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Race features in C5 'Jewel of the South' programme

Author: Jo Bowden   Date: 18:12 Tuesday 30 Jan 2024

We're excited to announce that the Round the Island Race is to be featured in the upcoming popular C5 series ‘Jewel of the South’. In the first programme, airing at 8pm on Thursday 1st February, our regular Round the Island Race competitor and Island Sailing Club (ISC) member, Libby Finch and her crew on Nightjar J92 will be in the spotlight.

Libby lives in Cowes and works for the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Much of her free time is spent with the RNLI Lifeboat team in Cowes and she qualified in May 2023 as the station's first female helm.

We asked her some questions about Round the Island Race:

RIR: How many times have you done the race? 

LF: I think last year was my 10th Round the Island Race, although I may well have forgotten some that I did with my dad when I was younger :) 

RIR: Why do you enjoy racing Round the Island?

LF: I love the race because you never know what you're going to get, and that's part of its charm. I've had a few windy, fast and furious races and the odd lighter winds ones that have felt interminable! But so far, I've been very lucky as I've always been able to get round and complete the race. It's such a great feeling, whatever the conditions have been like, when you cross the finish line after sailing around the whole island in one day. It's very satisfying. 

RIR: What are you looking forward to most on this year’s race? 

LF: I love doing the race on Nightjar with our crew who are all based in Cowes; it's always a highlight of our sailing calendar. There's something lovely about taking part in such a well-known race and knowing that it's happening on your doorstep and is organised by your local sailing club. The ISC does a great job of organising it every year so I'm looking forward to taking part and hopefully continuing my luck of just making it round without any major breakages or conditions forcing us to retire!

RIR: Will it be the regular Nightjar crew?

LF: Yes, it will be our Cowes regulars - we sail on Nightjar together every week during the summer season in the ISC’s Tuesday Night Race series, which is a great way to get some good training in before the race.

RIR: How pleased are you that the Official Race Charity is the RNLI and it will be raising money for the RNLI Lifeboat Stations that support the race? 

LF: We're all really happy! Out of our Nightjar crew we actually have a whopping 6 of us who volunteer for the Cowes Lifeboat, so it's a charity that is super close to our hearts - and of course, as any sailor will tell you, it's incredibly comforting to know that whenever we go out on the water the RNLI is always on hand to help when you really need it.