DORSET sailors are about to embark on the challenge of a lifetime, racing in the tough 1,800-mile Seven Star Round Britain and Ireland Race.

The entries include an amazing variety of yachts, ranging from a mere 34ft to 70ft.

Michael Groves (Poole) and Michael Chamberlin (Wareham) will both race on the Royal Armoured Corps J109, Ruag White Knight Seven.

Alexander Wright (Wareham) will race on the fast Volvo 70, Monster Project.

Setting off from Cowes on Sunday, a fleet of 28 boats from 12 different countries and crews from many more, will see some of the world’s fastest yachts and professional sailors compete on the same race course as seasoned amateurs.

The record for this race is just over five days and depending on the weather, could take up to two weeks as the sailors race around all of Britain and Ireland in a clockwise direction.

There will be spectacular scenery as well as highly com-petitive racing as they race past some of the most memorable landmarks, such as Muc- kle Flugga, the most northerly point on the course.

The coastline is notorious for highly changeable weather and wicked tides and currents, which puts the race among the most difficult to complete.

The race is easy to follow as all yachts will be fitted with a tracker, which can be viewed on the race website and ‘armchair’ sailors can also sign up to the virtual race.

Blogs, images and video from the boats will help everyone share this fascinating experience.

Visit roundbritainandireland.