Last weekend the annual 'Round the Island Race' took place, a race around the Isle of Wight in Great Britain. 1, 600 yachts and some 13, 000 sailors lined up on the start on Saturday.
Rosina of Beaulieu, a Contessa 26 owned by Jeremy Rogers MBE, has today won the highly coveted Gold Roman Bowl, the top accolade for the Round the Island Race 2002. The yacht, one of the smaller boats in the impressive 1,641-strong fleet, crossed the Round the Island Race finish line after 9 hours 15 mins and 48 seconds.
Bear of Britain took the Vaphio Cup for the IRC Class One division in this year's Round the Island Race 2002, and for a while seemed to be firm favourite to clinch the Gold Roman Bowl, hotly contested by yachts sailing under the IRC rating system. The student-crewed Farr 52 Bear of Britain owned by Kit Hobday and Tim Louis, crossed the finish line at 15:32 (BST), after 5 hours 22 minutes and 53 seconds. The handicap system used by race organisers, the Island Sailing Club, to level out the playing field, has now revealed Rosina of Beaulieu to have beaten Bear of Britain to the race's top trophy by a mere 17 seconds on handicap.
With over 800 finishers at 20:30, event organisers are now confident that Rosina of Beaulieu will not be beaten on handicap and that the bulk of the fleet will complete the race before the time limit at 22:00 (BST).
The 66th Round the Island Race got underway at 08:30 on Saturday, 22 June, in a 12-13 knots south westerly breeze off the Royal Yacht Squadron starting line, off Cowes, Isle of Wight. Rodney Pattisson's course record, set in June 2001 aboard Francis Joyon's trimaran, Dexia Eure et Loir, had looked within reach at the race outset, but today's wind direction did not prove conducive to record-breaking at this year's event.
Maiden II, Tracy Edward's 110-foot maxi catamaran co-skippered by Brian Thompson and Helena Darvelid, took multihull line honours earlier today, finishing in 3 hrs 21 minutes and 16 seconds and falling just 13 minutes short of the Round the Island Race course record. As first multihull to cross the finish line, Maiden II will collect this year's Freedom Challenge Bowl.
Alex Cooper powered 'Sunergy' into the monohull lead for today's Round the Island Race 2002, finishing the race in 5 hrs 47 mins and 57 seconds to clinch this year's Observer Trophy. The yellow-hulled Whitbread 60 competed in the ISC Handicap Class A and was chartered for the prestigious Round the Island Race by Morgan Stanley for the third consecutive year.
Next year's Round the Island Race is scheduled for Saturday, 21 June 2003.