Please select your home edition
Edition
upffront 728x90

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

Naiadupffront 660x82Wildwind 2016 660x82

Related Articles

52 Super Series – Puerto Portals Sailing Week – Races 1 and 2 images
Photographer Max Ranchi has provided this gallery of images from races one and two Photographer Max Ranchi has provided this gallery of images from races one and two
Posted today at 4:59 pm
New challenges for Oman Air at halfway stage of Extreme Sailing Series
Race organisers have extended the race area on the River Elbe to cater for the higher speeds of the new foiling GC32s. Race organisers have extended the race area on the River Elbe to cater for the higher speeds of the new foiling GC32s but Oman Air skipper Morgan Larson says avoiding errors will still be the biggest challenge if they are to extend their overall lead with their third Act victory of the season.
Posted today at 4:35 pm
Rolex Swan Cup – A noble approach to sailing
Mention the Swan Cup to any sailor and the feelings evoked are common – great competition in an enviable environment Mention the Swan Cup to any sailor and the feelings evoked are common – great competition in an enviable environment, a prevailing spirit of fair play and an opportunity to sail yachts renowned for their grace, enduring appeal and rich heritage.
Posted today at 3:41 pm
Comanche's Trans-Atlantic record attempt hits soft spot
Light air zones threaten record-breaking pace as 100ft yacht charges across mid-Atlantic With 1,548 nautical miles left to sail to the finish of the Transatlantic record (as of 08:30 GMT today) at Lizard Point, UK, Comanche remains on course to break Mari Cha IV’s 2003 record. Stan Honey, Comanche navigator, noted this morning: Chilly here. Set the A-3 Gennaker to go deeper. Very flat water. Smooth sailing. Not much wind down low near the cold water. Visibility 10meters.
Posted today at 12:13 pm
World of Sailing in review - July 2016 edition - Round the Island Race
World Sailing present their July 2016 video magazine featuring the Round the Island race World Sailing present their July 2016 video magazine featuring the Round the Island race (around the Isle of Wight) and preview several personalities and aspects of the upcoming Rio Olympics
Posted today at 11:50 am
America’s Cup World Series – More final day images by Ingrid Abery
Ingrid Abery has provided this gallery of images from final day Ingrid Abery has provided this gallery of images from final day
Posted today at 11:37 am
America’s Cup World Series – Final race day images by Ingrid Abery
Ingrid Abery provided this gallery of images from final day Ingrid Abery provided this gallery of images from final day
Posted today at 11:21 am
PA Consulting and Allen RS Feva Worlds - Practice and opening day
164 boats completed registration and had their practice race just out of the harbour entrance in front of the city beach 2016 PA Consulting/Allen RS Feva World Championship - It’s officially Fiesta Week in Santander! Oh yes, in addition to the traditional massive fair and circus and two public holidays this week there is this year the RS Feva Worlds. 164 boats completed registration and had their practice race just out of the harbour entrance in front of the city beach.
Posted today at 7:13 am
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - And not a lot of people know that...
As well as bearing a remarkable resemblance to Michael Caine, RORC Admiral Andrew McIrvine leads an extra-ordinary life. 2016 Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - As well as bearing a remarkable resemblance to Michael Caine, RORC Admiral Andrew McIrvine leads an extra-ordinary life.
Posted today at 6:11 am
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - France sets the pace on Day 1
Competitors from south side of English Channel have upper hand after the opening day of Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup 2016 Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - Competitors from the south side of the English Channel have the upper hand after the opening day of the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup, the Royal Ocean Racing Club's biennial event for three boat teams with Corinthian crews.
Posted today at 5:00 am