Round the Island race 2009
Saturday 15th August

Report by Jonathan Houston

Saturday 5th August dawned thankfully dry but with a brisk south westerly blowing across the start line just to the East of Cowes.

In class one Skylark got away first hotly pursued by Zephyr which looked to be gaining as she had the best position at the starboard end of the line out in the strongest tide. Then came Dawn and Sandy Lady, neck and neck, with Sea Lady close astern. Once past Gurnard and down towards Hurst Narrows, where they were exposed to the increasingly blustery conditions, Zephyr decided that - with bigger seas expected off the Needles - it was not the right day for her and she retired leaving the remaining four boats to battle on.

Class two had attracted the biggest entry for years and now 11 boats were jostling for position at the start line. Cleo was at the starboard end of the line reaching slowly along towards the committee boat and was perfectly positioned heading the fleet by a boat’s length over Stampede which was coming up fast on port tack. In the relatively smooth water Stampede showed her speed as she powered away despite having a reef in.

Just as in class one, the conditions told on the boats as both Stampede and Kerenza had headsail problems forcing them to retire, as did Blythe Spirit later on. By midday the leaders in class two were passing Freshwater with Shemar, which had been in the middle of the pack at the start, leading, followed by Abacus, Lucky Devil and Cleo. The calmer water past St Catherine’s allowed Cleo to hoist her spinnaker and she made up two places but couldn’t quite catch Shemar which took line honours. Abacus and Cleo battled to the end and although Abacus crossed the line first, a slight handicap advantage gave Cleo second place by just 1 minute 7 seconds!

The star of the show, however, was Geoff Turner in Dawn who, singlehanded, set a remarkable elapsed time of 7hrs 14min and took first place on handicap in both class one and overall. Finishing times for all boats were as follows:

BoatClassCorrected timePosition
Class One
Dawn 21 6:40:48 1
Sandy Lady 235 7:06:54 2
Sea Lady 850 7:07:21 3
Skylark 22 7:29:11 4
Zephyr 235 retired
Class Two
Shemar 335 7:29:33 1
Cleo 26 7:43:24 2
Abacus 275 4:44:31 3
Calypso 26 8:08:51 4
Lucky Devil 325 8:14:06 5
Jans Express 27 8:26:27 6
Maybe 27 9:19:39 7
Miss Fidget 26 9:40:02 8
Blythe Spirit 285 retired
Kerenza 335 retired
Stampede Bull retired