Will the 80th Race be another record-breaker?
Will the 80th Race be another record-breaker?
Peta Stuart-Hunt highlights some interesting entries for the 2011 Race taking place on 25th June
Since online entries for this historic 80th Anniversary Race opened in mid-January, the Entries team has been besieged, already processing 367 entries (at the time of writing). Will the 80th Race be another record-breaker? The Race organisers at the Island Sailing Club are certainly hoping for a record year and rumour has it that there is already an office sweepstake up and running!
The largest entry figure for this Race so far stands at 1,875 boats, achieved in 2008.
Last year’s Race recorded 1,754 entries and 1,607 who finished the Race. This is the highest-ever recorded number of finishers in the history of the Race. There were 47 retirements and 16 disqualifications/OCS (On the Course Side of the starting line).
In early February I reported on the first entry, a fabulous new Contessa 32, from the record-breaking Rogers family, called Calypso. Having had the opportunity to study the first batch of entries following Calypso, there is already an amazing mix of boats, owners and crews signed up for the start line.
Phizz of Caen is owned and skippered by Trevor Hardaker who claims that she is “equipped for long-distance cruising.” This Bavaria 40 is based up in Yorkshire and Trevor, a member of Scarborough Yacht Club and the Humber Yawl Club, has sailed for 40 years in the UK, western Mediterreanean and the Atlantic coast of France. He says that the prospect of joining the fleet for the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race is “a source of some anxious anticipation.” Let’s hope Trevor and his crew of varying experience, turn in a suitably racy performance on her first time round the Isle of Wight.
One boat that particularly caught my eye is STREN, a Tumlare described by owner and skipper Roddy Steel as “a 1948 Classic double ender”. I did a little more research and in one of Gavin Atkins’ weblogs in Intotheboatshed.net, he references the Tumlare as follows: “The Tumlare gained recognition when K Adlard Coles raced and cruised one before the Second World War, and wrote about his experiences in his book ’Sailing Years’ : An Autobiography. In most yachties’ minds I guess his name is probably most associated with another of his books, ‘Heavy Weather Sailing’. Still, his ‘Sailing Years’ caught my interest when I read it some years ago, and like lots of people I was also naturally curious about his boat, with its deep keel, fairly slim hull, even slimmer canoe stern and tall, narrow rig. All those things go together, naturally, to make a fast and sweet boat....”
Steve Curtler from Christchurch, Dorset, has entered Whisper, a Splinter 21, that was first entered into the ‘Ratsey & Lapthorn Round the Island Race’ in 1969 and came first in Division B when she was owned by Tony Fallon of Poole Yacht Club. Last year, with her latest owner Steve skippering her, Whisper, a Masthead Sloop with a fin keel, designed by E.G. van de Stadt, delivered another impressive performance coming in 7th overall.
We welcome another van de Stadt-designed entry, a Seacracker 33 built in 1977 and owned and skippered by Gavin Rees from Berkhamsted in Hertfordshire. She is Becky and this is their first Round the Island Race.
Carrying on the Dutch theme, the first foreign entry into the 2011 Race is Baraka GP, a Swan 42 from Rotterdam, the Netherlands and skippered by Piet de Graaf with family and friends crewing.
Nellie emerges with restored topsides and a coat of grey
The oldest boat to enter again this year is almost certainly going to be the lovely Nellie, the Itchen Ferry who is returning with her owner and skipper Scott Waddington. After featuring Nellie and Scott’s story with the media in 2010, they ended up being one of our biggest media hits! For those who don’t know her history and extraordinary story, it is worth repeating briefly and providing an update. Nellie was built by Dan Hatcher in 1862 at his yard in Belvidere in Southampton. She spent many of her early years in the good hands of the Banks Family. She retains her original open configuration and has undergone an extensive restoration over the past seven years.
However when Nellie was headed for the bonfire in 2003, she was offered to Scott's father, Chris Waddington, a veteran Gaffer and founder of the Old Gaffer's section in the Round the Island Race. This past winter Nellie’s topsides have been tended to by master boat restorer Alastair Garland. Alastair has split the planking above the waterline in two before refastening and splining to retain her handsome lines. Nellie has also returned to her 1920's coat of grey following a few decades of being dressed in black.
Another very pretty boat is the Tofinou Bermudan Sloop 9.5 Queenie entered by John Webber from Bosham in West Sussex. She was built in 2004 by Latitude 46 in Saint Martin Ile de Re, France, and raced in Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez. It’s her second time out for this Race.
A Dehler 34, Spacey’s Head over Heals, is owned by the MOD and run by HMS Sultan in Gosport. She’s being helmed by Lt Craig Spacey who, although he has never skippered a boat in this Race, says he has trained specifically to compete in it! I’m not sure what that means exactly, but he is a nuclear engineering officer who has recently served on HMS TRENCHANT, a nuclear attack submarine based in Plymouth!
Around the world in less than eighty days
Not one to shy away from circumnavigations, Martin Jourdan aged 69, and a past High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire, is doing the Race in his jointly owned Jeanneau Fantastia 27, MAEVA. As well as having entered the Round the Island Race for the past four years, he was also a member of the crew of Adventurer which broke the record for a world circumnavigation in a power boat in 1998. Originally named the Cable and Wireless Adventurer, she was built for the purpose of circumnavigating the world in less than 80 days. This was successfully accomplished in July 1998 in 74 days, 20 hours, 58 minutes, travelling more than 22,600 nautical miles.
Another former circumnavigator, in his role as a skipper in the 1992/93 British Steel Challenge and the 1996 British Steel Challenge, Paul Egan from Edinburgh is skippering in his eighth Round the Island Race on APRES LE VENT, a brand new Beneteau Oceanis 37. Paul and his sailing friend and Race rival, skipper Paul Double from Titchfield in Hampshire, who has entered another brand new Oceanis 37 called FLEUR DE LIS, are match-racing in their own ‘race within a race’ called The Saffron Cup, created over a meal three years ago at the Saffron Curry House in Cowes.
We have already received our first possible claim on the boat entered with the oldest combined age of the crew – 420 years, including the owner’s seven year-old daughter and the oldest crewman being 65. The owner and skipper of ADARIN, a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 37 is Michael Bradley from Westcliff-on-Sea in Essex and he has been sailing from Burnham on Crouch for 20 years, mainly racing Squibs at Club level. I have a feeling that claim might get challenged.
That’s the Spirit
Finally in this first report, we have FLIGHT OF UFFORD entered by Sean McMillan from Woodbridge in Suffolk. The boat is a Spirit 52 and she was the first to be built by Spirits Yachts in 2007. Since Sean is the founder and MD as well as being the designer and builder, it is fitting that he owns the first out of the mould. It’s also a first Round the Island Race for him and his entire crew is made up of staff from Spirit Yachts. This modern classic is, as with other Spirits’, built entirely of wood composite and we’re looking forward to seeing her on the Race course.
Don’t forget to enter by 5th March to benefit from the Early Bird entry fee of £71. Just click on the ‘Enter online’ button on the Home Page at http://www.roundtheisland.org.uk
You can also follow us on Twitter@roundtheisland and we’re delighted to have just launched our Race Facebook page at www.facebook.com/roundtheisland
For everything else, please turn to the official Race website at http://www.roundtheisland.org.uk.