Round the Island Race - Record holders return to defend titles

SuperMaxi 30 Team ICAP Leopard, helmed by Mike Slade during the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race
The J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race gets underway in the Isle of Wight on Saturday 30th June 2012. Organisers, The Island Sailing Club, welcomes back the Race monohull and multihull record holders this year, both of whom are returning to defend their titles.

Alongside the terrific news that ICAP Leopard's owner Mike Slade is returning to defend the monohull record set in this stunning Farr 100 sloop at a time of 3 hrs 53 mins 05 secs in 2008, comes the equally exciting confirmation that Francis Joyon is racing his bright red Maxi Multihull IDEC with a determination to beat, and at the very least retain, his multihull record of 3 hrs 08 mins 29 secs set in 2001. You can follow their progress via the home page of the Race website.

Robert Veale is racing his beautiful 1958 Bermudan sloop Danegeld in the Classic Yacht class. She has an interesting provenance which you can read about here.

Just to whet the appetite, in 1960, members of the Island Sailing Club each paid £1 to freight Danegeld from the Royal Docks in London to Bermuda aboard the Royal Mail freighter Ebro together with RNSA yacht Belmore to take part in the Bermuda Race. After five days of heavy winds and rough seas Danegeld, the smallest boat in the race, finished as second foreign boat on corrected time. Danegeld then sailed in the Transatlantic race to Marstrand in Sweden with Belmore. Both races were recorded by Belmore’s skipper Errol Bruce in his book: 'When the Crew Matter Most' while Danegeld crewman Mike Henderson made an 8mm film of the Atlantic crossing which is occasionally aired at the Island Sailing Club.

Peter Bainbridge from Romsey, Hampshire is 70 years young and first entered the Race in 1965, completing it 20 times, including winning the Gold Roman Bowl in 1991 on his Folkboat Periwinkle. This year he's competing on Sky Hunter II, a cruising J/122.

Max Crowe from Lymington, Hampshire will helm Redeye, a 21ft Dehler Sprinter Sport. Max has proven himself to be a competent sailor from a very young age and has risen through the ranks of the RYA National Junior Squad and the Cadet World Team in 2010. He will be accompanied by 14 year crew Alex Philpott and 40 year old David Jarrett, who might just be feeling his age with these nimble young things taking control!

One feature of the entries into the Round the Island Race that has stood out especially clearly this year is the high volume of family crews racing and, in particular, the numerous father and son combinations. At a glance, the entries reveal at least 30 crews comprising fathers and their sons and many more featuring families racing for the JPMAM Family Trophy.

It's a well-known fact that Britain's favourite yacht race attracts sailing enthusiasts of all ages and from all walks of life; it's the very nature of the immense variety of boats and people that make this Race so very special.

The 36-year old Prospero, a Prospect 900, was inherited by 39-year old twins Charlie and Richard Divall when their father passed away four years ago. They have raced on her since they were six years old in Wales. This is the first time the pair have entered the Round the Island Race and Charlie says that their father would be extremely proud that she (and they) are competing.

Each year a panel of judges awards the Nautica Outstanding Seamanship Award for an act of extraordinary seamanship taking place on the day of the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race. The Award is made to the person who has been nominated and whom the selection panel agrees has shown an act of seamanship as part of the Race. This can be for anything and anybody involved in the Race, not just the competitors. If anyone sees, or is involved in, anything resulting in somebody giving or doing something significant then you can nominate them for the Award. Just email your nomination to the Island Sailing Club following the Race and it will be put before the panel for consideration.

The Race Village, situated in Cowes Yacht Haven, will be open from midday on Friday 29th June.

If you would like to join the race of a lifetime on Saturday June 30th, you have until midday on Saturday June 23rd to get your entry in to the Island Sailing Club via the official Race website.

Round the Island Race website