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Welcome to Plan B - The Ramsgate Run

As political diktats designed to fight the Covid pandemic continue to severely restrict sailing activities on both sides of the channel, my hope to run the Royal Escape Race in 2021 has proven to be folorn. However, with the lockdown being eased in the UK, we have come up with a Plan B for the traditional escape weekend… Welcome to the Ramsgate Run! 

Conceived from conversations at the Sussex Combined Clubs Committee that works on the Sussex Regatta, the Royal Escape Race team at the Sussex Yacht Club have been working on this project since mid March, so apologies for the relatively short notice for this new event. The basic premise is to have a covid safe sailing event, open to mono hulled yachts, racing circa 80 miles from Brighton to Ramsgate.

Ramsgate Run Header Logo v1The ‘Ramsgate Run’ has been designed within the guidance issued by the Royal Yachting Association (RYA), which allows for overnight stays aboard. Additionally, all boats and crews must adhere strictly with current Covid regulations with crews made up according to the 'Rule of 6 or 2 households' (including the skipper/owner). 

We are prohibited from arranging any of the social events that traditionally top and tail this type of race; we are very conscious of the strict ban on gatherings outside of more than 30 people, so there won't be a grand prizegiving in Ramsgate. Boats are welcome to make their own individual arrangements for dining and drinking in Ramsgate.

We are endeavouring to keep the overheads and hence the entry fee as low as possible. The flat rate £49 entry fee pays for glass retention trophies to 3rd place in each class plus minimal admin/operational costs for the race team that will start the race with the help of BMYC and then drive to Ramsgate to manage the finish and results. Any surplus will be donated equally to the RNLI stations at Shoreham, Brighton and Eastbourne (and there's an option to make additional charitable donation when entering).

The race start on the morning on Friday 28 May 2021, which just happens to be at the top of the spring tides with low water (0.5m) at 07:13. Considering the current depths in Brighton Marina restricting access around low water, we had a decision to make; do we start before or after low water? The consensus of opinion was that getting a race start away in the dark introduced significant risks to both boats and crews, so the Ramsgate Run will start on the rising tide with the warning signal around 10:00. With the distance involved, we predict yachts will be finishing into the early hours of Saturday morning, crossing the line set from the shore off Ramsgate Royal Harbour. 

The course is as simple as it gets, with boats heading for Ramsgate simply needing to stay out of the TSS which will be out of bounds. Making the most of the tide will be every bit as important as best boat speed.

The event website at www.ramsgaterun.com has just been opened for entries and the Notice of Race is ready for download. 

Yours in Sailing

Steve Vyse
Chairman, Royal Escape Committee

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Studio Simoom Photos

Warwick Baker was out with his RIB to photograph the 2019 fleet after the race start and you can order either high resolution images for personal use or quality prints. He has published three galleries of photos on his Studio Simoom website.

Where does the money go?

Sailability Access Dinghy

Over the years I've heard bar skippers pontificating at how the Sussex Yacht Club must be making a packet from the Royal Escape Race, which is just wrong. The truth is that not a single penny collected from race entries or donated by our valued sponsors goes to SYC or benefits any of the organising team, who are all volunteers. The efforts of the SYC Office is given free and even this website has been developed at no charge.