“This is a Corinthian race – a yacht race for Corinthian sailors.”
The Single-handed Trans-Atlantic Race was conceived by Herbert “Blondie” Hasler in 1956. The whole idea of a single-handed ocean yacht race was a revolutionary concept at the time, as the idea was thought to be extremely impractical; but this was especially true given the adverse conditions of their proposed route — a westward crossing of the north Atlantic Ocean, against the prevailing winds.
Hasler sought sponsorship for a race, but by 1959, no-one had been prepared to back the race. Finally, though, The Observer newspaper provided sponsorship, and in 1960, under the management of the Royal Western Yacht Club of England, the Observer Single-handed Trans-Atlantic Race, or OSTAR, was on.
The first run of the race was a great success; since then, it has run every four years, and has become firmly established as one of the major events on the yachting calendar. The name of the event has changed several times due to changed in main sponsor; it has been known as the CSTAR, Europe 1 STAR, and the Europe 1 New Man STAR. The professional event has been run as The Transat from 2004, while the race smaller boats is run as the OSTAR. Throughout its history, however, the essentials of the race have remained the same. It has also become known as a testbed for new innovations in yacht racing; many new ideas started out in “the STAR”.
The ametur race, for Corinthian sailors, is now run as “The Original Single Handed Trans-Atlantic Race”