VIDEO: Dark’N’Stormy performs Round the Island Race hat-trick

Ian Atkins’ GP42 Dark’N’Stormy achieved an historic triple triumph for the 2022 Round the Island Race; taking Monohull Line Honours, winning IRC Zero and the race overall under IRC lifting the coveted Gold Roman Bowl. The triple was last performed by Simon Le Bon’s Drum in 1988. 

The 91st edition of the Island Sailing Club’s Round the Island Race started with a bang from the Royal Yacht Squadron’s starting cannons at 0800 on Saturday morning with more than 1,100 boats  competing in the 50nm race around the Isle of Wight. Line honours went to Julian Linton’s Grand Prix multihull N.R.B, who completed the circumnavigation of the Island in a time of 4h19m. The first monohull to cross the finish line was Ian Atkins’ GP42 Dark’n’Stormy, in a time of 4h54m.

After five hours of racing, including a full on foam up around the back of the island, runner-up to Dark’N’Stormy, by just 63 seconds, was Reichel Pugh GP42 Khumbu sailed by Christian Hamilton and Guy Gillon. GP Zero Class boats dominated this year’s Round the Island Race, both in terms of elapsed and IRC corrected time. Third was the De Graaf family racing Ker 43 Baraka GP. Ker 46 Van Uden skippered by Johnny Poortman, and Bertie Bicket’s IC37 Fargo, also made the top 10 after IRC time correction.

The winning crew. Image: Paul Wyeth

“We had an all-day full-on battle with Khumbu,” said Dark’N’Stormy ‘s navigator Mark Chisnell. “We got the early advantage off the line and up to The Needles, but we were in close company with Van Uden and Baraka right up there. After rounding to the Southside of the island, Khumbu came into us, and we managed to struggle them off. At St. Cats’ we were very close together and engaged in many manoeuvres and sail changes – a real match race. We made a little error into the forts and Khumbu came back at us inshore. We had to work hard to hold them off. It was a tremendous honour to take monohull line honours and to win overall is just fantastic.”

The Dark’N’Stormy team received a tremendous ovation at the Round the Island Race Prize Giving. Tactician Ian Walker gave a speech on behalf of the team: “Thank you to the Island Sailing Club for keeping us all safe out there in a lot of breeze. This is such a wonderful race, I have done this race many times in the smallest and the biggest boats, it was a real privilege to sail with this team. Unfortunately, Ian Atkins the owner of Dark’N’Stormy, had managed to double book his schedule and was unable to race, so a big thank you to Ian for trusting us to race the boat, we made sure we did not hit the wreck at The Needles! A big shout out to Khumbu who pushed us all the way and that is probably one of the reasons we did so well.”

Dame Ellen MacArthur racing on Solent Hero. Image: Paul Wyeth

Dave Atkinson, race director said: “The race started under perfect race conditions with a south westerly 15 knot breeze. The Class 0 yachts headed down the Solent to the west and showed some close racing. It was a fantastic sight to watch the huge fleet of all types of boat, families and professionals, following at 10 minute intervals.”

The GP Zero Class will be back in action for Round 3 of the 2022 Series at Cowes Week.

Dark’N’Stormy crew | 2022 Round the Island Race
Nick Bonner, Abby Childerley, Mark Chisnell, Tim Corney, James Crampton, Dan Brown, Jono Macbeth, Adam Lees, Dan Primrose, Ian Tillett, Ian Walker, Ruaridh Wright.

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