Saturday, June 29, 2019

Round The Island Race Preview

J/120 rounding island (Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- If it's the first weekend in July, it must be time for the world-famous “Round The Island Race” in the United Kingdom, hosted by the Island Sailing Club in Cowes, Isle of Wight. The challenging 60.0nm race that goes around the Isle of Wight is by far the most popular race on any sailor’s social calendar all year long in the U.K.; particularly for those that love to get thrashed and challenged by the intricacies of the Solent.

As has been the case for over a decade, over a thousand boats will begin starting at 0630 hrs. First off is the IRC Zero class, followed by over two-dozen more classes sailing across the glorious Royal Yacht Squadron line in the summer morning soft orange light. It should be absolutely gorgeous for the thousands of sailors aboard all the teams making their annual, epic adventure around the Isle of Wight.

Taking on the challenge will be a veritable J/Navy sailing across the spectrum of classes.  In the world of IRC handicap classes, here are some of the notable teams to watch.

J/97 sailing off CowesNearly 40% of the 26 entries in IRC 1 A Class are J/teams.  Some of those include five J/122s (BLACK DOG- George Willis & Stuart Sawyer, JOLLY JELLYFISH- Simon Newton, R&W- Andy Theobald, JAHMALI- Mike & Sarah Wallis, & JANGLE- Clive Miles), three J/111s (JITTERBUG- Cornell Riklin, JOURNEYMAKER II- Chris Jones And Louise Makin, & KESTREL- Simon Bamford). Hoping to beat them all across the line in style will be Fergus Angel’s J/121 ROCK LOBSTER.

With 31 boats in the IRC 1 C Class are three J/112E’s- Bruce Huber’s XANABOO, Chaz Ivill’s DAVANTI TYRES, and Jim Chalmers’ KNIGHT BUILD LTD. They will be joined by Stu Lawrence’s J/120 SCREAM.

The 21 boat IRC 2 A Class has three J/109s (JUBILEE- Christopher Preston, JUKEBOX- Chris Copeland, & RED ARROW- Alan Beckheling) and one J/99- James & John Owen’s JET.

Nearly 60% of the 33 boat IRC 2 B Class are J/crews.  There are five J/105s; including FLAWLESS J’s Andy Uren, JAB JAB’s Richard Chart, and JIN TONIC’s Andrew Roberts. They will have to contend with a huge contingent of fifteen J/109s that include such top teams as David Richards’ JUMPING JELLYFISH and Chris Burleigh’s JYBE TALKIN.
sunrise start
The twenty-one entries in IRC 2 Class include two offshore-focused J/105s- Jim Wicks’ DIABLO-J and Gillian Ross’ GENE JENIE. The sixteen entries in IRC 2 D Class include the J/92 JABBERWOCK (Ralph Mason), J/97 JAYWALKER (Robert & Jon Baker), and the J/110 SHADES OF BLUE (Ed Holton).

As one of the largest classes in the race, the 38 entries in IRC 3 A Class include seven J/92s, such as J’RONIMO (David Greenhalgh), JACKDAW (Rob Salter), NIGHTJAR (Jack Banks), and SAMURAI-J (Alan Macleod & Andy Knowles).  They will be joined by one J/97- Rachel, Robert and David Hunt JUMBLESAIL II.

Rounding out the IRC handicap entries is the J/30 COLLENN sailed by Allan Hill in the forty-four boat IRC 3 C Class.

The one-design classes include J/70s, J/80s, and J/88s.  The largest one-design class is the sixteen boats entered in the J/70 class, including top crews such as Terry O’Neill’s AQUA-J, Andrew Barraclough’s JENGA 8, and Jack Davies YETI.

The five entries in the J/80 class include Richard Tricker’s FIDUCIAL from France, Phil Lightbody’s JEDI, and Simon Cameron’s JUNO.

The top J/88s in their class include Richard Cooper’s JONGLEUR, Tim Tolcher’s RAGING BULL, Dirk Van Beek’s SABRIEL JR, and Sam Cooper’s TIGRIS.  For more Round Island Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.