Saturday, July 7, 2018

Round the Island Race Preview

Dawn start for UK's Round Island Race off Cowes, Isle of Wight, England
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- If it's the first weekend in July, it must be time for the world-famous “Round Island Race” in the United Kingdom, hosted by the Island Sailing Club in Cowes, Isle of Wight.  The challenging 60nm race that goes around the Isle of Wight is by far the most popular race on any sailor’s social calendar all year long in the U.K.; particularly for those that love to get thrashed and challenged by the intricacies of the Solent. 

As has been the case for over a decade, over a thousand boats will begin starting at 0630 hrs.  First off is the IRC Zero class, followed by over two-dozen more classes sailing across the glorious Royal Yacht Squadron line in the summer morning soft orange light.  It should be absolutely gorgeous for the thousands of sailors aboard all the teams making their annual, epic adventure around the Isle of Wight.

On Saturday, the High pressure system should be over the center of the U.K., with a light NE to start, veering SE or even S during the afternoon depending where you are. It will be hot & sunny, so apart from the sunburn danger, thermal effects and possible sea breeze cell developments, it will be a very tactical day. In other words, no chance of any records getting broken from a sailing standpoint, more like a recipe for maximum sunburn/ tanning opportunities.

Taking on the challenge will be a veritable J/Navy sailing across the spectrum of classes.  In the world of IRC handicap classes, here are some of the notable teams to watch. 
Round Island Race- Cowes, Isle of Wight
In the 25-boat IRC 0 Class will be the J/121 ROCK LOBSTER. Following them is IRC 1A comprised of mostly J/111s and J/122s.  Those teams are the following, J/111’s (JITTERBUG, JOURNEYMAKER II, KESTREL, & SNOW LEOPARD), J/122’s (JAHMALI, JOLLY JELLYFISH, KAYA, R&W, & JANGLE), the J/133 ASSARAIN IV, and the J/120 HANNAM & PARTNERS TEAM 3.

Sailing in IRC 1B Class is the new J/122E JIB & TONIC. The dominating J/112E DAVANTI TYRES is sailing in IRC 1C.

Sailing in IRC 2A Class are twelve J/109s- including JIRAFFE, JASSY JELLYFISH, JUKE BOX, and JUMPING JELLYFISH.

Then, in IRC 2B Class are seven J/105s and six J/109s. J/105’s (JIN TONIC, JELLY BABY, JOS OF HAMBE, MOSTLY HARMLESS, REDEYE) and J/109’s (JINKS & JYBE TALKIN).

Holding their own in IRC 2C Class is the J/92S UPSTART.  And, in the IRC 2D Class is the J/92 JABBERWOCK and the J/97’s (HIGH JINKS, JAYWALKER JET, & JUMBLESAIL 2).

Planning to sail fast and stealthily in IRC 3A Class are the J/32 DOMAINE, J/92S’s (J’RONIMO, JACKDAW, LUNA, NIGHTJAR, SAMURAI J, & VAGABOND), the J/95 JUST IS, and two J/97’s (BLACKJACK II & JURA GB).
Round Island Race- Cowes, Isle of Wight, England
In the world of Island Sailing Club handicap rules (ISC), there are a number of J/crews participating.  In ISC 4A Class is the J/109 SQUIBS, in 4B Class is the J/92 JUST IN TIME, in 5B Class is the J/100 TIDERACE, and in the 6C Class are several J/24s (J-RIDER, JOBS FOR THE BUOYS, TEAM IMPACT RACING).

In addition to the handicap classes, there are also one-design classes for the Round Island Race! 

In the J/88s you will fined top teams like J/DREAM, JONGLERU, RAGING BULL, SABRIEL JR, & TIGRIS.  In the J/80s there are JUMPIN JACK FLASH, JUNO, and JUSTIFY.  And, in the J/70s there are JENGA 8, JACKAL, RITA, JACKATOO, JINX, and a number of Royal Southern/ Royal Thames YC teams.  For more Round the Island Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.