More than 500 boats have so far signed up for the Round the Island Race (RTIR) 2015.

This year’s race around the Island of Wight takes place on Saturday 27 June with a first start time scheduled for 0700.

Early-bird entries to the 84th edition of the J.P. Morgan Asset Management-sponsored event opened on 9 January and will close at midnight this Saturday, 7 February.

The first entry, always greeted with excitement by the race admin team at the Island Sailing Club (ISC), was announced as Zero II, Cowes Race School.

Skipper James Gair said: ‘The RTI is the best race of the season. I think this will be my 20th RTI Race and no two have been the same, from light wind drifts to exhilarating surfs.

‘I love the race as it is open to all sailors, from amateurs to many of the world’s best professionals, all on the same race course and all with a chance of winning.

‘You can make it as tactical as you want or simply have a fun day keeping the Island on your left looking forward to the party in Cowes. Last year we won Class Zero and are very keen to do it again! Summer’s on the way!’

Read more PBO’s RTI past coverage here:

Enter the prize draw

There are two free race entries up for grabs, visit to find out more.

Seamanship award

Haven Knox-Johnston has signed up to sponsor The Seamanship Award for the next two editions of the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race.

The Seamanship Award has been associated with the race for many years, recognising and paying tribute to acts of good seamanship on race day.

Nominations are open to all those involved in the race, whether competitors, spectators, members of the emergency services, outside authorities or race officers, and nominations are judged by a group led by Dave Atkinson from ISC race management, the Commodore of the ISC and a representative from Haven Knox-Johnston.

Nominations are sent to the ISC following the race and the trophy will be awarded in September.

Race charity

The official race charity is the Ellen MacArthur Trust.