Royal Escape Master Logo 2017 with URLSail the 40th Royal Escape Race

The greatest yacht race in Sussex starts on Friday 26 May 2017

The Royal Escape is the largest offshore race on the South Coast outside of the Solent and is held annually with a mixed fleet of monohull yachts starting just off Brighton's Palace Pier, trimming sails out across the channel to Fécamp on the Normandy coast.

Facebook Tile 2017 v1It's a distance of 67 nautical miles and we pride ourselves on welcoming everybody from the fastest carbon-rich teams right through to classic yachts and those wanting to adventure across the channel, perhaps for the first time, in supportive company.

The race celebrates the escape across the channel of Charles II in 1651 aboard the coaster 'Suprise', and being a man who held a party in high regard, we think he'd enjoy the spirit of camaraderie and laughter enjoyed by all on this historic event.

The Royal Escape Race is organised by the Sussex Yacht Club from which a team of volunteers contribute energy, ideas and time to deliver you the best possible cross-channel event.

The race in 2017 will mark the 40th anniversary and we have very intention of making it a very special event. Details on how to enter will be published in due course but for now simply mark the date in your diary and make sure you have registered for our mailing list through which we publish race notices and notify our supporters of website updates.

Shoreham Departures

For those in the fleet departing Shoreham Port for the start line on Friday morning we have made arrangements with the port to get everybody out in time.

  • The main commercial Prince Phillip lock will open for loading from the canal at 07:00.
  • SYC will manage the loading to get big boats inside first and slow small boats in last.
  • Watchful may go through this lock as well.
  • SPA will close east gates of lock when all loaded and then drop (circa 6m drop so inside boats need to be aware and prepared).
  • SPA will open west gate of lock as soon as sufficient tide height (estimated 07:45).
  • Breakfast will be served at Southwick from 06:30 (Bacon Roll £2, Sausage Roll £2.50, Sausage and Bacon £3. Natalie will provide foil to wrap rolls if you wish to take them aboard to eat later).

Sailing Instructions

RER 2014 Sailing InstructionsNEW!

Sailing Instructions for the 2017 Royal Escape Race are available from the Race Documents Area. The current correct version is V2 dated 22 May 2017.

Everything boats need to know is in these SI's which should be studied and understood by all participating boats. We would strongly encourage boats to also attend the race briefing at Sussex Yacht Club on Thursday 26 May from 19:00 (BST).

Browse the Race Documents Area ››

Trophies & Retentions

bacon family trophyIf you do well enough to pick up a podium position within the fleets you'll have your name engraved on one of our historic trophies which reside under lock and key at SYC. However you do get to take home a superb heavyweight glass retention trophy, worthy of display in any home or office. 

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.

Briefing & Bus 2017

The race briefing will be held at the Sussex Yacht Club in Shoreham-by-Sea on Thursday 25 May with skippers gathering from 19:00 to sign on and collect their race packs and dodgers (these can be collected earlier by arrangement with the SYC Office). The briefing will commence around 19:00 and lasts around 30 minutes, with food available both before and after the presentation. On offer is Lasagne with Garlic Bread for £5 and you can add a bowl of lovely chips for an extra £1.

For those with boats berthed in Brighton we will again run a 78 seat doublke decker bus from Brighton Marina to the briefing at SYC and back again. For this year we are offering free bus travel for all, but itis first come first served. If you miss it you'll have to make your own way.

The bus will arrive for pick up on Thursday at 17:45 outside the Seattle Hotel in the Marina, departing at 18:00 and arriving at SYC in Shoreham around 19:00 in time to sign on before the briefing (which will start around 19.30).

The bus is then scheduled to head back to Brighton from SYC around 20:30 after the briefing.


Buy Royal Escape Gear

Treat yourself to a quality memento of the Royal Escape Race…

We have ordered up a limited number of Musto Polo Shirts sporting race and sponsor logos available for order through this website (or the Sussex Yacht Club Office if you'd prefer to do things face to face) along with battle flags.