AZAB day one commentary - by Jerry Freeman

Blue skies, fair winds and calm seas greeted the fifty eight boats taking the start for this the tenth edition of the Royal Cornwall’s AZAB; Azores and back race on Saturday 4th June 2011.

Guest of honour and co founder Andrew Bray, editor of both Yachting World and Yachting Monthly in the past, made a welcome return to Falmouth for the start, gazing down from the vantage point of Pendennis Castle to the fleet assembled along the start line to Black Rock he must have swelled with pride at the enduring popularity of this race that has grown to be a classic in the UK shorthanded racing calendar since that first race in 1975. 

AZAB memories

By Jerry Freeman.

I have wonderful memories of my two Azabs in Alice’s Mirror, my 30 foot water ballasted flier did her first Azab in 1983 with Chris Smith outbound solo in 8 days 23 hours and her last in 2003, returning solo in 7 days 15 hrs.
My French boy friend, Laurent Noel returned for the first leg in 2003 after our success in 1999, laden with tins of canard, saucisson and family sized deodorant. As usual we fasted for the first three days and found our sea legs in the standard SW 5 to 6. By Monday we were down to storm jib and three reefs, the crew cowered below, the log at 0320 Tuesday notes; ‘Dead slow to knackered’ 4.5kts at 275 deg. We eventually found more settled weather but progress was slow, only getting to half way by 1900 hrs on the Thursday for the celebratory curry. 

Interview with Jankees Lampe, winner of the Henry Lloyd Challenge Cup in AZAB 2007

The Henry Lloyd Challenge Cup is awarded to the yacht in any class taking the shortest aggregate elapsed time, i.e. line honours. Today i reached Jankees Lampe via email for a few questions.

AZAB with an Audio Compass

Article by Jim Moore

First published on Saturday, 01 June 1996  at reproduced with the kind permission of

It all started in Falmouth, back in 1992. I was reporting to the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club for the start of `Blind Week', an annual event organised by RYA Seamanship Foundation (now Sailability) for sailors who have a visual impairment. I was assigned to the Sun Legende 41 The Legend of Isles and when I was introduced to its owner/skipper Malcolm Eyles, little did I know what was in store for me.

1999 AZAB Race Log - Charles Allen

Click Me!
'Hakuna Matata' during the AZAB race pre-start

Article reproduced with the kind permission of Charles Allen, first published on in July 1999.

This is the narrative log of my participation in the 1999 Azores and Back Race. The race is run every four years by the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club with the active participation of Club Naval de Ponta Delgada. The course is from Falmouth in Cornwall to Ponta Delgada on the Island of Saõ Miguel in the Azores, nearly 1,200 miles. The race restarts, after a short break, for the return leg to Falmouth. Entry is limited to single-handed and two-handed crews, crew changes in Ponta Delgada are permitted.

In 1999 there were five classes: three IRC bands, a water-ballasted monohull class and the multihulls, 39 entries in total, 19 in Class 1.

I entered my Mustang 30, Hakuna Matata, in Class 1 IRC intending to complete the course single-handed in a fleet comprising mainly of two-handed crews.

The 1995 AZAB Race: by Peter R. Clutterbuck

Article reproduced with the kind permission of

THE 1995 AZAB RACE: A Record and a Dismasting
© Copyright Peter R. Clutterbuck

AZ(AB) 91 by Stewart Burness

Article reproduced with the kind permission fo the author , Stewart Burness. Originally published at

"American warship off my starboard bow, this is Yacht Excalibur"-

There was a pause while we imagined that someone was scanning the white capped ocean for a vessel larger than a 27 foot yacht. The radio burst into life "Excalibur, this is Warship 42, is that you one mile off with reefed white sails?"-"Warship 42, affirmative, that's us, could I trouble you for a weather forecast?"-"Standby sir" - we could see the Warship diving through the waves and taking a lot of green water over her bows, what must we have looked like to her?

AZAB 2003 by Gary Clements

Wrington sailor, Gary Clements, and his fellow crew member, Chris Knowlton, sailed in the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club's Azores & Back Race, winning their class overall.

This article is reproduced from the Wrington Web Archive ( with the kind permission of David Thorn.