( Photo © Barry James Wilson )

 

Author: Toby Heppell/Peta Stuart-Hunt

Four seasons in one day, a game of two halves, a bit of everything; you can pick your cliche, but the 2017 Round the Island Race in association with Cloudy Bay has certainly delivered on all levels.

Ultimately, it will be the MOD70, Concise 10 taking the lion’s share of the headlines, and rightly so as Ned Collier Wakefield steered the 70ft trimaran to a thrilling race record, shaving exactly a minute off the time set by Phaedo3 in 2016.

If the spotlight falls on Concise then the remaining accolades will surely go to Adam Gosling’s JPK10.80, Yes! which stormed round in IRC1 to take the biggest prize of the day, the coveted Gold Roman Bowl, awarded to the overall winner of the race on corrected time in IRC.

As is ever the case, the headlines struggle to do justice to a race full of stories and excitement quite literally from dawn to dusk – no mean feat just nine days post the summer solstice.

The morning dawned with little promise as a NNW wind in the high teens and some rain showers greeted the earliest starters, who were due to set off west, down the Solent and towards the Needles at 05:30.

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Photos © Barry James Wilson

At least the wind and rain helped wake the competitors up a little and perhaps wash away some of the excesses from the night before.

The early weather also conspired to give the 1342 racers a fast start, close reaching down the Solent with the tide beneath them; there were personal best times recorded to the Needles across the board.

Concise 10, the fastest boat on the water this weekend, started at 05:40 and made the Needles by 6:10 and went on to make St Catherine’s Point at around 06:50. But it was not just the multihulls romping in the conditions, the monohulls were lifting their skirts and flying too.

The first monohull to round the Needles was the Volvo70 Sanya Lan at a little after 06:30. By the time 06:50 rolled around, some 200 boats had already passed the Needles, setting their spinnakers and heading off to St. Catherine’s Point.

By the time most fleets had reached the Needles the winds had moderated, the clouds parted and the sun was shining, if intermittently at first.

The first big news of the day was the finish of Concise 10 who’d had a thrilling lap as owner Tony Lawson confirmed: “It got pretty tense for me when we did 44 knots off St Catherine’s [Point],” he said. “That is as fast as you would ever want to go I can promise you that. That is faster than Sir Ben [Ainslie in the America’s Cup] by the way…”

That will be the second boat in so many months that Giles Scott, tactician on Land Rover BAR (and sailing today on Concise) will have achieved 40+knots.

Scott was not alone in terms of sailors from the upper echelons of the sport, with some of the finest sailors the world has to offer taking up the challenge of the 50nm classic. Alongside them were families sailing for fun, first timers and everyone in between.

For a long time it looked as though Irvine Laidlaw’s Reichel-Pugh 82, Highland Fling XI would take the coveted Gold Roman Bowl after they took line honours for the monohulls. But, ultimately no-one could match the might of Yes! who managed to take victory by just shy of seven minutes on corrected time. For a day where the margins had been tight all along it was an impressive performance and it would be hard to argue there was a better team out there today.

With a fast reach to the Needles and a moderating breeze, retirements were few and far between. Though there was the odd bump here or there on the way round, it was probably a race to be remembered for the lack of incident more than anything. Tribute should be paid to the Island Sailing Club Race management team, along with the huge volume of volunteers bring the Race to fruition today.

The finish remains open until 10pm this evening and there are still plenty of back markers to be counted over the line so final results will be a little time coming but the top three in each class can no longer be beaten by any of those remaining in the race.

It is hard to sum up a day such as the Round the Island Race but, handily the spirit of the event was captured before the start gun had even fired by Cloudy Bay Brand ambassador, Ben Fogle who was out racing on the Farr 52 Bob by Cloudy Bay today.

“I love the outdoors and have spent the best part of 20 years exploring the world and exploring what we can do in it,” he said. “There is something so beautiful about the sport of sailing and working with the weather. So much of modern life is about what man is doing to destroy it and yet here we are showing the complete opposite. When you combine that with the heritage and the great social aspect, well, that is just a wonderful thing.”

Don’t forget to nominate any worthy recipients of the MS Amlin Seamanship Award direct to the Island Sailing Club. This is not restricted to sailors, but can be open to anyone who has shown exceptional seamanship or onshore assistance during the Round the Island Race.

Lastly, we are delighted that Sir Keith Mills, owner of Invictus and founding Shareholder of the Land Rover BAR America’s Cup team, will be joining us at tomorrow’s prize giving ceremony at the Island Sailing Club at midday Sunday 2 July.

Provisional results are available on the results page

Top Trophy News

IRC:

1  – Gold Roman Bowl winner – YES!

