The MOD70, Concise 10, has set a new Round the Island Race record, breaking the previous one set by Phaedo3 last year

3 July 2017

The Round the Island Race has a new race record.

The crew of the MOD70, Concise 10, started the iconic Isle of Wight race at 5.40am on 1 July.

The boat made it to the Needles by 6.10am, before rounding St Catherine’s Point at 6.50am.

At times, the crew, which included Land Rover BAR tactician, Giles Scott, were hitting speeds in excess of 40 knots.

The owner of the 70-foot trimaran, Tony Lawson, said it was a thrilling ride.

“It got pretty tense for me when we did 44 knots off St Catherine’s (Point). That is as fast as you would ever want to go I can promise you that. That is faster than Sir Ben (Ainslie in the America’s Cup) by the way,” he stated.

Boats at full sail at the Round the Island Race start line

Start line of the IRC Division 1A. Credit: Paul Wyeth

Concise 10 has shaved a whole minute off the record set by the crew of Phaedo3 last year.  It completed the race in 2hrs 22mins 23secs to secure 2017 Multihull Line Honours.

For a long time it looked as though Irvine Laidlaw’s Reichel-Pugh 82, Highland Fling XI would take the coveted Gold Roman Bowl after they took line honours for the monohulls in 4hrs 19mins 44secs..

But, ultimately no-one could match the might of  Adam Gosling’s JPK10.80 Yes! which managed to take victory by just shy of seven minutes on corrected time.

Continues below…

The crew of Yes! stormed around the 50 nautical-miles course to win the highest accolade – the Gold Roman Bowl.

While some tasted victory, for others it was a tougher race.

The crew of the yacht, Quokka, had to call for assistance after the boat hit a submerged object just east of the Needles just after 7.15am.

The force of the collision resulted in a crew member sustaining a broken shoulder, and another, minor head injuries.

The Yarmouth RNLI lifeboat went to assist, along with the RNLI’s Lymington lifeboat.

Two Yarmouth lifeboat crew were put aboard the yacht to assess the two injured crew and assist in their safe transferral to the Yarmouth lifeboat, which then returned them to Yarmouth harbour and an awaiting ambulance.

The second call for Yarmouth RNLI came at 8.05am from the 48ft yacht Marathon reporting the collapse of a crew member.

the crew of the rnli orange lifeboat goes to assist a yacht taking part in the Round the Island Race

Yarmouth lifeboat crew board yacht Quokka with the help of the Lymington lifeboat. Credit: Yarmouth/RNLI

The lifeboat came alongside the yacht just off Hurst Castle and the sailor, who had a suspected burst appendix, was transferred to the lifeboat from where they were airlifted to hospital by the UK Coastguard’s Search and Rescue Helicopter.

Lastly, at 10.41am the Yarmouth lifeboat was tasked to assist yacht Ajax which had run aground on Atherfield Ledge.

By the time the volunteer crew had reached the scene, Ajax had been re-floated without assistance and was able to continue the race.


30 June 2017

The Race Management team led by Rear Commodore Sailing Dave Atkinson at the Island Sailing Club in Cowes on the Isle of Wight, is making last-minute preparations to welcome 1,342 yachts to eleven individual starts first thing on Saturday morning 1 July. The first start is scheduled for 05:30 and the starting sequence will be completed by 07:10 as the fleet heads west from Cowes to the Needles. 

Among those signed up to race are last year’s Gold Roman Bowl winner, Bernard Langley’s TP52 Gladiator with, fresh from his Land Rover BAR America’s Cup debut, , David ‘Freddie’ Carr on board. The Race also welcomes back the Greig City Academy Sailing Team, the inspirational and ultra-competitive North London inner city state school entry Scaramouche. 

Last year’s runner-up to the record-breaking MOD70 Phaedo^3 who took Line Honours, with the distinctive blue hulls of Concise 10 is back aiming to achieve that accolade this year. The record set by Phaedo^3 was an astounding 2 hours 23 minutes and 23 seconds, smashing the Multihull race record time set by Sir Ben Ainslie in 2013 by a stunning 28 minutes!

Somewhat more sedately but equally competitive, the Cloudy Bay Brand ambassador Ben Fogle is racing with the race sponsor’s guests on board the Farr 52 Bob by Cloudy Bay, skippered by Stephen Durkin.

Racing for the FAST40+ Class continues with Round Two of the FAST40+ Race Circuit, consisting of one day of Windward Leeward racing today, Friday 30 June, followed by 11 FAST40s racing around the Island on Saturday for the FAST40+ Cloudy Bay Trophy. 

