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Patrick Eden

The stunning classic yacht Kelpie will compete in the RIR

Author: Jo Bowden   Date: 10:09 Thursday 18 May 2023

The Island Sailing Club’s Race Team are delighted to announce that Kelpie, the famous 57ft gaff cutter classic yacht, will be racing in this year’s Round the Island Race within the ISCRS Fleet. She joins the growing number of boats taking part in the Race that encouragingly total more than at the same point last year.

Kelpie (a South Coast One Design) was designed by Alfred Mylne and built in Southampton in 1903. She has undergone many restorations, including the gaff cutter’s rig in the first half of this century when Richard Bendy first owned her. Kelpie became well known at Solent regattas and won the Gaffers Class in Round the Island Race over 15 times. Richard then sold her, but he bought his beloved Kelpie back earlier this year and now has big race plans for her. 

Richard Bendy said: “I’m delighted to be racing beautiful Kelpie this summer on the Solent. Round the Island Race has always been a huge highlight, as we have so many happy memories and indeed won a few class trophies! I’m gathering old and new crew together and we can’t wait to put her through her paces on the 1st July.”


This year, Elliot Brown Watches will be awarding the winners of eight categories with one of their Bloxworth Heritage Diver Watches. A few years ago, the Poole based watch manufacturer, put one of their watches through the ultimate test by strapping it to the bow of a boat competing in the Clipper Round The World Yacht Race. After 50,000 nautical miles, crossing six oceans and encountering everything mother nature has in her arsenal, the boat completed the race and the team inspected the watch. It had gained some pretty gnarly looking scars but was keeping perfect time - proving itself to be the ideal companion on any boat.     


This week sees the launch of a ‘Competitors’ Competition’ - all 2023 race competitors (crew and skippers) can enter for the chance to win a fantastic prize from the Race Partners and the Island Sailing Club – a great incentive to enter the race today!

Prizes include:

  • £1,000 B&G Marine Electronics voucher     
  • Helly Hansen Skagen Offshore Sailing Jacket and MIZU insulated water bottles  
  • Elliot Brown Bloxworth Heritage Diver Watch
  • Free mooring for a weekend at Cowes Yacht Haven
  • Annual subscriptions for Sailing Today with Yachts & Yachting and Classic Boat magazine
  • Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust branded organic tote bags 
  • Dinner for four at the Island Sailing Club

For more information and to enter visit Competition only open to 2023 race competitors and entry closes on the 4th July 2023.


The Round the Island race course is quite straightforward and hasn’t changed since 1931! Negotiate it well and there are gains to be made which is why many of the competitors spend time before the race planning their strategy.

This is B&G’s second year as the Race Marine Electronics Partner and they are excited to build on their successful 2022 ‘Race Day Ready’ Blog Series with their experts sharing hints and tips on how best to prepare for the race. New blog articles will include advice on route planning with your chartplotter, working with the tides; data logging with Triton Edge. Plus, planning with the B&G App and viewing exclusion zones on your B&G chartplotter.   

B&G is also thrilled to announce two webinars to be hosted in June: 

The Basics – Hosted by B&G Ambassador Nigel Colley - 6th June 1930hrs – preparation is the key to an enjoyable day on the water as well as a good race result. This webinar will be a guide to everything you need to know, from what you need on board, sailing instructions and notice of race, rules, charting and getting the most out of your electronics. 

Advanced – Hosted by B&G aficionado Tom Cheney - 13th June 1930hrs – a walk through getting the most out of your electronics for a successful and enjoyable race. Topics include calibration, start lines, wind shifts, tides and more. 

B&G is pleased to confirm onsite technical support for the race with the B&G Event Van, supported by Hudson Marine who will also be providing a health clinic on the Wednesday and Thursday before the race. 

All Round the Island competitors can register their interest for these webinars, read the blogs and find out more on as well as signing up to receive B&G news.

Helly Hansen, the Official Clothing Partner are working in partnership with the RNLI to organise vital kit safety clinics ahead of the race. Known for providing professional-grade gear, Helly Hansen and the RNLI have almost 350 years of combined heritage of protecting lives at sea. Their joint ‘Lifejacket Clinic’ will take place on Friday 30th June outside the Helly Hansen Cowes retail store. Competitors are encouraged to attend for some helpful advice on their lifejackets and kit from RNLI volunteers*. 

Helly Hansen are also inviting competitors and visitors to their ‘Ready Steady Crew’ event in the Race Village based in Cowes Yacht Haven. There will be a race against the clock to see who can put on the iconic RNLI uniform in the quickest time to win some great prizes. The Helly Hansen Race Capsule Collection will be launching pre-orders in the next few weeks.  

*The RNLI lifejacket check clinics are an advisory service only and are not intended to replace an annual service as recommended by the manufacturer. It is the responsibility of the lifejacket owner or vessel owner to ensure that their safety equipment is fit for purpose and is in full working order.


Over twenty young people supported by the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust will be competing in Round the Island Race on the Trust’s four boats on the 1st July. Luke and Heather have been sailing for a few years with the Trust and are looking forward to the race.  

Luke said: “I was keen to get involved in a different aspect of sailing, and also one that is maybe faster paced. It’s good to have waypoints, and not forget as I’ve gotten further away from my diagnosis. It was 6 years ago I was diagnosed, and initially it is all consuming in your mind. It dissipates over time, but it’s good to check in with yourself. Going sailing and taking part in Round the Island Race is a fantastic reminder and an acknowledgement of how far I have come over the last 6 years. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Heather: “For me, sailing seemed so scary, I’m not a water person at all. I wanted to meet other people who had been through the same experience, get a bit more involved in the cancer community. My treatment was all through COVID so I’d never met anyone in a similar situation, so that was my main reason for going. But once I started sailing I absolutely loved it. I’m so excited to come back and take part in some proper racing, because it was so much fun last time.”

Listen to the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust’s official ‘Sound Waves’ podcast series for more of their story in the episode ‘Looking ahead by look back’. It’s available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify, and can be heard on their website here: 

For all the latest news on social media - @roundtheisland and #RoundTheIsland #RaceForAll.