Numbers up from last year
One of the yachts making a racing debut is Infinity of Cowes, a brand new CNB95 from the custom wing of Bénéteau. The boat is currently undergoing sea trials in France ready for delivery to her British owner. With a 95ft length overall and 23ft beam Infinity of Cowes is cutter rigged and will be racing in the IRC division.
Returning to defend the title he has held since 2001 is Mike Slade, current monohull record holder for the race. This year he will be the skipper of ICAP Leopard, the supermaxi that holds the record for the Rolex Fastnet Race, crossed the line second in the 2008 Sydney-Hobart and took monohull line honours in the JPMorgan Asset Management Round the Island Race 2007. The crew will include Volvo 70 and America’s Cup sailors.
The charity aspect of the race continues in 2008 as competitors are encouraged to 'make their race count' by racing or fundraising for charity. This year will see a new initiative with the launch of the JPMorgan Asset Management Round the Island Race Charity Squad. The four official race charities - The Ellen MacArthur Trust, Breast Cancer Care, Prostate UK and Macmillan - will select one boat to act as an ambassador for them during the race and join the Charity Squad. These boats will feature bespoke yacht branding and an attractive package from the Round the Island Race partners. The aim of the Charity Squad is to communicate the charity message to a wider audience and encourage more people to “make their race count”. Anyone interested in fundraising and racing on behalf of one of the charities, or applying to be one of the charity boats, please contact Into the blue direct: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Entry online is available through www.roundtheisland.org.uk which also includes a useful guide for newcomers to the event.