Round the Island race - 12th July 2008

Report by Walter Brown

Class 2 start
Class 2 start

Small, yet beautifully formed may best describe the fleet that started the Association’s thirty-fourth Round the Isle of Wight Race. Half the fleet were unable to get to the start line off Yarmouth, given the poor weather experienced in the Solent right up until Friday night.

In the event, the first class comprised of three Parker 21’s, with Nigel Walbank’s “Breeze” promptly leading Geoff Turner in “Dawn”, who was sailing single-handed and Paul Burton in “Papillon” away from the line and into the blustery F 4-5 (occas. F6) westerly wind over tide conditions, on the opening leg towards the Needles. These three were hotly pursued some 45 minutes later by class two, consisting of Parker 27 “Jans Express” sailed by David Cooper, the 325 “Kerenza” of Jeremy Parsons and Martin Hopton’s 335 “Shemar”.

Dawn, taken from Papillon
Dawn, taken from Papillon

Having rounded Bridge Buoy west of the Needles and with spinnakers much in evidence the entrants, were accompanied on their way to St Catherine’s Point by the many competitors in the Two Handed Round the Island race.

For the Parkers, the question as always was, could the smaller, slower yachts keep ahead of the larger and quicker, let alone save their time on handicap? “Shemar” thought the answer was no, when she caught and passed “Dawn” and “Papillon”, only yards apart after 6 hours of racing, at Bembridge Ledge Buoy.

Breeze crossing the finishing line
Breeze crossing the finishing line

She had, however, yet to catch the nimble “Breeze”, who living up to name, sped back up the Solent cheating the foul tide along Ryde Sands, to stay ahead and take both line honours at Gales HSB Buoy and record a first on corrected time. “Shemar” finished next but was unable to save her time on the singled-handed “Dawn” who was third across the finish.

Thanks go to the committee boat, Helen & Roger’s “Cân y Môr” which performed a sterling service, given the lumpy conditions, and to the warm hospitality of the Duke of York in Cowes on the Saturday evening.


Position Name Owner Class Sail no PY Start Finished Elapsed Corrected
1 Breeze Nigel Walbank 21 81 1063 1 17:15:21 7:45:21 7:17:46
2 Dawn Geoff Turner 21 18 1093 1 17:50:33 8:20:33 7:37:58
3 Shemar Martin Hopton 335 46 950 2 17:42:00 7:27:00 7:50:32
4 Papillon Paul Burton 21 30 1073 1 18:00:10 8:30:10 7:55:27
5 Jans Express David Cooper 27 129 1036 2 18:38:01 8:23:01 8:05:32
6 Kerenza Jeremy Parsons 325 19 950 2 18:42:21 8:27:21 8:54:03

Start times
1 09:30
2 10:15