1720s round the island

Becci Owen reports on Ian Atkins' epic voyage in Saturday's Round The Island race

Wednesday June 26th 2002, Author: Becci Owen, Location: United Kingdom
The 26 foot, Cork 1720, boats.com flew round the Isle of Wight this Saturday to win its class in the 2002 Round the Island Race, ahead of all but seven of the giant Class 1 boats on the water.

Unfortunately, the 48 strong Sportsboat fleet is not eligible for the overall Round the Island Race Trophy, even though all entrants must have valid IRC certificates. Under the 1720s IRC rating boats.com would have finished with a corrected time of 07.19.09 and would therefore have taken ninth position in the overall IRC rankings for the day. Owner and skipper Ian Atkins consoled himself with having beaten the Mumm 30s and the other 14 1720s in the fleet, for the Sportsboat class win.

Starting at 0900 hours, boats.com went on to average 10 knots around the south side of the island in a close tussle with last year's winners, the 1720 Optimum Risk, sailed by James Baxter and crew. Locked together across Sandown Bay these two reached speeds of over 16 knots under asymmetric spinnakers, and overtook a number of larger boats. boats.com finally broke clear approaching Bembridge Ledge buoy and crossed the finish line surrounded by 50 and 60 footers at 1607hrs. Ian Atkins commented: "The worse part of the trip was that we didn't even get time to open the lunch bag until after the finish!"

A member of Hill Head Sailing club, boats.com normally races out of the Hamble and was crewed for the Round the Island by Alastair Walton, Nick Crang, Peter Brent, Julie O'Donnell and Sam Atkins (15).

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