RNLI volunteers 'are our guardians', says the Round Britain and Ireland Race director

The Royal Western Yacht Club of England has announced today that the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) will be the chosen charity for the Round Britain and Ireland Race 2014.

The two-handed event, which will start on 1 June is run every four years and first began back in 1966. The race starts and ends in Plymouth with stop overs in four ports.
Entries are now being accepted for the race, which is open to all yachts and multihulls between 30 and 50 feet in length and crewed by two people only.

Race director Alan Nichols says: ‘The course runs clockwise around all of Great Britain and Ireland with compulsory stops at Kinsale, Barra, Lerwick and Lowestoft where the hospitality is legendary.

‘It is a huge test of endurance and seamanship and definitely not for the faint hearted.

‘In fact we require entrants to complete a qualifying voyage before their final entry is accepted.’
He added: ‘The RNLI has a vital presence in Plymouth and each of the stop over ports and it seemed entirely appropriate that we should invite the charity to join us as our partner for the 2014 event.

‘Their volunteers are our guardians if you like and those of us who enjoy such racing appreciate knowing that they are on standby to help us 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

‘The RNLI also believe in prevention rather than cure and we hope our joint belief in safety at sea will be reinforced by this liaison.’

‘An RNLI lifeboat station at each port’

Guy Botterill, an RNLI community fundraising manager, said: ‘There’s the RNLI presence at each of the ports the race goes to, the obvious belief on both sides that safety at sea is paramount and the fact the RNLI will be there if anyone does get into trouble.

‘What’s more the race has in the past attracted entries from RNLI people including Pip Hare who works for our coastal safety department in Poole and Adam Littlejohn who is based in the south west and works for ourshoreworks department.’
‘I’d like to thank the Royal Western Yacht Club for this very kind invitation to be the charity partner and we look forward to a successful association before, during and after the 2014 event.’

Entries are now open for the race at http://rwyc.org/RB&I

are also sponsorship opportunities available. Interested companies are asked to contact the
Royal Western Yacht Club on 01752 660077.

Caption: Images from the Round Britain and Ireland Race in 2010.