The Island Sailing Club opens entries for the 80th Anniversary staging of Britain’s favourite yacht race on Friday!

Dame Ellen MacArthur and ISC Commodore Rod Nicholls. Photo: Patrick Eden

Cowes, Isle of Wight: The Island Sailing Club (ISC), organisers of the famous J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, has announced that entries for this year’s 80th Anniversary Race will open on Friday January 21st. The Race is taking place on Saturday 25th June with the first start at 0600.
Coinciding with entries opening for this iconic yacht race, the fourth largest participation sporting event in the UK that regularly attracts 1700+ boats and 16,000 sailors, the ISC will also publish the downloadable Notice of Race on its re-designed Anniversary Race website at

The Club Secretary, Lea Bennett, said: “We’re really excited to be celebrating this major milestone in the Race history. It gives us the perfect opportunity to pull out all the stops and make 2011 a truly memorable year for everyone involved. It would be great if the special memories from the past eight decades, that we’ll be promoting through the website and elsewhere, also help to encourage some new young blood to sign up to the Race. We have always enjoyed a fantastic mix of ages and abilities taking part and want to maintain that important all-embracing spirit of the Race going forward.”

You’ve been framed!
There is already much excitement and expectation building around the 80th Anniversary staging of the Round the Island Race. To celebrate this historic year, Title Sponsor J.P. Morgan Asset Management is creating an Exhibition entitled “Round the Island in 80 Years”.  This will comprise at least 30 images capturing some special moments from across the past eight decades of the Race. The Exhibition will be displayed in three separate locations, commencing on 1st March with a major media, sponsors and Club members’ launch event in London, before moving to a public display on the Isle of Wight at the Quay Arts Gallery (14-19 June 2010) and finally it will relocate to the Race Village in Cowes Yacht Haven (24-26 June) during the Race weekend for all the competitors and Race fans to enjoy.  All Exhibition images will be available for purchase, with profits being donated to the Official Race Charity.

The photography archivist Karren May is managing the research and production of the Exhibition. This has involved digging deep into the archives of many celebrated photographers including Beken of Cowes, Kirk of Cowes and Eileen Ramsay, looking back through 80 years of images, including glass plates, to source the very best images to portray the story of this spectacular event.  As well as featuring the images and stories of sporting, political and sailing legends that have competed in the Race, the Exhibition organisers will keep to the Race ethos ‘A Race for all’, by showcasing the memories and pictures of the everyday sailors who have taken part, or been involved in, the Race.

Race organisers are still keen to hear from anyone with a great story, memory or image and these can be emailed to: or Tel: +44 (0)1983 247 286 for more information.

Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust is selected as the Race Charity for 2011 and 2012
The Island Sailing Club and J.P. Morgan Asset Management are also delighted to announce that their Race Charity for 2011 and 2012 is the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust (the Trust).  After a tender process involving a carefully chosen selection of high profile and some smaller charities, the Trust has been named as the official charity of the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race for the next two years. The Trust takes young people sailing to help them regain their confidence on their way to recovery from cancer and leukemia and focuses on rebuilding the young sailors’ confidence and most importantly, on having fun.

Trust Patron Dame Ellen MacArthur said: “The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust feels extremely privileged to become the official charity for the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race. We have seen first hand the positive effect sailing has on the young people and the official charity status will enable us to take 30 young people sailing in this year’s race. It’s fantastic to be able to offer this experience, the looks on their faces when they see over 1,500 boats on the start line is incredible. All at the Trust are looking forward to getting out on the start line on June 25th.”

All aboard the ‘Charity Challenge’
On another charitable note, a big ‘thank you’ to last year’s Race competitors who fundraised over £100,000. Since 2007, an incredible £350,000 has been raised and with everyone’s help, we hope to reach £500,000 in 2011. Once again the Island Sailing Club and J.P. Morgan Asset Management are encouraging competitors to make their race count for charity.  As extra incentive for fundraisers, any entry that raises £250 or more for its chosen charity, will be automatically entered into the ‘Charity Challenge’. This is a new initiative whereby the yacht with the fastest corrected time on handicap racing in both ISC and IRC will receive a further £1,000 to give to its chosen charity. To make it even easier for competitors to fundraise we have set up a special Round the Island Race Virgin Money giving page:

Getting cracking with the tracking
Following the success of last year’s live GPS tracking trial, organisers are introducing a range of enhancements for the 2011 Race. These include:

•   Support for more models of mobile phone, opening up the service to thousands more competitors.
•   The ability to register more than one mobile device per boat, providing more frequent position updates and better protection against battery and network outages.
•   An improved live race viewer, offering better performance and allowing spectators to watch the progress of specific classes and types of boat.
•   A simplified registration process, making it easier for more people to sign-up to the tracking service.

On race day, friends, family and sailing fans from around the globe will be able to watch the Race unfold, live. A race replay facility will also allow competitors to compare their performance with their rivals to see where they got it right – or wrong!

All the news and more can be found on the Race website:
Remember, Entries open 21st January.


Notes to Editors:

  • The Island Sailing Club is grateful for the continued support of the Race Title Sponsor, J.P. Morgan Asset Management, and the Race Partners: Britannia Events, Haven Knox-Johnston, Henri Lloyd, Nautica Watches, Old Pulteney Whisky, Raymarine, Red Funnel and Volvo Car UK
  • The 2011 Event will be J.P. Morgan Asset Management’s 7th year as title sponsor and they retain title sponsorship up to and including 2012
  • The 2011 Race is held on Saturday 25th June with the first start scheduled for 0600
  • The Round the Island Race was first established in 1931 – 2011 marks the 80th year of this great race
  • The Race starts and finishes in Cowes, Isle of Wight, the centre of British yachting
  • It is an all-encompassing event that caters for and embraces first timers, families, amateurs and professionals competing at the highest level. The event strapline is ‘Britain’s Favourite Yacht Race’
  • The J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race is the 4th largest participation sporting event in the UK after the London Marathon and the Great North and South Runs, with around 16,000 sailors taking part over the course of one day
  • 2010’s Race had 1,754 entries and 1,607 finished the Race. This is the highest ever recorded number of finishers in the history of the Race. There were 47 retirements and 16 disqualifications/OCS (On the Course Side of the starting line)


  • £100,000 was raised for charities in 2010
  • Nautica Watches sponsors the Outstanding Seamanship Award. Contact: Dan Calvert, UK Marketing Manager. T +44 208 326 6900
  • The current monohull race record was set by Mike Slade (ICAP Leopard) in 2008 at 3.53.05
  • The multihull race record still stands at Francis Joyon’s 2001 time of 3.08.29

Media Enquiries:

Peta Stuart-Hunt
Island Sailing Club Press Officer
J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race

+44 (0) 1590 679 621
+44 (0) 7711 477 707 <>


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