The AZAB (Azores and Back) is a Category 1 ocean yacht race with each of the two legs being 1,170 nautical miles even if the rhumb line can be sailed! The Azores and Back Race was created in response to the desire for an ocean race which started and finished in the UK, a wish that was taken up by the RCYC’s Colin Drummond in 1975 and has been run every four years since. The race is for all comers, from experienced racers sailing high-performance boats to local cruisers in need of a challenge.
The race will leave Falmouth on the 3rd June 2023 for Ponta Delgada on São Miguel Island, one of the nine Azores Archipelago Islands that lie in the Eastern Atlantic. Following a rest, replenishing and several parties they will depart on 20th June to race back to Falmouth. The 1975 race was for single handers only. Between 1979 and 2019 both single and double handers were included. In 2023 the ‘silverware’ will remain for shorthanded entries sailing either single or double handed but a new division will be introduced for yachts with a maximum of four crew including the skipper. This ‘crewed’ division will race for glassware. The five starts will be for Multihulls, Class 1, Class 2, Class 3 and Class 4 regardless of crew numbers.
The Azorean stopover allows preparation for the challenge of the return journey but is also a great chance for crews to celebrate their achievements from leg one, socialise with fellow participants and see something of São Miguel. Several functions are put on by the RCYC and Clube Naval de Ponta Delgada, and the Pontoon Party which competitors traditionally run is always a very enjoyable event.
We are delighted that MailASail, our Title Sponsor for the 2019 event will continue the association and will be Title Sponsor for the 2023 event. MailASail, specialists in coastal and offshore communications, can assist with improving communication systems for all participants of the race, including facilitating on-board blog posts and updates, meaning that following the race is even more exciting for participants and spectators alike. This level of communication was introduced in the 2019 race and brought a whole new dimension. Blogs from several of the competitors provided unmissable reading.
Tracking will again be in place allowing those at home to follow progress and provisional race positions.
For information about the MailASail AZAB please click here www.azab.co.uk