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Bob by Cloudy Bay

A swathe of finishers as wind holds steady

Author: Peta Stuart-Hunt   Date: 12:09 Saturday 1 Jul 2017

There have been a swathe of finishers in the last hour as the front half of IRC0 have all started to cross the finish line. The wind in the solent is holding steady right now at a little over 10 knots, and the leaders of IRC1 are now just off Ryde and on the home straight!  

Impressively although it has largely been the biggest boats in the fleet sailing up the Solent so far, the sports boats and J/70s are now all also all now round Bembridge and will be approaching the finish line in the net hour or so. In this fleet are three British Youth Squad sailors, Vita Heathcote, and Charlotte and Milly Boyle. We spoke to them before the race got underway and they were keen to do well. Although not overly familiar with the Round the Island Race, they were still hoping to do well, but also noted the basic aim was merely to keep the Island on the left – which is probably a good start.  

Their J/70 is named Rita, the same name Ben Ainslie gives to all of his boats and they will be hoping to emulate his success – if not the most recent America’s Cup results.    

The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust’s fastest boat, Whirlwind is now off Ryde but it will be a slow race for the other three boats, Solent Hero, Wight Orca and Faux Pas who are racing hard just off Ventnor round the back of the Island.   

Meanwhile IRC2 and 3 are all starting to round Bembridge too. Before the race we picked up some tips from the inimitable Bruce Keen, author of Wight Hazards who had this to say – and it is advice well worth heeding given we are now an hour or so the other side of low tide: ‘At Bembridge Ledge don’t be tempted by the echo sounder to go in too close. The wreck of the Empress Queen with some of her vertical plates like a Stanley knife brought Indulgence to grief back in the 1985 RORC de Guingand bowl.   Indulgence sank after the encounter and some weeks later Yeoman XX also hit it but remained uncomfortably perched on the offending item until help arrived. Use a clearing bearing if no chart plotter is carried.

Provisional Results - Handicap

1 – Highland Fling

2 – Invictus

3 – Girls on Film 

Classes update:

IRC0 – As above most of IRC0 are now in the Solent with the leaders all mostly across the finish line. The rest of the fleet are fighting towards the finish.  

IRC1 – The leaders are now well into the Solent with the very front of the fleet now approaching the finish.   

IRC2 – Are spread largely from Ryde to Bembridge. 

IRC3 – Are rounding Bembridge at the moment. 

ISC4 – The leaders of ISC4 are now all the way to Ryde but the tail of the fleet stretches a long way back.   

ISC5 – Are rounding Bembridge. 

ISC6 – Are mostly between Ventnor and Bembridge with a few stragglers further back.

ISC7 – The bulk of the fleet are passing Ventnor.

ISC8 – Are all between St Catherine’s Point and Ventnor.