First news bulletin from the RTI Race

First news bulletin from the RTI Race

Saturday June 19 2010 Author: PRPETA Location: United Kingdom

Latest at 0830 from the front: IDEC has stretched her lead at Sandown and the seas have roughed up so the Extreme 40s have dropped off the pace a bit. Second place is X40 Team Metherell (Pindar) rubbing shoulders with X 40 Oman Sail Masirah; then comes X40 Oman Sail the Wave, Muscat, with Ecover in 5th who have headed nearer in shore. ICAP Leopard and Velsheda and bringing up the rear is Artemis, skippered by Graham Tourell.

Britain's favourite yacht race, the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race has started. It's the 79th edition of this great event, the fourth largest participation sporting event in the UK. Thirteen classes ranging from grand prix high tech boats such as ICAP Leopard and IDEC to a 20ft Jo Richards design started from 0500 through to 0640 covering a fleet of 1,754 yachts and some 16,000 sailors.

The current monohull record holder, ICAP Leopard helmed by her owner Mike Slade, was the first monohull to round the Needles. The first multihull to round those infamous rocks was the Extreme 40 Oman Sail, The Wave, Muscat skipped Paul Campbell-James. Just after 0600, the record-holding multihull IDEC, skippered Francis Joyon, rounded along with the Open 60 Artemis Ocean Racing and the TP52 Pace.

Dame Ellen MacArthur is on board Moonspray, an Ellen MacArthur Trust boat with a group of kids all in recovery from cancer and leukemia. They're sailing a Gibsea 44. Ellen says "All's well, we're passing Yarmouth doing about three knots," probably the slowest speed that Ellen's ever raced at! She's having a lovely time though.

The four SailTime Charity Challenge yachts are racing hard. Mike Perham, the youngest ever sailor to go solo around the world when he was only 17 is racing on board Prostate UK as their newest Ambassador, has been coaching the crew in sail trimming and reckons they're about an hour from the Needles. Nellie, the oldest boat in the fleet (built in 1826) are past Hurst Point and doing well. All the crew are in good spirits and enjoying the race so far.

To keep abreast of all the latest Race news follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/RoundtheIsland - use the hashtag #RTIR if you are posting tweets please - and keep checking the website for news at http://www.roundtheisland.org.uk/

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