2  – Silver Roman Bowl winner – Highland Fling

3  – Royal Thames Challenge Trophy winner – Salvo

 

ISC RS:

1  – Silver Gilt Roman Bowl winner – Antilope

2  – Fidelis Trophy winner – Cherete

3  – Geisco Trophy winner – Touché

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Photos © Barry James Wilson

Author: Peta Stuart-Hunt

How best to describe the annual Round the Island Race in association with Cloudy Bay in one word, one that neatly encapsulates the passion, competition, thrills and enjoyment shared by thousands of sailors each year? It’s always EXCITING!

The Race Management team led by Rear Commodore Sailing Dave Atkinson at the Island Sailing Club in Cowes on the Isle of Wight, is making last-minute preparations to welcome 1,342 yachts to eleven individual starts first thing on Saturday morning 1st July. The first start is scheduled for 0530 and the starting sequence will be completed by 0710 as the fleet heads west from Cowes to the Needles.

Among those signed up to race are last year’s Gold Roman Bowl winner, Bernard Langley’s TP52 Gladiator with (fresh from his Land Rover BAR America’s Cup debut), David ‘Freddie’ Carr on board. The Race also welcomes back the Greig City Academy Sailing Team, the inspirational and ultra-competitive North London inner city state school entry Scaramouche.

Last year’s runner-up to the record-breaking MOD70 Phaedo^3 who took Line Honours, the distinctive blue hulls of Concise 10 is back aiming to achieve that accolade this year. The record set by Phaedo^3 was an astounding 2 hours 23 minutes and 23 seconds, smashing the Multihull race record time set by Sir Ben Ainslie in 2013 by a stunning 28 minutes!

Somewhat more sedately but equally competitive, the Cloudy Bay Brand ambassador Ben Fogle is racing with the race sponsor’s guests on board the Farr 52 Bob by Cloudy Bay, skippered by Stephen Durkin.

Racing for the FAST40+ Class continues with Round Two of the FAST40+ Race Circuit, consisting of one day of Windward Leeward racing tomorrow (Friday) followed by 11 FAST40s racing around the Island on Saturday for the FAST40+ Cloudy Bay Trophy.

Having previously raced his own boats, a Hustler 35, an SB20 and a J109, this year Rob Bellfield is skippering a Starlight 35, Sea Nymph III, to give a multi-national crew the experience of the Round the Island Race. Rob is Chairman of the GBR 420 Class Association as well as being a serving Royal Navy Captain. The boat has been chartered by the Royal College of Defence Studies YC, an international defence staff college located in Belgrave Square in London. Course members are 75% from foreign nations and are in the UK for a year to learn about strategy formulation at the national level. The crew is multi-national, with British, Norwegian, French, Israeli, Dutch and Spanish members.

The organisers are hosting their popular pre-Race press conference tomorrow (Friday) at the Island Sailing Club, followed later by the all-important Raymarine Weather Briefing at 1800hrs with meteorologist Simon Rowell. There promises to be a marquee overflowing with interesting competitors and a great line-up of stage guests including three members of the British Youth Squad, the 420 sailors Vita Heathcote and twins Milly and Charlotte Boyle, racing a chartered J/70 called Rita on Saturday.

Joining Cloudy Bay as Presenting Sponsor, the Race Partners include Helly Hansen as Official Clothing Partner, MS Amlin as Marine Insurance Partner, Raymarine as Technical Partner and Chelsea Magazines, publishers of Yachts & Yachting, Sailing Today and Classic Boat, as the Race Media Partner who are back for a second year. The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust also returns this year as the Official Race Charity and has four boats competing.

This race truly is a #raceforall. Image: Paul Wyeth/pwpictures.com

This race truly is a #raceforall. Image: Paul Wyeth/pwpictures.com

This race truly is a #raceforall. Image: Paul Wyeth/pwpictures.com

A Race Day To Remember
1459 entries / 1323 finished  /  52 retirements  /  6 OCS  /  DSQ

Saturday 1st June was certainly a day to remember, a day of highs, and more highs and, it was a day for Round the Island Race records to tumble.  It was the day when Great Britain’s most successful Olympic sailor, Sir Ben Ainslie and his all-British crew aboard J.P. Morgan BAR, trounced the existing Round the Island Race multihull record, held for 12 years, by an impressive 16 minutes.

In the monohull fleet the biggest boat in the IRC classes, Mike Slade’s 100ft ICAP Leopard was not far behind. He crossed the finish line 40 minutes after Ainslie, shaving almost ten minutes off the monohull race record he had set back in 2008.

