Britain’s favourite yacht race is just around the corner; check out some of the latest entries

Britain’s favourite yacht race is just around the corner

Peta Stuart-Hunt unearths more hidden gems amongst this year’s entries – now standing at 1716 with 13 days to go!

In amongst the hundreds of UK and international entries processed each year by the hard-working team at the Island sailing Club (ISC), the Isle of Wight always manages to produce a sizable and interesting turnout. This year is no exception with plenty of familiar local faces and boats signed up for the start line of the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race on Saturday 19th June.

For the armchair spectators amongst you, don’t forget that many of the more familiar boats might well be available for you to track online right here for the very first time as they progress around the Island.

If you have already entered the race, the ISC will be in touch with you about downloading the tracking software and registering your mobile etc but for some more general details about how this very exciting Race Tracking is going to work and how you can follow the race progress online using the Race Viewer  visit the Race website <http://www.roundtheisland.org.uk/go/gpstracking>

Dynamic duos

Adam Gosling, husband of Olympic Gold medallist Sarah Webb, will race his well-known Corby 30 Yes! with a team of friends ‘representing all levels of sailing!’ on board, including Stig (Chris Grainger, not THE Stig).

A more recent design from the drawing board of the successful Cowes-based yacht designer John Corby is No Retreat! a Corby 33. She’ll be under the guiding hands of another husband and wife team, David and Jackie Riley aiming to consolidate on some great results in 2009 and also, so far, in 2010.

David Orton and his wife Chris from Nottingham, are racing St David’s Light, an Illingworth & Primrose Classic Racing Yacht built by Souters of Cowes in 1963. The yacht’s name is that of a lighthouse on Bermuda where she was built for the Trimmingham family, as a one-off ocean racer. She carries a Bermudan sail number, KB15. Illingworth & Primrose are perhaps best known for their design of Gypsy Moth IV for Francis Chichester.

Another husband and wife team comprising Steve and the ‘long suffering’ wife (his description, not mine!) Sally Orland will be racing their Sigma 38 Galliver II in IRC Group 2. Steve, a sailing instructor, has spent the last six months renovating Galliver II and is looking forward to his first full season with her.

Ursula Bagnall and Richard Hollis own the X 95 Crakatax, another familiar boat in the Solent to have chalked up some very creditable results over the past few years.

A Toledo 30 Djinn Seng, a regular Club ½ tonner race boat at Saltash in Cornwall, is owned and skippered by Jeremy Stevenson. The foredeck crew met and married last year and all in all there have been two engagements, two weddings, one baby and one on the way – clearly a very busy and committed crew both on and off the water!

History in the making

Nellie trumpets her comeback as the oldest boat entered in this year’s race. Photo: Matt Streten

Two restored Itchen Ferry’s are taking part this year. Previously heading for the bonfire before being offered to Chris Waddington, founder of the Old Gaffers section in the Round the Island Race, Nellie was built in 1862 by Dan Hatcher in Southampton and is currently the oldest boat entered in this year’s race. When Mr Waddington retired in 2005, Nellie passed to his son Scott who is the current owner and he has just completed phase two of her restoration; a thorough refastening of her topsides.  She has been restored to her 1920’s coat of grey and has had a completely new set of traditional rigging made for her.

Despite Nellie’s 148 years, she has never been sailed around the Island, making this year’s Race a most auspicious occasion.  Scott will be accompanied on the day by a very special crew member, Mr John Banks, Commodore of The Cowes Corinthian and Grandson of one of her original owners. She will be skippered by Chris’s son Scott Waddington.

Joining Nellie is Fanny of Cowes, who is making her first trip home to Cowes since 1970 having been based on the East Coast for a number of years. Fanny was built in 1872 for the Paskins, a family of fishmongers from Cowes. She came to the East Coast in 1958 and has been owned by boatbuilder Nigel Waller since 2003. This will be her first trip ‘home’ since 1970. Nigel will be joined by Mini-Transat, Open 40 and Open 60 sailor Nick Bubb and his fiancée Sophie who will be married in September.

Nancy Blackett is a Hillyard 7-ton built in 1931 and entered by The Nancy Blackett Trust. Previously owned by Swallows and Amazons author Arthur Ransome, Nancy Blackett provided Arthur with the inspiration for possibly his best book, ‘We Didn’t Mean to Go to Sea’. This is widely regarded as a classic of both children’s and seafaring literature, and she appears in it, lightly disguised as ‘The Goblin’, which plays a leading role in the book. The action takes place almost entirely aboard the little boat, as four children seek to sail her across the North Sea, at night, in a storm, and without any adult aboard. Ransome sailed the course himself in Nancy, and worked on the book aboard her, while living near Pin Mill on the River Orwell in Suffolk, where the story begins…

Everyone’s a winner

Drakes Drum was the winner of the Silver Gilt Roman Bowl in 2005 and, under skipper Terry Rowe, is a frequent Class winner in the Round the Island Race. Terry has run an RYA teaching establishment in Cowes for many years and clearly puts his wealth of experience and local knowledge to good use when competing in the Race.

Robert Elliott, an Etchell sailor who came a creditable 7th in the 2009 Etchell Worlds in Melbourne alongside Stuart Childerley, himself a past Olympic Finn sailor at the Seoul and Barcelona Games, also won the 1996 Round the Island Race in ‘Eagle’.  Robert’s back on the start line this year racing the Farr 45 Linklaters – Exabyte Four, helmed by Stuart Childerley,

A previous Gold Roman Bowl winner Cowes-based Peter Morton, is racing his ¼ Tonner Anchor Challenge and will be hoping to match his results in 1984, 1986 and 2001 on Odd Job, Indulgence and Mandrake respectively.

Friends and family from Rochester, Kent, will join skipper Robbie Stewart and wife Pippa to race their Booty! This Stewart 36 One-Off is designed by Robbie’s brother Andrew Stewart. Robbie’s last boat ‘Ding Dong!’ a 37′ One-Off and also designed by Andrew, won the RTI twice in class in 2005 and 2006.

Lord Cork has entered his pretty International 8 Metre Athena. Originally built in Sweden by Tore Holm for Marcus Wallenberg Jnr, Athena was the 1939 winner of the 8mR World Championships. Now based in Hamble she is a regular competitor in Class championships, Classic regattas and at Cowes Week.

…and finally

The Royal Artillery (RA) is represented by Bombardier 2, an Elan 340 helmed by 20-year old Charlie Wilson, a Commissioned Officer in the RA who will be joined on board by other serving members of the RA based in Gosport.

A familiar name racing this year is GIRLSFORSAIL skippered by Annie O Sullivan. Annie started up her business finding weekend events and sailing holidays for women several years ago having recognised that women are good sailors, enjoy the sport and there are not enough opportunities for them to get out on the water. Annie’s joined by an all-female crew aboard this Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 43.

The crew of SB3 Edigitalresearch is highly qualified in many areas! Robert has a strong throwing arm, skipper Ian Duke once fought off a bear, Alec was head boy at a leading public school and Ed once ran just over half a mile! In the 2008 race they notched up a fantastic time of two hours from the Needles to the Fort.

The awesome ICAP Leopard will be back with us and raring to try and beat her course record set in 2008 of 3hrs 53mins 05secs, with owner, property tycoon Mike Slade at the wheel. This stunning yacht is a full 30 metres long, 6.8 metres wide, has a 5.5 metre draft, a 4.5 metre fixed bowsprit, one towering 47 metre mast, and the keel cants 40 degrees either side of centreline.

Beat that!

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