Round Island Race

The fleet of 1,000+ sailboats all knew they were going to have their hands full round the back (southern side) of the infamous Isle of Wight in England for the Round Island Race. The race track is simple—start around dawn, head west out past the Needles Lighthouse, turn left around St. Catherine’s Point, sail eastward to Bembridge Ledge, left around the Forts and back west up the Solent to the finish (a 60nm race). The morning came and the forecast was true holding steady at 27kts, still windy but it all seemed manageable for most crews. Getting out toward the Bramble Banks in the western approaches to the Solent, things were starting to heat up a bit, wind against tide made for square-walled 5-8 foot waves. After passing Needles Lighthouse, the fleet took off on a fast reach, most under jibs and reefed mains. However, the big tactical consideration was when to pop the kite approaching the first turning point downwind at St. Catherine’s Point. Some did, most did not. Those who did took off, with many crews experiencing some of the most amazing planing rides in their lifetimes. After rounding the Forts/Bembridge Ledge at the eastern end of the Solent, it was a beat against the tide up the beaches off the Ryde Sands in flat water to the finish line off the Royal Yacht Squadron. In IRC Division 2B, winning in such heavy weather conditions were the J/105s, taking the first four positions: JELLY BABY (Bill Newton), JIN TONIC (Roberts/Edgerley), NEILSON REDEYE (Neilson Holidays/Peter Tyler) and JESTER (David Cowell). For the overall "J/Boats Trophy," two of the top three boats were J/105s: Bill Newton’s JELLY BABY and Roberts/Edgerley’s JIN TONIC. For more JP Morgan Round the Island Race, click here.

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