RTYC members in the Round the Island Race


1,584 boats took part in the 2015 edition of the Round the Island race. This annual event is the 4th largest sporting event in the UK, after the London Marathon and the Great North and South Runs. Although, for some participants this event may have felt more like a marathon than a sailing event.

‘The start line’

Starts began at 0700, with the fastest boat finishing in 3hrs 30mins 24secs, this was the  MOD 70, Concise skippered by Ned Collier Wakefield. Slower boats found themselves only just finishing just after sunset, having spent over 12hrs battling it out. Whilst the conditions were absolutely wonderful with the breeze beginning as a North Westerly before clocking round to a South Westerly direction, no records were broken this year.
With 13-15kts and plenty of sunshine, the race proved to be a pleasant, and at times exciting sail, sail for the fleet. After a busy beat up towards The Needles, with some boats choosing to head between the rock and the wreck, kites were hoisted and the fleet sped off on a reach to St Catherine’s Point, with a large swell, some heavy gusts, and almost 1,600 boats, this proved to be the perfect recipe for a few broaches.

‘Hoisting at The Needles’

Between St Catherine’s and Ventnor the fleet were able to bear away, and the asymmetric boats found themselves narrowly crossing the bows and sterns of the symmetric boats- with plenty of gybing and hails of Starboard, all the way down to Bembridge Ledge Cardinal Mark, where spinnakers were dropped and the fleet rounded up to make their final fetch then beat towards the line. With tide against the fleet the leg was a long one past Seaview and Ryde, with plenty of position changes throughout the leg… plus a little bit of touch tacking along Ryde Sands.

‘Sir Keith Mills’ Invictus

There were some fantastic results from the RTYC members including; Sir Keith Mills’ Invictus  with his son Alex on board who won IRC Group 0. David Franks’ Strait Dealer- won IRC Group 2 and finished 7th in IRC Overall. John Westlake and his crew on Polar Bear III, fresh from their success in the RTYC Cumberland Regatta won ISC Group 4 and came 9th in the ISC Overall. Tony Langley with TP52 Gladiator came 2nd in IRC Group 0 and 7th Line Honours. Previous RTI record holder Mike Slade with his Farr 100 Leopard finished 6th Line Honours. Peter Morton’s Salvo finished 2nd in IRC Group 1. It was the first race for Peter Bainbridge’s Rustler 33, Whisper, which finished 3rd in ISC Division A. Willy McNeill and his Quarter Tonner Illegal Immigrant finished 1st in class and 9th Overall. Josh Downer, our very own J/70 bosun, won the Mini Tonner class in his boat Ziggy. 3 RTYC J/70s competed in the race, with Scott Millar, Ed Males and Sarah Hornby finishing 3rd in the Sportsboat Class.

‘Mike Slade’s Leopard

‘John Westlake and the crew of Polar Bear III

The Island Sailing Club were especially proud to have Helena Lucas, Paralympic sailor and RTYC member, present the teams with their trophies, she also skippered Exabyte in the race. Many more members will have completed this year’s race, congratulations to everyone who participated, and helped to make this event one of the best in the sailing calendar.