Issued: 29th April 2010
By: Peta Stuart-Hunt on behalf of the Island Sailing Club
DAME ELLEN IS OUR RACE ‘STARTER FOR 10’
Cowes, Isle of Wight, UK: Owing to the tide on Race Day 19th June, this year sees a very early first start of 0500hrs for the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race. It’s early but it will make for an amazing spectacle as the sunrise coincides with the hundreds of boats milling around the start line off the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes on the Isle of Wight. To add to the excitement, the Island Sailing Club is delighted to confirm that Dame Ellen MacArthur, the world’s most celebrated yachtswoman and veteran of the Round the Island Race, will fire the starting cannon to set the fleet on its way. Ellen will then be joining one of the four Ellen MacArthur Trust boats entered in the Race with the crews made up of young people recovering from cancer and leukemia.
Ellen follows an illustrious list of previous Race starters including the sailing legend Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, double Olympic sailing medallists’ Shirley Robertson OBE & Sarah Webb OBE and celebrity gardener and TV presenter Alan Titchmarsh MBE during his time as the High Sheriff of the Isle of Wight.
Libby Greenhalgh delivers the Raymarine Weather Briefing
Understanding the weather patterns and the tidal activity at key points during the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race is vital for competitors to achieve their best possible result on the day. Race Partner Raymarine will once again be providing weather, tide and tactics tips which are freely available to all competitors via SMS, email and a face-to-face Weather Briefing which takes place at the Island Sailing Club at 1800 hours on Friday 18th June.
This year top meteorologist Libby Greenhalgh will be providing the weather and tidal data which is available online from Wednesday 16th June, giving competitors vital day by day updates to plan their race strategy. A Met Office trained and experienced forecaster, Libby works for Skandia Team GBR, the RYA’s Olympic sailing squad, providing education, planning and forecasting for the team. She was an integral part of the highly successful British Sailing team at the Olympic Games at Qingdao and combines her detailed understanding of the weather with a strong heritage in offshore and inshore racing. An experienced sailor to Olympic standard herself, she now races in everything from J105s, a boat in which they won Cowes Week, to Mumm 30s, and is a regular racer in the Solent. As well as being an accomplished sailor herself, she comes from an impressive sailing family – her brothers Peter Greenhalgh is a Silver medallist in the 49er class, and Robert is a Volvo Round the World sailor now campaigning in the Oman Sail Mumm 30 team. Her father David is also a regular competitor in the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race.
In her role as the Raymarine weather forecaster for this year’s race, Libby says the information will combine vital weather forecasting advice alongside tidal data, as for many competitors, the tidal effect is key. She will use Raymarine’s award-winning RayTech RNS navigation software to demonstrate the weather forecast for Race Day, complete with the progression of tides, currents, wind speed and direction for the Isle of Wight and surrounding waters.
Working with Steve Adams from Yachting TV, Libby says, “We’ll be filming from a variety of strategically important points on the Isle of Wight in the days pre the Race, which will be available for competitors to view online from the Raymarine website. This will show the effect of weather and tide in a variety of conditions, enabling skippers, navigators and crew to make informed decisions about their best strategy, depending on the weather conditions on the day and the tide at that time. Even experienced racers get it wrong sometimes, such as hitting the boiler, so we’ll be talking through race strategy at all levels, with time breaks so smaller and slower boats get as much help as the faster record-breakers.”
The pre-Race weather briefing, which takes place in the bar at the Island Sailing Club will be repeated on big screens in the downstairs bar to accommodate the number of attendees who regularly attend this vital briefing. The key points and summaries will also be available on Raymarine’s website and competitors can sign up for SMS notifications by logging onto http://www.raymarine.co.uk/news-and-events/rtir-2010/weather-briefings.
Fun & frolics in the Race Village as we play ball with the World Cup!
Whether you’re a landlubber or a Race competitor, the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race has plenty of on-shore activity to keep everyone amused and entertained this year.
The Race Village, situated in Cowes Yacht Haven (CYH), will be hosting the only outside big screen on the Isle of Wight so that everyone can come and watch the England v Algeria World Cup game on Friday 18th June at 1930hrs. Entry is free but numbers will be limited by the CYH management.
There is a packed schedule of events taking place in the Race Village over the Friday and Saturday and again entrance is free. Highlights will include live music, public hospitality tents, an Arts and Craft Zone and a Health Zone with a Smoothie tent and free massages.
To keep abreast of all the latest Race news and read about some of this year’s entries, follow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/RoundtheIsland and keep checking the website for new postings at http://www.roundtheisland.org.uk