Four-yearly 2,500-mile challenge starts this Saturday

Preparations are heating up at the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club. The Falmouth venue is hosting the start of the 2011 Azores and Back Yacht Race (AZAB) on Saturday 4 June, and interested spectators can watch the fleet set sail from Pendennis Point.

This tenth running of Britains’ biggest ocean race will see the majority of the 70-plus entrants complete the outward leg, to Clube Naval in Ponta Delgada, in 7-10 days. A week’s turnaround then sees them start back for home.

In celebration of this summer’s 40-year anniversary of the Contessa 32, three of these classic cruisers are competing in the AZAB – one of which, Carolina (skippered by Richard Clark), was originally owned by Winston Churchill.

The race can be followed on