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The oldest video footage of the Round the Island Race

by Magnus Smith 16 Jun 04:00 PDT
Merry Conceit, winner of the first Round the Island Race in 1931 © Kirk of Cowes

With the Round the Island Race running yesterday, it is a great moment to dig through the video archive to see the oldest footage of the race around the Isle of Wight.

However, we found much less than expected! With previous searches for Cowes Week and other events bringing up at least two videos from every decade, it seems the RTIR has not been filmed as much as other races! Or is it that the footage has been kept in private archives? All we can show you is these TWO videos...

We start with the official offering from the race organisers (who have a Youtube channel with all the latest interviews) and it is entitled Round the Island in 80 Years. It shows a mixture of footage from the 1930s onwards, with modern interviews about the race's history, but the archive clips are not very long.

The only other video we found is from the mid sixties, showing the 1966 Round the Island Race with over 350 yachts starting in a fresh westerly. There is a good close-up of 'Outlaw' on the water. The prize-giving in the dinghy park is shown, where we hear that 'Roundabout' won by a margin of 13 minutes.

What of the rest?

A shocking lack of videos! Can you do better than our researchers? Maybe new footage can be brought to light....

If you know the location of any more videos showing this race prior to the year 2000 we would love to share these with other sailors. You can submit video links to us for immediate review.

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