Clipper Events at the start line of Round the Island Race 2016
02 July 2016
Dubbed as sailing’s answer to the London Marathon, today sister company Clipper Events will line up to cross the start of the annual Round the Island Race 2016 against 1533 competitors.
Six Clipper 68-foot ocean racing yachts are taking part in the classic mass participation competition around the Isle of Wight on the UK south coast to host a range of clients including the races title sponsor JP Morgan Asset Management. There is stiff competition in the Clipper Yacht Class for the Vaphio Cup with each team led by Clipper Events professional skippers, some of whom have circumnavigated the globe in the Clipper Race.
Clipper Race Director, Justin Taylor, who will be assisting with the commentary of the race says: “This is Britain's largest sailing participation event and our Clipper 68’s will be up against some seriously fast yachts as well as some intense competition between themselves.
“The prospect of racing against a variety of competitors in a crowded course of the 63 miles around the Isle of Wight really makes this one of the most exciting days in the sailing calendar. I wish them all an exhilarating day of competitive racing.”
Currently the forecast will see teams beating into moderate winds of up to 13 knots to the Needles and then as the wind backs, a smooth downwind run. The teams will experience the strongest wind mid-afternoon although there will be some shelter in the eastern Solent. With a mixed bag of weather from sunny spells to showers, competitors will be put to the test.
Round the Island facts:
- It takes an hour and a half to get the entire fleet of entries underway safely from the start
- A race for all, Olympic class sailors to novice cruisers compete in this unique race
- The first race in 1931 attracted 25 yachts
- In 2011 the race was the fourth largest annual participation sporting event in the UK, attracting over 1,800 yachts and 16,000 sailors
- During his term as Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Edward Heath, MBE, MP won the race a record four times.