Round the Island Race - report, 2015

On Saturday 27 June two yachts skippered by EYC members raced in the famous Round the Island Race - Fairtrade (David Nunn and crew) and Ellida (Duncan Thomson and crew).  As two of the 1584 yachts entered into the race it looked to be an exciting time on the water - especially at the start line!  The wind proved to be stronger than predicted, but EYC members are made of strong stuff, so took it in their stride.

The start was 820am, so both boats left Elephant Boatyard at Bursledon around 730am to get to the start and work out the best way of having a good start without hitting another boat, being hit, being stuffed up on port or getting stuck in the foul wind from more windward boats.  A tack up to the Needles showed how much strength was required to winch in Ellida's genoa from the cockpit crew.  The foredeck crew had to come back to take over much to their annoyance - being used to sitting on the side and admiring the view for upwind legs!!

Passing the Needles we heard a few Mayday calls and saw the helicoper and RNLI out rescuing crews who had been injured.  With the asymmetric hoisted and the boat rolliking along at a good speed, Ellida managed to catch up and overtake the other Swan 38 in the race.  The swell around the back of the Island passing St Kats grew and helped to surf a number of the boats along at good speeds.

The tacking back to the finish line presented every boat with the dilemma of short tacking out of the tide but tiring the crew, or longer tacks but with some tide against you. Tacking around Ryde Sands was complicated by forcing boats onto port which were then met by starboard-tack yachts coming on.  It was a hard fought finish but we managed to pull ahead of other yachts and Ellida finished with a time of 8 hours, 25 minutes and 50 seconds.

Overall results:

Ellida (Swan 38) - 18 in Class 6, 122 overall (of 1393 that finished)

Fairtrade (Van der Stadt 35) - 83 in Class, 562 overall

Well done to both boats.  It is a long challenging race and both boats acquitted themselves very well.  Here is to 2016..... :-)

A small selection of photos are on the Club's Facebook page.

© Erith Yacht Club