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Ten things to do before Saturday's race

Author: Jo Bowden   Date: 20:07 Tuesday 21 Jun 2022

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 your Safety Book

Probably the single most important thing to find time for. 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.

2: Make sure the boat's 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, display it as detailed in the Sailing Instructions, and remember to attach your coloured Fleet Flag.

3: 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.

4: 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.

This year we've updated our Race Viewer with a new 'Compete & Compare' feature that gives everyone one-click access to all the tracks of the boats that match theirs. And best of all, this will all work LIVE while taking part or following the race!

5: Do your homework and enter the Competitors' Competition

Take a look at these popular Race Preparation sessions and blogs from our Race Partner B&G, and advice from Helly Hansen ambassador, Pip Hare, on the clothing kit you should take with you on the race:

  • Get Race Day Ready sessions with Mark Chisnell, featuring 'The Basics' and 'Advanced' videos and PDFs.
  • B&G blog series with helpful information on calibrating your instruments, using WindPlot to monitor the shifts, how to display the race exclusion zones on your B&G chartplotter, and planning your race with the B&G app.
  • Optimal clothing kit to take, a short video with Pip Hare explaining how best to prepare to face the often changeable conditions in the race.

Don't forget that all 2022 race competitors (crew and skippers) can enter our Competitor's Competition for the chance to win a fantastic prize from the Race Partners and the Island Sailing Club. Entry closes at 1700 on 28 June 2022.

6: Check your onboard safety equipment

Helly Hansen are running their Lifejacket Clinic again at their Cowes High Street store between 1500 and 1900 on Friday 24 June. RNLI volunteers will be performing vital lifejacket checks to make sure competitors are ocean ready and prepared for the race.

7: Watch the weather briefing

The Round the Island Race Weather Briefing will take place with Penny Tranter at the Island Sailing Club at 1700 on Friday 24 June, where all competitors are welcome. 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 and available for on-demand replay from 1800. Visit the website to watch.

8: Plan your visit to the Island

The Onboard Race Pack and Spectator's Guide will give you and your supporters all the information you need.

Make sure you plan a visit to the Official Race Village at the Cowes Yacht Haven. It's the perfect place to enjoy some drinks and food with your crew, your supporters and other competitors, and is open from 1600 on Friday 24 June until 1400 on Sunday 26 June. There will be live acts from 1800 onwards on the Friday, with four bands playing across the weekend - perfect for listening to with a cold beer in your hand!

The Race Partners and the Island Sailing Club stand highlights will include:

  • The B&G team in their Technical Support Truck will be on hand to offer support to competitors from lunchtime on Friday 24 June
  • Competitor discounts on the full range of Marathon wrist watches, and the Limited Edition Round the Island Race Marathon Stopwatch will be available to buy
  • Helly Hansen Race Collection and giveaways
  • Island Sailing Club prize draw and a discounted ISC membership offer
  • Family fun with The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust team - lots of activities on during the daytime on Saturday and on Sunday morning

9: Prize giving

The prize giving will take place at The Island Sailing Club at 1130 on Sunday 26 June. All competitors are welcome.

10: Give the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust a helping hand

The Trust has been the official race charity since 2005 and over £310,000 has been raised to date to help inspire young people aged 8-24 to believe in a brighter future living through and beyond cancer. This year, up to 30 young people, who have all previously sailed with the Trust after cancer treatment, will race the course on five boats and Dame Ellen MacArthur will race with them. Check out this message from Dame Ellen MacArthur to our competitors.

To support the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust in this year's Round the Island Race - simply text RACEFORALL to 70085 to donate £5 (texts cost £5 plus one standard rate message).