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Round the Island Race in 80 days

by Jo Bowden 9 Mar 23:38 GMT
Round the Island Race fleet © Dymond

The Round the Island Race is one of the most iconic sailing events in the annual calendar and it is only 80 days away. Sailors from around the world are preparing for their adventure around the Isle of Wight on Saturday 30 May, competing to win over 200 trophies.

Dave Atkinson, Race Director, said: "The Island Sailing Club is extremely proud of our flagship event, particularly as it welcomes all types of sailors and boats from first time racers, family cruisers and professional sailors. This is why our ethos of 'A Race For All' really comes alive with all those competitors competing side by side on the same race track. With the Island Sailing Club handicap system (ISCRS), which is a free system for entrants, boats who don't regularly race can be rated to take part." #RaceForAll

This year there will be a 38ft Beneteau Oceanis called 'Ellie B', out on the start line with a crew of five visually impaired individuals and three sighted supporting team members. The crew range from mid 30's to mid 60's and will all get involved in helming, winching and trimming.

Rick Smith, Volunteer Skipper for the Visually Impaired Sailing Association (VISA GB) said: "After 28 years of sailing and racing I wanted to give others the opportunity to experience this amazing race. The selected Round the Island crew are all competent sailors but for the majority this is their first ever race. We will be doing two days of training in the Solent and I'm sure by race start they will be comfortably confident. It is so rewarding to hear how their confidence has been boosted after time on the water and consequently translates into their everyday lives, empowering them to do more."

Christopher West entered his racer cruiser 'Hysteria' recently, he said: "It is the highlight of our sailing season and the only race we enter. It's always fantastic race weather, be it a chilled cruise round or an absolute howler and a proper challenge."

Partners supporting the race this year include Helly Hansen as Official Clothing Partner, MS Amlin as Marine Insurance Partner, Raymarine as Technical Partner and Chelsea Magazines, publishers of Yachts & Yachting, Sailing Today and Classic Boat, as Media Partner. The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust also returns this year as the Official Race Charity, raising funds to help young people rebuild their lives after cancer treatment. All Partners will be at the Island Sailing Club Race Village on The Parade, with fun activities and competitions for spectators and competitors, from Friday 29 May to Sunday 31 May.

Sailors interested in competing in the event will be able to keep up to date with the latest news on social media using the hashtag #RaceForAll and enter via the Round the Island website.

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