The 10th Azores and Back Race started on 4 June

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The Azores and Back race, open to singlehanded and twohanded yachts under 61 feet and organised by the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club started from Falmouth on 4 June. The course is from Falmouth to Ponta Delgada on the island of San Miguel in the Azores, and back after a re-start on 21 June. Andrew Bray reports.

The first race in 1975 was the brainchild of a ‘committee of four’, Chris Smith, Colin Drummond, Andrew ‘Spud’ Spedding and Andrew Bray. Colin Drummond and Andrew Bray, themselves previous competitors, were in Falmouth to celebrate this tenth anniversary of the AZAB, which is held at four yearly intervals.

The start saw light northeasterly winds, which came round to northwest giving the fleet, led from an early stage by Jan Kees Lampe’s Phil Morrison Open 40 La Promesse, followed closely by Pierre-Yves Chatelin’s Destination Calais, a fast start. By today, 8 June, a small low passed through the fleet bringing winds round to the south west but even so the first boats in the 58-strong fleet are expected into Ponta Delagada, at the end of this 1,200-mile leg, by the end of the week. The record for the course is under six days.

The race website, www.azab2011.co.uk, has up-to-the-minute news and weather reports, blogs and an excellent tracking service provided by Yellowbrick.