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Ten things to do before Saturday's race

Author: Jo Bowden   Date: 18:00 Monday 10 Jun 2024

Ten things to do before Saturday's race

To make sure you and your crew have an enjoyable and safe Round the Island Race, here are the key things you need to tick off before you head to the start line.

1: Read the Sailing Instructions

Whatever job you're doing on the boat, it's a good idea to be familiar with the Sailing Instructions. They are essentially the 'special rules' of the race and explain what you can, can't and must do on race day. If you don't follow these carefully, you could end up with no result - or worse, disqualified from the race. You should also brush up on your general rules knowledge by reading the Racing Rules of Sailing 2021-2024. To help those less experienced with racing, our Layman's guide to the Racing Rules highlights the most important aspects.

2: Read your Safety Booklet

Read it now, read it again before you go racing and make sure the rest of your crew read it too. We want everyone to have a safe race.

3: Make sure the boat is ready

Check the boat over thoroughly and make sure it's ready to go racing. Also, check that the letters and number printed on your sails are the same on each sail and match the information on the list of entries (otherwise you probably won't get a result). Ensure you have a dodger with your full sail number on it, and display it as detailed in the Sailing Instructions.

4: Identify your fleet colour, start time and finish line

Although coloured backstay fleet flags are no longer required, your fleet still has an allocated colour identity that determines your start time and finish line. Check the Sailing Instructions carefully or look at this table to identify your fleet colour and ensure that you start at the correct time and finish on the correct finish line.

5: Register for GPS tracking

Each boat in the race needs to have at least one device onboard capable of tracking its position. As well as helping with the safe management of the race, GPS tracking also means friends and family can stay up-to-date on your progress and you and your crew can replay the race after you've finished to see where you gained (or lost) time on your rivals.

If your boat has an AIS device, you can use this to provide your tracking data by entering the boat's AIS MMSI id number on the Update Your Entry page. Crew members can also take part by downloading our free GPS tracking app. The more people onboard running the tracking app, the more accurate and detailed your track will be - so do encourage everyone to join in.

Our Race Viewer also includes a 'Compete & Compare' feature that gives everyone one-click access to all the tracks of the boats that match theirs - usable LIVE while taking part or following the race!

New for 2024: LIVE Stage Leaderboard:

Accessible onboard during the race, the new LIVE Stage Leaderboard will give you and your crew a fun and useful tool to track progress and find out how you're doing against your rivals (in the IRC and ISCRS fleets). The ISC will be awarding Robert Oatley Wine Magnums for the crew that shows the most improved performance for each stage!

For more information please visit the dedicated LIVE Stage Leaderboard page on the race event website.

6: Do your homework and enter the Competitors' Competition

Check the event website for daily updates (especially the documents and guides) plus the B&G Race Support Programme, which includes:

  • Race Day Experience Videos - competitors past and present share their stories on what it's like to take part in the epic race
  • Race Day Ready Blog Series - experts sharing hints and tips including how to get the most out of your electronics on race day
  • Race Preparation Webinar Videos - The Basics and Advanced
  • Race Support Truck - book some pre-race help with your electronics on Friday, email:

As a 2024 race competitor, you (and your crew) can enter our Competitors' Competition for the chance to win a fantastic prize from the Race Partners and the Island Sailing Club. Entry closes at 17:00 on 18th June 2024.

7: Check your onboard safety equipment

Helly Hansen are running their Lifejacket Clinic again at their Cowes High Street store on Friday 14th June between 15:00 and 18:00. RNLI volunteers will be performing vital lifejacket checks to make sure competitors are race ready.

8: Weather updates

There will be weather updates on the event website from Tuesday 11th June. The Weather Briefing with Penny Tranter will form part of the Race Briefing at 18:00 on Friday 14th June at the Official Hospitality Venue on The Parade in Cowes. Penny is a Met Office Advisor and provides weather forecasting for many sailing events including the Olympics, Paralympics and RORC Fastnet Races.

The briefing will also be streamed live online on the event website and available for on-demand replay from 19:00.

9: Plan your shoreside time

Make sure you plan a visit to the Official Hospitality Venue on The Parade in Cowes - everyone is welcome. The Crew Bar marquee is the perfect place to enjoy some drinks with your crew, your supporters and other competitors. Both the Race Briefing (18:00 on Friday) and Prize Giving (12:00 on Sunday) will be held on the stage on The Parade. There will be live music throughout the weekend and plenty of food options.

  • Large CREW BAR marquee serving all your favourite drinks
  • Food Court serving delicious food and snacks throughout the weekend
  • Crew Deli at Blind Tiger - Deli Boxes available to pre-order & collect on Friday see
  • Crew Suppers at Blind Tiger - at 19:30 on Friday and Saturday, please book via
  • Live music on the stage all three days - including Blonde Bombshell at 21:00 on Friday and Cornerstone at 21:00 on Saturday
  • B&G Race Support Event Truck
  • Helly Hansen and RNLI stand - Ready Steady Crew challenge and buy the 2024 Race Collection
  • The Mermaid Garden - cocktails, beers, bbq and pizza
  • ISC's Bar and Terrace (all competitors welcome

See here for the full schedule and timings of shoreside events.

The Onboard Race Pack and Spectator's Guide will give you and your supporters lots of useful information.

10: Help the RNLI celebrate their 200th Birthday

We are delighted to welcome the RNLI as our Official Race Charity for 2024 and are incredibly grateful for the safety cover and assistance that the RNLI teams provide on race day across seven lifeboat stations.

Please help us to raise funds towards the training costs of the stations involved in supporting the race. There is a JustGiving page here and local RNLI volunteers will be in the Official Hospitality Venue on The Parade throughout the race weekend.

If you do have any questions, please get in touch with us on 01983 296621 or email

We look forward to seeing you on the start line on Saturday 15th June!

Round the Island Race Team and the Island Sailing Club

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