The sport of sailing offers so much to so many

The sport of sailing offers so much to so many

Thursday March 3 2011 Author: PRPETA Location: United Kingdom

Peta Stuart-Hunt reports on some of the latest entries to the 80th Round the Island Race

Everyone involved in organising the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race is delighted at the amount of interest being generated in, and the incredible number of entries already received (575 as I write) for the 80th Anniversary Race.

Do remember to enter by midnight on 5th March to benefit from the Early Bird rates!

The Race, which this year takes place on Saturday June 25th, will produce the most spectacular site as the enormous fleets of boats head off towards and around the famous Needles landmark. For the spectators and the participants, it’s a stunning sight. It’s worth looking out for the fleet of ten Clipper 68s that has entered. This year, there are four Tall Ships Youth Trust’s 72ft Challenger Yachts taking part. Each yacht will be crewed by 12 adults, some of whom have no sailing experience at all. No need to worry though, as they will all be supported by experienced skippers, mates and a group of volunteers who will show them everything they need to know in order to sail the yachts safely around the Isle of Wight.

One of the groups getting involved is from the Rank Foundation, a grant giving charitable trust which is (in part) dedicated to investing in projects to help disadvantaged or disengaged young people. On board the yachts will be a selection of qualified youth workers, young leaders and trainee youth workers all of whom are part of the Rank Network. The Tall Ships Youth Trust is a registered charity whose main aim is to offer young people the opportunity to sail and gain life changing experiences and skills. However, there are also opportunities, like these, for adults to get onboard and gain from this magnificent experience, whilst also supporting the running of the Trust’s vessels so they can help more young people get afloat.

Dedicated dancers

In 2009 Cuan March spotted a Limbo Mini Tonner 21 that was literally about to be cut up and disposed of in a yard skip. He decided to rescue it having learned to sail with his brother on inland waters in Zimbabwe and having since undertaken many transatlantic deliveries. Cuan and his brother named the boat EX-TIP, and restored her on a very limited budget. Although this is Cuan’s 4th Round the Island Race, it will be a first for his brother and nephew who are crewing.

Following in the Limbo queue is Dedicated Dancer, a Limbo 6.6. Owner David Robinson is entering the Race for the 23rd time in the same boat with his regular crew who have previously managed an impressive 3rd overall in 2009 but slipped to 62nd in 2010, so ‘they know they need to try harder’, quips David. Still competitive after 25 years London-based Ellis Ruddick is racing for the first time on his Westerly GK34, Scallywag. It is also the first time Andrew White has taken part sailing his new Etap 30 Mercator. He’s actually done the Race five times on other boats but comments, “Taking my own boat around is a dream which I am proud to be realising. She’s a great boat for 25 years old, in great shape, and we are looking forward to a terrific day out with a few thousand like- minded people.”

Also ready for the challenge is Paul Drew, an engineering manager at Bradwell Nuclear Site. His Beneteau First 29, Harvest Moon is also 25 years old, a comfortable cruiser and competitive club racer that has been based on the River Crouch for the last 20 years.

The ISC Class Calendar Girls join in!

Kalynda, is a Sasanka Viva 70 designed by Andrzej Skrzat - the most famous Polish yacht builder and designer - and now owned by Neil Fuller who recently returned to sailing after a 25-year break. This is his first attempt at the Round the Island Race.

In the hopes of creating a ‘Calendar Girls’ theme, imagine my joy at seeing an entry for Kalinda, an 8M Van der Stadt design, built in 1970 and under shared ownership for the last 26 years. The team has entered six times since 1985, and one of the crew, Beverley Beach, is President of the London Corinthian Sailing Club.

Stepping back in time

The deck gear on Amelie Rose, a replica of an 1800s Scilly Islands Pilot Cutter and entered as a Scillonian Pilot Cutter 44' in the Gaffer class, is nothing more modern than blocks, tackles and a 5ft tiller. As skipper Nick Beck observes, her crew of charter guests will certainly get in touch with some maritime history by the end of the Race as there’s little aboard that wouldn’t be recognised by a sailor in Nelson’s day.

Foxhound 24, Sleuth, is described by her long-term owner Paul Dale, as being a, “cheap, fast, old boat”. With 20 Round the Island Races under their belt since 1983, maybe this Anniversary Race will prove her to be a ‘Super Sleuth’ and she will improve on her previous best of 205th overall.

A Carter 36, Mischief of Mercia, was constructed in 1974 for Bruce Banks and was part of the British One Ton Cup Team in the same year. In recent years she has been located in the Milford Haven area where she continues to race successfully under the ownership of Martin Sykes.

Cockles and loads of family muscles!

Three generations of the Cockle family will tackle the race on their Lagoon 380 Monocle. This 38ft catamaran is used mainly for cruising and this year the family have decided to use the event to raise funds for Greenwich and Bexley Cottage Hospice.

This is the third year that Bill Price and Helen Ancel have participated in the Race and the take-up for spaces has swelled so much that two Bavaria’s have been chartered to accommodate all 22 crew members. The wives will compete on Whistler, the spouses on Scimitar, each with a fair proportion of novices and those with slightly more experience on board. Whilst the competition is fierce, above all the families continue to champion family values.

Keith Parker will compete during what he refers to as his ‘Gap Year’, that is his cruise around mainland Britain. However, as he writes on his entry form that most of the three generations of crew, (including a 5 year-old Mirror sailor), will refer to Keith as ‘Pa’, we’re wondering whether this could be a somewhat belated ‘year out’ for Keith? It is the first time Lysa Blue, a Prospect 900, will have participated in the Race as she is based in Fife and usually cruised in Scottish waters.

Offshore sailor John M. Young is skippering Zander, a Hallberg Rassy 34, in his first Round the Island Race. The family cruiser will be accommodating a crew of limited experience including his son and daughter and we wish them all a safe and speedy race.

Rebecca Granger skipper of Filumo, a Sparkman & Stephens She C32, a Classic Racing Yacht (ISCRS) built in 1973, is hoping to lead her all-male crew, including her father, to a Class win this year.

What’s the meaning of this?

This is the second year that skipper Duncan Thomson has entered the race on Grand Panjandrum. Duncan states that his crew complement has a tendency to “drink all the beer and eat all the food” despite ‘Panjandrum’ having a listing in the Oxford Dictionary as meaning “a person who has or claims to have a great deal of authority or influence.” Perhaps it is time to pull rank Duncan?

Meanwhile, you need ‘a light or west wind’, a Zephyr, to get you across the start line in the Round the Island Race, and Russell Eden on Zephyr, a Cape Yachts Cape Cutter 19, will be looking forward to getting stuck in to his Race having just made this purchase. Zephyr started life in Cape Town in 2003, moved to Lymington, Hampshire, then on to Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland. She was once stolen but the police tracked her down and she was returned to her rightful owner!

Follow the Race news on Twitter@roundtheisland and also on the new Race Facebook page at www.facebook.com/roundtheisland

For everything else, please turn to the official Race website at http://www.roundtheisland.org.uk.

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