Having previously raced his own boats, a Hustler 35, an SB20 and a J109, this year Rob Bellfield is skippering a Starlight 35, Sea Nymph III, to give a multi-national crew the experience of the Round the Island Race. Rob is Chairman of the GBR 420 Class Association as well as being a serving Royal Navy Captain. The boat has been chartered by the Royal College of Defence Studies YC, an international defence staff college located in Belgrave Square in London. Course members are 75% from foreign nations and are in the UK for a year to learn about strategy formulation at the national level. The crew is multi-national, with British, Norwegian, French, Israeli, Dutch and Spanish members.

The organisers are hosting the pre-Race press conference today at the Island Sailing Club, followed later by the all-important Raymarine Weather Briefing at 18:00 with meteorologist Simon Rowell. There promises to be a marquee overflowing with interesting competitors and a great line-up of stage guests including three members of the British Youth Squad, the 420 sailors Vita Heathcote and twins Milly and Charlotte Boyle, racing a chartered J/70 called Rita on Saturday.

The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust also returns this year as the Official Race Charity and has four boats and competing.

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5 April 2017

Since 2005, the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust has been bringing young people in recovery from cancer to take part in the Round the Island Race .

This year, the charity will be entering four yachts, providing 28 young people with the opportunity to to challenge themselves in a safe and supportive environment.

The annual one-day annual yachting extravaganza sees upwards of 1,500 yachts and 12,000 sailors race around the Isle of Wight.

Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust: sailing back to health

The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust has been the race’s official charity since 2007, and so far more £266,000 has been raised.

The 2017 race date is Saturday, 1 July with a first start of 05.30.

Race organisers are reporting that entries are coming in steadily and are already at over 600 which is on par with previous years when the race has been held a little later in the Summer, usually owing to tidal conditions.

Phaedo^3 in Round the Island Race

Phaedo^3 which smashed the multihull record in the 2016 race. Credit: onEdition

TV personality Ben Fogle will be among those taking part in the event this year.

He will be onboard the Farr 52, Bob, which has been entered by the presenting sponsor, Cloudy Bay. It will be skippered by Stephen Durkin.

Ex-Gloucestershire and England off spinner, and the chairman of Cricket for The Lords Taveners, Martyn Ball, will also be taking part – getting his very first taste of yacht racing.

He will be on board the Hanse 385, Mr Blue Sky, skippered by Adrian Page.

“Bally is good friends with all members of the crew, and expressed interest in joining the boat after watching Alex Thomson in the Vendée Globe earlier this year, and feeling the call of the sea grow within him,” explained Page.

“We are all set for competing in the ISCRS class, not expecting to be at the front of the pack for the first leg of the race, but will certainly be competing at the bar later, mixing it up with the other crews,” he added.

Entries for the 2017 Round the Island Race close at midnight on 17 June.


17 January 2017

Entries for this year’s Round the Island Race will open at midnight on Friday, 27 January 2017.

The Island Sailing Club (ISC) in Cowes, which organises the annual competition, has announced that Early Bird entries will close at midnight on Saturday, 18 February 2017, when the standard entry fee will apply.

This year, the iconic race around the Isle of Wight will be held on 1 July.

Last year’s race saw challenging conditions, with gusts of almost 40 knots.

Dramatically, the Dubois half-tonner, Alchemist, sank in 17 metres of water just east of The Needles, after it hit the wreck of the SS Varvassi while competing in the race.

Video: Watch as commodore’s yacht sinks in Round the Island Race

The Junior Offshore Group (JOG) racer belonged to the commodore of the Island Sailing Club, Mark Wynter.

No one was injured in the incident.

The winners of the prestigious Gold Roman Bowl for the first IRC boat on corrected time was Bernard Langley’s TP52 Gladiator.

The crew completed the course in less than four and a half hours.

Lloyd Thornburg’s giant MOD70 trimaran Phaedo^3, tore round the course in two hours 23 minutes and 23 seconds, smashing the record time Sir Ben Ainslie set in 2013 by a stunning 28 minutes.

Worthy Gold Roman Bowl winners Gladiator were on the pace all the way round the Island today

Gladiator sails past The Needles. Credit: onEdition

The Round the Island Race annually attracts in the region of 1,500 competing yachts and upwards of 12,000 sailors from around the globe.

Last year saw the departure of title sponsor J.P. Morgan Asset Management after 12 years. A new sponsor is expected to be announced shortly.

Meanwhile, Raymarine has signed a new three-year deal as the Race Technical Partner.

The ISC has also confirmed that the official race charity will continue being the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust for a further year.

Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust announces Round Britain ’17

Heading up the race management team, ISC Sailing Flag Dave Atkinson urged people to sign up for the Round the Island Race.

“Whatever the outcome of our sponsorship discussions, we will be running an expertly managed race on 1 July and are looking forward to keeping the RTI flag flying high, so please do sign up from 27 January,” he urged.

Further details will be available online from 27 January.