Inaugural Round Iceland Yacht Race coming in 2023

It is with great excitement that the Royal Western Yacht Club announce a new race to its four-year cycle of ocean racing events.

The Round Iceland Yacht Race (RIR) – first edition – will start on Sunday 14 May 2023 from Plymouth Sound National Marine Park. The course, quite simply, is to leave the Eddystone Lighthouse to starboard, Iceland to starboard and finish on the Royal Western Yacht Club line.

This Category 1 race will be open to solo, double handed and fully crewed yachts. Classes will be open to multi and monohulls from 27ft to 65ft. IRC, MOCRA and non-rated yachts may enter, along with Open60s pre 2014 and Open40s, that will be offered their own class subject to entry numbers.

The Royal Western Yacht Club is very pleased to confirm that, as partner to the Global Solo Challenge (GSC), the race will act as qualifying miles for the 2023-24 GSC event.

The race route.
The race route.

Royal Western Yacht Club Rear Commodore Oceanic, Adrian Gray, said “We are really excited to offer the RIR. The concept came from recent COVID contingency plans and wanting to offer a challenge equal to that of the Original Single-handed Transatlantic Race OSTAR but starting and finishing in Plymouth. Fortunately, COVID has reduced sufficiently for us to run the OSTAR in two weeks, but the intrigue and appeal we have seen for this race has encouraged us to offer it as part of our four-year cycle moving forwards.

“We are also very pleased to announce the race as a GSC mile builder, particularly as its founder, Marco Nannini, has such a strong history with the RWYC. We hope that the race will feature a number of entrants to the GSC as it is a great comparison to the challenge, they will be taking on later in the year. Whether you are into oceanic racing or simply wanting to experience something unique with the safety factor our races provide and in the company of others, this has to be a future bucket list race!”

Founder of the Global Solo Challenge, Marco Nannini said, “Although we do not require that GSC competitors qualify in a race, we do encourage it. Preparing and planning for an event such as the newly launched Round Iceland Race provides an excellent framework whereby skippers will have a precise goal and will have to face whatever weather comes their way. Sailing as far north as Iceland will also give them a taste of sailing in cold and damp conditions. We are very pleased about our partnership with the RWYC and with the creation of this race which can become a new classic.”

More news along with the Notice of Race can be found on the club website:

Keep in touch on the race’s Facebook page:

For further information or to enter please contact       

Jeanneau JY60
M.O.S.S Australia
NAV at Home
JPK 11.80 July 2024
Jeanneau JY55
NAV at Home
West Systems