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The Round The Island race was first sailed in 1931, and its competitors still compete for the Gold Roman Bowl, the legendary trophy presented by the race’s founder Cyril Windeler.
The race, which starts and finishes off Cowes and circumnavigates the Isle of Wight, attracts around 1,500 entries each year. With yachts ranging from world record beating giant catamarans to small cruising yachts, Round the Island has a unique feel that appeals to a diverse range of yachtsmen and women. To see the course follow this link
The event is hosted by The Island Sailing Club who manage the race entries, look after safety, communications and race promotion.
Although the race itself has a very simple course ? anticlockwise around the Isle of Wight — there are still rules to obey, which is just as well as collisions can occur; with so many yachts in one place it is inevitable that there will be the odd scrape.
There’s a huge range of silverware on offer for the winners of the many classes but Yachting Monthly will be keeping an eye out for the ISC Handicap Classes — the fastest family crewed boat in that division will take home the Yachting Monthly Family Trophy.
For more information about the event click on to http://www.islandsc.org.uk/rtir/. Entry is £55 per boat until 5 June when the cost increases to £165. Each boat’s skipper completing the course under sail is awarded a pewter tankard.
10 Round The Island Race highlights
• The first race, held in 1931, had 25 entries for the Gold Roman Challenge Bowl. It was won by Peter Brett in a 22ft Cornish fishing boat, Merry Conceit, bought with a friend for £45.
• The current multihull record (set in 2001) is 3h 8min held by the trimaran Dexia Eure et Loir. The current monohull record, also 2001, is 4h 5min, held by Skandia Life Leopard, skippered by Mike Slade.
• Winner of the Gold Roman Bowl for the second year running last year was Rosina of Beaulieu, a Contessa 26 sailed by Jeremy Rogers in 2002 and helmed by his son Simon, last year.
• Famous boats to look out for this year include Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s Suhaili, and IDEC – the 90ft trimaran which will be skippered by Francis Joyon who sailed her solo round the world in 73 days this year.
• The record year for entries was 1989 when 1,813 boats started, which was also the Island Sailing Club’s centenary year.
• Last year’s race, the 67th, attracted 1,595 entries. Of these, the last monohull to finish was Shenghan, a Hunter Pilot 27 sailed by Dr Mike Randall who finished at 21.58, two minutes before the time limit, having taken 13 hours 58 minutes to complete the course.
• The Yachting Monthly Family Trophy, awarded each year, was won last year by Antilope, skippered by Willem Wester from Cowes.
• The oldest boat competing was Kelpie, a Solent One Design which celebrated her 100th birthday in 2003 and was sailed by Brian Keelan.
• The oldest skipper was believed to be Paul Johnson, sailing the Nicholson 32 Ngaire. The race day was his 82nd birthday. He took part because he was en route from Harwich for a holiday in Brittany.
• The youngest skipper and crew, all aged under 20, were aboard Argo, a Sonata skippered by Charlie Russell.