Charity round the islandhere.
Charity fundraising is playing an increasingly important role in the event, with a record £100,000 raised in 2008. This year is no exception and competitors are supporting a whole choice of good causes from international charities to appeals for the neighbourhood hospice. To help increase awareness of the sailors’ efforts, a new charity forum has been added to the event website where everyone can make their causes known and tell their personal stories. Contributions to the forum have already come from Olympic gold medallist Shirley Robertson OBE, who will be the skipper on board Challenge Ellen MacArthur Trust, and Phoenix Nights star Dave Spikey, supporting Prostate UK. Their testimonies are joined by those of sailors Andy Massey, racing in memory of his wife Louise and Gus Mckechnie who has lost three members of his family to cancer.
Bill Pimlott, Commodore of the Island Sailing Club, said: “So many competitors are fundraising for charity this year. At the ISC we wanted to give everyone the opportunity to raise awareness for their own particular campaign. On the new charity forum sailors can tell their own stories and provide an easy method for donations to be made.”
2008 saw a record turnout of boats in the entire 78-year history of the race and despite the economic downturn entries this year are holding up well. As always, a range of craft will be on the start line including the majestic J-Class Velsheda, making a welcome return after competing in 2001, 2002 and 2003. Tony Todd’s 100ft Bill Dixon-designed Liara will also be joining the IRC division. She was launched in New Zealand in February 2009 and will be skippered by Ross Appleby with a local Solent crew. Her five metre draft will present interesting challenges for tactician Jeff Dakin.
The Sigma 38 OOD Class Association is using the event for a 21st birthday celebration and former Gold Roman Bowl winners Jeremy Rogers and Edward Donald will be out vying for position again. Nautica Watches has introduced a new Seamanship Award and extracted results will be available for the first time for the growing J/109 class. Olympic medallist Ben Ainslie will be competing and also presenting the prizes the following day.
Standard entry rates are available until midnight on 30th May after which late entries can be accepted up to midday on 13th June 2009.