Whether competing for the YM Family Trophy or as part of the BT fleet, safety is the priority on 10 June

A recent Safety Briefing Meeting was held at the Island Sailing Club, Cowes, for this year’s Hoya Round The Island Race being held on Saturday, 10th June 2000.

Well attended, representatives came from Associated British Ports, Cowes Harbour Commission, Marine Rescue Solent Centre, Marine Police Unit, Queens Harbour Master, Red Funnel Group and Southern Water in order to discuss the safety of the largest and most popular yacht race of its type in the world.

Facts arising from the meeting include:-

– The Island Sailing Club has limited entries to a maximum of 2000 boats and a record number of over 12,000 competitors are expected for this year’s 64th Hoya Round the Island Race.

– The 50 nautical mile race will start at 0630am on Saturday 10th June 2000 for the first group of boats off the Royal Yacht Squadron starting line at Cowes, Isle of Wight. The last ISC competing boats will leave at 7.30am. A special Big Boat Class will depart at 8.00am which will consist of nine BT Global Challenge Yachts racing for the Hoya Trophy. – There will be fair tides from Cowes between 5am – 11am. With High Water at 0646am, when the west going tide will be well underway, it is anticipated that new race course records could be set this year.

– For the first time this year, the fleet will sail an extra half mile around pipes being laid in Sandown Bay by Southern Water. A buoy will be laid approximately halfway between Dunnose and Bembridge Ledge Buoy which the fleet will leave to port. This is to avoid construction activity which is part of Southern Water’s ‘200 million Seaclean Wight scheme where more than 275 giant pipes are being welded together to form a 3km pipeline to transfer treated waste water out into the deep water of the English channel.

– Southern Water will police the area with a patrol vessel and a RIB in order to direct boats away from the area and around the buoy. Organisers of the race, the Island Sailing Club, will also provide two Committee boats with dedicated marshals. A Notice to Mariners will be sent out to advise competitors of this change to the normal itinerary.

– Another first will be a survey of every entrant which will be carried out by the Southern Tourist Board.

– The Marine Police Unit will operate two boats at the start of the race and one boat for the finish. They will keep the channel clear for ferries and large vessels. There are no reported Cruise Ships or Container Vessels due in the area during the start of the race.

– The Chief Race Officer will carefully monitor the weather from a week prior to the race. Using the facilities provided by the Met Office, Southampton Weather Centre and the Atlantic Weather Marks via the Internet, he will be able to judge, in advance, the safety of the race if extreme conditions arise.

– Internet users will be able to monitor the race on the World Wide Web. Using the site links from www.hoyaroundtheisland.org.uk coverage will be offered from various points of the race. Cameras will be set up by The Needles, St. Catherine’s Point, Cowes and Lee-on-Solent. They will be updated every ten minutes and will run on a continual one minute video loop. Information will also be available for competitors and spectators alike which include highest gust, chill factor, wind direction, wind speed and temperature highs and lows.

Anyone wishing to participate in the 64th Hoya Round the Island Race 2000 should contact the Island Sailing Club on 01983 296911. Entry forms and additional information can also be found on the website: www.hoyaroundtheisland.org.uk