. I have never felt this way on a boat before—ever. It’s a combination of wind, waves, maybe some sort of sickness and probably, most importantly, working on my computer. The sea state is really poor and focusing on my screen is proving costly."Amory Ross/Alvimedica
Sidney Gavignet's MOD 70, Musandam, was leading the fleet as of Wednesday night and rounding the southern tip of the UK off of Falmouth. To set a new outright World Record for the course, the MOD 70 needs to cross the Royal Yacht Squadron Line by 12:59:14 on Thursday, August 14th.RORC/Rick Tomlinson
Brian Thompson's IMOCA 60, Artemis - Team Endeavour, and Andrew Budgen and Fred Schwyn's Volvo 70, Monster Project, at the start on Monday August 11th. The two have been battling back and forth all race and had a particularly close first day, with Artemis-Team Endeavour taking the line and Monster Project quickly overtaking them with superior downwind speed that same day. As of Wednesday evening, Monster Project lead Artemis-Team Endeavour by approximately 55 miles. However, on corrected time the gap is much smaller.RORC/Rick Tomlinson
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race 2014
On the bow of Azzam, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing's Volvo Ocean 65 skippered by Ian Walker.Credit RORC/Paul Wyeth
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race 2014
Brian Thompson's IMOCA 60, Artemis-Team Endeavour, bears down for the start on Monday. At their current projected finish time on Wednesday evening, Artemis-Team Endeavour will break the IMOCA 60 record, set in 2010, by over 24 hours.RORC/Paul Wyeth
The Dongfeng Race Team has had a very difficult passage so far in the Round Britain and Ireland Race. On Tuesday, their headsail split, rendering it useless. Their onboard communications and media systems crashed and Team Director Bruno Dubrois wrote in an email, "the boat is full of water in the back." For the least experienced VOR team, this race is an important trial before the offshore race in 2015.Yann Riou / Dongfeng Race Team
Waves crash over the bow of Team SCA's Ocean 65. On board reporter, Corinna Halloran, wrote on the team's blog on Wednesday morning,"We’ve just rounded St. Kilda and we are sending it for the remaining 850nm (as the crow flies). There is the potential for lots of gybes down the Irish coast, so we're mentally gearing up for less than normal amount of sleep. Constantly gaining on the boats ahead which is great incentive for everyone onboard it's so much fun out here although it’s very chilly, I think I needed to pack more clothes!"Corinna Halloran/Team SCA
Team SCA and Team Alvimedica joust for the start aboard their Volvo 65s on Monday, August 11th.Ainhoa Sanchez/Volvo Ocean Race