Please select your home edition
Edition
Mackay Boats

Round the Island Race - Sun shines on Cowes, excitement rises

by Peta Stuart-Hunt on 1 Jun 2013
JP Morgan Asset Management Round The Island Race, 2012. Part of the fleet under spinnaker near Ventnor Thierry Martinez http://www.thmartinez.com
On the eve of this year's Round the Island Race, the competitors are unanimous in their excitement as they look forward to tomorrow's rounding of the Isle of Wight in the iconic event.

At today's packed pre-Race press conference at the Island Sailing Club in Cowes, there was a mix of guests interviewed on stage by MC Tracey 'TC' Clarke, ranging from Dame Ellen MacArthur to 90-year old competitor Ray Moxley and Emily Sarsfield, Britain's Ski Cross Champion who is sailing for the first time! Here's an overview with some of the highlights.

One of the more distinctive boats entered this year is Collective Spirit, a 30ft sportsboat built as an arts project for last year's Cultural Olympiad out of hundreds of wooden objects donated by the public.

'This is the first race Collective Spirit has entered,' says Gregg Whelan of Lone Twin, creator of the project. 'We're really excited that she is doing the race - parts of more than 140 different boats were incorporated in her construction, including the Mary Rose, Victory and Ark Royal, as well as former Prime Minister Ted Heath's Morning Cloud lll, which won the race three times.'


The Round the Island Race has always attracted sailors from different backgrounds and from across the generations - hence the 'Race for All' tag line and Twitter hashtag #raceforall. Ray Moxleywill be racing RA, a new 40ft catamaran of his own design. 'This is a really exciting occasion,' he says, 'the people you meet are a wonderful crowd and you make friends wherever you go. It's a breeding ground for friendship, sharing and being nice to everyone.'

The formal press conference at lunchtime was sadly overshadowed by the funeral of Olympic and America's Cup sailor Andrew 'Bart' Simpson, a good friend and colleague of many of the professional sailors that will be racing tomorrow. Tracey led a tribute, during which the Island Sailing Club's ensign also flew at half-mast.

Over the event's eight years of sponsorship by J.P. Morgan Asset Management, more than £500,000 has been raised for charity. This year, J.P. Morgan's ninth year of sponsorship, the official charity is once again the Ellen MacArthur CancerTrust.'This is a very special race and it's extraordinary to be part of it,' says founder and Patron Dame Ellen MacArthur.

'It's a great adventure and from the Trust's perspective, for the young people to come back to us and sail around the Isle of Wight is a great experience that brings a huge amount to them. They are the most inspirational people you'll ever meet.'


'We absolutely love the race' adds Jasper Berens, Head of UK at J.P. Morgan Asset Management. 'It's an amazing race to do, yet it's achievable for anyone who's never raced before. We will have 300 staff and clients racing on Beneteau 40.7s - they all want to win as much as Ben [Ainslie] or Alex [Thomson].'

As well as the many thousands of amateur sailors, the race is also one that attracts the top professionals in the sport. Alex Thomson took third place earlier this year in the gruelling Vendée Globe non-stop single-handed round the world race, will be skippering his Open 60 Hugo Boss.

'The Round the Island is a bit like the London Marathon,' Thompson says, 'It allows amateurs to compete in exactly the same race as professional sailors. I'm feeling at least as nervous as before the start of the Vendée Globe Race. It's really tough with 1,000 boats on the start line - my biggest goal is not to hit any other boats!'

While the forecast winds look too light for ICAP Leopard to break the record she set five years ago, it looks more promising for Sir Ben, the most successful Olympic sailor ever, who will be racing his 45ft wingsail America's Cup catamaran JP Morgan BAR. We will know more at 0545 tomorrow morning - that's the time at which Ainslie needs to reach the Needles to match the initial speed of the current record holder, Francis Joyon's Dexia Eure et Loire
in 2001. There's all to play for.
Round the Island Race website

KZRaceFurlersGiacomo Yacht SaleZhik AkzoNobelb 660x82

Related Articles

America's Cup - Coutts threatens return to Cup if monohull chosen
Coutts, has echoed his famous quote about the AC being for the Facebook generation, not the Flintstone generation Five times America's Cup winner, Russell Coutts, has echoed his famous quote about the 34th And 35th America's Cup regattas being for the Facebook generation, not the Flintstone generation, in an interview with OneNews reporter Abby Wilson. Now the Commodore of Manly Sailing Club, Coutts hit back at those who have criticised the format and boats used at the two events.
Posted today at 9:03 pm
Biggest Clipper Race sets sail from Liverpool in front of huge crowds
After heading out of the River Mersey and into the Irish Sea, the twelve-strong fleet is heading 6,400 nM south 712 non-professional crew, the most ever in its eleven editions, from all walks of life and including many who had no previous sailing experience, will take on Mother Nature in this ultimate ocean challenge, representing 41 different nationalities.
Posted today at 6:02 pm
America's Cup - Two months on from start of 35th Match + Video
Emirates Team New Zealand have released this compilation from the series in Bermuda. To mark the passing of the two month milestone since the start of the 35th Match for the America's Cup, Emirates Team New Zealand have released this compilation from the series in Bermuda.
Posted today at 1:52 pm
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week – Day 1 stunner
Day 1 was a complete stunner, from the 215 boats on the line and the recovery from Cyclone Debbie to host such a fleet There was competition right throughout the fleet, but none so tight as the two sister ships, RP66's Alive and Wild Oats X (Nanoq for the duration of the regatta under the helm or HRH Frederik Crown Prince of Denmark) and RP100's Wild Oats XI and newly launched Black Jack.
Posted today at 12:50 pm
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week cracker opening day
Racing began on Day 1 of Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2017 in idyllic conditions Racing began on Day 1 of Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2017 in idyllic conditions, excited and some nervous crews facing the prospect of a 25-30 knot sou’easters and strong tide making for a wild downwind run from the narrow start in Dent Passage.
Posted today at 11:16 am
Clipper Race Leg 1 preview - Liverpool, UK, to Punta del Este, Uruguay
The Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race promises a shore side spectacle when the fleet crosses the start line The Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race promises a shore side spectacle when the fleet crosses the start line in front of the large crowds that are expected to line the River Mersey at 1230 (BST) today.
Posted today at 7:54 am
470 Class Japan National Championships - Day 2
S wind, 6kt – 113 boats were devided into Yellow, Blue and Red, and R1 started as scheduled at 11:00. S wind, 6kt – 113 boats were devided into Yellow, Blue and Red, and R1 started as scheduled at 11:00. The wind stayed 6kt during R1, and then 8kt for R2. Later, it increased to 10+, and Oscar flag was up for R3 at the start.
Posted today at 6:15 am
2017 Melges 20 U.S. National Championship - Nail-biting final day
A massive round of congratulations is in order for newly crowned Drew Freides on Pacific Yankee. A massive round of congratulations is in order for newly crowned Drew Freides on Pacific Yankee. He and his team which includes Morgan Reeser and Charlie Smythe are the 2017 Melges 20 U.S. National Champions.
Posted today at 5:48 am
Clipper Race - British Olympians swap sports for new challenge at sea
Joining this year’s Great Britain entry in the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race are two athletes Joining this year’s Great Britain entry in the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race are two athletes who have already spent their lives representing their country at the highest level.
Posted on 19 Aug
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Three sleeps to go!
With less than 72 hours before Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet line up on River Mersey to start 2017-18 edition With less than 72 hours before the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet line up on the River Mersey to start the 2017-18 edition of the 40,000 nautical mile race around the globe, anticipation is building in Albert Dock with crowds gathering to wish the fleet well.
Posted on 19 Aug