Round the Isle of Wight race entries still open

With a little over a month to go before the 19 June start of the 2010 round the Isle of Wight race, entries have hit the 1,000 mark and show no sign of slowing down. Britain’s favourite yacht race looks set to be another cracking event this year.

Image: The ‘Fraxious’ crew competing in 2009. Photo Credit: Patrick Eden

Entries so far in the IRC class include Rapscallion of Suburbia, a Sigma 33 – owner Les Stagpool racing in his 4th J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race.

Woozle Hunter Too and skipper Andy Mead who will be pitting his racing wits against the hundreds of others racing in IRC.

An unusual IRC entry is Bumblebee, a Mini 6.50 Prototype (21.5ft). These smallest offshore racing boats were introduced in 1977 together with their favourite race, the Mini Transat, created by an Englishman, Bob Salmon. Every odd year, the Minis race on their favourite playground, the Atlantic. It is a growing class still dominated by the French although there have always been a number of British sailors making their names in the class and continuing to do so.

There are two ISC rated Splinter 21s racing this year, named Dragonfly and Whisper, who have more of a connection than their designer. A carpenter and father of two, Sean Fallon, has owned Dragonfly for 10 years and is racing to raise funds for Parkinsons UK. He finished 4th in ISC in 2009.

Whisper first entered the ‘Ratsey & Lapthorn Round the Island Race’ in 1969 and came 1st in Div B. She was then owned by a certain Tony Fallon of Poole Yacht Club. It is Tony’s son Sean who is entered this year in Dragonfly.

Whisper is skippered by Steve Curtler from Christchurch in Dorset who has owned the boat for three years.
Look out for some friendly rivalry between these two!

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.

A record 1,875 boats were entered in 2008.

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.

2009 enjoyed the 4th highest entry in the history of the race. Of the 1,779 boats entered in 2009, 1,566 boats completed the 50 nautical mile westwards course within the time limit.

£100,000 was raised for charities in 2009.