Fundraising for charity has become an increasingly important aspect of the event and in 2007 over £70,000 was raised for the race’s four charities - Breast Cancer Care, Macmillan Cancer Support, Prostate UK and The Ellen MacArthur Trust. Typical of the many stories of courage and determination was Robin Wood, one of last year’s top charity enthusiasts and the first official entry for the race in 2008.
Robin and the crew on Noumanon competed in support of Prostate UK, a charity which has a special meaning for him. On completing his entry, Robin said: “The JPMorgan Asset Management Round the Island Race is a unique event. It’s just fantastic to race in such a huge fleet with so many different classes of boat. It is run in a very British manner - everyone keen as mustard right down to the novices taking part for the first time.
"Having been diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer, I decided the race was an excellent way of gaining sponsorship for Prostate UK. It added a new dimension to the race - more people to tell we were taking part, excitement throughout the crew as we watched the total of donations mounting, plus an excuse to tell everyone how well we had done after the race. As long as I am able, I will take part in this event for my chosen charity.”
Robin completed the course round the Isle of Wight in just over nine hours and achieved a creditable top third result in his class. He and his crew raised £3,000 for Prostate UK.
Bill Pimlott, Commodore of the Island Sailing Club, which runs the event said: “Last year we had the highest number of finishers in the history of the race and we look forward to welcoming newcomers and old friends alike in 2008. I know many competitors have more tankards than their mantelpiece can accommodate. If this is the case, skippers can make a note on their entry form and the Island Sailing Club will make a donation to charity in lieu of the memento.”
Full information is available on http://www.roundtheisland.org.uk which also includes a new section ( here) of “Your Feedback” in answer to matters raised through the competitor questionnaire introduced in 2007 - which includes the news that No Man's Land Fort is to be re-introduced as a mark of the course.