Round Britain Race Boat Launch

Boat Launch

Boat Launch

WPNSA to Host Boat Blessing for the new Round Britain and Ireland Challenge

The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) will host a boat blessing for the new Round Britain and Ireland Challenge fleet this coming Monday, February 21st from 14:00 onwards.  The Academy has formed a partnership with this brand new yacht race which provides opportunities for people to race around Great Britain and Ireland or join for a single leg.  The race will run three times a year, starting and finishing at the Academy, which will also be the base for training.

The ‘blessing of the fleet’ is a seafaring tradition which began centuries ago in Mediterranean fishing communities to ensure a safe and bountiful season, in fact the first record of this marine ceremony dates as far back as 325 AD in Portugal.  The blessing is still used today, quoting Bible verses, to ask for safety of mariners, good harvests from the sea, clean waters as well as good will and peace amongst people of the world. 

The Bishop of Sherborne will be welcomed on site to initiate the ceremony by blessing the Round Britain and Ireland fleet which comprises one design Dehler Varianta 44s.  This design is deal for tough seas that competitors will face during the 2,500 mile circumnavigation.  The race boats will be put through an estimated 28 day race covering 10 different stopovers.

Charlie Walker, Managing Director, Round Britain and Ireland Challenge, is looking forward to getting his fleet afloat for training at the 2012 sailing venue, ‘it is super to have the race boats now with us on site at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, our first weekend of training for the Spring Race starts this month so we are on track to meet our first start date of March 27th.  As well as delivery of the fleet we have recently confirmed a great sponsorship deal with Mountain House Freeze Dried Food’.

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