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A wet and wild edition of the Round the Island Race in 2024

by Jo Bowden 16 Jun 15:24 BST
Firebrand at the Needles - Round the Island Race 2024 © Paul Wyeth

It was certainly a race to remember with crews battling the heavy conditions, especially around the Needles and the reach to St Catherine's Point.

Race Director, Dave Atkinson said: "This race was a challenge for both the competitors and the Race Team at the Island Sailing Club, with the safety and well-being of the crews being the main priority.

"We would like to thank the RNLI, independent lifeboats and coastguard teams for their assistance and co-operation before and during the race on Saturday. Despite the challenging conditions we only had nine incidents connected to the race which is less than previous years, this shows the seamanship of the crews and the correct decision making that went into undertaking of the race."

Race Safety Officer and Station Manager at Cowes RNLI, Mark Southwell said: "The sailors who competed made the right call and had a challenging but no doubt enjoyable race they'll remember. Those who cancelled or retired as they sensed conditions approaching the Needles also made the right decision.

"Sailing is a safe sport undertaken by responsible individuals more than capable of weighing up: wind, sea state, boat and gear condition, crew experience and the ability to then decide whether it is right to put to sea or continue to race. Yesterday was a good day for safety at sea. This is a race for everyone and everyone made the right call, we thank you for that."

The battle for the coveted Gold Roman Bowl was won by Peter Morton and his crew on TP52 Notorious who also won the Observer Trophy for Monohull Line Honours.

Local Cowes resident Peter Morton, owner and skipper of Notorious said: "This is one of the world's greatest races and every year I look forward to it. I've not had the boat that long but I've competed in Round the Island Race many times over the last 50 years in various boats I've owned. Yesterday was special and the toughest one I've done. It's 40 years ago since I won the Gold Roman Bowl on a little 25ft boat called 'Odd Job' which was the smallest boat in the fleet, so this year was very special for me."

The first boat to cross the finish line was the multihull Highland Fling 18, which completed the race in 3 hours, 39 minutes and 5 seconds and wins the Freedom Challenge Bowl (Line Honours for Multihull Grand Prix & MOCRA Racing Classes).

Irvine Laidlaw, owner and helm of Highland Fling 18 said: "It was the first event for us in 2024 and we've travelled over 3,000 miles from Palma to be here but it's worth it! I thoroughly enjoyed the race - it is such a great race and I like the fact we go around an island with the start and finish in the same place, it's rather satisfying."

The Race Organisers would like to offer a big thank you to their Race Partners - B&G, Helly Hansen and Chelsea Magazines.

The 2025 edition of the race will be on Saturday 21 June.

For race information, images and videos from the day visit the event website www.roundtheisland.org.uk and on social media @roundtheisland and #RoundTheIsland #RaceForAll.

S-W NZ: The Daily Mirror reports that one crew member went overboard, and was apparently rescued, after a collision between two of the race yachts in a significant seaway off the The Needles. For a full report and pictures www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/two-boats-crash-man-thrown-33041567

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