( 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

Round the Island race 2016 (Photo by Barry James WIlson)

Round the Island race 2016 (Photo by Barry James WIlson)

 

Author: Peta Stuart-Hunt   Date: 15:45 Sunday 3 Jul 2016

In a fast-paced and action-packed day that started at a later than usual 0830 with the firing of the first gun by HRH Prince Michael of Kent GCVO, Sir Keith Mills’ FAST 40+ Invictus missed winning the coveted Gold Roman Bowl for the first IRC yacht on corrected time, having to settle for second place. His crew included Invictus Games competitor Zoe Williams, as well as Prince Harry, following a long-standing invitation to compete in the Race this year.

The main prize instead went to Bernard Langley’s TP52 Gladiator, which powered around the course to become the second monohull to finish, crossing the line less than four and a half hours after the start.

Gladiator - the victors! Winners of the prestigious Gold Roman Bowl. Image: Patrick Eden.

Gladiator – the victors! Winners of the prestigious Gold Roman Bowl. Image: Patrick Eden.

Record Smashers!

The biggest news, however, was reserved for Lloyd Thornburg’s giant MOD70 trimaran Phaedo^3, which tore round the course in two hours 23 minutes and 23 seconds. In doing so he smashed the record time Sir Ben Ainslie set in 2013 by a stunning 28 minutes.

Despite the unusually testing conditions, only a small percentage of the fleet retired from the race, with the overwhelming majority of competitors – some of whom saw gusts to almost 40 knots – successfully completing the course. By 2100 there were only a handful of the back markers left on the final few miles of the race course. The only prize that was still open before the finish deadline of 2230 was the Tenacity Trophy for last boat to cross the line within the time limit!

All that record-breaking excitement on the water ensured that today’s Prizegiving at the Island Sailing Club – the last to be held with a J.P. Morgan Asset Management backdrop – attracted a huge audience for the hour-long presentation of Gold and Silverware. In the welcome and introduction to the Prizegiving by Vice Commodore Peter Bingham and Race PRO Mike Peskett, generous tributes were paid to numerous ISC teams, many comprised of the 100 or so volunteers that work so hard for the sheer love of the Race, every year.

” It ‘s been more of a challenge this year than we have had in recent years. The heavy weather forced us into making some pretty major decisions in cancelling some classes but we feel that with safety always being paramount, we were entirely justified in doing what we did. There are a few sad faces but many more happy ones. We act as we do with the information that we have and at the end of the day I think it has been an incredibly successful weekend. “

 

Winners

Lloyd Thornburg (centre) and his co-helm Brian Thompson (left) are pictured with Rear Commodore Peter Bingham and their fantastic collection of trophies after their stunning & record-breaking Race on Phaedo^3. Image: Patrick Eden.

 

Supported by the ISC’s Flag Officers and today’s VIP guest, the record-breaking yachtsman Brian Thompson (and co-helm of Phaedo^3!), Sailing Secretary Chris Thomas got the Prizegiving off to a flying start and kept a rattling pace going throughout.

When asked for his take on this 80th Race in its 85th Anniversary year, ISC Sailing Flag and head of the ISC Race Management team, Dave Atkinson, said:

It‘s been more of a challenge this year than we have had in recent years. The heavy weather forced us into making some pretty major decisions in cancelling some classes but we feel that with safety always being paramount, we were entirely justified in doing what we did. There are a few sad faces but many more happy ones. We act as we do with the information that we have and at the end of the day I think it has been an incredibly successful weekend.

Major trophy winners included:

OBSERVER TROPHY & JPMAM TROPHY – First Monohull to finish
            GBR1R            LEOPARD            Mike Slade
GOLD ROMAN BOWL & JPMAM SALVER – First Overall IRC
            GBR11152      GLADIATOR        Bernard Langley
SILVER ROMAN BOWL & JPMAM SALVER – Second Overall IRC
            GBR1851X       INVICTUS           Sir Keith Mills
ROYAL THAMES CHALLENGE TROPHY & JPMAM SALVER – Third O/A IRC
            GBR1682R       TOKOLOSHE II    Michael Bartholomew
ROYAL LONDON CHALLENGE CUP & JPMAM SALVER  – Fourth O/A IRC
            GBR4863R        YES!                    Adam Gosling
JPMORGAN TROPHY – First Overall IRC Group 0
            GBR11152          GLADIATOR      Bernard Langley
OWEN PARKER MEMORIAL TROPHY – First Overall IRC Group 1
            GBR4863R            YES!                 Adam Gosling
RAYMARINE RIR YOUNG SAILOR TROPHY
            GBR3277L            WAVE WHISPERER            Richard Barnes
TENACITY TROPHY – Last boat to finish within the time limit

SEASCAPE (John Hulford-Funnell)

All the Results and Trophy Winners are online on the Race website: at rtir.me/results

 

Next year’s Race takes place on Saturday 1st July.

