Raymarine announces specialist product support for OSTAR skippers


The skippers competing in this year’s Original Single Handed Trans-Atlantic Race (OSTAR) will be relying heavily on support from navigational equipment, electronic charts, weather and routing software, as well as instruments, communications and autopilots to help them get safely across the challenging 3,000 nautical mile race. To ensure they get the best from their systems on board Raymarine, world leaders in marine electronics, has announced it is to provide exclusive product support in Plymouth in the week prior to the race start on 25 May.

Raymarine’s top engineers and product specialists will be working alongside teams from local Raymarine dealer Waypoint 1 to support in-warranty Raymarine electronics, communication, safety and autopilot equipment for the competitors. Waypoint 1 will also be offering a 15% discount on its labour rate for any competitors requiring work to be carried out on non-warrantied systems. To help with planning, Waypoint 1 requests that competitors contact them in advance to book in work.

Bob Sims, who is heading up Raymarine’s race support for the OSTAR, says; “At events such as this, it’s important to have product support on-hand for the skippers taking part. Issues come to light during the delivery voyage, or sometimes the skipper is coping with an unfamiliar new product installation – we can help them get the best from the equipment and show them to how to avoid potential problems under way. It has been known for difficulties to arise due to insufficient power available on board or faulty wiring, and if that puts out the autopilot or instruments during the race, then the skipper may have to retire. By providing a week of fully equipped and specialist service, we can help the skippers be as prepared as they can be for this gruelling endurance race.”

44 competitors have entered the race so far, which is billed as the world’s oldest solo ocean challenge. This year though sees two of the youngest skippers taking part, with Oscar Mead, 18, the youngest competitor ever, and Katie Miller becoming the youngest female entrant.
Katie Miller says: “I am very excited about competing in the OSTAR. It is THE transatlantic race… testing your sailing ability, courage and, most importantly, your determination to finish. It is the perfect competition to test myself and will provide a very important stepping stone in my sailing career. It is a huge honour to be sailing in the wake of so many sailing greats.”
The Original Single Handed Trans-Atlantic Race (OSTAR) is the world’s oldest solo ocean challenge, dating back to 1960. Founded by ‘cockleshell hero’ Blondie Hasler and first won by world circumnavigator Sir Francis Chichester, the race has upheld its Corinthian roots, providing aspiring professionals and amateur sailors with the ultimate challenge.
Some of the world’s greatest sailors have taken part since, including; Eric Tabarly, Pete Goss, Loick Peyron, Françis Joyon, Mike Golding, Michael Desjoyeaux and Ellen MacArthur. The race starts 25 May 2009 from Plymouth, with the finish line at Newport, Rhode Island, USA.