Parker & Seal Annual Round The Isle Of Wight Race

30th June 2001

By Walter Brown - Commodore

The shelter of the Medina river belied the blustery south-westerly F4-5 that greeted the fleet on its way to the start line off Cowes and this, coupled with a strong ebb tide, made life interesting for the 17 entries for this year’s event.

The 21/22’s and 28’s got away first on the long beat down the Solent, to be followed an hour later by the faster 26/27’s 275 and 325’s but not before "Valsolda" Andrew & Peter Hunter’s 27 had contrived to lock horns with the committee boat. The Parker 21 "Cygnus" of Geoff Harwood and the 28 "Sea Lion" of Harry & Jim Pye were the early pace makers from the first start, whilst "Shemar" Martin Hopton’s Parker 27 led the second start off the line.

First around Bridge Buoy, a mile west of the Needles, was "Cygnus" followed by "Sea Lion". However, the faster boats were revelling in the strong winds and lumpy seas created by the wind over tide conditions and the Seal 26 "Saltheart Foamfollower" of Chris & Sarah Williams, "Valsolda" and Jonathan Houston’s Parker 325 "Tilikum" had already caught the back makers of the early start by this first mark.

Initially, the shy reach did not manage to persuade anyone to fly spinnakers but by St. Catherine’s Point they were much in evidence though the wind was now gusting to 30kts. Down the back of the Island "Tilikum" used her length to power through the three 22’s "Shiraz," "Zalophus" & previous winner "’Fraid Knot" followed by "Valsolda," and "Saltheart Foamfollower."

By Bembridge Ledge "Sea Lion" had crept ahead of "Cygnus" but both were to be caught by "Tilikum" on the short fetch against the tide to the finish line at Bembridge Tide Gauge, where she took line honours by a few boat lengths. However, the overall winner was once again the well crewed Seal 22 of Roger Bond "’Fraid Knot" from the 26 of West Country visitors "Saltheart Foamfollower".

The committee boat, Mark Goble's new Bavaria 34 "Delphis" performed a sterling service, given the lumpy conditions in which she was expected to anchor and all present enjoyed the warm hospitality of the Island SC. before the start and Ganders Restaurant, St Helens, after the finish. Ganders also generously presented the winners with a magnum of champagne.

1st  R Bond Seal 22 ‘Fraid Knot 6hrs 18mins 57secs
2nd C & S Williams Super Seal 26 Saltheart Foamfollower 6hrs 23mins 33secs
3rd A & P Hunter Parker 27 Valsolda 6hrs 24mins 08secs
4th P Lovejoy Seal 22 Zalophus 6hrs 26mins 58secs
5th R & F Naylor Seal 22 Shiraz 6hrs 27mins 03secs
6th J Houston Parker 325 Tilikum 6hrs 30mins 24secs
7th  H & J Pye Seal 28 Sea Lion 6hrs 30mins 44secs