Entries have closed at a very respectable 1,533 for the 2016 Round the Island Race, sponsored for the twelfth and final year by J.P. Morgan Asset Management.
The oldest boat competing in this year’s Race is almost certain to be Thalia (Sail #11). Built in 1888, she was one of the last yachts by George Wanhill of Poole who was boatbuilding from the 1850s onwards.
In the 1890s Thalia went to Cork and was raced from the Royal Cork Yacht Club, returning to the south coast of England in 1918. After a more recent stint in the Caribbean, she was bought by David Aisher in 2010, and returned to England for a refit at the Elephant Boatyard in Hamble where a new mast was fitted with new standing and running rigging and sails. She was also re ballasted, rewired and replumbed.
David’s Thalia won’t easily be mistaken for another Thalia racing again this year; a Hanse 385 built in 2012. She is owned by Andrew Banks and there are five members of the family on board ranging from his 91 year-old father Ken down to his two sons aged 21 and 19.
A veritable powerhouse of racing experience and RTI know-how is the seemingly invincible Jock Wishart who describes himself as “Adventurer/America’s Cup/Past Holder Round the World Powered Record/Rowed to North Pole/Winner Queens Cup Thames A- Raters”. His 2015 JPK 10.80 boat Shaitan is entered for the Commodores Cup as part of the Celtic Team as well as for this year’s RTI.
Jock has recruited some serious sailing talent including Thomas Lundquist as Helmsman, a Finn Gold Cup Winner & Olympic Gold Medallist, plus Julian Smith, co-Helm and the 2014 National Finn Champion; Andy Sinclair, Trimmer and Red Bull Youth America’s Cup helmsman; Jamie Joel, rigger, instructor etcetera and then these three musketeers, Ruaridh Wright, Peter Cameron and Angus Grey Stephens, all three of whom are Scottish Student Sailing Champions.
Girls for Sail have entered two boats this year with all-female crews, many of whom have never raced before – and in some cases, have never even sailed before. Hot Stuff, a Beneteau 40.7 and Diamonds are Forever, an Elan 37 are competing. Celebrating their 16th Round the Island Race this year and with two all-female boat crews entered, Girls for Sail are hoping to encourage even more women to get involved with this wonderful Race.
Their youngest crew member is 18 and they will be joined by ladies of all ages and levels of experience. The most recent apprentice, Georgi, is training towards her RYA Yachtmaster Offshore ahead of starting a career in the sailing industry.
The Class 40 Concise 2 features a highly experienced all-girl crew on a fast boat with good pedigree, and as proven time and time again they can mix it up with the front of the fleet. Already confirmed for 2nd July are Skipper Joy Fitzgerald, Sammie Evans, Hannah Diamond and Annabel Vose.
Raymarine Weather Briefing
ISC @ 1800hrs on Friday 1st July
Competitors are invited to the Island Sailing Club at 18:00 on Friday 1st July, for the live Raymarine Weather Briefing, presented by Chris Tibbs, a professional meteorologist and Met Office-trained. Chris will share his tactical advice, giving competitors the latest weather and tidal information. If you can’t make it to the ISC the Briefing is also being streamed LIVE to the Royal Southern YC, the mainland HUB Club, or sign up at www.raymarine.eu/rtir-weather and watch the Raymarine Weather Briefing streamed live to you!
Free Water Taxis
courtesy of J.P. Morgan Asset Management and the Island Sailing Club
Once again, there is a free water taxi service for competitors running between 3pm and midnight on Friday 1st July and between 2pm and 1am on Saturday 2nd July. All the details are listed on the Race website: rtir.me/berthing
RTI TV coverage of the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race will once again include live streaming of the Race to a worldwide audience.
A dedicated outside-broadcast production unit will provide live, commentated coverage of the starts and early finishes on Race day. This live coverage will be broadcast on EventTV in Cowes, at the Royal Southern Race Hub in Hamble and on the event website for viewers around the world to watch.
The live show will feature pre-race interviews with key competitors and race officials, full coverage of each of the 11 starts, action from key parts of the racetrack, audio interviews with leading competitors during the Race and live coverage of the first winning boats, along with fleet tracking graphics, key results, weather updates and other features. Two commentators will anchor the show and keep viewers updated with the latest race progress information and news from the Race.
Saga Sapphire gets up close and personal with the RTI Race
The 200m cruise ship Saga Sapphire will be moored off Hamstead for her 750 passengers to view the racing, tethered fore and aft as close to the shore as they can get. With expert commentary on board, they are in for a real treat! The ship is outside the controls of the various authorities involved in the Race but organisers have been assured that the ship will be tethered as close to the Island shore as possible to avoid any mishaps. This is the widest point of the western Solent.
Ways to follow the Race
- Website: On the Day – News on the Hour – a handy snapshot of what’s been happening out on the race course brought to you by expert sailor & yachting journalist Rupert Holmes
- Website: On the Day – Tracking – if you’re racing and you have registered your mobile for tracking (once this service has gone live), your family & friends can follow your progress as you race around the Isle of Wight. It also really helps the comms team and race management to see where you are!
- Website: On the Day – RTI TV – broadcasting live with on-water and shoreside commentary from the Island Sailing Club covering the starts & first finishers. Supplemented by the Race Control Blog reporting from Race HQ at the ISC. On air from 0800 and interspersed with interviews with competitors, race partners, experts.
- Website: On the Day – LIVE Blog – our team of bloggers will once again be interacting with competitors, family & friends and media around the world to bring you the colour, atmosphere and a sense of the sheer scale of the greatest yacht race in the world.
- Race Village: On the Day – The Race Village will be showing RTI TV live on the big screen so that spectators can keep in touch with the action while we’re on air.
- Royal Southern Yacht Club: The mainland Race ‘Hub Club’ in Hamble will be showing live RTI TV from Friday night’s Raymarine Weather Briefing, held at the Island Sailing Club, through Saturday’s live starts and first finishers.
- Social Media: Follow us for Race news & comment on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/roundtheisland & on Twitter @roundtheisland using #raceforall.
Image: Hamo Thornycroft