Round the Island Race countdown underway + video

The Bavaria Match 35 ’HKJ Firestarter’ and X442 ’Alison Mary’ have just rounded the first major landmark on the 50nm westabout course, the infamous Needles, in the 2012 Race.
Patrick Eden
One of the most famous yacht races in the world, the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, attracts professional yachting's elite but is also the racing highlight for many amateur sailors whose absolute 'must do' event on their sailing calendar is this annual yacht racing extravaganza. The achievement of racing in and completing the 50 nautical mile course around the Isle of Wight appears proudly on many a sailing CV.

As we approach Race day on Saturday 1st June, the Race Management team at the Island Sailing Club is keen to ensure that all competitors have as much useful information at their fingertips as they can muster. Race Partner Raymarine has helped produce the latest video in the new for 2013 Expert Top Tips series. One of their ambassadors, Figaro sailor Katie Miller, guides you through some handy on-board electronics checks.

A reminder that boats entered for the Raymarine Round the Island Race 'Young Sailor Trophy' must be entered in an ISCRS Class and have on board at least 50% crew who are under 18 years of age on June 1st 2013.

Old Pulteney, producers of award-winning single malt whisky, is offering whisky tastings of its 12 year-old expression with maritime malt tastings available to everyone attending the Raymarine Weather Briefing at the ISC on the pre-Race Friday evening at 6pm, as well as at various times throughout the weekend in the Race Village, Cowes Yacht Haven.

Full details of all Race weekend activities are published in the Sailing Instructions being posted out to competitors this week.

David, Sheila and son Michael Crees, from Axmouth in Devon, are being joined on board by family friend Kris Flemington to race in their fourth Round the Island Race. They're sailing in the family boat, now in her 29th year, RAOUL DEVOS (9226Y), a Seawolf 26 Mark 2 and hoping to improve on their best result to date of 115th overall in ISCRS.

Andy Marshall, skipper of MARICA (CR2207), a Westerly Centaur, is back to fight another day after entering for the first time last year. Andy says he's 'up for another fun year and to improve on last year's performance.' Of his crew Mark Remnant and Richard Watts he asks, 'are they salty sea dogs or bilge rats? We'll find out on the first of June. Richard is the new cabin boy after they had to give Dave 'the long walk on the short plank for loud snoring and crimes against humanity in the heads.'

Ngauruhoe (SC59) skippered by Simon Eveleigh and co-owned by Richard Binks and Martin Foale, was winner of the Geisco Trophy 2003, third overall ISC, winner of the Owen Aisher Trophy, first ISC SCOD Round the Island 2010 and 2012 and is back this year going for the hat trick.

Verity K (RORO1) is run by the Ro-Ro Sailing Project who encourage people with a wide range of disabilities to go sailing in their wheelchair-accessible yachts. BLESMA have been enabling their members to sail for many years, mainly for rehabilitation and using yacht racing to help achieve this. The skipper for this year's Race is Paul Burns who had no sailing experience before being blown up by an IRA bomb in Northern Ireland. Through his involvement with BLESMA and the Gwennili Trust, he is now a Yachtmaster with thousands of sea miles to his credit. The rest of the crew have also sailed on BLESMA events, in the last RORC Fastnet Race and in the ARC. We wish them well.

On 16th May, one name will be drawn from all the entries into this month's Prize Draw and that lucky person will be invited to officially start this year's Race, setting off the starting cannons from the Royal Yacht Squadron's world famous Castle platform. They will be in the prime position to watch the world's largest sailing fleet, including some of its fastest and most impressive boats, sprint across the start line in Cowes on Saturday 1st June.

This is a unique and fabulous opportunity with travel and accommodation thrown in, so get your family and friends to enter now!

Click here to read the Terms and Conditions of Entry and enter the Draw. If you haven't already entered this year's Race, you have one last chance up until midday on Saturday 25th May, click here to enter now! Final race entries closes at noon on Sat 25th May.

You can watch the 'Top Tips from the Experts' videos here below, and to catch up on all the very Race news and event details, visit the official Race website.