Entries open for the Round the Island Race

The Island Sailing Club has announced that entries are now open for the 2024 edition of Britain’s Favourite Yacht Race, the Round the Island Race, which is being held on 15 June.

The annual Round the Island Race has become an iconic sporting event with the first race taking place in 1931. Competitors come from all over the UK and worldwide to follow the 50 nautical mile course around the Isle of Wight, an island situated off the south coast of England. Starting on the Royal Yacht Squadron line in Cowes at 6am, the fleet race westabout to The Needles, pass St Catherine’s Point, round Bembridge Ledge buoy, and back into the Solent to the finish line at Cowes.

The race regularly attracts over 1,100 boats and around 7,000 sailors and is one of the largest yacht races in the world. Enthusiastic amateurs and families compete on the same racecourse as elite pros and Olympians, making it such a special one-off sporting occasion. For many, the aim of the day is to enjoy an incredible day on the water with friends and family but for others there are prizes to be won and records to break. The course records stand at 3h 43m 50s for a monohull boat, set by Mike Slade on ICAP Leopard in 2013, and 2h 22m 23s for a multihull boat, set by Ned Collier Wakefield on Concise 10 in 2017.

A sea of spinnakers at The Needles. Image: Paul Wyeth

Race Director, David Atkinson said: “The Race Team are incredibly excited to launch this year’s edition of the race, and with an earlier date, it’s sure is to be an exhilarating start to the 2024 Summer Sailing Season. We carefully choose the start time and date to provide the optimal tidal conditions for the race, and with such a wonderfully varied fleet we want to ensure that all competitors can reach and round The Needles.

“The race experience is so different each year and I think this is why our competitors are addicted to returning year after year. Also, I’d say the camaraderie out on the water is unrivalled; it’s such a pleasure to see so many sailors having such a great time.”

This year, the RNLI has been named as the Official Race Charity. All donations raised will go to the seven stations involved in the race and specifically for the training of their volunteer crews.

Claire Johnson, Fundraising & Partnerships Lead South East for the RNLI said: “We have always been immensely supportive and proud of our involvement with the Island Sailing Club and Round the Island Race, and to be named the Official Charity Partner in the same year that we mark two centuries of saving lives at sea is a real honour. We are delighted that we can continued to support the safety and enjoyment of such a wonderful event and receive funds from kind donors, allowing us to continue to provide world-class training for our volunteer crews across the seven stations involved on the day of the race and, ultimately, to save more lives throughout the year.”

Official Race Partner, B&G, will be providing a Race Support Programme which will include B&G’s team of experts hosting exclusive webinar events for competitors to help them get the most out of their electronics as they prepare for race day. Experts will also be on-site in the run-up to the start to assist with any last-minute queries.

Gemma Davies, Director of Marketing for B&G said: “B&G is proud to be the Official Race Marine Electronics Partner for the Round the Island Race. B&G has been at the cutting edge of sailing innovation since 1955, and our racing heritage gives us an unrivalled platform for developing new technology, which is put through its paces by the world’s best sailors in the most challenging conditions.”

The Island Sailing Club, based on the Isle of Wight, is proud to have organised this globally renowned race for over 90 years. The ISC would like to invite race competitors to become members and is offering an exclusive membership package. Please contact the ISC office to find out more.

For more race information and to take advantage of great Early Bird Entry Deals visit the event website www.roundtheisland.org.uk. For all the latest news on social media – @roundtheisland and #RoundTheIsland #RaceForAll.

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