Francis Joyon returns for his eighth Round the Island Race

Francis Joyon returns for his eighth Round the Island Race by Peta Stuart-Hunt

One of the most awe-inspiring pairings in the annals of record-breaking multihull racing returns to Cowes to compete in the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race on Saturday 19th June. Francis Joyon and his big red Trimaran Idec II will be back on the start line and hoping to beat their own unbroken record of 3.08.29, set in 2001.

The big red beastie is back! Joyon aims to beat his own RTIR multihull record. Photo: Patrick Eden

At 30 metres in length Idec II weighs only 11 tons with a mast height of 32 metres. Francis entered her again last year, coming in 26th overall with a time of 7.46.10. He is hoping for better winds and a much faster time this year and says that he keeps returning to this Race because he has many sailing friends who also do it and he finds racing in the Solent ‘exotic’.

When asked what other racing plans he has for 2010, he says that he will also be entering the Route du Rhum starting in October.

In a delightful translated quote as Joyon revealed his record-breaking solo world circumnavigation attempt back in the Autumn of 2007 (which he achieved on 20 January 2008 in 57 days, 13 hours, 34 minutes and 6 seconds), these words still apply whatever his next big record-breaking adventure might be.

“As for Francis, Joyon remains Joyon, the intuitive adventurer that nothing phases, the quiet force that hasn’t yet tapped its limits, the open hearted man who says little, but smiles confidently about his ‘formidable desire to re-conquer.’”

Francis will be raising funds for ICM, l’Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle Epinière (the Institute for Brain and Spinal Cord research).

Entries close midnight May 29th!

The Island Sailing Club, organisers of the Round the Island Race, are keen to stress that if you want to compete against the thousands of sailors taking part in this year’s event, they will accept normal entries (£72 or £106 with advertising) up until midnight on 29th May.  If you haven’t done so already, please enter online at <>.

Latest news on GPS Tracking

There’s a whole raft of detail about this year’s most exciting innovation that will bring the Race to life for anyone following the progress via the official race website; the GPS Tracking System details have just been released on the race website – including information about the types of mobile phones that will be supported this year.

To register for the tracking service and download the software, available from early June, or to find out more about how it works, visit <>.

On Race Day visitors will be able to visit the official website and watch the race using the easy-to-use ‘ngTrack Race Viewer’. As well as watching the race unfold live whilst following our Race Progress commentary, viewers will also be able to select up to 10 boats to specifically track as they progress around the 50 nautical mile course.

Tracking will commence from the first start time of 0500hrs right through to the finish at 2200hrs. Replay and pause facilities will also be available for those interested in comparing detailed performances. To watch the live tracking on Saturday 19th June, visit <>.

Watch the birdie

As part of the package of new initiatives being unveiled for this year’s Race, the Island Sailing Club is launching an online photo gallery for competitors that will allow any competitor to access and view as well as self-select from a huge gallery of Race photography taken by a host of approved professional photographers, along with details of how to contact the individual photographer to purchase prints.

This newly created online Competitor Image Gallery will go live at in the lead up to Race Day.

Get in the Zone in the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Regatta Village 

The Regatta Village in Cowes Yacht Haven is going to be really buzzing on Friday 18th and Saturday 19th June and organisers are encouraging everyone to come along and enjoy some terrific entertainment for FREE!

There are activities being organised to suit all ages.  Youngsters are being really well catered for with their own KIDS ZONE featuring face painting, arts & crafts and, to tie in with the World Cup, HUMAN TABLE FOOTBALL!  There is also a drawing and colouring competition (separated into two age groups of 4-8 years and 9-13 years) being held over the weekend, with the sailing phenomenon and triple Olympic gold medallist BEN AINSLIE selecting the winning entry at 1700hrs on Saturday 19th June in the Kids Zone.

Older members of the family are also being encouraged to play Human Table Football (sign up on site) but for those wishing to put their feet up, there’s a Chill Out Zone with a selection of healthy smoothies and professional masseuses offering FREE MASSAGES!

The Regatta Village also includes a fully licensed hospitality marquee and a live music/broadcast stage, with entertainment on both Friday 18th and Saturday 19th June:

Friday 18th June 2010

The Village opens on Friday 18th June from 1500hrs through to midnight with the highlight almost certainly being the LIVE broadcast of England’s World Cup football match vs. Algeria that will be broadcast on a GIANT outdoor screen. Everyone is welcome!

To finish the night off, The Hanging Baskets, an energetic 70s tribute band, will play until midnight to keep the party going with their own twist on a wide range of numbers.

Saturday 19th June 2010

The Race Day onshore excitement continues with LIVE entertainment from three excellent bands on the main stage. Event favourites Martinez, an acoustic-based band playing a mixture of well-known classics with a Latin / Spanish twist, will start the day off (1630hrs-1830hrs).

Next up will be Switch (1900hrs-2100hrs), a popular young Isle of Wight three-piece playing the best of today’s hits. Switch has a well-deserved reputation for lively performances and enjoys a good following of fans at all of their gigs.

Finally, (2200hrs-2345hrs) there’s Cornerstone, a contemporary band comprising five professional musicians who will round off the weekend’s entertainment playing the most recent chart hits as well as classics from the 60’s through the decades.

The Race Card

In another practical move this year, J.P. Morgan Asset Management has created a useful aide memoire for competitors called the Race Card.

The Race Card has been produced to fit into a plastic wallet that attaches to a lanyard so that those taking part in this year’s Race can easily refer to all the useful reference information contained on the Card under headings such as GPS Tracking, Declarations, Red Jet and Water Taxi schedules, maps of Cowes and the Isle of Wight, the Raymarine Weather Briefing, and lists of activity in the Regatta Village, to name but a few.

All in all, 2010 is a very exciting year to be involved with the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race whether you’re competing, sponsoring, partnering, arranging corporate hospitality or just soaking up the fabulous atmosphere onshore.



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