Saturday, June 23, 2007

1,800 boats sail around the island race

The world’s largest and most famous yachting race, the JPMorgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, is taking place today in Cowes, Isle of Wight, England. Nearly 1,8000 are competing in the 50-mile course around the Isle of Wight in a race that sees some of the biggest names in the sailing world competing with weekend sailors and family crews.

Ten hours into the largest yacht race of its kind in the world and hundreds of boats are now approaching the finish in Cowes as the bulk of the fleet returns through the eastern Solent. Heading for the line, the yachts are having to beat into the south-westerly wind, cross-crossing each other constantly as they tack.Six hours earlier, Mike Slade’s brand new 100 footer ICAP Leopard was the first monohull to finish at 09.23.05 just over 18 minutes off the record that Mike himself set in 2001. He said: “We are absolutely thrilled with the new ICAP Leopard. She feels fantastic, really well balanced and for a brand new boat straight out of the box, she performed superbly today. St Catherine’s Point is always tricky but we had a cracking sail round the back of the island to Bembridge with the kite up all the way from The Needles. With today’s wind direction, we had a lot of tacking to do up the Solent, which slows you down, so sadly we didn’t quite beat the record, but we’re not disappointed at all - and there’s always next year!”

For all the results see