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Craftinsure 2023 LEADERBOARD

Rossborough Round the Island Race 2021

by Bill Harris 19 Aug 2021 12:23 BST 15 August 2021
Lady Penelope 2 in the Rossborough Round the Island Race © Debbie Brown

The Royal Channel Islands Yacht Club's annual Round the Island Race, generously sponsored by Rossborough Insurance for the sixth year running, saw twenty-six boats come to the line off the Vrachière buoy Sunday morning, 15th August.

With racing due to start at nine thirty, the race committee was alarmed to see visibility drop to the extent that not only had the windward mark disappeared in the drizzle so also had the pin, accompanied by unexpectedly strong southwesterly winds. Happily, this phenomenon passed through just in time to get the combined IRC cruiser fleet away on schedule. With the breeze falling away to the forecast force four and visibility clearing, the NHC handicap fleet started ten minutes later with two F18 sport catamarans following on.

Boats quickly covered the short leg to the Diamond buoy, a conveniently placed windward mark, before bearing away for a quick eight mile run downtide, mostly under spinnaker, to the eight-mile distant Violet Channel buoy.

On rounding, with Allen Brown's Melges 24 leading the way, boats reached northwards to St Catherine's where Philip Burton's Arcona 410, Arctic Tern, passed the lone sportsboat before hardening up for the long beat along the north coast. With strong tidal influences on this leg, strategy has always been key with decisions whether to stay in or out being really decisive as to where boats pop out by the time they reached Grosnez.

Wind over tide off Grosnez produced predictably sloppy conditions that only eased once clear of the Rigdon bank and boats established on the reach down St Ouen's Bay.

It was spinnaker time again as boats rounded Corbière. The early arrivals were blessed in that the tide had not long turned against them whilst those arriving later found that the breeze had strengthened considerably, as had the ebb, to produce rough seas and a memorable sleigh ride to Noirmont for those who chose to fly their spinnakers. Several boats reported breaking their speed records! Some did not report their broaches!

The final leg took boats back to St Aubin's Bay and the Diamond Rock buoy for the finish with The Dog's taking line honours in the cruiser classes after five hours racing. Arctic Tern, finishing shortly, thereafter, had to settle for fourth place in Class 1 with David Carter's Sunfast 3200, Lady Penelope, winning the race and the Jesse Boot trophy just ahead of Rhys Perkins' Archambault 35, Abracadabra, and Jeff Chinn's J105, Jewel, just three minutes separating these boats on corrected time.

Class 2 honours and the Cabot Memorial Trophy went to Peter Crabb and Peter Wiliams' X95, Paper Tiger, finishing the race in five and a half hours, well ahead of second placed Sombrero, Mike Smith and Rachael Vibert's Egythene 24. Previous winner of the Cabot, Nick Bailhache's Moody 31, Fillipene, was a close third.

Ian Carpenter's Sonata, Super Tonic, the smallest boat in the fleet completed the race in seven and a half hours after a fairly boisterous circumnavigation. Julian Barber's Farr 24, Super Q, flying the flag for the Quarter Tonners, had a fine race, returning the second best IRC time in the whole fleet.

Ben Rogers' Albin Ballad, Bandit, was a clear winner in the 10-strong NHC fleet ahead of Don Thompson's lovely gaff cutter, Foxhound. Chris Fritot and Deborah Hutchings' Dehler 38, Mystique of St Helier was third. The class included Jeff Speller's Dragonfly 32, Aquafly, and, visiting from the UK, Mike Sheehan's Sun Odyssey 41, Almost Free. Len De La Haye, on a visit to the Island, brought the classic St Aubin-based Chanterelle out for a long-overdue airing.

Rossborough was also represented on the water by Clive De La Cour sailing his Arcona 370, Gemini.

However, it was the F18 pair of Hobie Wildcats that put in the fastest times (along with their escort boats!), with Andy Hart and Michael Kinross finishing in just under three and a half hours with Adrian Jesson and Steve Longstaffe just two minutes behind after sailing in excess of sixty miles. The pair had been just seconds apart on the beat along the north coast but it was the Hart/Kinross boat that made a gaining tack off Plemont that put them well clear, establishing a lead that they held to the finish.

The day was brought to a close with the presentation of place prizes and supper in a packed RCIYC clubhouse. Commodore James Wilding expressed the Club's thanks and those of the competitors for Rossborough's great support for this classic event. With the prizes presented, Clive De La Cour drew great applause when he announced that the event would be under the Rossborough banner, once again, in 2022.

Rossborough's Group Managing Director, James Anderson, commented, "The Rossborough Round the Island Yacht Race 2021 was a huge success, with plenty of breeze and choppy waters on Sunday it enabled a fast navigation round the Island, a great time was had by all. Following our sixth year of sponsorship, we can confirm we will continue to support the Rossborough Round the Island Yacht Race in 2022. We'd like to send our huge congratulations to the race winners across the classes and to all race participants."

Detailed results are available on

Coming up: the Carey Olson Jersey Regatta from 10th to 12th September 2021. Enter online at

Cruiser/Racer Class 1 - Jesse Boot Trophy:

1 Lady Penelope - David Carter (5.18.04)
2 Abracadabra - Rhys Perkins (5.19.53)
3 Jewel - Jeff Chinn (5.20.58)

Combination Sportsboat & Class 1:

1 The Dog's........! - Allen Brown & ptnrs (5.05.48)

Cruiser/Racer Class 2 - Cabot Memorial Trophy:

1 Paper Tiger - Peter Crabb & Peter Williams (5.19.13)
2 Sombrero - Rachael Vibert & Mike Smith (5.21.33)
3 Fillipene - Nick Bailhache (5.24.58)

Combination Quarter Ton & Class 2:

1 Super Q - Julian Barber (5.06.40)

Cruiser Class 3:

1 Bandit - Ben Rogers (5.14.10)
2 Foxhound - Don Thompson (5.26.18)
3 Mystique of Jersey - Deborah Hutchings & Chris Fritot (5.32.04)

F18 Sport catamaran Class 4:

1 Wildcat 517 - Andy Hart & Michael Kinross (3.25.00)
2 Hobie 618 - Adrian Jesson & Steve Longstaffe (3.27.00)

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