The date was previously set for 23 June 2018, however race organisers have decided to move the date following recent confirmation that the Isle of Wight Music Festival would be staged over the same weekend.
Today the Island Sailing Club (ISC), organisers of the Round the Island Race in association with Cloudy Bay, has announced a new date for the 2018 edition.
The annual race, which attracts more than 12,000 competitors, will now take place on Saturday 7 July 2018, with the 82nd edition of the race seeing the first start at 0630.
The previous date for the race was Saturday 23 June 2018, however following the recent confirmation by the Isle of Wight Music Festival to stage their event over the same weekend, the race organisers took the decision to move the date of the race.
The decision was made to ensure a smooth and enjoyable Round the Island Race for competitors, visitors, local businesses and residents alike.
Dave Atkinson, chairman of the Round the Island Race management, said: ‘Given the huge amount of planning and preparation, in collaboration with many authorities who assist in running one of Britain’s largest sporting participation events, ISC posts the race dates at least five years in advance to give the relevant authorities, who we need to work closely with, the opportunity to advise the shipping companies and other port authorities.
‘They require the time to plan around the event given that the start of the race is the only time that the central Solent is closed to commercial traffic.
‘Furthermore we are constrained by the tides each year as to which day we hold the race. Given these complex factors we are delighted to announce that we have been able to select another suitable date.’
He added: ‘Given the importance of both the Festival and Race to the Island economy, the ISC and our partners have committed to ensuring that the Island can cope with the number of visitors attending both these world-class events, without placing undue pressure on our stakeholders and the Island’s infrastructure.
‘It was a complex decision to make but, ultimately, we feel it was the right one for both visitors and residents of the Isle of Wight.’
The move of date has been met with support by Visit Isle of Wight’s David Thornton, who added: ‘Visit Isle of Wight recognises that the Island Sailing Club had a very difficult decision to make, but we applaud their announcement.
‘We are exceptionally grateful to them for the change of dates, which will ensure that the whole Island has the opportunity to benefit from this world famous sporting event.’
The famous 50 nautical mile course around the Isle of Wight is an all-encompassing event and has been proudly run by the ISC since 1931. The race’s unique ‘race for all’ ethos caters for and embraces first timers, families, amateurs and professionals competing at the highest level.
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The ethos also supports official race charity, the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, with more than £250,000 being raised. The charity, with bases on the Isle of Wight and Largs in Scotland, rebuilds the confidence of young people in recovery from cancer.
The Round the Island Race sponsors have also been supportive of the change in date, re-arranging their activities and hospitality plans.
Race entries will open in January 2018.