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Line honours and the Gold Roman Bowl for Dark'n'Stormy

Author: Jo Bowden   Date: 09:42 Sunday 26 Jun 2022

The weather conditions could not have been better for the iconic Round the Island Race, organised and hosted by the Island Sailing Club on Saturday 25 June. Thousands of sailors, young and old, amateurs and pros, were challenged by the fifty nautical mile course around the Isle of Wight.

Dave Atkinson, Race Director, said: “The competitors enjoyed a fair breeze with a favourable wind angle going down through Hurst Narrows. There was a pleasant reach down to St Catherine’s and an incredible spectacle as spinnakers were hoisted for the run back to the finish. A huge thanks to all the competitors for making this ‘Race for All’ so special and to our Race Partners (Marathon Watch, B&G, Helly Hansen, Chelsea Magazines, Cowes Yacht Haven and Cowes Harbour Commission), without whom we couldn’t stage such an incredible event."

Ian Atkins’ GP42 ‘Dark’n’Stormy’ won both monohull line honours and the IRC overall prize, the spectacular Gold Roman Bowl. The last boat to achieve this feat was Simon Le Bon’s maxi yacht ‘Drum’ in 1988.

Ian Walker, Tactician on ‘Dark’n’Stormy’ said: “The Round the Island Race is a one-off. It’s sailing’s London Marathon and is our chance to get as many people out on the water as possible to enjoy a fantastic day.

"We had a pretty tidy race, a good start with clear air and were the leading monohull at the Needles, which saves a lot of time when you’re in the pack with boats everywhere. Our boat is good downwind, and we were fast reaching to St Cat’s and under a lot of pressure from Khumbu, the other Fast40. We swapped places a few times at St Catherine’s, got the spinnaker up, and it was then a question of whether we could hold it all the way down to Bembridge. In fact, we broached a few times and had to drop the spinnaker with only a 300 metre lead. Khumbu did a great job of going inside us at the fort, and then we were bow to bow coming up the Solent. Fortunately we got ahead of them with the Code Zero just before Ryde Bank and then held it to the finish, getting line honours. It was a great race and huge thanks go to the fantastic organisation of the Island Sailing Club."

Onshore there was a great atmosphere in Cowes, with competitors and spectators enjoying the entertainment in the Official Race Village in the Cowes Yacht Haven and in the Island Sailing Club.