Entries for the world-famous Round the Island Race opened midnight, 3 January. The first competitor to sign-up was Martin Thomas, who completed the formalities for his three-year-old Bridgedeck Multihull INXSA in just 179 seconds, winning a bottle of Mermaid Gin for his efforts!
Organised by the much-respected Island Sailing Club, the Round the Island Race (RIR) is one of the UKs largest participation sporting events and is expected to attract over 1,500 boats and thousands of sailors. This years event will take place on Saturday 30 May, a few weeks earlier than usual to accommodate tidal conditions. With starts beginning shortly after sunrise, competitors are expected to enjoy a spectacular first leg down to the Needles, together with a welcome early finish back in Cowes.
Racing over 50 nautical miles around the breath-taking Isle of Wight coastline, the fleet will include racing and cruising monohulls, multihulls, Gaffers, Classics and dayboats taking on one of the worlds best loved sailing challenges a unique day of fun, excitement, team-spirit and achievement.
Dave Atkinson, Round the Island Event Director said: “The Island Sailing Club is proud to host this iconic event. It’s a fantastic privilege to welcome professional sailors, Olympians, club racers, families and one-off racers from all over the world to compete on a single race course.
“We want our ambition of a Race For All to build even more momentum this year. Our team are working on some thrilling new ways for all competitors and spectators to enjoy the run-up and event day – watch this space!
“Following the success last year of The Race Village on The Parade in Cowes, were bringing it back by popular demand. Theres going to be a full entertainment schedule and lots of food and drinks options to choose from. With an expected early finish this year, its definitely going to be the place to enjoy a well-earned post-race beer with friends and family.”
The Round the Island race has a strong tradition of fundraising for charities with over £500,000 raised since 2006. As in previous years The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust is the official race charity. Their work is focused on rebuilding confidence of young people after cancer through sailing and adventure. They are joined in their support of the race by event partners Helly Hansen, Raymarine, MS Amlin Insurance and Chelsea Magazines.
Early Bird entries are available online until 1 February and competitors are encouraged to get their entries in early to take advantage of the discounts on offer. For more details and how to register to take part in Round the Island Race 2020, visit roundtheisland.org.uk