Round the Island Race
The Round the Island Race is organised by the Island Sailing Club and is the largest sporting event held on water in the UK, with up to 1800 vessels of all shapes and sizes taking part. This annual race circumnavigating the Isle of Wight in an anti-clockwise direction covers a course of 50 miles, starting and finishing on the Solent at the famous sailing town of Cowes. The contest is open to all levels of competitors, with novice and leisure sailors competing alongside Olympic medal winners.
The very first Round the Island Race took place in 1931 and featured just 25 competitors, with the victorious participant being a 22ft. fishing boat from Cornwall. Since then, many famous sailors and their craft have been seen negotiating the Island´s waters, with records being broken on a regular basis. In 1961, multihull boats were added to the list of entries and it is these highly efficient vessels that habitually cross the finishing line first. There are many excellent vantage points around the Isle of Wight where you can enjoy the wonderful spectacle that is the Round the Island Race. These include The Needles, St. Catherines Point, Seaview and naturally the start and finish point at Cowes. Ryde is also a particularly advantageous location to watch, where the race strategy alters as the depth of water decreases dramatically and the boats run the risk of running aground on the sand banks.
As well as all the action on the water, there is plenty to do onshore in the Regatta Village in Cowes where food, drink and free live entertainment is all on offer. This is all organised by the sponsors of the race, JPMorgan Asset Management. There are also several superb pubs and restaurants in Cowes, as well as numerous excellent shops, with many selling sailing related merchandise and local produce.
For further information, visit: www.roundtheisland.org.uk