Photos: Patrick Eden

Gladiator claims Gold Roman Bowl

Round the Island Race's top prize winner announced

Saturday July 2nd 2016, Author: James Boyd, Location: United Kingdom

The provisional winner of the JPMorgan Asset Management Round the Island Race's biggest prize, the Gold Roman Bowl for the first IRC boat on corrected time, is Bernard Langley's TP52 Gladiator. She powered around the course to become the second monohull to finish, crossing the line less than four and a half hours after her start.

Gladiator's owner, Tony Langley, is currently racing his other TP52 in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, but his three children, Tom, Charlotte and Bernard all sailed on board today, the latter as helmsman.

"It was a windy and rough race," says boat captain Brett Aarons, "especially in the overfalls off St Catherine's and Dunnose. It was very wet, both on deck and below." Nevertheless the team never held back, hoisting the A3 spinnaker at the Needles, before peeling to the A4 at St Catherine's Point and hitting speeds of 20-24 knots."

"At that point we knew that we had a chance of a good result. At that kind of speed, the adverse tide only slows you by a small percentage. Once we were back in the eastern Solent we were still in the last of the west-going favourable tide and were almost able to lay the finish line in one tack - it was a huge advantage."

In a fast-paced and action-packed day that started at a later than usual 0830 with the firing of the first gun by HRH Prince Michael of Kent GCVO, Sir Keith Mills' FAST 40+ Invictus missed out on winning the coveted Gold Roman Bowl for the first IRC yacht on corrected time, having to settle for second place. His crew included Invictus Games competitor Zoe Williams, as well as Prince Harry, following a long-standing invitation to compete in the Race this year.

Although the top four places overall went to high-budget campaigns, the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race has always been one in which amateur sailors and those with possibly shallower pockets can excel. Paul Dunstan's modest 25ft Folkboat from 1974 was one of the best placed smaller boats this year, taking ninth place overall on corrected time and second place in IRC Division 3D to Andy Shaw's Flying Boat.

Multihull record smashed

Lloyd Thornburg's MOD70 trimaran Phaedo³ shattered the multihull race record rounding in a time of 2 hours 23 minutes, 23 seconds, 28 minutes ahead of the record Sir Ben Ainslie set in 2013.

"Today was incredible - one of the best sails we've ever had on the boat and the sun really shone on us," said Thornburg.  "We're over the moon, the team work on board was fantastic and it was just on the edge where we could keep the full main up, so the boat was totally powered up. Reaching and downwind it was right on the edge."

The largest monohull in the fleet, Mike Leopard's 100ft Leopard, took monohull line honours, but failed to beat the record time he set in 2013 by 13 minutes.

Despite the unusually testing conditions, only a small percentage of the fleet retired from the race, with the overwhelming majority of competitors - some of whom saw gusts to almost 40 knots - successfully completing the course. By 2100 there were only a handful of the back markers left on the final few miles of the race course. The only prize that was still open before the finish deadline of 2230 was the Tenacity Trophy for last boat to cross the line within the time limit!

Major trophy winners included:

OBSERVER TROPHY & JPMAM TROPHY - First Monohull to finish 
            GBR1R            LEOPARD            Mike Slade                      
GOLD ROMAN BOWL & JPMAM SALVER - First Overall IRC        
            GBR11152      GLADIATOR        Bernard Langley                      
            GBR1851X       INVICTUS           Sir Keith Mills                      
            GBR1682R       TOKOLOSHE II    Michael Bartholomew                      
            GBR4863R        YES!                    Adam Gosling                      
JPMORGAN TROPHY - First Overall IRC Group 0               
            GBR11152          GLADIATOR      Bernard Langley                      
            GBR4863R            YES!                 Adam Gosling                      
RAYMARINE RIR YOUNG SAILOR TROPHY                         
            GBR3277L            WAVE WHISPERER            Richard Barnes
TENACITY TROPHY - Last boat to finish within the time limit
            SEASCAPE (John Hulford-Funnell)



Phaedo³, Round the Island Race 2016 from Ocean Images on Vimeo.

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