Sunday, 21 June 2009

RTI 2009: JPMorgan Asset Management Round the Island Race - the Gold Roman Bowl

The fleet round The Needles at this year's JPMorgan Asset Management Round the Island Race. Image copyright onEdition.

by Flavia Bateson

Conditions in today’s JPMorgan Asset Management Round the Island Race gave everyone a challenge. The breeze at the start was light, with some boats swept over the line early and having to make their way back slowly. At the Needles the most popular description competitors had of the race was “champagne sailing”. Then the wind played tricks. Off Bembridge everyone was on a spinnaker reach when the breeze suddenly went through a 180 degree turn and then dropped. From 80-footers down to Laser SB3s, crews were kept busy fending off other boats. Once into the eastern Solent most of the fleet had to cheat the tide and creep close into Ryde Sands. Then it was short tacking to the line. The ‘rush hour’ was between 1900 and 2000 when a close to a thousand boats were finishing.

The top prize Gold Roman Bowl is provisionally shown as one of the smaller and older designs. Tattarat is a 25 foot Nordic Folkboat built in 1978. Her skipper is Philip Williams, a director of Williams Shipping in Southampton who very kindly supplied one of their tugs as a committee boat. Tattarat completed the course in 10 hours and 46 minutes. Philip said:

“Our race was quite eventful. We touched on Ryde Sands and my 62 year old father jumped over the side to push us off!

We started in a very light breeze and had a difficult beat to The Needles. Later in the eastern Solent it went light again. Basically we hugged the Island shore all the way round to get out of the tide. We were close in at The Needles, St Cat’s and Bembridge. It was a difficult, testing time but a good race.”

A boat runs aground at this year's JPMorgan Asset Management Round the Island Race.
Image copyright onEdition.

Philip’s father Eric is joint managing director of Williams Shipping and a keen Dragon sailor. Philip is hoping his father will sail with him again, despite his swim!

Two years ago sistership Madelaine won the Gold Roman Bowl with Tattarat the runner up. This year it is the Folkboat Nordic Bear second.

The Silver Gilt Roman Bowl for the top yacht in the ISC Rating System Division is provisionally the little 20-foot Hunter Medina Tudor Rose, built in 1982. Jointly owned by Richard and Ian Cooke from Hill Head, the boat is a regular competitor in the race over many years.

JP Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race 2009

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