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Round the Island Race - Embracing the race for all ethos

by Peta Stuart-Hunt on 16 Apr 2013
The Classic Racing Yacht Gipsy Moth IV is always a joy to watch racing amongst the fleet, even under last year’s moody skies © Paul Wyeth / pwpictures.com http://www.pwpictures.com
The organisers, title sponsor and partners of the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race have combined their expert knowledge and pooled resources to yield a series of practical 'How to' videos with hints, tips and tricks for tackling all manner of Race-related topics, from how to prepare your boat, through to the right clothing to wear, tracking, rules and safety aspects and even how to apply your hull decals.

Launched on April 12th, with new material being uploaded each week and available to watch on the official website, this informative series will run right up to Race Day on 1st June.

On the start line alongside two other high profile Open 60s, Hugo Boss (Alex Thomson) and Gamesa (Mike Golding) recently announced as competing in this year's J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race on 1st June, is a third Open 60, Artemis Ocean Racing (GBR100), with Simon Clay at the helm.

Another respected name in international racing circles and signed up to compete in the Race for the very first time, is French sailor Christine Briand, a 470 World Champion, ISAF Keelboat Champion, and veteran of the Whitbread and Volvo Ocean Race. She is racing Ster Wen (FRA13343), a Jeanneau Sun Magic 44, with her all-French crew that includes 14 and 16 year olds.

The four Murch brothers, all in their 50s, have competed in the Race at one time or another over the years and possibly even together but as youngsters. They will all do the Race this year on Myst (GBR3144L), a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 33i. 'We have all competed in the Race before and possibly all at the same time on the same boat but some were too young to remember. This is the first time in many years that all four brothers will be together racing,' said David Murch.

Alcina (GBR8172T), racing in ISCRS, is a part-owned Bavaria 34. There are four owners of mixed sailing ability and experience who do most of their sailing with family and friends. Their shared ownership plan provides them each a week at a time, plus the opportunity for a couple of weeks for each owner in the summer.


As skipper Dave Hamilton points out, shared ownership is great but you can appreciate thatthe opportunities for racing are limited.'The RTI Race gives us the opportunity for some serious sailing over a single weekend but the Race doesn't require competitors to be serious racers. Not that we don't take it seriously, but the competition is and can be based on the small group in which you start and amongst other boats of the same class or make and model. All this whilst taking part in one of the most popular races in the world.' Nicely put.

Andromeda (K4738), a Sigma 33, is a first time entry from a C. Breeze! He has sailed for 40 years but it is his first time tackling the Round the Island Race with his four friends from work who usually watch the Race whilst cruising. We hope it's blowing a breeze rather than a hoolie this year.

Eight students, mostly in their 20s and studying the Yacht Operations and Outdoor Education Foundation degree course at South Devon College will get the sailing experience of a lifetime as they crew on board the Sigma 38 Aspiration (GBR924R) in this year's Race. They have varied sailing backgrounds ranging from no experience at all to coastal skipper and some have never raced before whilst others are seasoned round the cans racers. The Skipper, Andy Wright, is a Yachtmaster Ocean and Yachtmaster Instructor, lecturer and RYA Principal at Noss Marine Academy, Dartmouth, Devon.


The Race is delighted to welcome back the historic yacht Gipsy Moth IV (142), on which Sir Francis Chichester sailed single-handed around the world in 1966-7; it's always a treat for competitors to see her sailing amongst the fleet. Now owned by the Gipsy Moth Trust, she is managed by UKSA whose work helps young people change their lives through maritime education and personal development.

The aims of The Gipsy Moth Trust are to preserve and maintain Gipsy Moth IV in sailing condition as a key part of British maritime heritage; to enable as many people of all ages as is practicable to see her and sail her; to use her to promote charitable activities and to inspire future generations to achieve their full potential.

Standard race entry closes at midnight on Sat 11th May.

The fleet crosses the start line off the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes in eleven separate groups, each groups starting at ten minute intervals. On 1st June thefirst start is at 0500 hrs and the starts will continue until 0640hrs.
Round the Island Race website

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