Boats competing in the annual Round the Island Race. Photo: Paul Wyeth

The Round the Island Race is a unique event in the sporting calendar as each year 1000s of boats take part, racing around the Isle of Wight.

The race is a one-day event, which regularly attracts over 1,400 boats and around 15,000 sailors, making it one of the largest yacht races in the world and the fourth largest participation sporting event in the UK.

There are few races that inspire such a wide range of sailors to compete. Indeed, there are few other sports or pastimes that allow everyday folk to compete against professionals and Olympic medalists on an equal footing.

But that is exactly what happens each year at the Round the Island race where the 1000s of amateur sailors sail alongside Olympic sailors and offshore legends of the sport.

But over and above all that, the Round the Island Race is simply a cracking day out on the water. Few things can compare to the sight of 1000s of boats heading west down the Solent towards the Needles and that sight is particularly stunning from within the fleet.

The RTIR might be a race (and trying to get the better of those boats around you is a major part of the fun) but, in truth, most are there for an enjoyable day out and understand the racing is not too serious.


Inside the Summer issue of Yachting Monthly you will find Gastro-navigation, mooring skills to tie up anywhere, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston's cruising wisdom, Round the Island Race tips and more...