J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race update from Peta Stuart-Hunt. Peta shares some of the feel good factor this Race induces in those who compete in it.
It's fair to say that, more often than not, sailing helps make those who go sailing feel happy and at relative peace with the world. It isn't often that you see people on boats scowling, grim faced or puse with anger...except when someone gets in their way or steals their wind! The vast numbers of entrants into the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race who are keen to share their happy memories of doing this particular yachting event, even when their results are poor, attest to this.
The numbers continue to build steadily for this year's 80th Anniversary Race as the Island Sailing Club's Entry team processes hundreds of entry forms each week. The Race, which takes place on Saturday 25th June, has already attracted more than 850 entries. Standard entries close at midnight on 28th May. Thereafter, late (higher) entry fees apply, so do go online now and stake your claim!
Meanwhile, here is a brief run through some of the competitors who have already marked June 24th - 26th as a weekend away on their calendar.
Jaik Tari is a consultant structural engineer and clearly a very happy chap. He has an office in Cowes and a boat moored up 100 yards away and declares on his entry form that he's a very lucky man. We agree! He took up sailing when he was 40, has entered this world-famous Race for the last ten years (including in 2011) and he came fourth overall in ISC in 2010. Jaik's first boat was an Enterprise dinghy in 1990 and his last was a Lark kept at Gurnard Sailing Club. However, he got fed up capsizing all the time and bought himself a SCOD named Stirling, one of the last to be built at Burns Shipyard. Jaik and Stirling will both be on this year's historic start line. This lucky man won't have to travel very far to get there. New skippers
There are numerous people who have done this Race as crew and who may have even helmed but they are always careful to point out on their entry forms when they're actually skippering an entry for the first time. Two such competitors are David Tipton, a farmer from Staffordshire, and Alastair Seaton from Cranleigh in Surrey.
David Tipton owns his boat with two friends and is skippering Serendipity, a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 39i, for the first time in the Round the Island Race. He has completed the Race four times, previously as crew and as a helmsman. The boat usually resides in Plymouth but spent last summer in Portugal having participated in World Cruising Club's Rally Portugal and returning to the UK in September after coping with Force 9 winds and a knockdown in the notorious Bay of Biscay.
Alastair Seaton's entry Bootlegger is a Westerly Tempest built in 1989. He has five Round the Island Races under his belt but 2011 will be his first Round the Island Race as skipper.
A brand new recruit to the Race is Caroline Buckingham who will skipper an Elan 210 named Cheeky Monkey in her first RTI Race, along with her husband and work colleagues.
Portsmouth Grammar School has entered a yacht, a Sigma 38, 'to extend its sporting provision for pupils, many of whom already sail at a national level.' Skipper (and teacher) Sam Brunner goes on to explain, 'The school's efforts to initiate a sailing programme were helped along by Paralympic sailing star Helena Lucas, a member of the multi-medal winning Skandia Team GBR, who visited the school last October to front a celebrity-studded Question of Sport.' According to Sam, the pupils taking part in this year's Race are some of the best young sailors on the South Coast.
In this historic 80th Anniversary Race year, we are delighted to see the Evolution Glass Onion entered. She was the plug for the mould of the Evolution Series and has a long history of sailing success during her years in Solent waters, including being helmed by the late Julia Dane who won the Gold Roman Bowl in 1982. You can read all about this in a lovely (and winning) tale from Glass Onion's designer Julian Everitt, found via the home page on the Race website.
The multihull Peekaboo, a Dragonfly 1000, is back with her owner and skipper Alistair Wright from Falmouth, Cornwall. They competed for the first time in 2010 and so we invited them to our pre-Race Press Conference. Alistair commented: 'Really enjoyed last year. It's a first-class weekend. Just hope we can improve our position of fourth overall (pretty impressive for a first time out. Ed) and we're looking forward to racing with the other multihulls.' Well, Alistair, there are already 15 entries in the Multihull Grand Prix and Mocra class, so plenty of competition to look forward to.
Terry Allan is an hotelier from Highcliffe in Dorset and he has entered a Grand Soleil 343 named Volare. The first time he entered the Race was in 1991 on a classic 26ft Spitzgatere. 'We broke the tiny pole and used a broom handle instead. Whenever we pole out now it's called 'broom out'! Now Dennis is about to retire and will take the boat down through the Med and across to Antigua. He and crew man Marcus, a farrier, are hoping for a great day out as part of 'what is now regarded as the greatest collection of yachts in the world', quoth Terry.
Hopefully our 80th Race will provide some happy and exceptional moments for the beneficiaries of an entry from Hallam Mills in his Nordic Folkboat Ayesha. Hallam is fundraising for The Stable Family Home Trust based near Ringwood, Hampshire, that 'gives 94 adults with learning disabilities the chance to lead ordinary lives with exceptional moments.' http://www.sfht.org.uk
More excellent work is being achieved by the team putting together the crew of Ocean Venture, skippered by 66 year-old Tony Wyeth on a boat owned by a generous benefactor from Cumbria. Cowes High School woodwork teacher Tony built this Ocean 60 locally in 1979 specifically for use for charitable works. Tony and Ocean Venture have sailed in many Tall Ship races (winning some) and circumnavigated. Based in Cowes the boat is still operating as a charitable boat offering men struggling with getting on in life, a chance to get away from daily pressures. The crew for this year's Anniversary Round the Island Race is made up of ex-offenders from a London-based Church charity.
We are especially delighted to welcome to this year's historic 80th Race the CEO of our Official Race Partner Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Paul Kerr. He has entered his Moody 44 Rum Truffle and speaks highly of the great Race. 'I am a keen yachtsman and take any opportunity I can to get out onto the open waters. Last year I competed in the Race and enjoyed it hugely – it is truly a great spectacle and one of the most exciting events in the worldwide sporting calendar.
'With 20 years of experience in seeing clients enjoy memorable adventures at each of our 520 luxury boutique hotels in more than 70 countries, we put emphasis on exceptional experiences and thrilling journeys, which this epic Race certainly lives up to! We wish all competitors the best of luck!'
Meanwhile it has emerged that Thomas Hancox, who is the Great Grandson of Paddy Murch who won the Race many times in the 1930s, will skipper a Bavaria 43 named AnnabelOlivia, joined by a crew of City of London hotel executives and their clients.
We will very shortly be announcing the more detailed fund raising plans relating to our official Race charity, the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust. The Trust is really pro-active and, as such, a great deal of work has been going on behind the scenes as they gear up to roll out plans leading up to and during the 2011 Race weekend.
One thing's for sure and that is that there will be plenty of family-friendly activity to get involved with in the Race Village in Cowes Yacht Haven, so watch this space for more details and we encourage everyone to do what they can to support the Trust in their objective to raise an incredible £80,000 through the Race in 2011, enabling 160 young people to go sailing with the Trust.
I take this opportunity on behalf of the Island Sailing Club and our sponsors to say how deeply saddened we were to hear that a former competitor, Barbara Harmer, died peacefully in the devoted care of St. Wilfrid's Hospice, Chichester on 20th February 2011, aged 57 years.
I actually featured Barbara in our pre-Race news as an entry in last year's Race. The world's first and only female Concorde pilot who, since the demise of that extraordinary head-turning aircraft, turned her hand to a combination of horticulture and sailing, entered her co-owned yacht, Archambault, an Archambault A35, but sadly didn't end up competing owing to ill health.
We send sincere condolences to Barbara's family and friends. Round the Island Race website