Photo Gallery by Barry James Wilson

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Round the Island race 2016 (Photo by Barry James WIlson)

Round the Island race 2016 (Photo by Barry James WIlson)

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J.P.Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race (Photo by Barry James Wilson)

J.P.Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race (Photo by Barry James Wilson)

Article by PETA Stuart-Hunt.
Photos by Barry James Wilson

The longest day of the summer came close to delivering the longest J.P.Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race ever as winds ranging from zero knots to painfully light tested the patience of crews with high performance catamaran Team Richard Mille emerging as line honours winner with a time of almost nine hours.

J.P.Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race (Photo by Barry James Wilson)

J.P.Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race (Photo by Barry James Wilson)

Most of the 1,585 entries started the race around the Isle of Wight in around 3 knots and bright sunshine and as the hours went by, temperatures rose but wind speed dropped leaving hundreds of boats becalmed and a large proportion of the 16,000 crew desperately seeking ways of making their boats go faster or resorting to stretching out on deck to enjoy the sunny conditions.

J.P.Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race (Photo by Barry James Wilson)

Ellen Macarthur at J.P.Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race (Photo by Barry James Wilson)

First to the Needles was Jamie McGarry and Colin Moore’s Swan 45 Eala of Rhu but the going was slow and Sir Ben Ainslie, racing on the Farr 45 Rebel with members of his BAR America’s Cup crew, took longer to complete the first 13 miles than the record-breaking 2hrs 52mins 15secs he took to finish the entire race last year.

Photo by Barry James Wilson

Photo by Barry James Wilson

Rebel very quickly became involved in a match race with rival Farr 45 Toe in the Water crewed by injured servicemen and women who had served recently in Afghanistan and the lead swapped several times over the 50 nms course though it was Capt Lloyd Hamilton’s ecstatic crew who nudged across the finish line ahead of Ainslie and his team of professionals.

“This means everything to us,” he said recording a time of 8 hrs 51 mins 39 secs.

“Beating Ben Ainslie is better than beating the Taliban for these guys.

“He left us shortly after St Catherine’s Point and flew away but we kept on trying and it is apt when you look at who we have on board because it proves you should never give up.

“The guys are ecstatic at beating Rebel. They don’t know many of the America’s Cup sailors but they know and love Sir Ben Ainslie, so are thrilled.”

Photo by Barry James Wilson

Photo by Barry James Wilson

Another big battle to ensue on the water was between the brand new high-performance catamarans, the GC32s Team Richard Mille and Spax Solution making their racing debuts in the Solent. Former line honours winner Pete Cumming had gathered together a professional crew for Team Richard Mille, including helmsman Paul Campbell-James and proved consistently faster than their rivals.

They took five long hours to reach St Catherine’s Point where the sea breeze kicked in to give the leading boats a big push over the next two hours towards the finish but just as they were within sight of the line, the wind in Stokes Bay died and their final flourish was delayed by a further hour to record a finish time of 8 hours and 51 mins.

“We have had a great week and to round it off with a line honours win in the 2014 J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race is a fantastic achievement especially in these conditions,” said Cumming who put the project together.

“It wasn’t the easiest race but these boats are superb – very fast even in light airs and fun to sail. We want to thank our sponsors for giving us this opportunity and look forward to working together in the future.”

First monohull across the finish line was Dutch boat Tonnerre de Breskens, with a time of 9 hrs 56 mins 13 secs but they too had a battle royale to gain an advantage over Mike Bartholomew’s Tokoloshe II, which trailed in just 22 seconds later after one of the biggest tests of endurance and patience since the Round the Island Race started in 1931.

A battle royale ensued for Tonnerre de Breskens to gain the advantage over Tokoloshe II to take the monohull win.

Twelve hours after the first start, 246 boats had finished and a further 445 had retired but the rest were still out on the course valiantly trying to make the finish before the cut off time of 10.00pm when the overall race winner and new holder of the Gold Roman Bowl was set to become clear.

 

J.P.Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race (Photo by Barry James Wilson)

J.P.Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race (Photo by Barry James Wilson)

J.P.Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race (Photo by Barry James Wilson)

J.P.Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race (Photo by Barry James Wilson)

J.P.Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race (Photo by Barry James Wilson)

J.P.Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race (Photo by Barry James Wilson)

J.P.Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race (Photo by Barry James Wilson)

J.P.Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race (Photo by Barry James Wilson)

J.P.Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race (Photo by Barry James Wilson)

J.P.Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race (Photo by Barry James Wilson)

J.P.Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race (Photo by Barry James Wilson)

J.P.Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race (Photo by Barry James Wilson)

J.P.Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race (Photo by Barry James Wilson)

J.P.Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race (Photo by Barry James Wilson)

J.P.Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race (Photo by Barry James Wilson)

J.P.Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race (Photo by Barry James Wilson)

J.P.Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race (Photo by Barry James Wilson)

J.P.Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race (Photo by Barry James Wilson)

J.P.Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race (Photo by Barry James Wilson)

J.P.Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race (Photo by Barry James Wilson)

J.P.Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race (Photo by Barry James Wilson)

J.P.Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race (Photo by Barry James Wilson)

J.P.Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race (Photo by Barry James Wilson)

J.P.Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race (Photo by Barry James Wilson)

IJ.P.Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race (Photo by Barry James Wilson)

J.P.Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race (Photo by Barry James Wilson)