The RYA has welcomed the creation of a new sailing series aimed at promoting and growing shorthanded offshore sailing in the UK.
The UK Double Handed Offshore Series will be a standalone series debuting this year made up of six existing races including flagship events such as the Rolex Fastnet Race and Round the Island Race.
The RORC-backed series is the brainchild of round-the-world sailor Henry Bomby, who raced in the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race and has also competed on the singlehanded Figaro circuit.
It will be open to double handed teams sailing boats with an IRC rating between 0.990 and 1.055 TCC, and has already attracted big names such as two-time Olympic gold medallist Shirley Robertson and Dee Caffari.
Henry said: “With so many great races already, the vision of the series is to cherry pick the best double handed races on offer each year into one season long series. We also hope to grow the community with regular training sessions.”
Ian Walker, RYA director of racing and winner of the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race, added: “The launch of this series is particularly timely given mixed offshore keelboat’s potential inclusion in the 2024 Olympics.”
Eight teams are currently signed up to compete in the UK Double Handed Offshore Series.