Title sponsor J.P. Morgan Asset Management, summed up their team’s thoughts on the day. Jasper Berens, Head of UK, J.P. Morgan Assert Management, commented: “It’s so fantastic to be here and to raise such superb amounts for the Race charity, the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust. It was a vintage year in terms of weather and the racing and it was incredible to see so many happy, smiling faces in Cowes. The fact that Ben and his team on J.P. Morgan BAR achieved the Round the Island race multihull record, just topped it off. We look forward to seeing everyone again next year.”

On behalf of the Island Sailing Club, Dave Atkinson, Race Safety Officer, had little cause for concern during his long day that started at 0245 and finished at 2350. He commented: “We had the least number of incidents to deal with for a very long time and nothing major occurred out on the water. The entire Race team, that numbers around 170 people on the day and ranged from spotters to results teams, cannot be praised highly enough.”

Today, Sunday 2nd June, wrapped everything up nicely with more great weather and the Race Prize giving which was held at the Island Sailing Club where the Commodore Rod Nicholls was joined on stage by Corrie McQueen from J.P. Morgan Asset Management and Sir Robin Knox-Johnston to hand out the gold and silverware to the deserving prizewinners.

The most coveted prize, the Gold Roman Bowl and JPMAM Salver for First Overall IRC went to 5 West, the TP52 owned and helmed by Sir Keith Mills and Robert Greenhalgh.
The Silver Roman Bowl and JPMAM Salver for Second Overall IRC went to Pace and Johnny Vincent. The Observer Trophy and JPMAM Trophy for First Monohull to finish went to Mike Slade and ICAP Leopard.

Next year, the Race is held on Saturday 21st June and the Island Sailing Club, the title sponsor J.P. Morgan Asset Management and the family of Race Partners all look forward to welcoming everyone back to Cowes.

Article by Peta Stuart-Hunt the race press officer

Photos courtesy of Barry James Wilson

Cilck on Image to Enlarge

 

The first race took place in 1931 with 25 entries and it was indeed one of the smaller boats that won. The successful skipper, Peter Brett, competed in a 22 foot Cornish fishing boat Merry Conceit. He had bought it, in partnership with his friend Henry Trefusis, from the builders in Looe, for the sum of £45. (Photo by Kirk of Cowes)

It’s Friday! It’s pre-Race day!

 

The final part of the 2013 J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race Video Series, ‘Top Tips from the Experts’, has been published on the Race website with winning tactical advice from some well-known names and faces associated with this iconic annual event. Watch the latest Winners Tips video here http://rtir.me/videos

 

Weather Briefing

All Race competitors are invited to the Island Sailing Club (ISC) at 1800hrs this evening for the all-important Raymarine Weather Briefing.  Competitors are given the latest weather and tidal information live, combined with expert tactical advice from professional meteorologist and Met Office-trained Chris Tibbs. In addition, competitors can evaluate the weather prior to the Race by viewing the course overview and tidal strategy video here:http://www.raymarine.co.uk/view/?id=7418.

The Weather Briefing is replayed on the RTI Race website from 2000hrs.

 

20 years …&, we hope, still going strong

We make special mention today of Yvonne Margerison and her long-term partner Mike Flint who are racing in their 20th Round the Island Race.

The couple entered their first Round the Island Race back in 1993 in their boat Charis and we believe they have entered every year, apart from one when the mast was broken awaiting repair, and another when they sold Charis and were waiting to buy their new boat Gernee (S31) which is entered this year.

 

The couple are passionate about sailing, have been very active members at Rutland Sailing Club – Mike is a Past Commodore – plus they are both Past Commodores at the Newparks Cruising Association Club. There’s been talk of retirement from racing – let’s hope that they won’t be retiring until after tomorrow’s Race and, meanwhile, the Race organisers wish them all the very best.

 

A tribute to Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson

The J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race pre-Race Press Conference will take place at 12 noon today, hosted by the Island Sailing Club.  There is a terrific line up of guests including Dame Ellen MacArthur and Alex Thomson. There will be a short tribute to Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson whose memorial service and private funeral is also being held today. The ISC will fly the ensign at half-mast from 1150-1400hrs.

 

This is an invitation-only event but organisers have agreed to stream it live on the Race website http://rtir.me/pressconference and on Event TV throughout Cowes.

 

How to follow the Race Day action

Here are some useful links to the Official Race website to help keep spectators fully up to speed on the racing as it unfolds from 0500hrs.

 

The Blog rtir.me/liveblog

The Tracking rtir.me/livetracking

The Weather rtir.me/weather

The Latest News rtir.me/news

The Results rtir.me/results

 

The Race Facebook page will be maintained with news and the Race Twitter feed will be fully fed. For those wishing to contribute to the Twitter news as they sail around the Island, please use hashtags #RTIR and/or #raceforall to raise another £1 for the Official Charity, The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust.

 

Official Race website: