Two giants of the multihull world are shaping up to do battle when Francis Joyon and Tony Bullimore take part in this classic event. Francis Joyon currently holds the race record for the fastest multihull which he established at 3 hours 8 minutes 29 seconds in 2001. Seven years later, in IDEC II he broke Dame Ellen MacArthur’s solo, round the world record, shaving two weeks off the previous time. At 30m in length IDEC II weighs only 11 tons with a mast height of 32 metres. The bright red trimaran was most recently seen winning the Tour de Belle Isle in May 2009. Francis Joyon last competed in the Round the Island Race in 2004 and led the Grand Prix Multihull class home just 24 minutes outside his own record.
Tony Bullimore’s sailing career spans more than four decades and 400,000 racing miles. He survived for five days in the freezing waters of the Southern Ocean when his yacht capsized in 1997, famously popping out from an air pocket to be rescued by the Royal Australian Navy. Spirit of Antigua is 31 metres long with a 37 metre mast, designed by Nigel Irens.
MOCRA ratings are awaited for both IDEC II and Spirit of Antigua. Mike Slade’s current monohull race record holder ICAP Leopard tops IRC Class 0 while in the ISC Rating Division, the brand new Discovery 67 Tilly Mint, hull number one of this design, looks to be the one to beat.
Vendee Globe heroines Dee Caffari and Sam Davies will be firing the first starting gun this year. Caffari said: “To be asked to start this impressive race in the sailing calendar is something quite special. The JPMorgan Asset Management Round the Island Race is the biggest sporting event on the water in the UK. It is incredible to see boats of all shapes and sizes alongside each other with sailing talent that ranges from first timers to Olympic medallists. It really is an exceptional day out on the water for everyone involved and equally as breathtaking for the spectators along the shoreline too. The impressive site of around 1,600 boats circumnavigating the Isle of Wight is inspiring and I hope we encourage more people to experience this incredible event. It is an honour to be sounding the gun to mark the start of the stampede of boats, a great many of whom will also be raising money for charity.”
Entries can be made on line here.
The Island Sailing Club is grateful for the continued support of title sponsor JPMorgan Asset Management and race partners Bénéteau, Britannia Events, Dean & Reddyhoff, Nautica Watches, Old Pulteney Whisky, Raymarine, Red Funnel, St Margaret’s Direct and Volvo Car UK.