Round the Island Race tips

The Island Sailing Club issue their advice to competitors
Almost 1600 yachts, including some of the top names in British sailing, have already entered for this Saaturday's Round the Island Race. First boats - the big multi-hulls and grand prix yachts - will cross the start line in front of the Royal Yacht Squadron at Cowes at 8.30am. The bulk of the fleet will then follow between 9am and 10am. Many of the skippers taking part in the race - probably the biggest yacht race in the world and sometimes dubbed the London Marathon of the yachtingworld - have sailed the course before and know theropes. But for new entrants and the more experienced, organisers the Island Sailing Club has issued top tips for skippers. Top Tips for Skippers 1. Tip number one, and important throughout the race, is to be aware of what other boats around you are doing. This is important on the very busy start line and throughout the race. This year the waiting areas for boats to the north of the start line has been moved slightly to the east, to keep boats away from the busy start line. There will be two waiting areas, for boats awaiting their class starts, one north of the line and one to the south. For the first time, the sailing instructions will carry a reminder for boats to use the waiting areas. 2. Once clear of the start, the first leg of the race from Cowes westwards down The Solent to The Needles involves a lot of overtaking and classes will catch up and become more mixed. Chief Race officer David Atkinson, Vice-Commodore of the island Sailing Club, again warns of the need for competitors to be aware of what other boats are doing. 3. As boats approach The Needles, skippers should keep clear of Goose Rock north west of The Needles and the